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NEWSFILE: LAKE AND SEA MONSTERS

SEARCH FOR ELUSIVE REPTILE TAKES NEW TWIST

08/20/98 DENVER (AP) _ Wildlife experts from Florida and Texas have been asked to help city officials catch a mysterious reptile swimming in a park lake. An anonymous group says don't bother.

The group claimed Wednesday that it prompted the reptile sightings last week by placing an inflatable toy alligator into Washington Park's south lake.

‘The timing of the Washington Park caiman story is no coincidence, ’ the group said in a fax sent to Denver media outlets. ‘that this hoax would share headlines with the crisis in the Clinton White House only serves to underscore the real crisis confronting America _ the trivialization of the media. ‘

Judy Montero, spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, said there have been too many reliable eyewitness reports to discount the caiman search as a hoax. ‘We can't ignore the possibility that there’s something in the lake, ’ she said.

Despite two days of dragging the lake with a net, there has been no sign of the creature, thought to be a caiman native to Central and South America. A caiman is slightly smaller than a crocodile.

Denver Zoo veterinarian Jeff Baier has asked wildlife experts in Florida and Texas to help design a trap to capture the reptile. Design and construction would take up to 10 days, Baier said.

Jay Young of the Colorado Alligator Farm in Mosca was one of several people who helped search for the reptile Monday and Tuesday. He said if the eyewitness reports are true, ’there’s no way it could be an inflatable alligator. ‘

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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH - Aug 26 , 1998 Fisherman loses fight to reel in weighty catch Wednesday, August 26 , 1998 A. P. LJUBLJANA, Slovenia A passionate angler at an eastern Slovenian lake caught a fish so big that he drowned trying to reel it in, the state-run news agency reported Tuesday. Determined to land the sheat fish, a type of catfish, the 47-year-old fisherman walked into the lake after hooking it and refused to let go when it pulled him under, the STA news agency quoted a friend of Franc Filipic as saying. Police and divers found his body after a two-day search. The fish was not found. How big was it? The friend swore it had to have been more than six feet long and upwards of 110 pounds.

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EXPERIENCED Loch Ness Monster spotters yesterday described the latest video footage apparently showing the head of the elusive underwater creature as the most exciting breakthrough of recent years. Gary Campbell, from the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, believes a film taken last Saturday by a family on holiday at the loch is the best footage of ‘Nessie’ he has ever seen.

But wildlife watchers have poured cold water on the theory, claiming the pictures just show an inquisitive seal.

‘This is fantastic moving footage and we are very excited by what we have seen, ’ said Mr Campbell, 33, from Inverness. ‘The pictures show the head of something moving along in the water, which initially looks like a seal. However, the more you look at it the more you realise it is not behaving like a seal and doesn't even look like one.

‘The head is a different shape, there is no evidence of a seal-like body, and the way it dives down is very uncharacteristic of seals. ‘

Mr Campbell said he had shown the pictures to experts and they could not confirm whether it was a seal.

‘The fact the experts aren't sure is a sign that we really might have something special here, ’ he added.

However, Chris Packham of the BBC's X-Creatures is less than convinced. ‘I have looked at the film and tome it is very clearly a seal, ’ he told V.

The footage was taken by a family from Newcastle-upon-Tyne who were on a pleasure cruise on the loch.

Geoff Mitchison, 42, was filming his wife Miriam, 39, and their eight-year-old son, Craig, on board the boat Nessie Hunter when he spotted the creature in the water.

‘I have never seen anything like it, ’ he told V. ‘There’s definitely something in there.

‘It was only there for a few seconds and it wasn't going very fast, but with the ripples it looked like the bow of a boat going through and then it was gone. ‘

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Victoria (BC) Times-Colonist,20 Sept. 1998 , p. C17.

The Legend of Loch Ness

One Man's Descent into Obsession HARDEEVILLE, S. C. - Dan Taylor wakes up two hours before dawn and stares at the dark, thinking about the monster. When the swirling sky above the ocean looks like the creamy frosting on a birthday cake, the clouds like pink roses, he brews a pot of coffee and wakes Margaret, his wife of 22 years, and together they sit by the window, watching the sun rise and talking about the monster. Just after dawn, he starts the long drive, past the joggers and golfers, past the fireworks stands and video poker parlours, past all the symbols and signs of easy fun and instant gratification that clutter the South Carolina coastline, until he reaches this shadeless town and this desolate industrial park, where he'll spend the day sweating and panting and chasing the monster. Given half an afternoon, Taylor will have you believing this is the good life, that it's normal, even noble, for a 58-year-old man with a weak heart and a white beard to spend his dwindling days building a submarine with which to hunt the Loch Ness monster. Like the monster itself, Taylor's easier to believe in if you've actually seen him.

