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Of myths and monsters

Like Elvis, Nessie has left the building.

That is one conclusion to draw from the intelligence offered by the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club to the effect that the creature was not seen at all last year.

It turns out 2013 was the first year in which there was no registered sighting of Nessie since 1925. This is not a subject that can be interrogated by empirical evidence. The earliest report of a monster seen near Loch Ness was in the sixth century, when Saint Columba had a near-Nessie experience. A robust (?) tradition of there being a monster in the loch began less than 100 years ago, when, in 1933, one George Spicer and his wife witnessed a beast with a long neck slither across the road in front of their car (how this squares with 1925 having been the last previous year to 2013 without a registered sighting is as deep to fathom as the loch itself).

Anyway. The myth (heaven forfend) of Nessie has drawn the curious to Loch Ness, benefiting the local and wider economies. In a sense, it matters not a jot whether the monster exists. No sighting of Nessie for the first time in 88 years? Make that non-event capture the public imagination. With regard to the evanescent plesiosaur, no news is good news.

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