Fact! At least, according to my English 12 high school term paper, it is...
The Loch Ness Monster first came to my attention when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It kept my attention until I was much, much taller than that blasted grasshopper. In fact, it hung out in my consciousness so much, I centered my senior year term paper on the Nessie controversy. My thesis?
The Loch Ness Monster...Exists!
Oh, yes! I said he was R-E-A-L real! I took pages and pages of notes. I filled out hundreds of index cards. I read teeny-tiny print in scientific-type tomes until my eyes crossed. That's right: notes on paper, index cards, and books. When I was in school, computers were still big boxes with black screens and green text with a blinking green block for a cursor. "Internet" was not in our vocabulary, nor was it invented yet. (Al Gore did that, remember??)
Anyway, I was absolutely convinced that Loch Ness in Scotland had a very big, very elusive creature in residence. No doubt. Then, in 1994, my hopes were dashed - only momentarily, but dashed just the same.
It all had to do with the famous "Surgeon's Photograph:"
Supposedly taken in 1934 by Dr. Robert Wilson (a surgeon - hence the name "Surgeon's Photograph..."), it was the only photograph of Nessie bearing evidence of a head and neck - all others showed only humps or disturbances - and it sparked further interest in the creature.
But then, in 1994, enter the shocking deathbed confession of 90-year-old Christian Spurling. According to Spurling, this famous photo shows nothing more than a toy submarine, with a serpentine neck and head fashioned from wood clay. He claimed he made the contraption at the behest of his father-in-law, Marmaduke Wetherell, as part of a revenge-driven hoax. (You can read more about it here.)
What? The photo was faked? My long-held belief that Nessie lives was squashed by some clown who took a picture of a toy submarine with some clay stuck on it?? The fun was over?
Luckily, I got hold of myself before panic set in too deeply. Since, by then, Al Gore's invention had taken hold, I raced to my computer and searched the internet for evidence to the contrary. Nessie had to be real. He just had to...
Well, I am relieved to say that this (and admittedly many other) hoaxes have not deterred the true believers. For every Nessie Naysayer site saying the Loch Ness Monster is all a buncha hooey, there are plenty of other sites listing all kinds of evidence that he (or she) is alive and well... if more than a teensy bit reclusive.
And so, the debate rages on. With luck, though, we'll never find the Loch Ness Monster...
...'cause the search is the fun part, after all!
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I used these sources for my post, but if you do a Google search, you will be overwhelmed with tons of info both for and against the idea of the Loch Ness Monster's existence. Which side are you on?