Tales of the "monster" have drawn believers and skeptics alike to the shores of a Scottish lake, all looking for definitive word, one way or another, to explain the mysterious monster sightings.
The latest theory has it that Nessie was or is really — Jumbo.
"The reason why we see elephants in Loch Ness," asserts Dr. Neil Clark, a paleontologist, "is that circuses used to go along the road to Inverness and have a little rest at the side of the loch, and allow the animals to go and have a little swim around."
The above-water parts of a swimming elephant, Palmer says, might look from a distance like Nessie's most famous profile.
But it wouldn't explain some other things, such as a 1960s film of an unidentified speeding object.
And it wouldn't convince the hundreds of people who believe they have seen a sea monster far out in the Loch.
On the other hand, kids Palmer, it could give rise to a whole new line in souvenirs.