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Believe it or not

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it: BBC SLAYS BEAST.

Loch Ness monster, nevermore.

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Sonar sweep shows, never was.

The British Broadcasting Corp. broke the news to 5 million viewers last week, debunking the legend of Nessie the Loch Ness monster with sophisticated sonar and satellite equipment that turned up no trace of the creature. Fancy that.

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It may be time to call in Geraldo Rivera. He'll find him. Her. It. Why should Nessie necessarily go the way of those other legendary creatures, Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, Elvis?

Think of the children.

Think of the Scottish tour bus operators. Is there a visitor to the Scottish Highlands who hasn't found his way to the shores of the 24-mile-long loch, hoping to catch a glimpse of the serpent-like creature first noted in a 6th century biography of a saint named Columba?

Pity the poor members of the Official Nessie Fan Club. Gary Campbell, a fan club enthusiast, concedes that Nessie sightings have been down in recent years. Why, just two months ago a high priest of the British Coven of White Witches was brought in to try and rouse the monster from the deep. The witch, Kevin Carlyon, reportedly cast a spell on Nessie two years ago to protect it from a Swedish researcher's net.

The BBC-commissioned research team isn't the first to explore the murky waters of Loch Ness and come up empty-handed. The Public Broadcasting Service's Nova series reported on a similar expedition four years ago. Neither sonar nor underwater cameras could produce evidence then that the Loch Ness monster exists.

Why do we humans persist in these endeavors? Is it for adventure, fame, TV ratings? If we found the Loch Ness monster, what then? Haul it to a local aquarium, the British Museum? The monster, after all, isn't bothering anyone.

Some legends deserve to die. Others deserve preserving. The BBC's pronouncement on the monster of Loch Ness won't keep the curious from the lake's rustic shores. Nor will it keep the Redburn CafM-i in Inverness from selling its three-scoop mint chocolate concoction, the Loch Ness Monster.

Let sleeping monsters lie.


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