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Loch Ness Monster

The Ultimate ExperimentIn the summer of 2004, tourists cruising Loch Ness aboard the Royal Scot were left bewildered after what appeared to be the head and torso of a 16ft long Pleisosaurus loomed out of the water ahead of them.

However, things were not quite as they seemed! Indeed, if any of the passengers on the boat that day had popped into the Crawley Creatures studio during the spring of 2004 they would have known only too well what was going on. The Channel 5 documentary, Loch Ness: The Ultimate Experiment endeavoured to create a modern day Nessie hoax and naturally they came to Crawley Creatures for help.

With their extensive knowledge, the team were able to design andThe Ultimate Experiment build a 440lb animatronic model of the Loch Ness Monster. The model, which soon became known as Lucy was moulded as a cross between a plesiosaurus, the carnivorous marine reptile which roamed the seas up to 200 million years ago, and the popular image of the loch dwelling monster.The Ultimate Experiment

The team spent 14 weeks building the model from fibreglass and polyurethane rubber. Pneumatic air mechanisms inside the body allowed five different movements of the head, jaw and neck. Initially, the fake Nessie was intended to be strapped on to a miniature submarine, but after several abortive tests, Lucy was operated by three divers using motorised pods.

During a two-week period of filming in September 2004, the fake Nessie appeared before tourists in three locations - close to a campsite at the The Ultimate Experimentsouthern end of the loch; by the ruins of Urquhart Castle two miles from Drumnadrochit, and most conspicuously in front of the cruiser Royal Scot near its base at Fort Augustus.

Viewers of the programme are able to witness several dramatic moments during the experiment, not least when Lucy is lost to the depths of the Loch after a mishap on a night dive. Fortunately the diving team are able to salvage the beast and bring her back to the surface after sustaining little damage.

Approximately 600 people witnessed Lucy during her brief stay in the Loch although after having viewed the Ultimate Experiment they may be a little more sceptical about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster!






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