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Friday, June 11, 1999 Published at 01:08 GMT 02:08 UK


Webcam nets Nessie?

The Webcam picture of "Nessie" spotted by the Joneses

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

Has Nessie been netted at last, caught in the World Wide Web? People come from all over the world to Scotland to try to spot the Loch Ness Monster, but a Texas couple have now reported a sighting from the comfort of their own home.

Chris Nuttall reports: "Scotland On-line would like to think it has a world scoop"
Nora and Mike Jones from Galveston, Texas, were watching Loch Ness over the Internet, courtesy of a Web camera set up by Scotland Online, when they saw a dark shape on the water. They say it could be the legendary monster.

They captured the image, one of two sightings they claim, using the Webcam.

'Hump like a whale'

"We saw a head and neck appear in front of the castle and it was travelling fairly fast, with a v-shaped wake behind it. We watched till she swam off screen," Nora told Scotland Online about the first sighting on 5 June.
[ image: Nora & Mike Jones (Scotland Online)]
Nora & Mike Jones (Scotland Online)
"Then on 7 June we followed a wave from the hedges near the coastguard station all the way out to the end of the cove. A large white hump surfaced like a whale. I saw what I saw with my own two eyes and it is real."

The Website says this fits in with previous sightings occurring during the longer days of June. The monster may be confused by the length of daylight and emerges in the evening when it can still be spotted.

Scotland Online Editor Alan Matheson: "It looks like humps"
Scotland Online would like to think it has a world first.

"We have a expert in our office who comes from Drumnadrochit, on the shores of the loch. He says no one would moor their boat that far out, so it looks like humps.

"Most sightings do look that way but Nora Jones is certainly convinced," Alan Matheson, Scotland Online Editor, told the BBC.

The Web camera automatically pans across the loch taking a picture every second and zooming in at certain points. Visitors to the Website can capture a particular image and save it on their own computers.

The site also lets you send a Loch Ness Monster e-mail postcard, buy a book on the legend and study the X-files-like Ness Files. But the camera is the most popular feature with visitors from as far afield as the US, Australia and the Far East.

Mr Matheson said: "One of Scotland's finest castles, Urquhart castle, is there if people get a bit bored looking for Nessie. There's endless amounts of boat traffic. I don't know if locals are just trying to get themselves on camera or not, but there seems to be a lot of activity there."

"We've only been up and live for about 10 days and we're really pleased with the response so far."

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