With only two Nessie reports on the books so far this year, researchers are blaming the downturn in sightings on an abundance of trees at the famed location.
Gary Campbell of the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club laments that the popular tourist destination has been beset with an overgrowth of vegetation that prevents visitors from actually seeing the water.
According to him, a stunning 22 of the 24 miles of road running alongside the loch feature forestry that blocks the view of the site for drivers.
"People come from all over the world desperate to see Nessie, they drive the length of the loch and all they see is trees," Campbell groused to STV news.
An examination of historic photos taken at Loch Ness seem to confirm Campbell's concerns as the images show a much less obstructed view of the location for travelers at the time.
However, unfortunately for the longtime Nessie researcher, it appears that his cries have come too late this year as highway officials say that they won't be clearing the vegetation until after the summer.
That, of course, comes at the end of tourist season at Loch Ness, which is when most sightings occur since there are more people at the site who may catch a glimpse of the creature.
Whether the deforestation around the loch will lead to an increase in Nessie sightings remains to be seen, but there's reason to believe that Campbell and company may be barking up the wrong tree.
Astute readers may recall that, just a few weeks ago, the same Nessie group decried the presence of windfarms near the location, suggesting that they could be disturbing the creature and, thus, that is why there have been so few sightings this year.
With the researchers now blaming overgrown vegetation for Nessie's elusiveness, one might wonder if they doth protest too much and that, perhaps, the famed cryptid simply isn't there at all.
Source: The National