Friday 2 March 2012

Monster and big cat news from the Scottish highlands

Monster fury over Nessie hoax claim
"Nessie" on display at the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre in Drumnadrochit.AN author has been branded a "green eyed monster" after describing the Nessie story as "the archetypal hoax of the 20th century" in a Canadian newspaper. Writer Josh Bazell has created waves among Nessie lovers after penning articles in a Canadian paper saying the monster legend was made up as a scam to lure tourists to the area in the 1930s. But outraged Gary Campbell, president of the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, hit back at Bazell's monstrous claims, saying it is only because he is jealous that a Nessie rival in Canada does not share the same celebrity status.In Canada's National Post, Bazell insisted the Nessie hoaxer was Alex Campbell, water bailiff for Loch Ness, and his motive was to save jobs following the stock market crash of 1929. He said the crash led to a fall in Loch Ness tourist numbers, to the point where it was announced the railway to Fort Augustus would be discontinued.

Big cat on the prowl in Corpach?
EXCLUSIVE by Janice MacKinnon

Bill Gibbons in his garden where the mystery animal left large footprints.BIG footprints in the mud – and a dwindling rabbit population – have given Corpach locals "paws for thought" this week.Bill Gibbons of Hillview Drive was astonished to discover a set of large paw prints in muddy ground beneath a bird-feeder in his garden at the end of last week. And he believes they may belong to a "massive" wildcat which has been spotted in the area."I was quite intrigued when I found them," he said. "I suppose a big dog could have been responsible but they look more like a very big cat’s prints to me."I found the prints just below my living room window, directly beneath a bird feeder.
"The front two impressions were more deeply embedded in the soil, as if the creature had stood for a while watching the birds coming back and forth."Bill believes the prints – which are approximately two inches in diameter – were left overnight or in the early hours of the morning as they appeared freshly made when he first noticed them."A plastic box in the garden, which had a couple of mouse traps in it, had been raised up and the traps set off, which also made me think a cat was responsible," he added.John Cuthbertson’s home, also at Hillview Drive, backs onto the railway line running from Fort William to Mallaig, with boggy waste ground on the other side of the tracks leading towards the canal. He believes the terrain would be an ideal place for a large cat to hide out.Just 400 yards away along the railway track is the Snowgoose Mountain Centre, an outdoor activities centre run by John and his wife Tina, who reported several sightings of "an extremely large wildcat"

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