The Loch Ness monster was given the strongest scientific backing of its legendary career in London on Wednesday (10 December) when a group of experts presented a set of photographs for public scrutiny.
(SILENT) GV Loch Ness (4 shots)
SV Scott and Rines seated at news conference (SOUND STARTS)
(SILENT) CU Scott PAN TO photograph of monster and CU drawing (2 shots)
(SILENT) SV Newsmen watching
SV Dr. Rines at table (SOUND)
REPORTER: "Can Dr. Rines give us an absolute guarantee that there is no hoaxing about this?"
RINES: "What do you mean by hoaxing?"
REPORTER: That this picture is genuine and was taken where started and shows what appears."
RINES: "Our sole objective was, is and shall be to get the zoological community all over the world as well as other scientists to analyze what we have produced and indeed to debate what these things may be and to get sufficiently interested that scientists dare to come to Loch Ness, which today they don't do because of the hoaxes we spoke of a little while ago, and secondly because we feel so strongly with regard to the reality of what we have, to warn the Scottish authorities and the British authorities to look carefully at the manner of conservation and protection of the environment so that what we think is the tenth wonder of the world, if you will, or wonders, will not disappear before scientists can make the evaluations of these unknown phenomena and indeed report what they may find at Loch Ness."
The question of whether a Loch Ness monster exists in Scotland's deepest lake is again making headlines. While only the chilly depths of Loch Ness really knew the answer, a group of experts debated the point, 500 miles away in London.
United States lawyer Dr. Robert Rines and British naturalist Sir Peter Scott showed photographs they claim depict the monster to a somewhat sceptical news conference on Wednesday. Dr. Rines headed a research team which took the photographs recently. He dubbed the monster the tenth wonder of the world.
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This film includes comments made by Dr. Rines at the news conference. A transcript appears below.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Loch Ness monster was given the strongest scientific backing of its legendary career in London on Wednesday (10 December) when a group of experts presented a set of photographs for public scrutiny.
United States' lawyer Robert Rines and British naturalist Sir Peter Scott faced a barrage of questions from a sceptical news conference when they explained the photographs were meant to show a large aquatic animal.
Although the pictures have exited the legions of "Nessie" fans who have always insisted that the hump-backed beast dwells in the depths of Scotland's deepest lake, there were still plenty of doubters at the meeting.
Some zoologists dismissed the photographs as inconclusive, possibly showing nothing more than drifting tree trunks.
To the layman, the new underwater photographs could have been a disappointment. They looked more like gnarled tree stumps than underwater monsters.
What they were meant to show was a creature with an arching neck between seven and 12 feet (2-4 metres) long, a fat body and stubby indistinct appendages.
The monster has even been given a proper scientific name, apparently essential under British law to get protection for an endangered species. The name is Nessiteras Rhombopteryx.
Dr. Rines headed a research team which took the photographs with automatic cameras. He described the creature as the "tenth wonder of the world" and said his motive in publishing the photographs was to stimulate the scientific world into detailed analysis of the evidence.