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Newspapers frequently bought the snaps (the Daily Record was Searle's best customer in this respect), but well before 1980 it was widely acknowledged that his photographs were fakes.
The generally-accepted take on Searle is this: at some point around 1972, perhaps frustrated by his lack of results, he chanced upon a log floating in the loch that happened to resemble a humped monster.
Although set up to search for the lake monsters said to dwell in Scotland's two deepest lochs, the LNMP gradually transformed itself into a biological survey, more interested in studying the limnology of Loch Ness than it was in actively hunting for its supposed monsters.
The Project's leader, Adrian Shine – a self-taught naturalist and FRGS – often popped up in the media, where he talked a lot of sense.
And there was no AIDS back then." It seems reasonable to assume that she, and perhaps some of the other assistants recruited from small ads placed (the Glasgow Herald noted) in "parts of the country where the unemployment was high," were more attracted to the romance of monster hunting than they were to the short, baked bean munching, prosthetic-footed (he was wounded in the war) Frank Searle.
Keeping up this rewarding new public profile required more evidence, but the newly-famous monster hunter was able to provide it.
Tony Harmsworth, who helped set up the Official Loch Ness Monster Exhibition at Drumnadrochit and so drained a good portion of Searle's custom, told the Glasgow Herald that he had once found a note stuck to his car windscreen in Inverness.
Searle put out a total of more than a dozen photos between 19 – many of them variations on a theme.