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Type: Lake Monsters
Location: Madison, Red Cedar Lake, Pewaukee Lake and Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Source: Milwaukee, WI Journal, October 7, 1980
Sea monsters or myths?
"Strange beasts" have been seen in many lakes in Wisconsin
For centuries, legends concerning the existence of huge
monsters living beneath some of the world's larger lakes have tantalized
men's minds. Reports abound from all parts of the world.
science has treated these stories with great skepticism. However, recent
sonar readings, combined with photos taken at Scotland's Loch Ness by
expeditions sponsored by the Academy of Applied Science, have established
the existence of one or more large water creatures.
Numerous sightings of
similar beasts have occurred throughout the United States including Lake
Champlain, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario, Payette Lake in Idaho, Bear Lake in
Utah, Hollow Block Lake in Oregon and Lake Folsom in California. Monsters
have also been reported in several Wisconsin lakes. Does more than just
legend really lurk beneath these waters?
Wisconsin waters seem to teem
with lake monsters, according to Peter Costello's book, "In Search of Lake
Monsters". Sightings have been recorded in the Madison Four Lakes, Red
Cedar Lake, Pewaukee Lake and Elkhart Lake.
The Lake Mills Spike of
August 31, 1882, advises that the lake monster was first witnessed by a Mr.
Hassan in 1867. Many other lakeside residents said the paper, had seen it
During August 1882, men rowing on the lake saw what
appeared to be a floating log until it reared its huge head out of the
The Red Cedar Lake monster made its first recorded appearance in
1891. It is generally described as having an undulating form like a large
snake or fish, with a huge head and a row of protruberances on its back
resembling a saw-tooth.
An account of the creature(s) reportedly dwelling
in Lake Monona appears in The (Madison) Wisconsin State Journal of June 12,
The article describes the monster (beast), witnessed by several
people, "as at least 20 feet long".
It traveled east on the lake's
surface, the paper said, until Eugene Heath, an agent of Garr-Scott
Company, fired several shots into it - after which it turned and
The article continues: "Mr. Schott and others who saw the
'thing', whatever it may be, insist that it is a reality and not a joke or
a creature of their combined imaginations. Its appearance is not that of a
serpent. Mr. Schott says, however, that he saw it plainly in the bright
moonlight, and its shape was like the bottom of a boat, but it was twice as
long (That is, 30 feet or so). Mr. Schott's two sons saw it and were so
firmly convinced that it was a dangerous animal that neither of the
Schotts, who had spent a large part of their lives on the lake, would
venture out on it."
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