The earliest photographic evidence we have of the monster was the surgeon's picture which came to light in 1934. It was taken by Colonel Frank Wilson, a surgeon in the British army and is probably the most famous picture of the monster in the world. It shows a creature which is just surfacing, with a small head and long neck. But now the whole thing has been blown apart. It was a hoax. We have always suspected that there was something not quite right about it but, because of its age, it was difficult to prove. We tracked down the only living person who knew. He spilled the beans but asked that nothing be published until after his death. He died two weeks ago, on 10 March, so now it's been made public. Even I believed in the surgeon's picture for a long time. You get people seeing things they can't explain on Loch Ness but there has never been another head and neck sighting, they are usually what we call 'upturned boat' or 'hump' sightings.
Betty Macdougall is the curator of The Official Loch Ness Monster Exhibition, Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire (0456 450 573). 9.30- 5.30pm daily.
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