Researchers who are looking for evidence of Scotland?s Loch Ness monster tried a new tool?Queen Elizabeth?s Golden Jubilee baton, which contains a device that can detect a pulse rate. They lowered it into the loch during its five-day tour round Scotland but failed to find any sign of Nessie?s heartbeat. But some of them say they saw “something pretty weird” as the baton floated up to the surface.

Images of the underwater baton were sent to T.V. screens aboard a boat called the Jacobite Queen, which was carrying about 100 guests. Di Henry, who arranged the broadcast, says there was “a strange interruption” as the baton floated to the surface. “There was a thing in front of the camera,” she says. “It looked pretty wooden. It could have been wood or seaweed or it could have been Nessie.”

The baton is traveling on a 58,000-mile journey through more than 20 Commonwealth countries. Like the Olympic torch, it will be carried by hundreds of runners including politicians, celebrities and members of the public.

Sweden has its own version of Nessie. Espen Samuelsen is the head of the Global Underwater Search Team (GUST) that is searching for a serpent in the Roemsjoeen, a lake close to the Swedish border. “We believe there is something in the lake that should be investigated,” Samuelsen says.

Reported sightings of a sea monster in the lake date back to the 1700s. For centuries, residents have seen strange creatures in the lake, from huge dark figures to sudden waves and turbulence in the water that immediately disappears.

One of the more recent sightings, in September 1976, involved a busload of people who were being driven along the shore of the lake. The driver, Asbj?rn Holmedahl, saw what he thought was a moose swimming in the water and stopped the bus so his passengers could see it. When no moose climbed out on shore, he resumed driving until several passengers yelled at him to stop. “I saw big waves, maybe 50 centimeters high, and something dark swimming, maybe 10 meters long,” Holmedahl says. “It looked like it had humps. It all happened so fast, but it was big.” There was a similar sighting in 1994.

The GUST team won?t have the Queen?s baton, but they will use an underwater microphone that was once used to track Soviet submarines. “There’s a lot of skepticism about our work,” Samuelsen says. “But we’re not paying attention to that.”

To learn about all the amazingly strange creatures that have been sighted around the world from cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, read ?The Mothman and Other Curious Encounters?,click here.

To learn more about Nessie, click here.

To learn more about the Swedish Nessie,click here.

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