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Friday, May 28, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: The OTHER Trout Lake Monster

In view of the thing found washed up at Trout Lake Ontario (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/big-trout-lake-monster-sparks-internet-debate/article1576748/), I thought I would look at other lake monster tales from there.

Trout Lake is alleged to have another monster. According to Wilson Street, a local historian and author, there have been reports of large swells of water, shadows and figures of various proportions and sizes, much , he says, like the Loch Ness monster. The lake is a glacial one, like many others from the Ice Age where there have been lake monster reports. Street says the lake is considered almost bottomless in parts.

The stories about the alleged monster gained more attention after the mysterious disappearance of Margaret and Allen Campbell on May 25, 1956. Apparently, after eating lunch they went out in their fibreglass boat, and were never seen again. In 2006 the Ontario Provincial Police, acting on a report from a fisherman, used imaging equipment and discovered the couple’s bodies on the bottom of the lake, not far from the cabin. Their boat was also found.

Local sighting reports of the 'monster' have included crocodile/alligator-like creatures, and serpent-like creatures (sounds familiar doesn’t it?).

The latest carcass of some rather ugly looking poor dead creature has sparked some controversy. Some residents of Big Trout Lake, an Oji-Cree community of 1,200 south of Hudson Bay, believe the animal is a rare local creature known as an omajinaakoos, which roughly translates to 'ugly one.' Band councillor Darryl Sainnawap said his great uncle spotted one about 50 years ago. “He says in his younger days he was with his grandfather ... and he did see this same creature and that’s the last time he saw it," he said. “His grandfather called him omajinaakoos." Some local elders in the community, which is also known as Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, believe the animal is a messenger of bad news. “No one knows what it is but our ancestors used to call it the Ugly One. Rarely seen but when seen, it’s a bad omen. Something bad will happen according to our ancestors," the community’s website says.

Lets’s hope nothing bad happens, but the monster tales have been around for while and it will be interesting to see if more sightings are reported after the recent publicity. Sometimes it encourages people to come forward.

John Robert Columbo (1999), "Mysteries of Ontario", Toronto: Hounslow Press, (page. 163 to read about Wilson Street )

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

Yes, both descriptions of crocodilelike (?Salamanderlike) and "Serpentlike" creatures are recurrant in other areas both in Ontario and more widely distributed also. But they actually describe different things.

I'd be interested in seeing more details about the "Crocodile-like" reports and whether they could be discounted as bad sightings of pikes. The mere allegation of "Serpentlike" reports is nearly universal and does not necesarily MEAN anything of any importance. More specifics are needed before they actually count for anything.