The Daily Mail Online and the Telegraph UK have reported that 72 years ago the idea of the Loch Ness Monster was so beguiling that government ministers considered setting a trap and a leading policeman appealed for Whitehall help to protect the creature from blood crazed monster hunters.
Archive documents have revealed how William Fraser, then chief constable of Inverness-shire, was so concerned for the welfare of the world’s most famous LAKE MONSTER he wrote to the Scottish Office. In the 1938 letter, Mr Fraser revealed an influx of Nessie spotters had been drawn by the grainy photos purporting to show the creature’s neck.
In his letter he also warned of a hunting party, led by a Londoner called Peter Kent, intent on capturing the monster “dead or alive” using a specially made harpoon gun. Fraser expressed his concern for their neighbor in the loch in an excerpt from the aforementioned letter:
“Mr Peter Kent visited Fort Augustus on Friday, August 12, and was seen there by my officer 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… 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.
Five years earlier, a question was tabled in the House of Commons asking whether, in the interests of science, an investigation should be launched. Ministers were skeptical, but the documents, in the National Archives of Scotland, show that consideration was given to stationing observers round the loch to capture Nessie on camera — a protocol that would be later employed by the LNIB (Loch Ness Investigation Bureau) from 1962 to 1972 — and to whether it would be possible to trap the monster without injury.
While the ministers may have been cautious concerning the identity of the LOCH NESS MONSTER, Fraser, it would seem, no longer had any doubts regarding the beast’s existence, but he feared that in his postion as constable there was very little he could do to prevent men like Kent (and his ilk) from doing the creature harm:
“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.”