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Loch Ness Convention And Visitors Bureau Admits: 'We Made Up Monster To Attract Tourists'
Tourism officials at Loch Ness made a shocking revelation today – the Loch Ness Monster is a creation of their marketing department.
"It all started back in the early years of the 20th century," says Nigel Pratt, Public Relations Manager for the Loch Ness Convention and Visitors Bureau. "You have to remember that Scotland was very poor back then. Tourists generally went to vacation hotspots like Blackpool. It was tough to compete. "Highlander" hadn't come out yet so nobody knew the first thing about Scotland. They didn't know their haggis from a hole in the ground."
So like all good marketing departments, the folks at Loch Ness decided to create a sensation. A few faked photographs and a bogus legend later, a star was born.
"My grandfather Phineas Pratt was the leading force in creating Nessie," Nigel recalls. "His work was carried on by my father Angus, so you could say the Nessie legend is really something for Pratts."
While many locals took the announcement with a wink and a laugh, not everyone was amused. A group of American tourists is threatening a class action suit, and cryptozoologists are dismissing the announcement as a cover-up.
Edwin Dupewit, president of the Nessie Appreciation Society, says, "We've seen this sort of thing before. The U.S. government claimed the Roswell crash was just a weather balloon, and there's heaps of evidence that it was really an alien spaceship. And as for Nessie, I've seen enough blurry photos and interviewed enough vague eyewitnesses to be convinced there's something strange living in Loch Ness."
[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. They're in on the conspiracy.]