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Loch Ness Centre wants "new generation of monster hunters" for biggest search in 50 years

The Loch Ness Centre is on a renewed hunt for "Nessie," in what's being described as the biggest search in more than 50 years. 

The Scotland-based organization wants the next "generation of monster hunters" to help uncover the truth on a late August search. The center is partnering with Loch Ness Exploration to use thermal drones, infrared cameras and a hydrophone to try and find the mythical monster allegedly lurking somewhere beneath Scotland's freshwater lake, Loch Ness.

The search, planned for the weekend of Aug. 26 and 27, has been billed as the largest of its kind since the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau studied the loch in 1972.

"We are guardians of this unique story, and as well as investing in creating an unforgettable experience for visitors, we are committed to helping continue the search and unveil the mysteries that lie underneath the waters of the famous Loch," Paul Nixon, general manager of the Loch Ness Centre, said. "The weekend gives an opportunity to search the waters in a way that has never been done before, and we can't wait to see what we find."

View of Residents in Small Boat and on Coast of Loch Ness
Numerous residents of the Loch Ness ares of Scotland have reported the sighting of a huge sea monster. One of the search parties is shown here. Bettmann via Getty Images

There have been more than 1,140 official sightings of the elusive monster recorded to date, according to the Loch Ness Centre. Searchers hope the use of thermal drones and infrared cameras will help identify any anomalies. The hydrophone will be used to listen for any "Nessie-like calls" underwater. 

Volunteers will help look out for breaks in the water and inexplicable movements. They'll be briefed by Alan McKenna, a member of Loch Ness Exploration, about what to look for and how to record their findings. 

"It's our hope to inspire a new generation of Loch Ness enthusiasts and by joining this large scale surface watch, you'll have a real opportunity to personally contribute towards this fascinating mystery that has captivated so many people from around the world," McKenna said.

This won't be the first search taking advantage of advances in technology since legends about the mythical monster started circulating. In 2018, a scientist from New Zealand led a team to the lake to take DNA samples. When creatures move about in water, they leave behind tiny fragments of DNA, University of Otago professor Neil Gemmell previously told CBS News. His test revealed the monster of the lake may be giant eels.

"I think we can be fairly sure that there is not a giant, scary reptile swimming around in Loch Ness," he said after months of research. 

His findings did little to dampen the enthusiasm of searchers. The official sightings register continues to list sightings of the monster.

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