(PRWEB) August 11, 2005
Tsunami Books has joined in a real-life hunt for a missing 4-inch tooth that some experts believe may offer the first DNA evidence that proves the existence of a large predatory creature in ScotlandÂs fabled Loch Ness. Tsunami is the independent publisher that made its debut this summer with N.Y. Times best-selling author Steve AltenÂs The LOCH, a modern-day thriller about the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. The tooth in question was discovered by two American college students on Spring Break, pried loose from a mutilated deer carcass along a Loch Ness deepwater shoreline known to local fishermen as a Âkill zone.Â The tooth was later confiscated by a water bailiff, along with some of the studentsÂ film. One video tape was salvaged, its footage located at: http://www.LochNessTooth.com
AltenÂs novel has been receiving high praise from both reviewers and members of the scientific community. Robert McCord, Chief Curator of Natural History & paleontology at Mesa Southwest Museum called the biology behind the story Âmore credible than many so-called non-fiction books about Loch Ness.Â But it was not until this week that AltenÂs publisher officially decided to get involved in the breaking story in Scotland.
ÂWithout the tooth, thereÂs simply no way of telling if this is real or a hoax,Â says Robert Bellin, TsunamiÂs President. ÂSteve researched his novel for two years, then worked extensively with forensic investigator Bill McDonald to get the science in The LOCH right. WeÂve been watching this story carefully, hoping the tooth would eventually be released to British scientists, but itÂs become obvious the Highland Authority isnÂt interested in cooperating. McDonald had commitments of just over $100,000 in reward money for information leading to the return of the tooth and has made some headway, but we decided to take a different tact, asking a pool of scientists, curators and cryptozoolgists to render their opinion from photos taken of the tooth. When we heard the results, we decided to toss our own hat into the ring.Â
Late last week several of these experts confirmed the missing tooth could indeed match the palate tooth of a fifty-foot creatureÂ the SAME creature described in AltenÂs novel. Tsunami has upped the reward to $200,000, and is offering a cash reward of $10,000 to the first fisherman who catches an Anguilla or Conger eel that measures over six feet in length! It is a massive mutation of this species that Alten (and other researchers) believe inhabits Loch Ness and other freshwater lakes.
ÂIf it is a tooth,Â says Alten, ÂI honestly donÂt think the Highland Authority will release it. TheyÂve invested an incredible amount of time and money perpetrating the myth of an extinct marine reptile (plesiosaur) being Nessie, and tourism generates far too much money in the Highlands to give that up. The particular creature I described in The LOCH is a species that prefers the depths, and most likely wouldnÂt surface by day. That sort of ruins it for monster hunting tourists.Â
According to several locals when the creature does surface itÂs at night, and usually in the winters when food runs scarce. ÂThis winter I met with no less than a dozen locals who told me about land sightings along the shoreline,Â says McDonald. ÂTwo eyewitnesses to a sighting took me back to the area where we discovered, frozen in the mud, slide tracks of an animal that had to be at least fifty to sixty feet long, weighing upwards of eight tons!Â
Tsunami Books has commissioned a life-size skull made to fit the dimensions of the animal identified by its 4-inch tooth. Bellin says the replica skull will be of museum quality and measure approximately five feet in length. ÂWeÂll be bringing the skull and a replica tooth to New York City in late September,Â Bellin said. ÂNaturally we hope to use it to publicize The LOCH and the events at Loch Ness. WeÂve also added a petition to our website (http://www.TheLOCH.com) where people can add their voice to the issue. Our goal is a million e-mail signatures. We feel that kind of attention would force the Highland Government into finally releasing the confiscated tooth.Â
The LOCH was released this summer and is available in bookstores. A special document entitled The Science Behind The Loch is available to download at http://www.TheLoch.com along with more information and links to the studentÂs video footage.
To arrange an interview with Steve Alten either by satellite or in person, please contact Lori Shactman at Broadcast Network (847) 433-3287 or Leisa Coffman at Tsunami Books at (800) 213-0701.
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