In response to a request from a TV crew from Quebec to explain the Bownessie phenomenon I gave the following reply:
“During the reign of King Arthur dragons were commonplace in England, but they were driven to the verge of extinction by the Knights of the Round Table. In desperation the dragons sought refuge in the mountains of the Lake District and eventually found sanctuary in the tranquil waters of England’s largest and deepest lake, Windermere. There they stayed, unharmed and unnoticed for a thousand years. Their presence would have remained a secret even today had the waters of Lake Windermere remained cool and undisturbed, but the effects of global warming caused the temperature of the lake to rise, prompting some of the creatures to come to the surface to investigate what was going on. Their presence was noted by at least eight members of the public, breaking the secret which had been preserved since King Arthur’s reign.
The creatures, given the collective name of Bownessie, have attracted the attention of thousands of foreign visitors to the Lake District, from every part of the globe, all anxious for a sighting. But the tourists who have shown the greatest interest have been the Chinese, whose own culture is redolent with tales of dragons and mysterious sea creatures”.
After my interview the TV crew, in the interests of balance spoke to a gentleman, described as a “Professor”, whose dishevelled white hair and beard lived up to the description. I checked to see whether he wore matching shoes. He, to the disbelief of all the onlookers, expressed doubts as to the very existence of Bownessie. Try telling that to the Chinese.