MOL EDINBURGH  - Reports are coming in that Scotland’s beloved Loch Ness monster may be dead. For the first time in almost 90 years no ‘confirmed sightings’ have been made of the Serpentine Scottish beast.

Veteran Nessie spotter Gary Campbell, who keeps a register of sightings, said no one, had come forward in 18 months to say they had seen the monster. Bookmaker William Hill also said the three entries to its annual Nessie spotting contest could be explained.

They were images of a wave, a duck and a picture not even taken on Loch Ness. Mr Campbell said it was the first time since 1925 that there had been no confirmed reports of the monster. ‘It’s very upsetting news and we don’t know where she’s gone,’ he said.

‘The number of sightings has been reducing since the turn of the century but this is the first time in almost 90 years that Nessie wasn’t seen at all. ‘Pretty much everyone now carries a camera with them in their smart phone - this allows then to snap what they’re seeing and means that we don’t just have to rely on eyewitness evidence. ‘As last year has shown, all the pictures and videos taken can prove to the expert eye that it wasn’t Nessie that was being filmed.’

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: ‘Although we had three entries, one was a wave, one a duck and the other wasn’t from Loch Ness - even the one other sighting for the year that wasn’t entered was a video of a wave. Experts at the loch are appealing for anyone with new evidence from 2013 come forward. ‘It could be good for them,’ said Mr Adams, ‘we’ve now more than doubled the odds of finding proof that Nessie exists to 250-1 and we’ve done a “monster rollover” on the prize meaning that this year’s winner could be taking away £2000.’

Mr Campbell, a chartered accountant based in Inverness, has been logging Nessie sightings for 17 years after seeing something in the loch himself. As Nessie’s registrar of sightings, he has put together a list of sightings going back 1,500 years. Irish missionary St Columba is said to have encountered a beast in the River Ness in 565AD. Mr Campbell said: ‘So far 1,036 reported sightings have been recorded and there were some in 2012. ‘I’m convinced that Nessie has just taken some time out and will be back with a vengeance this year.’ Last year, Loch Ness Monster was placed ahead of the Himalaya’s Yeti in a list of ‘top 18 mysteries’ for travellers to solve in 2014. Wanderlust Magazine put Nessie at number three and the Yeti at 12.