At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Friday, 18 April 2014

LAKE ELIZABETH MONSTER

It is irritating having to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to assessing the evidence for lake monsters when that evidence stems from the 19th Century.  We are particularly impeded by the fact that newspapers on a day when they had little to print would put in a hoax story.  Take, for example, the legend of the monster in Lake Elizabeth (California).  This was supposed to be a flying monster and a Los Angeles newspaper reported it in 1886, saying it was the size of four elephants, had six legs and a head reminiscent of a bulldog's.  It had, of course, wings to keep it airborne.  The witness, the story continues, fired at it, but the bullets proved ineffective.

The reason this monster was supposed to have come from Lake Elizabeth was because a monster had earlier been reported from the lake and, three years before the report given above, a flying monster had been seen which the witness believed had come from the lake.  Neither of these two reports is necessarily a deliberate falsehood and may even be accurate, but surely the six-legged behemoth of 1886 must stretch our credulity.  Certainly, if there were a skyful of such beasts, we would all have to buy umbrellas.  There may have been a monster seen in the lake and perhaps one in the sky in 1883; perhaps they were the same creature.  But it would take very convincing evidence to persuade the discerning reader that the 1886 report contained a grain of truth.

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