The legend of “Nessie” has kept monster-seeking tourists flocking to Scotland’s Loch Ness since the 1930s… and while dozens of well-equipped exploration teams have used just about every kind of technology available to explore the massive lake over the past several decades, none of them have come up with indisputable proof of a giant monster dwelling in its depths.
But this month, as reported by BBC Scotland, an extensive ecological survey by a robotic submarine revealed images of what appears to be a 30-foot monster at the bottom of the lake.
But you aspiring cryptozoologists out there shouldn’t get too excited… because this “Nessie” discovery turned out to be a vintage movie prop lost nearly half a century ago.
Now, if you’re a fan of cinema history, and monster memorabilia in particular, this find is actually pretty awesome: the prop is a groovy full-size replica of Nessie from the 1970 film THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, directed by Billy Wilder and co-starring horror legend Christopher Lee as Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes. The film includes a scene in which the detective has a surprise encounter with the mythical beast.
Construction on the model — which depicts the back, neck and head of a creepy sea monster — was overseen by revered effects designer Wally Veevers, best known for his work on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. It was reportedly lost during production after Wilder ordered alterations to its design, which caused it to lose buoyancy and sink to the bottom. The scene was later re-shot on a soundstage with a newly-built creature.
The prop was rediscovered by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime, who employed a remote-controlled submarine called the Munin, equipped with sonar-imaging equipment. Here’s a clip of the images the sub returned: