A new feature-length documentary telling the “unbelievable story behind an unbelievable story” of the Loch Ness Monster has hit UK cinemas today (November 10).

Using rare archive footage, Loch Ness: They Created A Monster offers a new take on the Loch Ness Monster-hunting boom of the 1970s, which saw everyone from WW2 veterans to Japanese pop impresarios descending onto the remote Highland shores hoping to catch the ultimate prize.

The documentary, directed by three-time Scottish BAFTA winner John MacLaverty (Scotland 78: A Love Story), turns the lens on the great Nessie hunters of the 1970s - and how their quest descended into chaos, monster egos and violence. 

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Rumours and sightings of a dinosaur-like creature had persisted at the Loch for decades, and the 1970s saw a frenzy of Monster Hunting. Anyone could roll up on the banks of Loch Ness, bust out an old camera, and declare themselves part of the hunt.

There was a well organised ‘official’ expedition by the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau which strategically placed vans and cameras around the Loch and watched it non-stop, year after year, coming up with very little evidence. 

Then there was the International Loch Ness Monster Search Party led by the eccentric Japanese pop promoter Yoshio Kou, who happily declared that he wanted to capture Nessie and take her around the world.

The film is produced by Indelible Telly and Hopscotch Films, with funding from BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland through the National Lottery Fund.