Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Loch Ness and the Thatcher years

It appears that in the 80's Nessie was in the government's thoughts:

Thatcher Government Planned Nessie Hunt Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Sunday Times (Scotland) reports that the UK Government under Margaret Thatcher seriously considered an official hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. Newly declassified files from the 1970s reveal that the Government had considered importing bottle-nosed dolphins to search Loch Ness for evidence of Nessie. The plan was being considered by the Department of the Environment. The Department apparently believed that there were no legal obstacles to such a hunt however they were concerned about the political implications and possible opposition from animal rights campaigners.The reasons for the proposed hunt - which appears to have been abandoned - included boosting tourism.

UK Government's "Nessie Files" Monday, January 09, 2006

The Sunday Times reports on some fascinating official documents that reveal the way the UK government in the 1980s was concerned about the safety of the Loch Ness Monster.The documents - released under the Freedom of Information Act - show that the government investigated the legal status of the monster. Was there anything to prevent Nessie being bagged by poachers? The question was raised following an official inquiry from the Swedish government. Sweden was considering protecting their own Lake Storsjo Monster and wanted to know the status of Nessie under UK law. The letter to the Scottish Office from the Stockholm Embassy included the wonderful line: The inquiry is a serious one and we should like to give them at least a half-serious reply." The eventual reply concluded: The secretary of state for Scotland has powers, on representation made to him by the Nature Conservancy Council, to make an order adding any wild creature to the schedule if in his opinion that creature is in danger of extinction"

Nessie has been in the government's mind over successive eras and questions have been asked over the years in both the House of Commons and the Lords. It is interesting that some thing that is thought to be a myth by many is considered solid enough to be discussed at high levels.

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