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Loch Ness monster is real: former Scottish police chief

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(Read caption) This is an undated file photo of a shadowy shape that some people say is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.

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The revelation that a former Scottish police chief believed in the Loch Ness monster and was concerned for its survival underscores how Scottish authorities have sought to protect the iconic beast, says Loren Coleman, a leading experts on mythic animals.

“The Scottish government has long been interested in protecting Nessie,” says Loren Coleman, who is co-author of The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep. “This just reinforces this whole notion (that) the officials in Scotland take this creature very seriously.”

Newly publicized documents reveal that a former Scottish police chief believed that the existence of the Loch Ness monster was “beyond doubt” but its protection could not be ensured.

William Fraser, chief constable of Inverness-shire Constabulary in the 1930s, wrote a letter expressing fears that a London man might kill the beast with a large harpoon gun. "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 wrote.

To be sure, most biologists believe Nessie to be a myth, and nothing more, pointing out that large animals typically leave large remains when they die. No "monster" carcass has ever been found.

But as recently as 1999, Scottish authorities took steps to ensure the safety of their tourist-attracting monster, Mr. Coleman told the Monitor in a telephone interview from Portland, Maine, where he runs the International Cryptozoology Museum.

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