This fight is over: Highland Councillors have thrown money, art, culture and the environment into the sea as they voted 15 – 7 to squander £750,000 of tax payer’s money on their own bigwigs’ vanity project: A Berlin Wall built on wild habitat alongside the once beautiful River Ness.
A spokesman for the campaign to stop this folly told us, “at least when the council leader and provost tell us there is no money for elderly and disabled care, educational needs or road repairs we can shove this wastage down their throats and say ‘we know why, you burned all the money'”.
In an astonishing last minute intervention the Director of Eden Court Theatre in Inverness threw his support in favour of the scheme and accused protesters of standing in the way of cultural progress in Inverness. The sad reality is that Inverness is already losing its Ironworks music venue to be replaced by another grey stock built hotel and Eden Court is the only cultural venue left. Its Director should have fought for any funds that were available for art to go to it – instead of this total “vanity” mess pushed through by apparently artistically challenged councilors who just seem to want a memorial erection in the city centre dedicated to themselves (at any price). £750,000 (and it will probably go over a million as developers rarely finish on time within budget) is much too much to waste on bulldozers scraping away the green sides of the River Ness, destroying its nature to build a druggies’ den that will be filled with rubbish, dog excrement, old needles and graffiti within weeks of opening.
In years gone by we had this cultural and environmental vandalism years ago – with the Urquhart Castle visitor centre at Loch ness (its real monster). The place is so absolutely hideous that every photo of the castle that you see on a card or biscuit tin or the quango’s (Historic Environment Scotland) own marketing material is very carefully angled to exclude the monstrosity. There is precious little left of value in Inverness, it isn’t worth a visitors’ journey and now there will be even less.
There is a nice new photo in today’s Daily Mail of a possible Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Resident expert Professor Kettle isn’t sure though: “It does look very much like a boat wake. The weird standing waves and undersea currents in Loch Ness often cause things that look strange to folk who come across them for the first time.”
However, dedicated monster hunter Mikko, of Nessie on the Net! and the Loch Ness Live Cams said, “it is clearly a creature swimming just below the surface of the loch. I’ve seen this time and again and it adds to the irrefutable proof that a cryptid (unidentified cryptozoological beast) is living in Loch Ness.”
Clean shaven Professor Kettle spoke to us from his Loch Ness project HQ and warned visitors who suffer from pogonophobia (the fear of beards) to keep away or risk feeling queasy. “We seem to buck the UK trend when it comes to facial hair. Fortunately the women generally steer clear of beards around the loch but many monster specimens of the male denomination do exist. Some extreme examples are quite wild and unwieldy and could put an unwary tourist right off their tea. Our research reinforces the view that Neanderthal Man lived in peat bogs around Loch Ness and possibly still does.”
Dr. Pott added, “Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, is thought to be beardless and it’s heartening that the next generation have pretty much put beards to one side in favour of more sensible things like getting themselves an education. Cryptozoologists get a bad press, often because they aren’t formally qualified and cryptozoology deserves better”.
In a worrying new development, Amazon Pacu ball chomping fish have been attacking swimmers off the coast of Sweden and are now feared to be heading for Loch Ness.
The critters are cousins of piranhas and can grow large: 90 centimetres long and weighing up to 25 kgs. They are nicknamed “ball cutter” for frequent attacks on the male genitalia.
Speaking exclusively to us, eminent Professor Kettle said, “obviously my Loch Ness research project is now closely monitoring the situation and we’d advise everyone not to totally panic – but do take extra care to always wear full body swimsuits in Loch Ness and be on the look out for these fish. We want to hear from anyone who encounters them or sees suspicious activity via our sister resource site, Nessie on the Net. Please email me at Loch Ness HQ.”
Another long established and world famous Loch Ness researcher, Dr. Pott added, “needless to say, the fish have apparently made the enormous journey from the Amazon to Sweden. It’s only a comparatively short hop for them into the very hospitable nutrient and food rich waters of Loch Ness.”
Speaking about the Swedish incidents, an expert for the Danish Museum told the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper“The pacu is not normally dangerous to people but it has quite a serious bite, there have been incidents in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea where some men have had their testicles bitten off.”
There is more on the terrifying fish that are rampaging Sweden in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. How will cryptid Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, cope with this latest amazing phenomena? Our world leading cryptozoologists and experts will keep you posted as events unfold on the ground and in the deep and murky water.
It’s rarely that this blog sees much to agree with in Chambers of Commerce and Tourist Associations across the Scotland and the rest of the world but praise should be given where it is due. So, it must be right for Drumnadrochit’s Association to have circulated a letter by one of its long time business members (boat skipper George Edwards) who is evidently very concerned that some local formally unqualified pseudo scientists seem intent on pushing plankton & floating wood on the public rather than looking for the Loch Ness Monster and “bigging up” the mystery.
Let’s be quite clear: People know Loch Ness around the world because of the fame of the Loch Ness Monster, not because some ageing pseudo scientists, many of whom originally came to find Nessie but personally failed to find her, now want to use captive museum audiences to push a message about microbes and worms that many probably don’t want to hear; at least not while on holiday in Nessie’s supposed home village!