He might seem more ludicrous if he didn't look like every epic seafarer in lore and history, from Noah to Jonah, Ahab to Nemo, with a dash of Ernest Hemingway, to recall *The Old Man and the Sea*. He might seem more comic if he didn't tell such a vivid and compelling tale of meeting the monster 30 years ago, both of them bumping and twirling on the bottom of Loch Ness like a couple of shag dancers. He might seem foolhardy if he didn`t have the money to finance a submarine, the know-how to build one and the respect of several esteemed scientists and researchers. But Taylor doesn't care how he seems. He doesn't care if people point and giggle, which they usually do, when he stops in for lunch at the Cripple Crab. He doesn't care that Margaret's girlfriends tease her about being married to the Monster Hunter. He doesn't care, never will care, because his obsession crowds out much of the sensible world. Taylor’s world consists of seven oceans and three strong-willed women. There’s Margaret, of course. His mother, Justine. And his monster, Nessie.

He loves Margaret. He loves his mother. But something in him needs that monster. He also needs his welders, who are due this afternoon to connect his main hull to his battery room. But welders, they're a funny breed. They keep their own kind of time, and this being Friday, and the temperature getting on near 40 C, there’s always the chance they won’t show.

He'll just have to adjust, adapt- improvise. When you're on the trail of a monster, you can't lose your focus, can't let yourself be blown off course by a few tardy welders. ‘There’s nothing you can't overcome, ’he mumbles, ’if you just don't pay attention to it. ‘ He stands five feet, nine inches in Topsiders that curl up at the tips like and elf's slippers, and he leaves Topsider prints of rust and muck wherever he goes. His chinos and denim shirt are so smeared with sweat and grease and grime and oil and what looks like crab juice that their original colours are as much a mystery as the existence of any monster. Most obsessions eventually become monsters, but a monster became Taylor’s obsession in 196 9, and never let him go. It was several years later after he left the navy, where he’d served mainly on submarines, taking part in the blockade of Cuba and assorted top-secret war games. (He also spent the mid-196 0s doing the most delicate submarine work of all, he says, scouring ocean floors for a hydrogen bomb the air force had misplaced. ) He knew submarines like the back of his permanently tanned hand, knew the sea as few men do, from the inside out. With such rare expertise, he landed a job with University of Chicago biologist Roy P. Mackal, who was getting up an expedition to Scotland’s notorious Loch Ness- that 50 kilometre-long, half a kilometre wide, 225-metre-deep strip of fresh waterwhere for roughly 6 5 years a great sea serpent has been fleetingly, though never definitively, glimpsed. Together, Taylor and Mackal ventured forth to find that inhabitant once and for all, their quest sponsored by the *World Book Encyclopedia*. With them they brought a small fibreglass submarine that Taylor built in his free time, and amid terrific fanfare, Taylor submerged. The mission was doomed, however, by poor visibility and bad luck. Loch Ness is so thick with mud and peat, which rush into it constantly from surrounding hills, that Taylor couldn't see more than a few feet out his portholes. Also, the submarine was slow and hard to manoeuver, which almost spelled disaster when its propeller got tangled in a nest of cables abandoned on the lake's floor. ‘It was a little dangerous, ’ Mackal says. ‘I thought, uh oh, all we need is to lose somebody. ‘ On one of his last futile runs around the loch, Taylor was hovering at 80 metres, shining his lights into the murky water, when the submarine began to turn, unnaturally, like the second hand of a clock being pushed backward by a finger.

‘I could tell the boat was turning, ’ he says. ‘I don't even think it dawned on me that it was her. Until I got up. ‘ that brief encounter- so haunting, so tantalising- preoccupied him for the next 30 years, possessed him through careers as restaurateur and entrepreneur, builder and carpenter, repairman and inventor. ‘It’s unfinished business is what it is, ’ he says. ‘Someone gave me this assignment, and I failed. Now I'm going to fix it. ‘ He looks at a blurry, black-and-white photograph of Nessie hanging like a pinup girl on the wall of his workshop, along with an ancient-looking calendar from the Southern Welding Co. What doesn't hang on the walls is a blueprint. The submarine's designs are stored inside Taylor’s head. ‘An artist wouldn't make a blueprint, ’ he says. ‘It's like a painter can see a painting before he starts, I can see this boat in my mind. ‘ He used to say he could see it in the back of his mind. Then, three years ago, everything in the back of his mind shifted forward, like a ship's cargo during a storm, the result of a stroke, a heart attack and an epiphany.

He'd always assumed there would be plenty of time to find Nessie, because he'd always assumed he'd live to be 84. Every man in the Taylor clan, going back to the Civil War, lived to be 84. Not a year older, not a year younger. But when he found himself in the hospital at 55 years old, Taylor realized that he might die before finding his monster, which would be tragic.

