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The Inverness Courier Inverness | Scotland| | July 13, 1999

Loch event draws monster hunters

Monster hunters from all over the world gathered on the banks of Loch Ness at the weekend for the first conference of its kind aimed at finding a new way forward in the search for Nessie.

One of the highlights at "Loch Ness 1999: an International Cryptozoology Symposium" in Drumnadrochit was a talk by Ian Cameron, a retired detective supertindent from Inverness, who told the 40 delegates about his 50-minute sighting of unknown 30ft creature in the loch in June 1965.

Mr. Cameron, the last surviving witness to the longest reported sighting, finished his speech by emphasising that he did not want to convert or convince anyone that Nessie existed, but wanted to tell the facts of what happened to him.

Leading US Bigfoot hunter Loren Coleman called Loch Ness the "epicentre of cryptozoology", which is the study of hidden animals.

Coleman, who launched his new book "Cryptozoology A to Z", said: "I have travelled to many areas on the globe that have stories of creatures like Nessie, but nowhere has the same atmosphere as Loch Ness."

Professor Henry Bauer of Virginia State University explained that trail and error is a necessary part of trying to work out what animals like Nessie really are. "Scientists tend to ignore the area that people find the most interesting, so it remains up to the amateurs to do the necessary groundwork," he said.

The whole weekend was hailed a success by Kathy Campbell of the conference organisers, the Inverness-based Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club.

"We were delighted by the large turnout and the international flavour that was created over the weekend

"Nothing like this has been held at Loch Ness and we hope to hold follow-up events in the future years," she said.


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