You have to hand it to the Loch Ness sea monster for spawning a whole industry of tourist cruises, books, docu-dramas, websites, bookmaker's bets, and uproarious postcards, tee-shirts and fridge magnets. But you ask, is this Nessie stuff all just taradiddle? Or are there really creatures resembling a Plesiosaurus that have survived Britain's largest fresh water body since the Last Ice Age?
Saint Columcille (St. Columba) was the first human to spot the old triple humper they call "Nessie." In 565 A.D. he came from Ireland to Inverness, Scotland with the mission of converting the heathen Pictish chieftains to Christianity. While the Saint was out for a contemplative walk along the shores of the River Ness, a monster rushed up with a great roar and opened his horrible mouth at him.
Or so that's how Saint Adamnan described Saint Columba's face-off with the Loch Ness Monster, and there's been a hullabaloo over the 10,000 odd reported Nessie sitings ever since. And with the sitings, marine biology expeditions to plumb the cold dark peaty depths of Loch Ness -- all 24-miles and 975-feet deep of the largest lake/loch in Britain.
One odd Loch Ness Monster publicity stunt was organized by the BBC - not the British Broadcasting Corporation, but the British Bacon Curers federation! This odd BBC exploited the Loch Ness monster mania by sponsoring a young Englishman to float over Loch Ness in a hot air balloon -- trailing a humongous hunk of cured ham as bait!!!