So he willed himself to get better, sold his house and moved himself and Margaret into his mother's place on Hilton Head. He sank $80,000 from the sale of the house into acetylene torches and wire grinders and soldering guns and steel, lots of steel, then rented this airless workshop an hour down the road. The sun is sailing high in the hazy sky, shining down like the lights of a submarine cutting through murky water. And still there’s no sign of the welders. Taylor sits heavily on a stool near a fan that offers no relief, and talks about his father, whose death last August had the strange effect of making life easier.

A trust-funder who never much cared for work, Taylor's father enjoyed duck hunting, fly fishing and little else. His bequest gave Taylor a steady source of income, while his lack of ambition provided a constant source of fear. Not wanting to drift like his father, Taylor ploughs full ahead. Aimlessness is a different kind of monster, the kind you run from. It never dawns on him that he's actually emulating his father; he’s hunting and fishing too, but for an especially grand and gaudy trophy.

He was always building something, ’ says Taylor's 84-year-old mother, Justine Smith, who divides her retirement between a ranch in Vail, Colo. , and her house in Hilton Head, after a long career running restaurants in the South. ‘He built a windmill when Congress passed a law that you could make your own electricity or sell whatever you made. Then Congress changed the law, and he had to take it down. ‘Even before the windmill, she recalls, when Taylor was just seven years old, he built a crude water craft by rigging empty oil can to his bike. Pedalling near by pond, he felt confident that the air-filled cans would act as pontoons and keep him afloat. The second he hit the water, the bike sank. He wasn't crestfallen about the water bike, nor about the huge windmill that followed years later. Nor the giant aquarium, nor the remote-control led torpedo, nor the hydroelectric dam, nor any of the elaborate inventions he undertook, most of which failed to live up to expectations. ‘Nothing I make, ’ he says, beaming with pride, ’ever works the first time. ‘

Because the sightings at Loch Ness seem to have begun in the 1930s, that would seem to be when something slithered into the loch from the ocean, says Lisa Wolfinger, a producer for the PBS series *Nova*. Wolfinger and a film crew went to Loch Ness last year to make a documentary, due to air next fall. Before going, she counted herself among the majority of people who don't believe in any monster, a group that grew after 1994, when the best-known photograph of the monster, one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century, was revealed to be a hoax. But after interviewing many eyewitnesses and examining the data, Wolfinger came away converted. ‘There’s something big in there, ’ she says. ‘Undoubtedly. ‘

Next June, when the weather conditions are just right and Tailor makes his triumphal return To Loch Ness, Mackal and Wolfinger will be rooting for him, as will Robert H. Rines, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained physicist renowned for inventing radar devices used in everything from warfare to surgery- and a dedicated Nessie hunter himself. In 1972 and 1975, Rines used ultrasound and cameras with powerful strobe flashes to obtain the best evidence yet of something big and sleek swimming around Loch Ness, an exotic creature with horns on it head, fins on its sides and a back like an upturned boat.

Rines agrees with Mackal that what he saw was probably no monster, but a missing link, if not a zeuglodon, perhaps an ancient reptile called a plesiosaur, thought by most scientists to be extinct for 6 5 million years. He bases such an opinion on more than fuzzy photos and radar charts. Like Taylor, he's met the monster. ‘It happened June 23, 1972, ’ he says. ‘My late wife, Carol, and a former wing commander in the RAF, Basil Cary, watched this big back move out against the currents, from the bay into the main part of the loch, the turn round and come back and submerge right in front of us, I'd say about 300 metres away. It looked just like the back of an elephant. ‘

Ever since that day, Rines has been an unwavering believer. He’s not sure the animals are still alive, particularly since the number of sightings has fallen off in recent years, but he hopes Taylor can at least find a skeleton.

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Submarine Design Has the Makings of a Freight Train

HARDEEVILLE, S. C. - Monster hunter Dan Taylor's boat will be a monster in its own right, 11 metres long, 35 tonnes, with a 500-horsepower motor pulled from a locomotive, which will help him reach speeds of 25 miles an hour. ‘It'll sound like a freight train a-comin', ’ he says. ‘But it’ll move like a freight train, too!’

Should he overtake Nessie, the Loch Ness monster he chases, Taylor doesn’t want to kill her, despite what others say. He just wants a piece of her. ‘Biopsy wands attached to the bow, ’ he says, ’to take a piece of her hide. ‘ Short of a skeleton or carcass, he hopes, a bloody chunk of monster might convince the world that she exists. He points to a spot high in the air where the harpoon wands will be mounted. Then he points to a spot where the massive cone-shaped nose will go. Then to a spot where the portholes will be, then the periscope, then the large propeller. An active and suggestive imagination is required, because though Taylor promises that the submarine will look ‘like a bullet with a propeller, ’ right now it looks like a giant bottle of Budweiser beer tipped on its side. The hull is made from high-grade steel, so fine and hard that it comes with its own papers, like a pedigree dog. Inside will be considerably softer. Seating for four will be furnished by another of his neighbours in the industrial park, a company that outfits luxury buses for rock stars.

