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Alan Mckenna from Loch Ness Exploration outside The Loch Ness Centre

An Interview with Alan McKenna of Loch Ness Exploration

24th Apr 2024

This week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Alan McKenna from Loch Ness Exploration to delve into his background, the mission of Loch Ness Exploration (LNE), and the intriguing monthly hydrophone cruises aboard Deepscan.

Join Alan Mckenna on Deepscan!

Over to Alan to tell you more…

Alan Mckenna from Loch Ness Exploration using the hydrophone on Deepscan
Alan Mckenna with nessie hunters Steve and Roland at The Loch Ness Centre

About Me

I first encountered Loch Ness and the mystery of the elusive Loch Ness Monster during my childhood when I discovered a book titled “The Story Of The Loch Ness Monster” by Tim Dinsdale. In that moment, I inadvertently set foot on a meaningful path that I would eventually walk later in life.

Throughout childhood and even into my teenage years, I was solely focused on our much-loved Loch Ness Monster, famously and affectionately known as Nessie. You would often find me daydreaming about becoming a true Nessie hunter and providing the world with conclusive evidence confirming the existence of a large unknown animal in Loch Ness.

Approaching adulthood, I distinctly remember feeling a noticeable shift in my perception, outlook, and understanding. I found myself growing more curious about the environment, both in and around the Loch. In a short period of time, I became completely captivated by the lost world deep below the surface. The underwater landscape is haunting, vast, dark, and at times difficult to comprehend.

Scanning Loch Ness for Nessie onboard Deepscan
Tim Dinsdale's sighting and book sparked Alan from LNE's interest in Loch Ness

The launch of LNE

In late December 2021, Loch Ness Exploration (LNE) was finally launched and welcomed individuals from all over the world. In many ways, LNE could be considered a tribute to the original Loch Ness Investigation Bureau (LNIB) which ran from 1962-1972. I was inspired by those who came before in search of answers and I want to follow in their footsteps to ensure that this legacy remains both relevant and protected.

The LNE philosophy is to approach the research at Loch Ness with an open mind and to remain impartial as we observe, record, study, and gather evidence of any and all phenomena occurring within this immense body of water in the Scottish Highlands.

Are you a sceptic or a believer? For as long as I can remember, those were the only two ‘camps’ available, and you had to pick a team, so to speak. But if I had it my way, I would remove these labels, knock down barriers, and focus on building a positive working relationship. Perhaps I’m being biased here, but I firmly believe that we’ve already demonstrated that not only is it possible to achieve but also very beneficial. With respect and an open mind, we can achieve so much more by working together. It’s always been my hope to provide valuable insight by conducting monthly expeditions where you are invited to personally contribute to this fascinating story.

By joining LNE, you will learn more about our purpose, our Scottish history, the majestic and dynamic geology of the Great Glen, the beautiful natural environment, our partners and friends, and of course the ongoing search for the elusive Loch Ness Monster.

The John Murray and a family exploring The Loch Ness Centre

Hydrophone with LNE

When creating LNE, I was in need of something different, something unique, beneficial, and intriguing. As previously mentioned, the clarity and visibility below the surface go way beyond darkness. So, if we can’t see anything down there, then perhaps we should be asking, “What can we HEAR down there?”

There have been numerous expeditions over the years at Loch Ness, and each one, in its own way, has contributed something towards the study and our understanding of the Loch. In terms of contribution, LNE has introduced the use of Hydrophones, and this method of research allows us to explore the dark waters of Loch Ness without the worry of poor visibility. The Hydrophone is basically an underwater microphone that can detect sounds hundreds of feet below the surface, and you can even hear a boat from several miles away.

With the help of the research vessel ‘Deepscan’, we can now deploy our Hydrophone into the deeper parts of Loch Ness. It’s my wish to capture and record as many sounds as possible and upload our recordings to a public database where everyone can listen.

It’s an absolute privilege to be playing a small role in this fascinating story, and I truly hope that my enthusiasm and passion for Loch Ness inspires others to recognize just how important Loch Ness is and its legacy that needs to be treated with respect and care!

Join Alan Mckenna on Deepscan!


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