Search for Nessie lands a bookie's pounds 500 photo prize

Andrew Buncombe reports on a rare moment when everything clicked
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AN AMATEUR photographer has won pounds 500 for a picture of something whose very existence is strongly doubted.

Richard White received the prize from the bookmakers William Hill for the best Loch Ness monster image of the year.

The Scottish pet food salesman's pictures, which made national headlines last year, are now in the hands of Nasa scientists who are analysing them using computer enhancement techniques. Nasa is due to report back next month.

Mr White, 52, a former soldier, said: "To be quite honest, it all just looks like a big blob on the water. It was a very small camera I used and it didn't pick up the images very well.

"I know they've been passed on to Nasa but I haven't heard from them since. It will be interesting to see what they find."

The photographs were taken last March as Mr White, of Muir of Ord, north of Inverness, drove to Foyers, a small village next to the loch.

Noticing a strange disturbance on the water halfway across Loch Ness, towards Urquhart Castle, he pulled over in his van and took out his camera.

"I always carry a camera in case of a road accident," said Mr White. "I stopped to take a look and when I realised what I was seeing I started taking lots of photos."

Gary Campbell, president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, said: "This is a remarkable sequence, some of the best Nessie photos that I have ever seen."