14/05/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Forensics investigator Bill McDonald has announced a big reward for the return of a four-inch barbed shed tooth found lodged in the ribcage of a mutilated deer carcass on Loch Ness.
How much is a Nessie tooth worth? $100,000, apparently.
The tooth, discovered by two American college students on Spring Break back in March, was confiscated by a local water bailiff and is now believed to be in possession of the Scottish Highland authorities. According to the two students, and verified by the local boat owner, the three had been cruising the shoreline on a photographic tour when they discovered the half-eaten deer carcass.
An examination of the animal, which had been mauled by a large marine predator, revealed the shed tooth within the deer's exposed ribcage. Says McDonald, who was hired by the students to help secure the return of the tooth, "the three were so excited they waved over a passing boat, which happened to be the water bailiff, a sort of park ranger. He quickly confiscated the tooth and a video tape one of the guys had in his camcorder. Fortunately Del (the student) had just changed tapes and all he got was a blank."
McDonald had been contacted weeks after the incident by one of the students based on an internet search. The researcher documented immense slide tracks frozen along a muddy shoreline following a recent land sighting by two British tourists.
"The animal that left those tracks had to be 50-60 feet long," says McDonald. "In both cases, the species fits theories which I have been working on since 1993. The monster is not a friendly plesiosaur as locals might have us believe, but an amphibious fish that was trapped in Loch Ness back in the 1930s. This animal prefers the depths, has nocturnal eyes sensitive to daylight, and only surfaces during the winter months at night when the fish population drops in Loch Ness. I have interviewed several dozen locals who concur with the identity of this creature. It is unfortunate that the Scottish Authorities are refusing to cooperate, preferring to safeguard their tourist trade at the expense of science."
Paleontologist George Blasing concurs with McDonald that the tooth is real. "There is no way these students could have faked this discovery. Between the barbs, the coloration, and the socket root system, this tooth belonged to a very large aquatic animal. And it is not a plesiosaur."
The reward money posted for the return of the tooth came on the heels of a May 5th national interview on George Noory's Coast to Coast radio show between the host and author Steve Alten, whose novel, The LOCH was just released. McDonald's December expedition to Loch Ness was financed by the book's publisher in exchange for exclusive rights to the investigator's research, which Alten has woven into The LOCH's fictional storyline.
"After Steve did the show, I received interest from several museum curators, the producer of an Emmy nominated documentary, marine biologists, and one very interested private investor. All are now convinced this discovery is real, and have committed funds for information leading to the return of the tooth by the Highland Authorities. We are also considering a lawsuit. My non-disclosure with Steve's publisher was not due to expire until July 15th, but with all that is happening, they have graciously released me from the contract so that I can publicly identify this creature and discuss how the species came to evolve in Loch Ness, as well as other freshwater lakes around the world. I welcome the opportunity to finally identify and resolve the Loch Ness Monster mystery."
Footage of the students' account and pictures of the tooth can be viewed at http://www.LochNessTooth.com
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