Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Channel Five's *Nessie* dupe

Nessie swims in Loch for TV show

Sightseers were duped into believing they had seen the Loch Ness Monster as part of a TV experiment. Channel Five spent £100,000 creating an animatronic beast which it submerged in the Scottish loch for two weeks, filming the reaction of tourists.

More than 600 people were filmed trying to catch a glimpse of the 16ft "creature" at the tourist spot.

The result of the experiment will be revealed in Loch Ness Monster: The Ultimate Experiment on 28 August.

Producers of the programme said the reaction to the "monster" varied greatly from those who believed it was true to those that knew it was a hoax.

"Some people were thinking 'what is it?' - they couldn't quite work it out - whereas other people thought it was the waves and some were saying they had definitely seen a green hump," said a Five spokesman.

"I think it shows that people still want to believe in the myth."

Part of the tour

The creature, named Lucy, was made by a special effects company owned by Jez Harris, who helped create Star Wars character Jabba the Hut.

Divers had to aid the creature under water.

"Making the monster itself was not difficult, it was getting it buoyant so it could raise itself to the surface," said Mr Harris.

Ronald Mackenzie, who runs Royal Scot boat cruises, said he was surprised when he first saw the monster because he was unaware Five was putting it in the water.

"There were a lot of Americans who were impressed, some people who believed it and others who thought it was just part of the tour," he said.



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