An Apple maps image of a mystery figure in the waters of the Scottish Highlands has given Nessie enthusiasts hope that the elusive beast has been located...again.

The image, taken by an Apple map satellite, depicts a shadowy form of around 100 feet in length with something akin to flippers in the water of the Loch Ness.

Is this the work of Scottish nationalists? A clever branding stunt by Apple? Or, perhaps, the ghost of William Wallace coming back to taunt the British tabloids?

If it's the last of these three it worked. One person getting a lot of phone calls lately is Gary Campbell, President of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club. Here's what he had to say about the image. (Please imagine this in a Scottish brogue.)

"It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here. We’ve shown it to boat experts and they don’t know what it is.

Whatever this is, it is under the water and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie."

Nessie enthusiasts are still reeling from a hoax late last year that featured a picture of a man kneeling in the water by a "Nessie hump." It turned out to be nothing but a carbon fiber canard.