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CHANGCHUN (Xinhua) - A Chinese scholar says the monsters that have been reported several times in Tianchi Lake in China's Jilin Province are recorded far back in Chinese history.

Gong Yuhai, 6 9, who studies early Chinese culture, says that the Shanhaijing, a collection of fairy tales, contains many accounts of turtle-shaped animals with a pig's head and black skin, which are quite similar to monsters in the Changbai Mountains, where the lake is located.

Some people have said the monsters have huge bodies, about 20-30 metres wide, and small heads and tails, and there are similar stories in provincial chronicles. Britain, Japan, the United States, Canada and Columbia have also reported sightings of monsters in lakes, and Gong says he believes these are species similar to what are recorded in Chinese history.

A great deal of work has been done to try to capture these monsters, but to no avail. Gong believes the monsters have hideouts in mountains, with tunnels leading to lakes near by. ‘To keep their caves clean, they usually go to lakes to relieve themselves at night, ’ he explained, adding that faeces left by strange animals have been found near Tianchi Lake.

To feed their bulky bodies, the monsters always look for food and eat fish, small animals, grass and trees, Gong says, but birds are their favourite food, and these giants have enough strength to suck down birds flying several metres above them. Date: 05/28/98 Author: Copyright by China Daily

Billings (Montana) Gazette Sunday 6 Sept 1998

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Flatwoods Monster Seen Again

Yup, it was spotted again - the Flathead Lake Monster. After no sightings for five years, this some-would-say-mythical creature was spotted again on Aug. 18 in the vicinity of Gravel Bay, just north of Skidoo Bay, on the north-western Montana lake's eastern shore.

Jeff Herman, at the Missoulian, reported on the sighting in his fishing report for the newspaper last week. He quoted Jim Vashro, regional fisheries manager for the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Kalispell, who received the report from an angler whose name remains anonymous.

In this report, an angler was reeling in a small lake trout that had been hooked about 120 feet down. As the fish was coming up toward the boat, a large form - judged to be several feet long - was observed for several seconds tracking the hooked fish as it near ed the surface. Vashro said, the ‘shape . . . and tail fin were characteristic of a sturgeon.‘ Was it a sturgeon? Was it a monster? Was it the monster? Who knows? It was the first sighting of a monster in Flathead since 1993, when 11 sightings were reported. In all, FWP has received information from a total of 78 sightings since 1889. Vashro said that of those sightings, 25 would fall into the category of a large fish that might fit the description of a white sturgeon. The other 53 reports, again according to Vashro, generally describe ‘a creature greater than 10 feet long’ - even up to 6 0 feet long - characterised by ‘humps and smooth skin’ whose shape is ‘snake-like or eel-like. ‘

What does Vashro think about the whole thing? ‘Something certainly seems to be going on, ’ he said. ‘Very credible people have seen something variously described as a large fish or some kind of monster-like creature, usually quite long in length. ‘

that doesn't mean Vashro necessarily believes there’s a monster in there. But he's not discounting the notion either that something huge lives in the depths of Flathead Lake and shows itself, from time to time, to the fishermen who venture out on its waters.

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Fisherman Captures Giant Squid

AP 29-SEP-98 (Bodega Bay, California)- Talk about a prize catch.

A man fishing off the California coast has caught a squid that 's four feet long and weighs 25 pounds. It's one of the largest ever captured alive.

It was caught in 500 feet of water by a volunteer at Bodega Marine Laboratory. Jim Hie says he and his boat were covered with ink after hauling in the angry creature.

He says he felt a tremendous tug on his line when the lure apparently snagged one of the squid's arms. The fisherman battled the squid for almost a half hour before ensnaring it with a net.

He immediately put it in a 450-gallon tank on his boat and sped to shore. Workers trucked the squid to the marine lab, where it's now swimming in three feet of sea water.

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*Informational Notice* 3 Oct 1998

LOCH NESS MINISUB EXPEDITION PICKS A PASSENGER

PORTLAND, Maine:

The pursuit of one of this century's most enduring mysteries, the Loch Ness Monster, may be closer to being solved. Dan Scott Taylor, Jr. 's minisub expedition has picked internationally known cryptozoologist Loren Coleman to come along for the ride. Taylor, who built the original ‘yellow submarine’ to seek Nessie in the 1969 expedition sponsored by World Book Encyclopaedia, is building a bigger mini submarine to ‘finish the job he set out to do in ‘69’ notes Taylor. And he has invited Coleman along as a technical observer.

