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IS NESSIE BACK? MYSTERIOUS OBJECT LEAVES WAKE ON LOCH

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Sixteen people watched in amazement as a mysterious object ploughed swiftly across Loch Ness, leaving a whitewater wake before disappearing after five minutes into the depths of the Scottish lake.

"I cannot find a rational explanation for what I saw," said English tourist David Neeld the morning after Thursday evening's sighting. "I do not think there is any other explanation than it was the Loch Ness monster."Sightings of the monster, nicknamed Nessie and often described as having a long neck and large body like a brontosaurus, have been reported since the 15th century. Several expeditions have been undertaken in the loch, but they have found nothing.

The strange object was first spotted at 10 p.m. by Kate Munro, joint owner of the Craigdarroch House, a hotel on the edge of the Highland lake.

She alerted her husband Dave and 14 guests who watched the object for five minutes.

They told reporters that it appeared to be something large just under the loch's surface, moving at high speed.

"There was no traffic on the loch at all, yet here was a wake as big as comes from a cruiser," said Neeld.

"There were a few locals in the hotel's bar and they said it was Nessie, so I will go along with that," he said. "I must say that I was very impressed."

Another tourist, Karen Hemingway, said: "Whatever we saw was certainly quite strange. There were no boats around at all. I think I could well have seen the monster."

Some 2 million tourists are attracted to 25-mile-long Loch Ness each year because of the monster legend.