A Loch Ness monster debate is brewing in Scotland, where locals are bickering over whether the creature’s existence and a growing embrace of science will hurt the local tourism racket.
While the Loch Ness monster is an old legend, it’s also one existing in a world where such claims prove harder and harder to accept.
In the past, lack of Loch Ness monster footage could have been more believably attributed to its alleged habit of hiding and rarely emerging — but in a world where everyone is equipped with a tiny video camera and instant internet uploading device (which also makes phone calls), it becomes far less believable that a massive sea beast could evade proof of existence so thoroughly and for so long.
Sure, in 2013, it may seem most reasonable people don’t really believe the Loch Ness monster exists, but tourism advocates in the area would like doubting Thomas locals to shhhh about the whole “monster isn’t real thing.”
According to The Scotsman, there have been “esignations from Drumnadrochit Chamber of Commerce following comments made by one member, George Edwards, of Loch Ness Cruises” regarding the creature’s existence, and the situation is currently quite heated.
Much of the dissent was stirred following a letter Edwards sent decrying Nessie deniers and accusing science-minded folk of harming the local tourist industry.
The paper quotes Edwards as saying:
“Just about every time that [researcher Adrian] Shine appears in the media he talks about big fish and big waves. I believe they are doing more harm than good in promoting Loch Ness tourism with their negative theories … How many people come here to see the Loch Ness Big Fish or the Loch Ness Big Wave? … In recent years we have seen a decline in tourism across Scotland and maybe it is time for Mr Shine to put up or shut up.”
Shine responded, saying Edwards seemed not to believe in the Loch Ness monster either, and said in part:
“He clearly doesn’t think that many other people believe in it either. The irony is that the serious investigations and presentations such as that at The Loch Ness Centre, afford a great deal more respect to over a thousand honest and sober eyewitnesses by explaining what they have truthfully reported in terms of some rather special features of Loch Ness.”
Do you think the Loch Ness monster based local tourism economy is sustainable in 2013 even if researchers quit boosting skeptical assessments?