Loch Ness monster existed `beyond doubt`: Police chief
London: A top police officer believed
that the fabled Loch Ness Monster in Scotland existed "beyond
doubt", a file released from archives shows.
William Fraser, the chief constable of
Inverness-shire, expressed concerns about protecting the
"strange creature" from hunters, in a letter to a British
government minister in 1938 made public yesterday.
Writing to the Under Secretary of State in the
Scottish Office, Fraser said: "That there is some strange
creature in Loch Ness now seems beyond doubt. But that the
police have any power to protect it is very doubtful."
His warning came five years after the British
government was asked to confirm the existence of a monster or
sea serpent in Loch Ness, following sightings and the
publication of articles and grainy photographs.
A question was tabled in the British parliament asking
whether a scientific investigation would be made into the
existence of the monster.
Ministers and civil servants were sceptical but it was
proposed that "reliable observers" equipped to take
photographs could be stationed around the loch. It was also
suggested that aerial observation could be undertaken.
The aim was to prove the monster`s existence with an
attempt to trap it alive the next step.
Eventually, it was felt that as the existence of the
monster provided public interest and amusement, it would be
better to leave it in peace rather than risk harming it,
according to the archive.
But the decision failed to deter monster hunters from
flocking to Loch Ness in a vain bid to catch "Nessie".
This caused alarm among local residents and concerns
were expressed by the police chief and others that the
government should take measures to protect the creature from
The file was by the National Archives of Scotland
(NAS) as part of an exhibition called "An Open Secret" about
changes in government attitudes to records.
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