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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Scottish police in the 1930s believed the existence of the Loch Ness monster was "beyond doubt" and even sought to protect it from hunters.
A letter released by the National Archives of Scotland from Inverness County Police Chief Constable William Fraser in August 1938 shows police believed the only step they could usefully take to protect "Nessie" from hunters was to tell people that the monster's preservation was "desirable."
Fraser went on to say that a certain Peter Kent and Miss Marion Stirling of London were determined to catch the monster and that Kent had told local police he was having a special harpoon gun made to hunt the monster down.
"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," Fraser wrote in his letter to the Under Secretary of State, Scottish Office.
Fraser said he had had Kent warned of the desirability of having the creature left alone.
"...but whether my warning will have the desired affect or not remains to be seen," he added.
Reporting by Paul Casciato, Editing by Steve Addison