Friday 4 March 2011

last months news from loch Ness in case you missed it.

Fifteen years after first sighting Gary is still looking for Nessie
founder of fan club has been joined by 366 believers worldwide
By Mel Fairhurst Published: 19/02/2011
It is 15 years since Gary Campbell spotted a creature lurking in the mysterious waters of Loch Ness.When the Inverness father-of-two attempted to share his exciting experience he found sightings of Nessie had not been logged officially since 1972.This prompted the chartered accountant to launch the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club and since its inception in 1996, he has been joined by 366 fellow believers from across the world.More than 80 sightings have been logged by Mr Campbell, the club’s president, over the past 15 years.His wife Kathleen, 42, is secretary for the club and the couple receive about 10 inquiries a month from individuals and organisations interested in keeping the legend of the Loch Ness monster alive.Although the myth behind the monster is synonymous with a photograph taken by Dr Robert Kenneth Wilson, published in 1934, Mr Campbell says the legend dates back centuries when folk tales of water nymphs, kelpies and lake creatures in Scottish lochs were common. Mr Campbell, 45, of Milton of Leys, said: “I am happy that I saw something in the water, but I am not happy that I have not found the answer yet to what I actually saw. I was sitting in my car doing some paperwork on a layby south of the loch when I saw something coming out of the water.“It was about a quarter of a mile out and it had a hump. I thought I was seeing things but then it came up again. You didn’t have access to mobile phone cameras back then and it was all over in about four seconds, so I didn’t get a picture.“We just keep everything up to date, it is important to keep the whole thing going. This is not just about a grainy black and white photo taken in the 1930s. We still get photographic and video evidence, the search is still going on. In the 90s we would get 10 or 12 sightings every year, but we had just one last year and one the year before. “This is not because interest in Nessie has waned, it is because photos taken 15 years ago were taken on face value, but now with the onslaught of digital cameras and videos, a lot of pictures can be discounted.”Mr Campbell says interest in the monster heightens about every 10 years and he predicts 2011 will be a bumper year for Nessie spotting.This week a film crew from the National Geographic Channel was filming a documentary entitled The Truth Behind Loch Ness to be broadcast in September.
The club can be accessed at
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Monster delay over Loch Ness layby
Anger at Transport Scotland as tourism roadside hotspot still out of action after three years
By Mel Fairhurst Published: 17/02/2011
Inverness councillors have vowed to hold Transport Scotland to account after repairs to a layby at a Highland tourism hotspot has still not been done – three years after it was closed amid fears it might collapse.Transport Scotland said options to rebuild a large layby which gives tourists their first glimpse of Loch Ness were still “being reviewed” but not a priority.
The only work earmarked so far for this financial year is drainage work to maintain the integrity of the structure.The layby is known as the Wellington layby because it is beside the spot where divers in 1985 salvaged a World War II Wellington bomber. An information board in the layby tells about the difficult operation to recover the aircraft that ditched in the loch in 1940.The delay was described as a “disgrace” by Aird and Loch Ness ward councillor Helen Carmichael.She said: “I am extremely disappointed Transport Scotland hasn’t followed up what it promised nearly a year ago. We were confidently told last May the work would be carried out in two months and we were given fortnightly updates. “This has fallen by the wayside. I expect that the funding for the layby to be budgeted for.“The spot is so important because it gives people the best view of the loch.”Ward councillors are now set to make the repairs to Wellington layby on the A82 Inverness to Drumnadrochit road a top priority.Fellow ward councillor Drew Hendry said: “There were commitments made to ward councillors and I think these commitments should have been budgeted for. There has been a bit of work but the impetus does seem to have waned. I would have liked to have seen the work further along.“It is a very important spot because it is one the few laybys which you can get a bus on to and where you can access the water. It is an important space for tourism and we don’t want to go through another summer without it being made fully available to the public.”The layby was closed for safety reasons in 2008 when an ageing retaining wall collapsed. A mixture of mortar and drystone construction, it had been under more pressure than would have been intended when it was built. It was partially reopened last year.A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said the reconstruction of the layby was being reviewed and would be considered in line with competing priorities and budgets.
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That layby has fond memories for many nessie watchers .Lets hope it can be repaired.

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