Its existence has been debated
May 27, 2001 3:13 PM   Subscribe

Its existence has been debated many times, although on the front cover of today's Oxford Mail was a new picture that is speculated to be an authentic image of the Lochness Monster. Could the legend of the Loch Ness Monster be proven true? Whether or not Nessie exists, fishermen are trying to net it, swedish spies are hunting for it, scientists are listening for it, the tourists are on the watch and a witch is trying to provide magical protection. Take a peek yourself and you may see Nessie...
posted by crog (14 comments total)
I tried finding an on-line version of the article on the Oxford Mail website, however nothing was availiable on the sightings of Nessie (except for the sightings of Bill Clinton in Oxford).
posted by crog at 3:20 PM on May 27, 2001

This looks like a job for...Metafilter P.I!
posted by NsJen at 3:22 PM on May 27, 2001

Personally, I'm more interested in Vortex Theory than Cryptozoology lately, but I'd suggest giving Loren Coleman or John Keel a read. They make some good points about Nessie, and our need for it whether it's real or not.
posted by Ezrael at 4:27 PM on May 27, 2001

Hey, welcome back Matt.
posted by netbros at 4:29 PM on May 27, 2001

it's another hoax site. hain't half-serious.
posted by wantwit at 5:23 PM on May 27, 2001

LOL, Jen.
posted by SpecialK at 5:27 PM on May 27, 2001

I suspect it may be an unidentified fly object that can dart about underwater. If they can snag some DNA they could clone It and make lots of them available for all the tourists who come and spend so much money and see nothing, unless trying the great Scotch.
posted by Postroad at 5:41 PM on May 27, 2001

The Loch Ness Monster must exist because monsters of this kind are so common in regions that are similarly in dire need of tourist revenue.
posted by lagado at 7:42 PM on May 27, 2001

Ha! Lagado, thanks for the Champy link. I grew up on Lake Champlain in NY, and heard countless tales of sightings by local crackpots. A stand up comedian once spoke about how aliens never land at MIT or Cal Tech, but prefer a toothless farmer's field instead. I think most of the sightings in my home-town have been inspired by a 12 pack of Genesee Cream Ale.
posted by machaus at 11:07 PM on May 27, 2001

> dire need of tourist revenue.

That's certainly true, but there's more to it. On one side, pranksters cannot resist the joy in taking advantage of the dull and gullible. And on the other side, the dull and gullible are desperate to escape their lives by believing in amazing things whose existence would make their lives more interesting and bearable. If someone drained Loch Ness and said "See? No monster," the believers would say that the monster had burrowed safely underground to await the return of the water. There is no nessiebigfootabominablesnowmanleprechaunelfbrownietoothfairysantaclauseasterbunnydevilangelgod.
posted by pracowity at 11:10 PM on May 27, 2001

> There is no nessiebigfootabominablesnowman
> leprechaun elfbrownietoothfairysantaclauseasterbunny
> devilangelgod

Prac, I notice you've dropped "coelacanth" from your portmanteau word.
posted by jfuller at 9:43 AM on May 28, 2001

people have seen coelacanths. hell, even I've seen a coelacanth.
posted by jessamyn at 2:07 PM on May 28, 2001

It goes round and round. People play hoaxes and mislead people who take things on faith, for whatever reason (and it doesn't have to be because they are dull and gullible, either...the sheer body of reported Nessie sightings is huge, and while it hasn't convinced me of shite, it has made me willing to listen) while marvels like the Coelacanth, or the Thylacine (last year it was being spotted all over the place) seem to buoy them back up.

I won't pretend to know. But that, to me, is all the more reason to suspend judgement. Until someone either does drain the loch or hauls up a Nessie corpse, we'll just have to wait and see. (Although, since Nessie has been seen walking on land, draining the loch might not do...)

It's a deep loch, though. May be more effort to drain it than it's worth to try and kill someone's bit of whimsy.
posted by Ezrael at 2:19 PM on May 28, 2001

There's a great difference between the coelacanth and Nessie cases.

People weren't hanging about for years and years selling tourist shite to people waiting for a sight of the marvelous legendary coelacanth. Supposedly sensible scientists weren't wasting amazing amounts of time and money looking for the coelacanth. The coelacanth was supposed extinct and that was that. A researcher who thought otherwise on the evidence (none) would have been no scientist. When a modern instance of the coelacanth was found in a fisherman's net, it was not expected, not the subject of wishful thinking, because there was no evidence for its existence. It was simply found. A happy surprise.

Nessie is a fairy tale that some people sell and others believe. A researcher who believes in Nessie is no scientist, or is a scientist blinded by a fairy tale.

> Its pretty easy to get jaded from the hype surrounding
> nessie, but its an ever more ridiculous statement to
> claim that we have identified all animals/insects/plants
> and any that be dinosaur-like or didn't evolve into
> something more palatable simple don't exist.

I don't think anyone here claims that. Jungles are full of uncataloged little beasties. Things like the coelacanth wash up on to shore. Things no one has an inkling about.

But it would be supremely silly to think, in a case such as Nessie's, that both sides, for and against, are somehow equally valid. The odds against there being a Nessie are immense, and to real science Nessie isn't even an issue. If a beast ever pops up, scientists will be happier than anyone else about it, but they won't waste much time wishing for it to happen.
posted by pracowity at 11:17 PM on May 28, 2001

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