On this day 2001: Explorer bids to trap Nessie

Jan Sundberg with his 'GUST'  team ready to engage in Operation Cleansweep to find the Loch Ness Monster. Picture: PA

Jan Sundberg with his 'GUST' team ready to engage in Operation Cleansweep to find the Loch Ness Monster. Picture: PA

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ON THIS day in 2001, Swedish explorer Jan Sundberg arrived at Loch Ness in a bid to trap the legendary monster.

Sundberg, who specialises in unusual species, planned to install a massive creel to catch Nessie, a move which led to Scottish Natural Heritage drawing up a voluntary code preventing environmental damage caused by monster hunters.

One of the earliest pictures of the Loch Ness Monster. Picture: Contributed

One of the earliest pictures of the Loch Ness Monster. Picture: Contributed

Sundberg had hoped to temporarily isolate a small specimen of the Loch Ness Monster for DNA examination. For this, the large creel or “eel trap”, 7ms long and 1m in diameter was used. Due to the concerns of SNH, the trap was used in shallow water and was unbaited.

Sundberg felt that one of the most likely candidates for the monster sightings might be a large eel, and that eels might enter the trap while seeking cover.

The mission proved to be unsuccessful and Sundberg left the loch disappointed.

Although recorded sightings of a monster in the loch stretch back to the days of St Columba, the public obsession with Nessie really began with a sighting in 1933 by the late John and Donaldina Mackay.

Ever since thousands of would be monster hunters have flocked to the loch in the hope of finding evidence of Nessie and there have been hundreds of accounts of those claiming to have seen the beast in the waters of the loch.

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