A longtime Loch Ness Monster watcher told BBC News
that there has not been a confirmed sighting of the lake beast in 18 months, leading to fears that creature may be dead.
Gary Campbell said that there have been sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie as the creature is referred to by locals, since 1925. However, this has been the longest period since then when there has been no confirmed sightings.
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British bookmaker William Hill told BBC News that three entries to its annual Nessie spotting contest in 2013 were all debunked.
"It's very upsetting news and we don't know where she's gone," Campbell told the BBC News last week. "The number of sightings has been reducing since the turn of the century but this is the first time in almost 90 years that Nessie wasn't seen at all."
Loch Ness Monster skeptic Benjamin Radford told LiveScience.com
the creature's disappearance poses a problem for those who believe in its existence.
"It defies logic to believe a group of unknown monsters lives in the lake — which has many local residents and tens of thousands of monster-seeking tourists all around it — and not a single one surfaces to be seen," Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, said.
"Think of it this way: If over a year went by without a single sighing of a giraffe, rhino or horse, the most logical — and the most tragic — explanation would be that they had all died out. Extinction is the only reason that large animals simply vanish like that," he added.
Campbell, an accountant by trade, said that he is not giving up hope, adding that there has been 1,036 reported sightings, including some in 2012.
"I'm convinced that Nessie has just taken some time out and will be back with a vengeance this year," he told BBC News.
Radford said any future sightings of the monster will have to do more with tourism that science.
"If history is any indication, eventually there will be more sightings of Nessie, whether they exist or not," Radford said. "There are enough things in the lake that can be mistaken for a monster, including large fish, strange waves, and even the occasional hoax, to keep the sightings going and the tourist dollars coming."
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