The Nessa, as the submarine will be christened, takes its name from the Gaelic Goddess of Water, Nessa, after whom the River Ness, Loch Ness, and the Monster, Nessie, were named. The Nessa Expedition plans to launch the minisub in June 1999. Nessie sightings go back at least to 56 5A. D. , and continue to this day. The Nessa Expedition will attempt to return with film, sonar and tissue sample proof of the creatures' existence.

In 1969, Dan Taylor operated his self-built, one-man sub, the Viperfish, in the murky waters of Loch Ness. Taylor soon discovered, despite hints of a couple intriguing encounters, that this earlier sub was too small, too slow and lacked the battery capacity to complete the mission. Taylor hopes to have more success with the Nessa, a larger, more mobile, swifter under-water craft. Taylor has sold his house, already sunk a quarter of a million dollars into the new adventure, and has been very busy working on completing the minisub's construction. His compelling story has been a focus of increasing media interest. Taylor who was recently interviewed by NBC Dateline came away intrigued when the program did a national survey of marine biologists and cryptozoologists, and picked the passionate, scholarly professor Loren Coleman, a four decades veteran of cryptozoology research and pursuits, to be interviewed. Taylor talked to Coleman after the filming, and Taylor invited Coleman on board the sub in his quest of the Nessie animals.

As it turns out, Taylor discovered, Loren Coleman is a filmmaker, as well as an honorary member of several cryptozoological organisations, and a Life Member of the International Society of Cryptozoology. Coleman has been on several investigations for undiscovered species since the yeti and loch monsters caught his interest in 196 0, leading him to travel throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence of lake monsters, Sasquatch, and other creatures. Coleman contributes a regular cryptozoology column, ‘On the Trail, ’ to a London-based magazine. He has written seven books on these mysteries, including a biography of Texan millionaire Tom Slick who searched at Loch Ness in 1937, a new field guide to Bigfoot due from Avon next Spring, and a cryptozoology encyclopaedia being published by Simon and Schuster during the summer of 1999.

Coleman says: ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to search for the Loch Ness Monsters. It truly is something that every scientific cryptozoologist dreams about, and I'm overjoyed with Dan Taylor’s invitation. ‘

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Reported Reptile Likely a Gator-Like Caiman Monster, or Hoax, in Lake?

‘We have enough reliable sightings that we believe it is not a hoax. We need to have a more definitive sighting to make sure it is still there. ‘— Judy Montero

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D E N V E R, (AP) Aug. 21 — First came a few frightening rumors: Ducks were disappearing from placid Grassmere Lake, people had seen something that looked like an alligator—even police saw a large wake on the water. Experts said sonar readings indicated the animal was likely to be a caiman—smaller than its relative, the alligator, but just as mean. Reporters headed to the scene, TV stations gave live updates, disc jockeys staged stunts. Then an anonymous fax was sent to news organisations, saying the whole thing was a hoax aimed at showing how easy it is to fool the media. Nevertheless, the next day—Thursday—city workers began draining the lake to catch the elusive creature—if it exists. ‘We have enough reliable sightings that we believe it is not a hoax, ’Parks spokeswoman Judy Montero said. ‘We need to have a more definitive sighting to make sure it is still there, ’ she said Thursday afternoon.

A Pawned-Off Pet? Officials speculated someone bought the caiman for a pet and, when it grew too big for a backyard pool, dumped it in the lake in Washington Park, in a tree-lined, upper-class neighborhood in south Denver. Montero said experts say the critter could have found a place to hide in the 8- to 10-foot-deep water or a small island in the south end of the lake. While waiting for the lake to drain, which could take a week, reptile experts are building a trap. If it was just an attempt to get attention, it worked. Warning signs advised people and pets to stay out of the lake. Both Denver daily newspapers launched contests inviting the public to name the creature. Radio and television crews broadcast live updates from the scene. One announcer even waded into the water with steaks duct-taped to a leg. Another station sent a busty woman in an alligator suit, carrying a bottle of wine to try to lure the creature out. A Cajun restaurant served free gator tail to visitors along the shore. Alligator farm experts were paid to flush it out, but their net came up empty.

