- Thetis Lake monster
The Thetis Lake monster is a
reptilian humanoidclaimed by many proponents of cryptozoologyto have been seen in 1972 near Thetis Lake, near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The legend has been attributed to the mistaken identification of an escaped Tegu lizard, and remains mostly unknown to locals.
Location and original sightings
Thetis Lake was the first regional conservation area in Canada, established in 1958, and spans approximately 831 hectares of protected forest and parkland. Approximately 20 minutes from Victoria, and located next to the Old Island Highway and a regional trail, it is a popular spot for hiking, swimming, fishing, and boating.cite web| last = Mason| first = Alister | title = Dragons in the Water| publisher =
The Epoch Times| date = 2006-06-22| url = http://en.epochtimes.com/news/6-6-22/43063.html| accessdate = 2008-04-13 ] [cite web| title = Thetis Lake Regional Park| publisher = Capital Regional District| year = 2007| url = http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/thetis/index.htm| accessdate = 2008-04-13]
However, on 22 August 1972, the
Victoria Daily Timesreported that two local teens claimed to have been chased from the beach at Thetis lake by a creature which roughly resembled the eponymous Creature from the Black Lagoon. One of the teens claimed to have been slashed across the hand by the creature, which displayed three toes and fingers along with a barbed fin on its skull, prompting an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was described to be "roughly triangular in shape, about five feet (~1.5 m) tallThe Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe, Illust. Harry Trumbore, ISBN 0-380-80263-5] and five feet across the base". At the time, the officer stated that "the boys seem sincere, and until we determine otherwise we have no alternative but to continue our investigation."cite book| last = Coleman| first = Loren| title = Mothman and Other Curious Encounters| publisher = Cosimo, Inc.| year = 2002| pages = 90-91| isbn =1931044341 ] [cite book| last = Godfrey| first = Linda| authorlink = | coauthors = | title = The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf| publisher = Big Earth Publishing| year = 2003| pages = vi| isbn =1879483912 ]
A day after the story was reported, two other men claimed to have spotted the creature on the opposite side of the lake from its first appearance. According to one, "it came out of the water and looked around. Then it went back into the water. Then we ran!" The men described the creature as "shaped like an ordinary body, like a human being body but it had a monster face, and it was all scaly [with] a point sticking out of its head [and] great big ears." They believed the creature had a humanlike face, although it appeared to have scaly and silver-coloured skin.
Similar creatures have been reported from places such as
Ohio, Delaware, Louisiana, and North Carolina, for at least the last century. They are said to be related to another cryptozoological creature, the chupacabra. Haidamythology from the Queen Charlotte Islandsdescribes a similar creature, with a humanlike face, two tails, and often wears a hat. This creature is often feared by Haida canoeists.
On 26 August 1972,
The Provincereceived a call from a man claiming to have lost a pet Tegu lizard in the area the previous year. Tegus, indigenous to Latin America, though herbivorous, can grow up to four feet in length. They are commonly kept as pets. The investigating police officers believed the lizard matched the description the creature and the case was closed.cite web| last = Crockford| first = Ross | title = The Gill Man of Thetis Lake| publisher = Unknown Victoria| date = 2006-04-07| url = http://unknownvictoria.blogspot.com/2006/04/gill-man-of-thetis-lake.html | accessdate = 2008-04-13]
Despite the sensational claims, repeated in some cryptozoology literature which portray it as a genuine
cryptidand relative of the Loveland Frog, no other sightings have been reported since leading the monster sighting to be "a fact widely unknown among swimmers." Local historian Ross Crockford remarks that the advice given in Haden Blackman's 1998 "Field Guide to North American Monsters" to carry a flaming torch to defend oneself from the monster is probably more dangerous than any monster, given the tinder-dry nature of the park.
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