Swedish Loch Ness Monster aficionado Bjarne Sjöstrand won the ₤2,000 cash prize for best photograph, even though he has never been to Scotland.
Mr. Sjöstrand took a Google Earth screenshot while looking at the lake using his computer 800 miles away.
He noticed something unusual in the Google Earth image; a thin object that appeared to be under water off Horse Shoe Scree on the southern side of the loch.
An online poll on the Inverness Courier website voted for Mr. Sjöstrand’s image, beating five other contenders for the William Hill’s annual best Loch Ness Monster sighting competition.
The prize-winning Google Earth screenshot. (Image: Inverness Courier)
In an interview with the Mirror, Mr. Sjöstrand said:
“I’m very happy to have won the prize. I am very interested in anything regarding Nessie and the history of Loch Ness. The reason I found this image on Google Earth was that I was sitting one night at home reading about Nessie and Loch Ness on the internet and thought I would check to see if I could see something from above – and that proved to turn out well. I have never been to Scotland but my hopes are that one day I will visit Loch Ness.”
According to the Inverness Courier, Nessie was alive and well on December 31st, 2014, and was moving towards the northern end of Loch Ness. Surprisingly, in 2013 there was not one single sighting of the monster, the first time in 90 years she had not been seen.
Over the past 12 months, however, there have been five registered sightings.
William Hill’s photo competition had to be suspended one year ago “due to the dearth of appearances.”
The Inverness Courier quoted seasoned Nessie spotter Gary Campbell who said:
“She has come roaring back in 2014. We have had a mix of sightings. There have been sightings on images from space while people who have lived around Loch Ness for years have given us reports of things they have not seen before.”