"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," a Scottish police chief wrote back in the 1930s in a newly released letter expressing his concern that a London man might harpoon Nessie. The 1930s constable was only one in a long line of Scottish authorities who've sought to protect Nessie from harm, cryptozoology expert Loren Coleman says, and they were still doing it as recently as 1999.
Coleman knows because he was all set that year to search for Nessie in a homemade sub with a man who was absolutely sure he had bumped into the monster in a dive 30 years earlier. They planned to take along a harpoon to take a DNA sample. But Scottish authorities nixed the trip, showing, Coleman says, that officials have taken Nessie more seriously than they let on. “There’s always been the sense that quietly…they were taking the reports more validly. There was a serious acknowledgment that the Loch Ness monster exists,” Coleman tells the Christian Science Monitor.