Then, the ‘Bad News’ The anonymous fax arrived Wednesday. ‘The timing of the Washington Park caiman story is no coincidence, ’ it said. ‘that this hoax would share headlines with the crisis in the Clinton White House only serves to underscore the real crisis confronting America—the trivialization of its media, once a shining light of liberty. . . ‘ The fax, sent from an office supply store, also said an inflatable alligator could be found in any toy store. It promised a news conference Thursday at the lake, but no one showed except reporters. A taxi driver dropped off an envelope, but it was empty. Life was pretty much back to normal along the lake Thursday with joggers, bicyclists and mothers pushing strollers in the bright afternoon sun. The hordes of binocular-toting visitors, some who had come in camouflage, had disappeared. A group of senior citizens, on a weekly 25-mile bicycle tour, pulled up to see how the search was going. ‘I think he’s slicker than Clinton, ’ said Norm Nickolay, 6 9, of Lakewood. ‘Nobody’s going to catch him. ‘

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Monday 17 August 1998 STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Reuters) - A search by a team of monster-hunters failed Sunday to find any traces of a mysterious creature said to have inhabited Sweden's Great Lake for at least 36 0 years.

A fleet of 15 vessels with researchers and six divers set off from Ostersund in Jamtland County, central Sweden, early on Sunday equipped with an underwater video camera and echo equipment hoping to solve the centuries-old mystery.

But project spokesman Anders Brattgra said the search, the most extensive ever of the Great Lake, failed to find the infamous monster - but researchers have not yet given up hope.

‘We didn't find a lake monster. The Great Lake is certainly no Jurassic Park, ’ Brattgra told Reuters by phone from the banks of the lake.

‘But a lot of people have seen something in the lake and they are not fools. They have seen something that they cannot explain so the mystery remains. ‘We have decided we may do something again next year. ‘

The town of Ostersund, 6 00 km (370 miles) northwest of Stockholm on the banks of Sweden's fifth-largest lake, has been puzzled for centuries about reported sightings of a horse or snake-like creature in the Great Lake.

Sightings of the monster, Sweden's answer to Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, has been reported on 150 occasions by 450 people since 16 35 when a local parson mentioned the creature in a parish register.

By the late 19th century the frequency of sightings rose and in 1894 a group from Ostersund set up the Company to Capture the Great Lake Monster tried unsuccessfully to track down the animal, using traps baited with pigs and calves. The most recent sighting was in early July this year when a local man spotted something on the surface of the water as he watched a home video he had taken of the town's new bridge. The video was aired on national television.

Brattgra said this year's effort was by far the largest search to date and involved British specialist Adrian Shine, who has hunted for Loch Ness's monster, Nessie, for the past 20 years.

‘We have ruled out that the creature is a mammal as the lake is frozen over in the winter and it would not be able to breathe but it could be a big fish, ’ Brattgra said.

‘Various spots come up on the echo recording equipment but no-one could tell what it was monitoring. ‘

He said very little was known about the Great Lake, which is very large and as deep as 100 metres in parts. The search on Sunday covered just about one percent of the lake.

Witnesses' reports fall into two distinct categories.

Some report seeing a large eel about three metres (10 feet) long and one metre (three feet) wide that is grey-brown while others report a large serpent of up to 14 metres (46 feet) with humps and a small dog-like head.

In 1986 the county administration of Jamtland declared anyone trying to capture, injure or kill the monster could be prosecuted under the Nature Conservancy Law. SUN TIMES - Sept 13, 1998

Something fishy in South African art baffles the experts. Images of mermaids in South African paintings have sparked a new round of debate. It`s an unlikely place for mermaids. Half-human, half-fish - the strange rock paintings in the mountains around Meiringspoort in the Karoo have baffled scientists for generations. Though there is little doubt about the artists - South African hunter-gatherers who lived and painted in the area for thousands of years - everyone still wonders about the mermaids. Are they for real, drug-induced, or merely figments of hunter-gatherer imagination? The recent discovery of even more fish-like figures in Ezeljachtpoort in the Karoo has sparked fresh debate. Real or not, the fact is that a lot of people believe in mermaids. So much so that the last time anyone said the M-word near Meiringspoort they had to call the police. that was in 1996 , during the Oudtshoorn floods, when a radio DJ joked about a mermaid who had been washed up and taken to a freshwater tank in the local museum for safekeeping.

Hundreds of people demanded her release. ‘We even had the police here, ’ said cultural historian Anita Holtzhausen of the C P Museum in Oudtshoorn. ‘They said if we didn't put her back where she came from there would be an even bigger flood. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. ‘People in the binneland feel strongly about mermaids. In Afrikaans we call them wateranties or watermeids. ‘ Mermaids are among the numerous strange figures that feature in South African rock art, a treasure trove of paintings and engravings etched into dolerite boulders. There are thousands of open-air galleries, a jigsaw puzzle of earthy folk- tales, each a potential clue to unwravelling the little-known history of South Africa's earliest inhabitants. New paintings are still being found, astonishing international rock-art experts who consider South African art a vital window into a Stone Age past that has almost completely disappeared. ‘Paintings provide a dimension that one can seldom get, even from archaeological excavations, ’ said Professor Tim Maggs, a Cape archaeologist. ‘No doubt we've already made huge strides in piecing evidence together, and will continue to do so. It will always be controversial because interpretations of paintings can seldom be proved in a conclusive way, ’Maggs said.

