The Loch Ness monster may be little more than a myth to some, but to at least one respected scientist in the 1960s, the creature was all too real, and after going public with his own sighting he found himself summarily dismissed from Britain’s Natural History Museum, believing that he was the victim of a cover-up that reached to the highest levels of power.
Zoologist Dr. Denys Tucker joined the museum in 1949, according to the Daily Mail, and served with the institution until 1960. In that year, he was fired after claiming he sighted the Loch Ness monster while on a trip to Scotland in 1959, an assertion he made publicly in the magazine New Scientist. Standing along the shore of the loch, Tucker said that he observed an “unnamed animal” as it broke the surface, and as he watched the creature, he concluded that the monster could only be an Elasmosaurus, a living dinosaur known to have existed over 80 million years ago.
“I am quite satisfied that we have in Loch Ness one of the most exciting and important findings of British zoology,” he wrote.
— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) April 18, 2015
Tucker’s sighting at Loch Ness fell upon unsympathetic ears among his superiors, according to a secret file recently made public under freedom of information laws, the Mirror reports. The museum’s management questioned whether the Loch Ness monster was an acceptable topic for one of their researchers to be examining, and when Dr. Morrison-Scott was appointed in 1960 to helm the institution, Tucker was unceremoniously fired.
His dismissal sparked a legal battle that lasted seven years as he sued to be reinstated, during which the museum’s trustees were subjected personally to legal action. Archbishop Lord Fisher, who at the time headed the Church of England, as well as Harry Hylton-Foster, the Speaker of the House of Commons, were named in the suit, as were two viscounts and a marquess. The case made it all the way to the Court of Appeal before it was thrown out, and the recently released documents detail that government officials worried that should it succeed, they would be prevented from ever again firing a civil servant.
I visited Loch Ness earlier! Such a beautiful place pic.twitter.com/kGCXCF50HZ
— Ellis (@cheerfulester) April 16, 2015
Last year, the museum was connected to the Loch Ness monster in a dramatically different fashion, when new documents came to light that proved the institution once plotted to kill and obtain the beast, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Tucker’s claim prevented him from ever holding another academic post, however, and he died in 2009, convinced that he was the victim of a plot to cover up the existence of the Loch Ness monster.
[Image: Rex USA via the Huffington Post]