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Cash prize offered for best Nessie sighting - voted by you

Posted on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 11:42AM by Judy and the Peak District Online Team
BOOKMAKER William Hill is preparing to shell out a £1000 reward following a bumper year for Nessie sightings.

It follows several lean years for close encounters with Loch Ness’s most famous resident — leading to speculation about whether she was still alive, or had disappeared.

But with three "good" sightings reported to the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club during 2011, the bookmaker is to present the Best Nessie Sighting of the Year Award for the first time in several years.

Inverness Courier readers have the chance to vote on here for the winner who will receive £1000, plus a free £500 bet.

In addition, a £100 bet will be placed on the Natural History Museum confirming the existence of Nessie by the end of the year — odds are currently 100/1.

Rupert Adams, of William Hill, explained the company had run the annual competition for several years in conjunction with Gary Campbell, president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club.

"Over the last few years, there have been no sightings so the prize has been unclaimed," Mr Adams said.

"Nessie, it seems, has been in the wilderness but then Gary told us there were at least three sightings last year — two have been photographed and the third is from relatively sensible people and sounds quite plausible."

Mr Campbell said 2011 was the year which proved Nessie is still alive and well.

"Over the last six or seven years, there have been very few sightings and some years, there has only been one," he added.

Inverness-based Mr Campbell has compiled a list of 89 sightings since 1996. He said some can be attributed to other phenomena such as a boat’s wake but others cannot be explained.

He recalled one of the closest encounters with Nessie was that reported by Robert Badger, a Paisley factory worker, who claimed to have touched her while swimming in Loch Ness. His adventure earned him £500 from William Hill for the best recorded sighting of 1998. In 2002, the prize went to Glasgow postman Bobbie Pollock who captured sensational video footage of something moving in the water while walking in the hills above Invermoriston Bay with his family. He described the part out of the water as appearing "quite tall and narrow like a pole" but it moved slowly along towards Fort Augustus against the wind and the waves.

Inverness Courier