Veteran monster hunter and expert George Edwards is a well respected boat skipper who has probably ferried tens of thousands of visitors out onto Loch Ness to learn about the magic of Nessie, her caves and the unknown mysteries in the deep dark loch. He is always talking up the chances of seeing Nessie and maybe one day finding her. What he doesn’t do is ape some of the debunkers by advertising his boat as a Nessie attraction and then feeding negativity about Nessie down his passengers gullets based on the non academic background of hobbyists and others. George’s approach is therefore “Nessie, I believe” rather than “Nessie, she’s not real. Thanks for your money but she’s all just fiction so have some micro worms and a floating fence post instead. Oh and here’s the gift shop on your way out”.
This debate is important for the future of Drumnadrochit and all of the businesses within it. The world is full of cynics, bitter failures and debunkers in all spheres of existence and people visiting Drumnadrochit want to experience something more akin to the magic of Lapland and Father Christmas than a sombre museum monologue on pond life.
So on this occasion well done, Drumnadrochit Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Association for taking a pro Nessie stand. But don’t let it be a flash in the pan. Strive to encourage all the museum owners to considerably up their game, consider dispensing with yesterday’s formally unqualified Nessie naysayers and start fighting for the recovery of the all important pro Nessie tourism for every business in the area.
The twilight zone has well and truly moved into this year’s silly season Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness with news breaking in the Scottish Daily Record newspaper and also in the Highlands Press & Journal that local Loch Ness exhibition owner Donald Skinner has been arrested and charged by police for allegedly stealing a rival museum’s advertising sign.
Veteran entrepreneur Mr Skinner, 70, reportedly denies the theft, stating that he wrote repeatedly to his neighbouring museum’s owners to complain that their sign was blocking his own requesting that it be moved. He alleges they they failed to respond and so he warned them that he would “take custody of their sign” if they continued to ignore his requests.
Upon being arrested, Mr. Skinner says he told police that he “hadn’t stolen the sign under Scottish law” – worth, he says, about £30 (35 euro) but “had custody of it”.
Police say the matter will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal, the legal office which determines whether and how to proceed with criminal cases in Scotland.
There seems to be some desperation amongst businesses as, according to official data (and the obviously visible dwindling footfall in the village) tourist numbers have plummeted. Earlier this month the Drumnadrochit Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Association circulated a letter from long established and highly respected boat skipper George Edwards who was highlighting his concerns that the museum that is now accusing Mr Skinner of theft was itself being very negative about Nessie our famous Loch Ness Monster in its exhibits (apart from dumping tourists straight into a Nessie gift shop as they exit).
Perhaps Drumnadrochit needs an outbreak of common sense but there are a lot of apparently bitter old monster debunkers around and Highland feuds aplenty) so it’s unlikely that peace will break out any time soon.
In the meantime the silent majority can only look on in despair as a childish war escalates, which the fragile tourist trade here needs like a hole in the head. Perhaps it would be better for younger hearts and minds to push the bitter looking and seemingly failed and washed up old big beasts and pseudo scientists aside and start actually and actively promoting Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster.
What do you want to see? Debunking info and “facts” from non-academically trained folk about plankton and old wooden fence posts or the mystery and magic of the unknown monster who lives in the enormous dark depths of mysterious Loch Ness?
You could be forgiven for expecting to hear a PA speaker bellowing out “Good Morning Vietnam” from the village green as the four horsemen of the apocalypse bring Monster Geddon to the normally quiet Loch Ness side village of Drumnadrochit.
A Great Glen sized schism seems to have opened up between believers and naysayers over the existence of our beloved Nessie and the possible impact old museums and other places have on tourism to the area if they down play her existence.
“It’s like Channel 4’s ‘Homeland’ has come to our village. Normally normal sorts of people seem to be issuing fatwas and proclaiming they have the one and only Loch Ness Monster Truth & Orthodoxy viz-a-viz Nessie”, said Professor Kettle. “I seem to see Osama Bin Laden lookalikes all over the place and with past newspaper reports of Nessie wars involving Molatov Cocktails and other shenanigans one has to wonder what on earth is happening”.
“I know the sun has made a rare appearance and people can go silly season daft but it’s a fact that nobody has ever proved the Loch Ness Monster does not exist – certainly not non scientists and Loch Ness hobbyists”.
Dr Pott has seen a theme to the madness: “There are monstrous big beasts afoot and this looks a bit like some Loch Ness sleeper cells have suddenly received an Alien Pod mind signal spurring them to denounce anyone who says Nessie is:
a) a good thing and the monster should be pedalled and promoted as a cryptozoological prehistoric beast to an adoring public, or,
b) Nessie is just a plankton stuck to a floating gate post and she doesn’t really exist.
Unwary passers-by risk getting their heads shot off by either side if they venture onto the “forbidden lawns” (ref. Arthur Daley’s “manor” in “Minder”).
A spokesperson for the silent majority told us, “I know what I’ve seen and it wasn’t a old plank some joker tossed off Urquhart Castle”.
The truth really can be stranger than fiction. Open warfare seems to have broken out between villagers over the existence or otherwise of Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster. Oliver Cromwell & Rob Roy had nothing on all this!
The Inverness Courier and other newspapers have been reporting on the hostilities. Maybe it’s time for the Blue Berets of The United Nations Peace Keeping Force to move onto the village green!
Do you visit Loch Ness to look for our monster or do you really really want to travel here to see old museums about mud, mini eels and pseudo scientific research into how your eye might “interpret” a floating gate post?
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