Now you see it, now you don't

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The Independent Culture
Somewhere in the deep, dark depths of Loch Ness, there lurks a creature. Of that we can be almost certain. But whether it looks remotely like the humped beast etched on the mind of every impressionable coach party that passes through the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre is another matter entirely.

More than 1,400 people have seen it, some even have the pictures to prove it (or disprove it in the case of the surgeon's famous 1934 hoax). Personally, I spent a very agreeable week sailing along the loch, and wasn't woken by a single bump in the night. But I still believe in Nessie because it remains one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. In Encounters: "The Secrets of Loch Ness" (7pm C4), opinion is, naturally, somewhat divided over the nature of the beast, as it surfaces in the fervent memories of the eyewitness accounts, then sinks beneath a deluge of fish stock statistics and blurred monster pics. Fortunately, for millions of Nessie fans worldwide, the programme is ultimately inconclusive - even while shooting the documentary, two dependable locals just happened to be wandering round Loch Ness with a huge camera and camcorder, taking pictures of deer (yeah, right) when there was a big swirl in the dark loch: "Then I saw a big dark hump come out of the water... and immediately it clicked - gosh, this must be Nessie." Can 1,400 people be wrong?

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