Video: Has Nessie moved to East Anglia? Loch Ness monster type creature spotted in Oulton Broad
- Credit: Archant
This astonishing photograph taken at Oulton Broad and revealed for the first time today appears to show a creature that has already been dubbed 'The Ness Point Monster'.
The shot, taken by Oulton Broad councillor Colin Law - who is also leader of Waveney District Council - shows a slender-necked freshwater lake or marine mammal with a single hump, its long tail hidden underwater.
Marine biologists believe it may be the infamous beast from Loch Ness which has made the long journey from Scotland to Britain's most easterly point and that her journey may be due to advanced pregnancy - sparking hopes that Oulton Broad may soon be home to a school of Nessies.
Observers believe it could be a significant development to the Scottish Independence debate - with the country's most famous animal swimming out of Loch Ness, through the River Ness, around the Moray Firth and south to England.
And it might explain why Nessie hasn't been seen for years, prompting some to believe the creature had died and sunk without trace in the deep Scottish loch.
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Mr Law said he only managed to capture one picture of the beast, which appeared for around 45 seconds at around 6pm last Thursday, but that he had seen its tail thrash and estimated it to be around 20ft in length.
'It was absolutely amazing and an incredible privilege to see such a beautiful creature,' he said.
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'I was only sorry that no one was with me to corroborate what I'd seen - I asked around, but it appears I was the only person to spot the creature. I made the decision to keep quiet about what I'd seen until I'd done some research: I didn't want what we're calling the Ness Point Monster to be scared away by thousands of onlookers.'
There have been no further official sightings of the creature, but initial reports that the monster sighting could be 'Scroby Dick', the humpback whale spotted off the Norfolk coast last November, have been immediately dismissed.
Marine biologist Dr Jonathan Dory, who is based in Lowestoft, explained that the creature's long neck meant it could not be a whale and added that behavioural changes in large marine creatures could be attributed to breeding and that the Ness Point Monster could be preparing to give birth to a 'Ness-let' or lay eggs.
He said the creature could have swum hundreds of miles to the east from Loch Ness to find warmer water or to 'nail her English colours to the mast' ahead of the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill on September 18.
'Passing Ness Point in Lowestoft, Nessie must have felt that she'd come home,' he said.
'It is a possibility that Nessie could have come to Oulton Broad to breed. We are, of course, unaware what species Nessie is, which makes it difficult to know how she would reproduce.
'Some believe Nessie is a plesiosaur, a prehistoric aquatic reptile which lived in the warm seas which surrounded Scotland 70,000,000 years ago and would explain why she has sought the warmer climate in Oulton Broad; others believe she is a giant amphibian or a mammal.
'There is also an argument to suggest that Nessie is a fish, much like the Atlantic sturgeon, which can grow up to 27 feet in length, have bony scales along the side of their bodies and can live for up to 200 years. Sturgeon eggs are used for caviar, although it is unlikely that eggs from a creature as large as Nessie would be particularly flavoursome.'
In 1324, Edward II declared all sturgeon to be Royal fish meaning that any sturgeon within the foreshore of the kingdom are decreed property of the monarch. This means if Nessie was identified as a giant sturgeon, the Queen could be within her rights to claim the monster and transport her to the lake at Sandringham.
Before revealing the incredible discovery, Mr Law decided to consult local tourism bosses and business leaders in a bid to capitalise on his sighting for the good of his constituents in Oulton Broad.
A call to brewers Adnams has resulted in a special beer, produced to mark the historic appearance of the Ness Point Monster. Adnams chief executive Andy Wood said the beer, called Nessie: Monster of British Beers would be a 1.4pc brew and - in a cheeky tribute to Nessie's escape south - made with Scottish oats and created by head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald.
'When I heard the news, I was astounded,' said Mr Wood.
'We obviously knew of Ness Point but had no idea it might lead to the Loch Ness Monster being in our locality.
'When Colin called us, we jumped at the chance of being part of history and doing our bit to help promote Oulton Broad and its newest arrival.
'Nessie has always been a very passive monster but she's a huge tourist draw and we hope she will bring more people to this beautiful part of the country.' Mr Law added: 'The Ness Point Monster could be a tremendous attraction for tourists and one which we can exploit to the full. Rather than ask 'why is Nessie here?' we should really be saying 'why would she not want to be here?'
'Oulton Broad is the southern gateway to the Broads, it's peaceful, tranquil and will provide her with a fantastic place to breed. We're already considering renaming Ness Point in her honour: Nessie's Point.
'Only a fool would turn down such a wonderful opportunity to promote our beautiful area, although we will obviously ensure that she's not carnivorous before we begin a publicity campaign in earnest.'
Have you seen the Ness Point Monster? Do you think it has made a good move to leave Scotland? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org