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A mysterious figure who has reportedly lurked around a patch of Swiss woodland for more than ten years, has been photographed for the first time.

Nicknamed 'Le Loyon', Switzerland's version of the Loch Ness monster wears a military uniform with a gas mask covering its face and is said to walk the same path every day.

Although rumours and sightings of Le Loyon are common, local news website Le Matin has published the first known image of the being captured by an unnamed amateur photographer.

The first known image of Le Loyon. Photo: Le Matin

"I came across him near the marches," the photographer told Le Matin.

"I approached him up to a dozen metres away.

"He measured more than one-hundred-and-ninenty metres.

"He stared at me then turned his back on me and left in silence," he said.

Other residents spoke with Le Matin about their encounters with Le Loyon over the last decade.

One farmer said that the mere sight of the being frightened women and children and prevented them from enjoying the natural surrounds of the neighbourhood.

"Families simply won't go into the forest any more," one farmer said.

"No one here finds this story funny."

Although Le Loyon has never actively threatened anyone, police are hoping to speak with him or her in order to reassure the community of their security.

"The situation is delicate because we basically have nothing against this person," said Guy Savary, the municipal official in charge of forests.

"But since he arouses these fears, we are going to hold meeting to see if we can find a way of locating him, and discouraging him from behaving as he does."

Several theories have espoused about Le Loyon's true identity.

Some believe she is a mentally ill woman, while others have suggested he or she is someone suffering from facial disfiguration or an unnatural obsession with survival techniques and the apocalypse.