Then there is the monster ‘zigzag’ man who appears on a rock face in KwaZulu-Natal, and several other monster figures, often half-man, half-beast. The famous Wit Vrou van die Brandberg in Namibia has also raised quite a few eyebrows in its time: a black lower body with a white upper body, whatever that means. Some people claim to have found paintings depicting Phoenician sailing ships or UFOs, though these are often smudged or faint, looking more like Rorschach tests than ancient artwork. There’s even talk of a massive ‘Last Supper’ engraving somewhere on the banks of the Orange River, though to date it has not been found. that 's not to say that interpreting paintings is all guesswork. Far from it. Several experts spend their time recording artworks around the country, sometimes trekking to remote sites that have never been publicised. The Wits University-based Rock Art Research Institute sends field workers far and wide to document paintings. There is particular interest in a 12000-page South African ethnography written in the 1870s which comprises a series of comprehensive interviews with /Xam clansmen from the Northern Cape, offering valuable insight into the South African heritage. Though the /Xam did not paint or engrave, they believed their grandparents probably did. ‘Those texts are extensive and internationally recognised as very important, ’ said University of Cape Town art historian Pippa Skotnes. The texts are irreplaceable - and help to explain the significance of painting in South African society. The problem is that nobody went into too much detail about mermaids, leaving experts happily flinging explanations at one another at slide shows and conferences around the country. One school of thought is that the mermaid or monster-like figures represent the hallucinogenic experiences of the South African people's shamans, whodid most of the painting.

Others feel the figures represent the departedspirits that regularly intervened in South African society. ‘The debate about mermaids in the art derives from comments by an elderly South African man last century, who said they represented 'water-maidens', ’ said rock-art expert Anne Solomon. ‘I believe the 'water-maidens' relate to female initiation. /Xam stories describe disobedient initiates abducted by the Rain [deity] and drowned, but still seen at the water hole in various forms such as flowers, stars or frogs, ’ she said. Perhaps, as an elderly South African hunter once told a foreign journalist, the present can never completely understand the past - a period he described simply as the time when things happened that no longer happen today. Then again, there is still talk of mermaids popping up in picturesque Meiringspoort, a place of deep pools scoured out by age-old waterfalls. ‘We've had a couple of people who've claimed they've seen mermaids there, ’Holtzhausen said. ‘Not so long ago a car crashed there and overturned into a deep pool, drowning everyone inside. One woman later said she saw a mermaid sitting at the edge of the pool, staring into the water. Who knows?’

{The Sun Times is South Africa's largest circulation weekly newspaper with a readership of more than 2. 2 million, for Gauteng (Johannesburg), Cape Town and Durban. }

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Unravelling the Secrets of California's Lake Tahoe

Aired August 7, 1998 - LOU WATERS, CNN: What lies at the deep, dark bottom of California’s Lake Tahoe? Scientists are beginning to find out because of a new mapping project by the U. S. Geological Survey.

Reporter Deborah Pacyna from CNN affiliate KXTV has the story from Lake Tahoe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH PACYNA, KXTV REPORTER (voice-over): The crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, mysteriously withholding its deepest secrets. But now scientists are probing under the glass lake surface, mapping the bottom of the lake.

LANCE STUMPF, COAST GUARD: I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with, you know, especially the actual depth of the lake, which seems to be in question right now.

PACYNA: The truth is no one really knows exactly how deep the lake is or whether canyons or landslides exists on the bottom. Scientists with the U. S. Geological Survey are using sophisticated sonar in the nose of their ship. Sixty separate invisible beams scour the floor. The finished image should look like this: A high resolution map of the San Francisco Bay; a 3-D view that can locate objects as small as a car.

(on camera): There are dozens of legends about what lies at the bottom of Lake Tahoe, everything from aeroplanes, to stagecoaches full of gold, to a sea monster known as ‘Tahoe Tessic. ‘

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably boats, maybe plain crashes, maybe the sea monster. I don't know.

PACYNA: Do you believe in the sea monster?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yes, it's around here, yes. They have pictures and stuff in the newspaper.

PACYNA: Bob McCormick made up the legend of Tessic, but believes there’s something out there, possibly a sturgeon.

BOB MCCORMICK, TAHOE TESSIC ORIGINATOR: They see something long, very long, usually at least 20 feet long, that moves in the water; it's very dark, smooth; it rolls through the water. PACYNA: You can read about Tessic at King's Beach in a museum that 's devoted to the creature, or maybe catch a glimpse of the monster yourself. But if you believe the locals, not even a high-tech mission will be able to uncover all the mysteries hidden beneath the emerald waters

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Victoria (BC) Times-Colonist, 2 August 1998 .

