Tourist bosses in row over existence of Loch Ness Monster

Ceri Roberts
Tourist bosses in row over existence of Loch Ness Monster
Tourist bosses in row over existence of Loch Ness Monster

A row has broken out among Scottish tourist officials about the existence of the Loch Ness Monster.

The Telegraph reports that George Edwards, who runs Loch Ness Cruises in Drumnadrochit, has criticised fellow members of the local Chamber of Commerce for treating Nessie as "a myth".

In a letter to the Chamber of Commerce, he claimed that the overly scientific approach taken by the Loch Ness Centre was leaving visitors "disappointed".

He wrote: "Most of the people I talk to on my boat know that it's just a bit of fun. What brings more people to Loch Ness - my little stories about Nessie, or the so-called experts going on about big waves and big fish. They should stop taking themselves so seriously."

However, Tony Harmsworth, the former boss of the Loch Ness Centre responded by accusing Mr Edwards, who runs trips on his boat 'Nessie Hunter', of "palming his customers off with fake photographs" and sending them away "with their heads full of garbage".

He said: "Today's tourists are more discerning. They want to understand the culture, legend and natural history of the places they visit."

He told Mr Edwards: "Entertain your passengers by all means, but do you really need to fake pictures and discredit the whole legend in the process? Surely not."

Mr Harmsworth has now resigned as editor of the chamber's website after being ordered by the committee to remove a piece he wrote criticising Mr Edwards.

Last year Mr Edwards claimed that, after hunting Nessie for 26 years, he finally had photographic evidence to prove the existence of the mythical monster.

He said that he had had the image independently verified by a team of US military monster experts as well as a Nessie sighting specialist.

He told the Daily Mail: "I'm convinced I was seeing Nessie as I believe in these creatures. Far too many people have been seeing them for far too long."

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