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Lake Monster Mysteries

Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures

Benjamin Radford

Publication Year: 2006

For centuries, eyewitnesses around the world—from America to Africa, Argentina to Scotland—have reported sightings of dark, mysterious creatures in area lakes that surface briefly, only to quickly disappear. While the most famous lake monsters of Loch Ness and Lake Champlain have gained international notoriety, hundreds of lakes around the world are said to shelter these shadowy creatures. Lake Monster Mysteries is the first book to examine these widespread mysteries from a scientific perspective. By using exhaustive research and results from firsthand investigations to help separate truth from myth, the authors foster our understanding of what really lurks in the cold, murky depths. Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell are considered to be among the top lake monster authorities in the world. Here they share unique insights into many of the world’s best-known lake monsters. They interview witnesses and local experts and discuss the different types of lake monster sightings, delve into possible explanations for those sightings, and examine hoaxes, evidence claims, and legends surrounding the monsters. The authors have also conducted groundbreaking fieldwork and experiments at the lakes and have examined recent photographic and sonar evidence. Incorporating newly-revealed information and up-to-date developments in the cases they present, professional monster hunters Radford and Nickell plunge into both the cultural histories of these creatures and the scientific inquiries that may hold the key to these mysteries.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xv

There are always two sides to a story. The book you are about to read is the best version to date of a skeptical look at the entities known as lake monsters. The formal examination of lake monsters has been a subfield of cryptozoological research for more than two centuries. ...

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pp. xvii

For the Silver Lake chapter, Tom Pickett, Department of Physics, University of Southern Indiana; Tammy Miller, Perry Chamber of Commerce; Barbara Henry, Perry Public Library; the staff of the Special Collections Department, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library; and the Inter-Library Loan Department, New York State Library. ...

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pp. 1-10

People have always had a fascination with strange, mysterious creatures roaming the earth, lurking beneath the water, and flying in the sky. Centaurs, unicorns, Pegasus, and other fantastic creatures have been claimed or rumored to exist since ancient times. Greek myths told of harpies—half-woman, half-bird creatures ...

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1. Loch Ness

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pp. 11-26

Reports of the existence of a creature in the great Scottish lake date as far back as the sixth century, when St. Columba supposedly saved a man's life by commanding the attacking monster to depart. (Such pious legends of saints—some of whom could reportedly fly and others who could allegedly live without eating ...

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2. Lake Champlain

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pp. 27-70

Termed North America's Loch Ness monster and known affectionately as "Champ," the legendary Lake Champlain monster reportedly haunts those waters. Lake Champlain was formed roughly ten thousand years ago when an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, the Champlain Sea, was transformed by receding glaciers into an inland, freshwater body ...

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3. Lake Memphremagog

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pp. 71-78

Located in north-central Vermont and extending into Quebec, Lake Memphremagog is the second largest lake in the state (figure 3.1). According to Malloy (2003b), the name is from the Western Abenaki Mamlabegwok, which means "at the Big Lake Water"; another source (Lake Memphremagog n.d.) ...

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4. Silver Lake

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pp. 79-88

On the night of July 13, 1855, in Wyoming County, New York, two boys and five men were fishing from a boat on Silver Lake near the village of Perry. After several minutes of watching a floating log, one man exclaimed, "Boys, that thing is moving!" Indeed, according to the Wyoming Times, after bobbing in and out of sight, ...

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5. Lake Crescent

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pp. 89-100

Lake Crescent is a picturesque body of water in northeastern Newfoundland near the small town of Robert's Arm (figure 5.1). Settlement of the area dates to the 1870s, although native peoples, including the Beothuk Indians, were early visitors. Robert's Arm (formerly Rabbit's Arm) has a population of about a thousand. ...

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6. Lake George

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pp. 101-110

Called "one of the grandest hoaxes of all times" (Lord 1999, 187), the Lake George monster has occasionally resurfaced (figure 6.1) since its debut at Hague Bay, New York, in 1904. In 2002 and 2003 I investigated the historic case and even examined what is purported to be the original fake monster. ...

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7. Lake Okanagan

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pp. 111-136

Lake Okanagan in British Columbia is said to be home to "Ogopogo," purportedly "one of the most thoroughly documented unidentified lake creatures," second only to Scotland's "Nessie," and "possibly the most famous North American monster aside from Bigfoot" (Blackman 1998, 69). ...

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8. Other Notable Lake Monsters

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pp. 137-148

So far in this book we've examined some of the world's greatest and best-known lake monster mysteries. And although Nessie, Champ, Memphre, Cressie, Ogopogo, and the rest get much of the attention, their lesser-known cousins are said to populate countless lakes around the globe. ...

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pp. 149-152

As our investigations have made clear, the existence of lake monsters is doubtful, for a variety of reasons. We often speak of Nessie, Ogopogo, Champ, and other lake monsters as single creatures, but for some hitherto unknown species to reproduce, there must be a sizable breeding herd. ...

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Appendix 1. Mysteries And Misinformation: How Cryptozoologists Created a Monster

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pp. 153-160

Sifting through information on lake monsters is made somewhat difficult by sloppy scholarship. Many writers get details wrong, and reports are often contradictory. I encountered this most notably in my research of the Lake Champlain mystery. By far the most common misconception about Champ ...

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Appendix 2. Eyewitness (Un) Reliability

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pp. 161-164

On January 21, 2004, I came across a small news item about a father and son in Florida. It was a tragic story involving a man named Dennis Plucknett and his fourteen-year-old son Alex. Plucknett, his two sons, and a friend went hunting at a camp in northeastern Florida. ...

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Appendix 3. Animating The Champ Photograph

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pp. 165-167

Sandra Mansi's photograph of the Lake Champlain creature renewed popular interest in Champ, and it has been studied and discussed for almost thirty years. Some critics thought that it might be a waterfowl, a jumping fish, or possibly a floating log. I favored the last theory, yet no one had actually shown how a floating log ...

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Appendix 4. Ogopogo Film And Video Analysis

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pp. 168-174

Our primary source for images of the Lake Okanagan creature, Ogopogo, was Arlene Gaal, an invaluable resource and a tireless researcher. Gaal has collected photographs, videos, and sighting reports since she moved to Kelowna, British Columbia, in 1968. During our investigation, she shared her photos and videos ...


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pp. 175-190

E-ISBN-13: 9780813171302
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813123943

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2006