The Loch Ness Monster

When I tell anybody who hasn't toured Scotland I am from Inverness, they reply with a blank look. As soon as I say it is the town next to Loch Ness, there is instant recognition and interest. More often than not, the question that follows is "And have you ever seen the monster...". If only I had a pound for every time I was asked....

And what is my answer to the much repeated question? "Well, one day a few years ago now I ..."

Here is an article about the recent lack of sightings of the elusive monster:


Source: Wikipedia



Has scepticism done for the Loch Ness Monster?

 
Not so long ago it was impossible to visit Loch Ness without tripping over somebody who claimed to have intimate knowledge of Nessie.

But in the twilight zone of Britain’s deepest freshwater loch, a strange sanity is suddenly prevailing. There have been only two reported sightings so far this year and there were only three in 2006. A decade ago the numbers were consistently in the high teens.

It is now six years since the last big expedition to find Nessie, while the number of self-appointed “monster hunters” has dwindled significantly.

“It’s becoming a potential crisis,” says Mikko Takala, 39, who runs four webcams on the loch’s northern shore and is a founder member of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club.
 
In any other circumstances, such an outbreak of level-headedness would be applauded. But along the shores of Scotland’s most famous loch the apparent disappearance of the legendary monster has sparked frenzied speculation. Some Nessie fans claim that she has been driven into hiding by low-flying RAF fighter jets, while others blame increased pollution. Some have even dared to venture the unthinkable: that Nessie, God rest her soul, is dead.

Steve Feltham, 44, who has spent 16 years watching the loch from a converted mobile library on its southern shore, believes that there were once as many as 30 mysterious creatures in the loch but that they are gradually dying off, because of old age. “In the heyday of the sightings, back in the Sixties and Seventies, there were probably 20 or 30 of these animals but I believe that we’re now down to the last half a dozen,” he said.

Sightings of a “monster” in Loch Ness date back to AD565, when disciples of St Columba, the Irish missionary, recorded seeing a monster appear on the surface “with a great roar and open mouth”.

It was not until 1933 that popular interest was first awakened after the first picture apparently showing a monster was published.

Scientists have sought to explain the sightings as wind on the loch surface, overgrown eels or even elephants from a local circus. Declassified secret documents released last year showed that civil servants in 1979 took the sightings seriously enough to consider using dolphins fitted with cameras and strobe lights to search the loch.

Nessie tourism brings in an estimated £6 million each year for the economy of the Highlands. But without the publicity created by sightings, the tourist industry faces an uncertain future. In the era of digital cameras, camera-phones and webcams, it is perhaps surprising that there have not been more reported sightings in recent years.

Of the two this year, one was in March when an English holidaymaker saw what he thought was a head and fin in the loch below Urquhart Castle, while the other was in May, when a Yorkshireman captured video footage of what looked like a jet-black shape moving slowly beneath the surface. Although initially viewed as promising, experts now believe it was the result of a sustained draft(US / draught UK) of wind blowing down from the surrounding hills.
 
Adrian Shine, 58, a naturalist who has investigated the mystery of Loch Ness for 20 years, believes that one reason for the decline in sightings is that people are more sceptical about what they see. “I think we live in a more pragmatic age, and that people are becoming more aware of the sort of illusions that can occur on water,” he said.

Source: The Times


Try to complete the following sentences that I have created, with some of the "green " vocabulary in its correct form. I'll post the answers here below but don't simply look at the answers.

eg Europe has banned the import of poultry after the latest ________ of bird-flu.
answer : outbreak

  1. Would you shut the door, please? There is a cold _______ .
  2. Pick up your bag from the floor before someone _____ ____ it.
  3. You don't need to worry about Tim. He's a very _____-______ boy.
  4. Membership has ________ over the past year. At this rate, the company will close very soon.
  5. I wouldn't ____ to visit such a dangerous place.
  6. I love walking along the _____ and breathing in the sea-air.
  7. I think common-sense will _______ in the end and the boss won't go ahead with the plan.
  8. I'm sorry but I wasn't _____ of the risks involved.
  9. Thousands of people visited the town in its ______ but now people prefer to holiday abroad.
  10. He was set free because of a ____ of evidence against him.

Now I'd like you try to create some sentences with the remaining vocabulary and post them here.


Are you interested in finding out more about the Loch and its legendary inhabitant? Then have a look at the following sites:

Legend of Nessie

Wikipedia - Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness

Comments

Graham MacInnes said…
1.Would you shut the door, please? There is a cold draught.

2.Pick up your bag from the floor before someone trips over it.

3.You don't need to worry about Tim. He's a very level-headed boy.

4.Membership has dwindled over the past year. At this rate, the company will close very soon.

5.I wouldn't dare to visit such a dangerous place.

6.I love walking along the shore and breathing in the sea-air.

7.I think common-sense will prevail in the end and the boss won't go ahead with the plan.

8.I'm sorry but I wasn't aware of the risks involved.

9.Thousands of people visited the town in its heyday but now people prefer to holiday abroad.

10.He was set free because of a lack of evidence against him.

Now create some sentences which clearly demonstrate the meanings of the new expressions taken from the text.
Sonia said…
Hi Graham:

Of course, I had listened to talk about the "Monster" but I wouldn´t known that your hometown is next the Loch Ness.

I have done the exercise without to look at the answers. I spent a lot of time to do it because I didn´t understand some sentences. After, when I looked at the answers I understand it. It happened, the rules wasn´t correct because you wrote “use the green words” and you didn´t do it in 1, 6, 8 and 10.

These my sentences with the green words in the text:

1. I´m sure that the truth will prevail in the end.
2.The Ozone layer has dwindled last twenty years.
3.I haven´t even dared to confront this situation.
4.You has been driven the children into good behaviour.
5.Her acttitude has sparked a lot of problems in the office.
6.In his heyday, he won a lot of matchs with his team.
7.I´m going to put a fitted wardrobe in my bedroom.
8.My daugther wore with jet-black trousers.
9.She was very level-headed when this man wanted mug her on the underground.
10. My son hid beneath the table when the doctor arrived home.
Graham said…
Hi Sonia:

I had the idea of putting all the important or difficult vocabulary in green and all the important grammatical points in orange. But for some reason when I publish the post, the colours change. I waste a lot of time with annoying things like this.

Yesterday I put a new entry in one of the blogs. I created links between words and their definitions in the dictionary. When I published the post, all the links disappeared!

Of course, I HAVE HEARD talk about the "Monster" but I DIDN'T KNOW that your hometown is NEXT TO Loch Ness.

I have done the exercise without LOOKING (without + verbING) at the answers. I spent a lot of time DOING it because I didn´t understand some sentences. LATER, when I looked at the answers I UNDERSTOOD it. It so happens the INSTRUCTIONS WEREN'T correct because you wrote “use the green words” and you didn´t do it in 1, 6, 8 and 10.

These ARE my sentences with the green words in the text:

1. I´m sure that the truth will prevail in the end.
2.The Ozone layer has dwindled OVER THE last twenty years.
3.I haven´t even dared to confront this situation.
4.THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN DRIVEN into good behaviour.
5.Her ATTITUDE has sparked a lot of problems in the office.
6.In his heyday, he won a lot of MATCHES with his team.
7.I´m going to put a fitted wardrobe in my bedroom.
8.My daugther WORE JET-BLACK trousers.
9.She was very level-headed when the man TRIED TO mug her on the underground.
10. My son hid beneath the table when the doctor arrived home.