I found this excellent article about Frank Searle:
What lies beneath
Published Date: 04 September 2005 By LIESE SPENCER
MONSTER-HUNTERS are an endangered species at Loch Ness these days, but back in the 1970s its shores bristled with schoolchildren, hippies, students and renegade scientists all hoping to catch a glimpse of the world's last living dinosaur. Among them, though, one hunter in particular stood out. Frank Searle first appeared at the loch in 1969. No one knew where he came from - or where he went when he disappeared 14 years later - but in between, he became almost as famous as the creature itself.
From the start, Searle was different from the rest. While they lived in casual communes, sharing food and ideas at the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau, Frank set up camp on the other side of the loch, alone. While they scuba-dived and kept a 24-hour surface watch, to no avail, Frank quickly put together an album of Nessie shots from his look-out in the woods. Monster-hunters who had spent hours vainly raking the waters with cameras and sonar could only look on in frustration as his grainy images of slender-necked, hump-backed beasties were splashed across the press. Who was he? He was born in
A vocal sceptic of Searle's photographs, scientist Adrian Shine, had been described by the author as "the most accomplished liar ever to have trod the shores of Loch Ness". Soon after he had successfully petitioned the publishers to withdraw the book, Shine and his research team were the victims of a botched petrol-bombing as they slept on the beach. Searle told the police he had been painting his caravan at the time. A few days later, he disappeared. The caravan he had lived in for so long was kicked into the water - a taste of what would happen to his reputation in subsequent years. Although a version of Searle resurfaced in the 1996 film Loch Ness, played by Keith Allen, the man himself was never seen or heard of again. He simply vanished.
When producer-director Andrew Tullis first began to research Searle's story for Channel 4, nobody would talk about him. "What Frank did was buried by the people who stayed at the loch," he says, "because they didn't like his methods. They didn't think he had helped their cause one bit." Intrigued, the director decided to make a film "not about the Loch Ness Monster or the monster-hunters, as such, but about this man who came into their midst and mucked things up". With black-and-white snapshots and flickering, colour-saturated cine-film, his documentary is an elegiac evocation of the monster rush of the 1970s. Grinning students with heavy haircuts zip themselves into wetsuits. Schoolkids in flares lie in the grass, scrutinising the water through binoculars. It's all a great adventure.
Thanks to its extraordinary depth, the 23-mile-long loch holds more fresh water than all the lakes and rivers in
The sentence saying that his caravan was kicked into the water tells you a lot about the attitude to Frank. It is the reason I always kept to myself and rarely mixed with the other so called "Monster Hunters" . Despite what they all say about him Frank brought a lot of people and publicity to the area which helped publicise their efforts as well as his own. I think now Frank is dead they should stop assassinating him and leave him in peace. the story is well documented, every one knows what he was like , there is no need to continue a campaign against a dead man. Accept him for what he was , a product of the times who was part of the scene at the Loch and who brought something to the Loch in his own way.