Royal interest in Storsie

Posted: April 27, 2014 in Jämtland (County), Retrofuture, Retrofuture 8 - final issue, The Great Lake Monster

RF8_oscar

The history that surrounds Storsjöodjuret (The Great Lake Monster, also called Storsie outside Sweden) is long and full of interesting moments. In 1894, a local push to capture one of these animals created headlines. King Oscar II was interested in science and enjoyed to support expeditions and he actually put some money into the project. What happened next is quite interesting. For years, people tried in many ways to capture or kill an animal. One method was floating barrels with specially designed hunting equipment underneith. On one occation, witnesses saw a barrel disappear below the surface for about a minute. Upon investigating the equipment afterwards, they found scrapmarks in the metal, like they had been in contact with teeth. Eventually, all these barrels in the lake became a problem as accidents with local shipping started to appear. Steamer Carl XV was seriously damaged in a collision in 1899.

The hunt went on for about a decade. In 1897, Oscar II visited Östersund. In 1888, a professor from Uppsala was sent to the lake to investigate (payed by newspaper Aftonbladet). He wrote a series of articles that proclaimed that, in his opinion, the animal is real.

Hunting equipment from the day can still be seen at a local museum called Jamtli, but people have largely forgotten all about it. It is an interesting chapter in the history of this phenomenon though, and therefore I have decided to include an article about what happened and the Kings interest in RETROFUTURE 8. I feel that this needs to be highlighted again.

So work has now begun on the next issue.

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