Sweden's own version of the Loch Ness monster, the Storsjoe or Great Lake monster, has been caught on film by surveillance videos, an association that installed the cameras said Friday. The legend of the Swedish beast has swirled for nearly four centuries, with some 200 sightings reported in the lake in central Sweden.
"On Thursday at 12:21 pm, we filmed the movements of a live being. And it was not a pike, nor a perch, we're sure of that," Gunnar Nilsson, the head of a shopkeepers' association in Svenstavik, told AFP. The association, together with the Jaemtland province and local municipality of Berg, installed six surveillance cameras in the lake in June, including two underwater devices.
The project, which has so far cost some 400,000 kronor (43,000 euros, 62,500 dollars), is aimed at resolving the mystery of the Swedish Nessie. The first sighting dates back to 1635 and the most recent to July 2007, with most speaking of a long, serpent-like beast with humps, a small cat or dog-like head, and ears or fins pressed against the neck.
The association employs one person full-time to review the recorded video footage each day.
In the images filmed Thursday and posted on a website dedicated to the Storsjoe monster (www.storsjoodjuret.nu)
, a long serpent-like being is seen swimming in the murky waters.
"A highly-advanced system on one of the cameras detected heat produced by the cells," indicating that it was a live being, Nilsson said.
"It's very exciting and quite spectacular," he said.
He readily admitted however that the project was also "aimed at improving business around the lake."
"The monster has helped us," he added.
Some 20 more cameras are due to be installed soon, including one at a depth of 30 metres (100 feet) to catch any movements under the winter ice.