• STV
  • MySTV

Police believed Loch Ness Monster's existence 'beyond doubt'

Uncovered letter by head of Highland police in 1930s reveals extent of debate and investigation into concerns over Nessie.

Nessie Debate: Newspaper cartoon depicting Loch Ness monster conversation.
© National Archives of Scotland

The Loch Ness Monster’s existence was “beyond doubt” according to the head of Highland police in a letter he wrote 70 years ago.

The typed note by William Fraser – then the chief constable of Inverness-shire Constabulary – is one of a number of files recently uncovered by the National Archives of Scotland.

In the letter, addressed to the Under Secretary of State at the Scottish Office, Mr Fraser said: "That there is some strange creature in Loch Ness seems now beyond doubt, but that the police have any power to protect it is very doubtful."

Mr Fraser went on to tell the minister that a London couple Peter Kent and Marion Stirling were determined to catch the monster “dead or alive” and had even fashioned a special weapon to do so.

He wrote: "Mr Peter Kent visited Fort Augustus on Friday, August 12, and was seen there by my officer stationed at Fort Augustus, to whom he stated that he was having a special harpoon gun made and that he was to return with some 20 experienced men on August 22 for the purpose of hunting the monster down.”

He added: "I have, however, caused Mr Peter Kent to be warned of the desirability of having the creature left alone, but whether my warning will have the desired effect or not remains to be seen."

Fiver years earlier In 1933, The Scottish Officer were asked to confirm the existence of a ‘monster’ or ‘sea serpent’ in Loch Ness following a number of alleged sightings and the publication of articles and grainy photographs by newspapers.

A parliamentary question was tabled in the House of Commons asking whether, in the interests of science, an investigation would be made into the existence of the monster. The question was ridiculed by the press at the time.

Whilst sceptical, ministers and civil servants proposed that reliable observers could be stationed around the loch equipped to take photographs.

If the monster’s existence was then proved, it was proposed the next step would be to trap it without injury – a difficult task given the size and depth of Loch Ness.

A spokesman for the National Archives of Scotland stated: “In the end it was felt that as the monster provided public interest and amusement, it would be better to let it continue to do so than to kill it, or the tales told about it.

“However, this did not stop monster hunters from frequenting the shores of Loch Ness in the hope of seeing the monster, capturing or killing it.”

This action prompted the Chief Constable’s letter to the minister, warning that the police were in no position to protect the creature.

The government file on the Loch Ness Monster, including the chief constable's letter, features in the Open Secret exhibition at the archives in Edinburgh.
 

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.