Feb 23, 2007
"It is little more than a dark smudge near the surface of a lake - but it could still signify the birth of a new legend.
"For this shadowy image is causing more than a ripple of interest among monster aficionados.
And to the man who took it, the picture is proof that something strange lurks in the waters of Windermere.
"Photographer Linden Adams, 35, was walking in the area with his wife Louise a fortnight ago.
They were at a secluded spot more than 1,000ft up a mountain when they spotted the 'creature'.
"'It just came out of the blue,' said the father of two. 'The water was incredibly peaceful and then this huge thing appeared, diving and thrashing around.'
"He said it appeared to be 50ft long, when compared to boats nearby. 'I snatched the binoculars from my wife and gasped when I got a better look. I could see this huge dark thing moving in the water. It had a head like a labrador, only much, much bigger.'
"Mr Adams, from Bowness-on-Windermere, said: 'I know the lake well and this was no freak wave or boat.'
"Aware of similar sightings in the lake, he began taking pictures of what he calls the 'Bowness Monster'.
"'When I looked at them on my computer I realised I had something,' he said. 'It was spine-tingling.'
"Aware of the scepticism surrounding photographs purporting to show the Loch Ness monster Mr Adams sent his picture to a forensic photographer, who confirmed it was not digitally enhanced.
"His wife, 38, said: 'I was just making excuses in my head for what it could be but when we saw the pictures we knew we had seen something really important.'
"Dr Charles Paxton, a Marine Biologist from St Andrews University in Edinburgh, said: 'A fish or a water mammal would not be that big and deer would not go under the water.'
"He said that new species of water creatures are often discovered, so he 'wouldn't rule out any possibilities'.
"The sighting comes just months after scientists visited Lake Windermere to examine claims by a tourist about a 20ft 'serpent-like' creature.
"Richard Freeman of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, which researches mystery animals, said the sightings could in fact be of giant sterile eels, which, unlike normal eels, 'just stay in fresh water and get bigger and bigger'."