The Great Lake Monster

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Jämtland (County), Magazines, My photographs, Retrofuture, The Great Lake Monster

If you saw the Destination Truth episode “Alien Invaders/Swedish Lake Monster” (season 5, episode 4) on the SyFy channel recently, you saw what was probably the first real attempt to cast some light on Swedens own lake monster, Storsjöodjuret (The Great Lake Monster).

It just so happens that I live by this very lake myself (lake Storsjön – The Great Lake), and it also just happens to be a fact that I´m a witness myself. Yep, I saw a large animal in the water back in 1977, twice within 40 minutes in the same location (a harbor at Frösön, an island in the lake). This happened on August 10 1977 when I was 16. The first sighting was a quick one, from two blocks above the harbor. I witnessed the back of an animal rise in the water, about the size and shape of a Volkswagen. When I got down there (on my bike) it was gone, but I saw three other witnesses who were clearly in shock of what they had just seen down there. 40 minutes later, as I went down to the harbor a second time I saw it again, this time swimming past the harbor. I could follow it at close range (10 meters or so) for some 300 meters. It was three meters long above the surface, in two parts. First a small part, then some water and then a bigger part (clearly the back of this animal). It had dark skin like that of a whale. It swam straight forward, no sign of any moving to the sides or up and down. Like so many other witnesses before and after this event, I had the classic “like a boat turned upsidedown” sighting that day.

I was not alone. Two girls my age was there, a boat came towards us (the animal dived then) and they started to circle around so clearly they had seen the animal as well. In fact, there could be any number of witnesses, I was far to busy looking at this thing at the time to pay much notice on the area around me. But we are talking about a place with lots of buildings, with balconies facing the waterfront.

When I had my sighting(s), I already knew the legend was based on truth and that there really was something big in this lake. Elderly cousins (religious and really decent folks) had told me years before that they had seen it. OK then, I knew that they would never lie. Then there was the never ending line of witness reports in the local media, and the long history (first written account was penciled by vicar Mogens Pedersen in 1635, but we have a runestone from the Viking era showing a dragons head here as well, the only one of its kind in Sweden). Hard to miss even for a kid.

I have talked to a large number of witnesses over the years and I started to print witness reports and history in my RETROFUTURE magazine in 2010. This lead to witnesses contacting me and my interest to dig deeper mounted. This summer, I published a 60 page magazine titled “Storsjöodjuret” with loads of information. And a brand new theory based on reports from witnesses.

So what is it? I´m not sure but my theory is that we are talking about some type of decendant from the plesiosaurs. What I saw myself could be explained by this type of animal, but more importantly, we have witnesses who have seen more than I did that swears that they have seen plesiosaur looking animals in the water. These are not crackpots but highly respectable people like a former headmaster of a university and a former journalist. Both retired, they know what they saw and they have gone public. The latter through my recent publication (not sure if that went down well to local newspaper ÖP, which he was part of at the time of his sighting!).

Lake Storsjön was part of the sea 9.000 years ago, a fact that resembles other lakes elsewhere which hosts similar mysteries.

Science now believes that plesiosaurs were warm blooded and that they could regulate their body temperatures. New science is coming in all the time that completely turns everything scientists thought they knew as we speak and this is very interesting.

Whatever this animal turns out to be, it must have a long history. It probably stayed here when the ice melted and the landmass rose. The Great Lake is huge, it has a lot of fish and for an animal this size there are no natural enemies. Clearly, we have something here that has managed to survive. A species that can sustain a population large enough not to get extinct.

Today I mention this part of my life for the first time here on the blog, and I also create a brand new category for the subject so that future reports can be easily located if you have an interest in the subject.

I saw this animal, whatever it may be, back in 1977. Nothing will ever change that. It could have been easier to have shut up about it but that is not really my style. One day the mystery will be solved and all the witnesses will be vindicated. And those who doubted will know that they sometimes behaved rather badly, like bullies in a schoolyard.

Meanwhile, the mystery lives on.

(My image)

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