[Letter to the Editor]

Second Thoughts

Re: Cadborosaurus being camera-shy, the article of July 23. There are a couple of things I would like to clarify.

Although there were three people in the boat at the time of the sighting, two on board- Tommy Schmuck and Ruth Cross- saw and recognised Caddy as such, but the third person, Les Monnington did not agree that the creature we spotted was indeed Caddy.

Les insisted, and still does, that it was a couple of salmon ‘finning. ‘

Also, the distance the creature came near was 100 feet, not 90 metres.

Ruth Cross, Sooke.

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Victoria (BC) Times-Colonist, 12 July 1998 , p 13 of ‘Islander, ’ a separate tabloid included with the newspaper each Sunday.

Our View

Time to Bring Cadborosaurus to Scientific Surface

We have a proposal for a scientific explanation of what has been a derisive expert response to our continuing search for the real Cadborosaurus. What does Caddy lack? In a word, respect. He (or she) does not rate an entry in the *Canadian Encyclopedia*, but Ogopogo does.

Now we are presented with a cryptozoological surmise that Cadborsaurus and Ogopogo may be related. Ed Bousfield, a relentless researcher in the field, makes the reasonable assumption that both animals might have arrived 10,000 years ago.

Thus Ogopogo, so the reasoning goes, could have become landlocked in the Okanagan where Columbia River dams have blocked direct access to the ocean for both salmon and serpents.

Caddy, of course, has stayed within splashing distance of the Uplands all these years, perhaps contributing to the past decade's huge increment in waterfront property values.

Eyewitness descriptions of both animals describe a horse-like head, snake-like body, flippers and a split tail. Sketches of the animal suggest a water-borne moose is loose.

The similarity of the basic elements of Caddy sightings are documented in this newspaper's files. In fact, an editor of the Times gets credit for naming the creature after a sighting was reported in 1928.

There are also some suggestive petroglyphs and legends from aboriginal sources to encourage further investigation of Caddy's existence.

Such research, based on sound scientific principles, is essential, Bousfield says. There is enough substance in the historical record to mandate a full scientific review of the Cadborosarus phenomenon, he says.

Some support for this viewpoint has emerged in the United States where researchers claim the number and similarity of sightings is evidence enough to justify further study of unidentified flying objects. There is also a considerable body of expert evidence documenting mob hysteria, recovered memory syndrome and mass hallucinations.

All this is good news for Victorians during these summer days; sitting on the beach watching for sea monsters is a useful assignment. To paraphrase the *X-Files* premise, we may not be alone.

Victoria (BC) Times-Colonist, 21 July 1998 , p. A5.

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Caddy Attracts New Fans

‘I'm a believer now, ’ said Hugh Campbell who was boating with his wife Sally and daughters as the sea monster Cadborosaurus rose from the calm waters at 5:30 p.m. ‘My wife saw the water moving and then saw this thing round and black. It was quite fat, more than a foot across. It has stepped fins on its back. ‘

The family was about halfway between the cement plant and Senanus Islanden route to spread their dead son's ashes. The monster quickly disappeared, but five minutes later his daughter pointed to two dead heads. When Campbell looked he saw two dark objects like coils and then they disappeared.

Farther up the inlet they heard a commotion on shore and a swooshing sound. ‘My wife is 100 per cent sure of what she saw, ’ he said. ‘We have all seen other sea life and it was none of that . It wasn't a seal or otter. ‘

This is the traditional time for Caddy to come in to the Inlet to bear its young, said monster hunter Ed Bousfield.

Sightings are more frequent around July and August, but overall sightings of the creature have dropped off with not one in the past year.

‘I think he has at least a probable, ’ Bousfield said after talking to Campbell. ‘This is the perfect time of year in the Inlet. Usually you see two animals near together that are a mating pair.' He said boaters in the area should keep their eyes and cameras peeled for the monster to get some solid documentation.

Cadborosaurus has been sighted many times over the centuries and is recorded in aboriginal legend.

[This rash of sightings follows the appearance of a newspaper article in which Caddy hunter Ted Bousfield remarked that the creature seemed uncharacteristically coy this year. What can it all mean?- Brian]

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Victoria (BC) Times-Colonist, 24 July 1998 , Trio Report Seeing Caddy Yet another Caddy sighting, this time by Pam Dark and two friends off Ten Mile Point Wednesday night.

They saw it heading south at 9:05 p.m.

‘It was moving so quickly. It had its head out of the water. The head was long and he had two ear things. Behind it was a long, rippling trail and the water looked black. ‘