Friday, 9 April 2010

nessie in the news again

I should have said this was an April fool lol. Don't feel bad about it some rather prominent people were taken in.

Monster spoof nets Nessie prof

By Laurence Ford Published: 08 April, 2010

A LEADING world authority on the Loch Ness monster has slammed plans for a floating sea plane terminal on the world's most famous stretch of water.But what emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies at Virginia State University in the USA, Professor Henry H Bauer did not realise the proposal, reported in the Highland News last week, was an April Fool's Day spoof. The good professor was not alone in being taken-in hook, line and sinker, as the BBC and an Inverness-based newspaper also fell for our fictitious tale and phoned our partner in the prank, Loch Ness Marketing director Willie Cameron, seeking more details. Last Thursday, to mark April Fool's Day, we told how plans for a giant floating terminal that would attract well-heeled tourists from around the world by seaplane were being submitted to Highland Council. And we revealed a top Italian designer, Rolf Lapio, had been recruited by a consortium, headed by Willie, to create an iconic floating seaplane terminal. Another tongue-in-cheek clue was the pressure group Flights Off Our Loch, which hit out at the proposal. We also listed a website link which revealed an "April Fool!" message. But several of our colleagues in the media were taken in and tried to follow up the story on Thursday morning. And after the article was posted on the HN website for the day, a number of people responded, including Professor Bauer, who wrote: "UNBELIEVABLE! Nessie is the attraction, and there's already too much boat, jet-ski, etc, traffic on Loch Ness. What's wrong with the Beauly Firth or the Moray Firth for seaplanes?" When we contacted the professor, whose book The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery is recognised as an authoritative work, to verify he had responded to the story and not someone using his name, he confirmed he had. How we reported the 'plan' to build a floating airstrip on Loch Ness. Professor Bauer hit out at the imaginary plans. Professor Bauer, a self-confessed Nessie fan who has also written several scientific papers on Loch Ness and its secretive inhabitant, went on to expand on his opposition to the seaplanes plan because of its threat to tourism and also to Nessie, if the creature or creatures exist. He also told of his 50-year fascination with the beauty of Loch Ness. When told he'd been had, Professor Bauer replied with good grace: "Unfortunately it could so easily have been genuine, given the continuing expansion of salmon farms and boat harbours... please try to remember that it's a joke when such a proposal is actually made in the future. "Meantime, I'm greatly relieved." When told the professor had been taken in, Willie Cameron said: "Brilliant - that's even better than the BBC. I do not know the professor personally, but I have heard of him. In fact, I have got a copy of his book. "He is a recognised authority on the Loch Ness monster. It just shows what a good story it was." He added that people in the Drumnadrochit area had enjoyed the fun and even been humming the Dambusters theme tune over the phone to him, as well as calling him Biggles. He said children in the village were running about with their arms out pretending to be seaplanes. "Locally, it went down very, very well indeed," he said. "Quite honestly, it was the spoof of the year."


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