Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Friday, April 16, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: A little blog

Paddler is the name of the lake creature that supposedly inhabits Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. The lake is said to be Idaho's deepest lake at almost 1200 feet and is 43 miles long and just over six miles wide at its widest point. The creature has been described as over 20 feet long and that it moves up and down in the water as it swims (undulates).

The first sighting was said to be in 1944; however, there were also rumours that the navy were testing submarines in the lake.

In the 1970s more stories appeared about a monster in the lake. In September 1977 a young girl was reportedly attacked by a strange creature near the Sandpoint City Beach. Journalists called the creature the 'Pend Oreille Paddler.'

In 1984 an expedition to the lake by a North Idaho College professor James R. McLeod concluded that the creature was most likely to be a giant sturgeon. While collecting testimonies McLeod noted that many people had reported seeing strange things on the lake; possibly submarines.

The US Navy admitted to using the deep end of the lake for submarine research, albeit many years later. The International Submarine Engineering group (ISE) of Canada also used the lake to test the Pisces I minisub in the 1960s. However, the story doesn’t end there:

On Memorial Day 1985 Julie Green and her friends set out for an afternoon on the lake in the mid-afternoon sun. The teacher from Coeur d'Alene reports that a large V-shaped wave crossed about 200 yards in front of her boat. "There was clearly something in the water ahead of us that was undulating, coming in and out of the water," she recalls. Green dropped her engine and gave chase, but the gunmetal-grey object, which rivalled the length of her 22-foot boat, soon outdistanced her.

So does the paddler really exist? There was speculation that it was a story put about by the navy to cover their activities. A sturgeon is of course a possibility but in such a deep lake could there be something else lurking? Maybe the navy should use a mini-sub to find out.

There is a book on the creature by James R. McLeod: Mysterious Lake Pend Oreille and its Monster.


borky said...

Lindsay, 'Paddler''s such an innocuous name it's never go'n'o catch on.

If we could establish somehow the level of the lake's significantly risen over the years and this critter's responsible then we could redub it, 'Piddler'.

By the way, I'm not taking the p*ss with this vaguely humorous 'observation' - I actually think this less glamorous side of the field's just as important as the almost overly covered highly charismatic critters like Nessie, (which nevertheless play their part in the general ecology of the field by electrifying the attention of, say, future would-be cryptozoologist youngsters like my own kids for whom Nessie's - amazingly! - still something entirely new and unknown).

Tabitca said...

LOL piddler .I have been looking for Nessie for 40 years and it is still something new and unknown to me.:-)
Good for you getting your children interested in cryptozoology. The next generation may find answers that we can't.