The Nessie Files

Posted by: Nick Redfern on April 10th, 2012

Following my post of just a few days ago on the British Government and Alien Big Cats (ABCs), I was asked if official files on other British cryptids exist. Well, the answer is: Yes, they do! I would stress we’re not talking about definitive X-Files filled with tales of deep conspiracy, but we are talking about official interest in certain aspects of Cryptozoology. A perfect example is the “Nessie File.”

Some may conclude that, against all the odds, plesiosaurs dwell within the extensive waters of Scotland’s Loch Ness. Others might conclude that the accounts are nothing more than an ingenious way to increase Scotland’s economy. And then there is the “giant eel” theory. But of one thing we can be sure: for the British Government, Nessie has been a favorite issue for years.

In the late 1970s, previously-withheld documents made available to the general public in 2005 reveal, the then-Conservative Government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher seriously considered a request to use dolphins in a search for the Loch Ness Monster. If the existence of the creature – or, more correctly, creatures – could be proved, the official world thought, it would have a very positive bearing upon Scotland’s tourist industry. Amid complaints from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, however, the plan was never put into action. But still the “Nessie File” remained open.

Then, in the mid-1980s, the government secretly tried to determine if the Loch Ness Monster was at risk from hunters and poachers. At one point, government officials were thinking of drafting new legislation to protect the monster. Eventually, FOIA-declassified documents show, the government concluded that: “The legislative framework to protect the monster is available; provided she (or he) is identified by scientists whose reputation will carry weight with the British Museum.”

Of course, so far no such identification has been made. Unless someone in the government knows something we don’t…

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

3 Responses to “The Nessie Files”

  1. springheeledjack responds:

    What, were they going to strap cameras to dolphins and send them down? Even then, who knows if the dolphins would have investigated murky water dwelling monsters or stayed as far away as possilbe? Or the possibility arises that maybe they would have attacked Nessie and possibly taken it out of the ecosystem altogether.

    Plenty of examples of introducing non-indigenous species into new environments only to wreak havoc. Probably wasn’t that good of an idea in the first place and saner heads prevailed in that case.

    As for File Nessie…did they mention what else they’ve got? There’s quite a few lochs and bodies of water around Scotland that boast critters…some even off shore.

  2. Nick Redfern responds:


    There are quite a few sea-serpent reports (Navy, old Admiralty files) at the Archives, as well as the British military’s JARIC files on their analysis of the Tim Dinsdale footage. A lot of material on big cats sightings is now surfacing too via the Freedom of Information Act from various regional police forces in the UK. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is a lot more too. One of the big problems is knowing where to look for some of the files at the Archives, as they are pretty obscure and the relevant documents are sometimes tucked away in files with titles that are sometimes nothing to do with the contents!

  3. wuffing responds:

    SHJ – Dr Robert Rines had a plan to take two dolphins, one of which was called Molly I think, from the USA to Loch Ness to hunt for Nessie back in 1979. While they were being trained at the New England Aquarium one of them died and the plan was abandoned. They were to be kept in saltwater pens except when actually hunting for Nessie. It wasn’t a secret.

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