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Sunday, June 20, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Lake Hodges monster

There is apparently a monster in Lake Hodges. Lake Hodges is in fact a reservoir. Hodges Lake itself is 6.5 miles long and has 19 miles of shoreline.

The story of the lake creature starts in 1916 when a Col. Ed Fletcher convinced the Santa Fe Railroad to create a dam to provide water for the new town being built up.The river that runs in to the lake had run through the Del Dios valley for 40,000 years.. Reports of the indigenous people’s warnings about a river creature are dismissed as an attempt to stop the project. In 1919 the construction was finished creating a dam at the end of Lake Hodges to create a much larger lake.

In 1921 some local San Diego fishermen report seeing .a large disturbance in the water. Rumours that the Navy may have been conducting underwater tests on early submarines were denied by the U.S. Navy .

Then in 1923 there were more complaints from local Lake Hodges fishermen reported. In the same year both the mines in the area report their heavy rock extraction equipment had been pushed over or partially crushed. The Sheriff wrote a report that said whoever did it appears to have used a boat to get to the mines and must have wiped away any footprints, as none were seen.

In 1929 the Escondido Mayor John L. Offitt formally requests that the City of San Diego look into reports of a creature in Lake Hodges.

In 1930 the researchers reported no conclusive evidence of a creature but although one assistant did report seeing a lizard-like head breaking the surface of the lake .

In 1931 a boat docked on a small pier was destroyed. Once more no footprints are found and the police write in their report that there appears to have been "...great turmoil under the water along the base of the pier, from a boat or underwater vessel...or perhaps a large creature."

In 1932 attempts were made to capture the Lake Hodges monster. A large cage-like trap was made and a small sea lion was secured inside as bait. Cameras held underwater in glass containers . Nothing was captured but the sea lion bait disappeared and one photograph was taken from one of the buoy cameras. The project was cancelled after a public outcry when it became known that sea lions were being used as bait.

Then in 1956 highly toxic chemicals were put in the lake to kill all of the fish. The lake was then restocked with new fish.. An anonymous statement written on City of San Diego letterhead stated that officials were not just attempting to kill the carp in the lake but also the monster.

The story should have ended there but in 1966 a family picnic outing turned into a frightening experience when a large creature surfaced about 150 feet (48 metres) offshore. There were in total seven eye witnesses whose stories all corroborated. So either the lake monster(nicknamed Hodgee) was not in the lake when it was poisoned or was immune to it. Perhaps the dose wasn’t high enough to kill a large creature.

An article from May 15, 2005

Ron Hall knows a lot more about Hodgee than I do. He walks the lake almost every day. He could tell you everything on the Monster History Web site (www.hodgee.com/history.html). He knows that local Native Americans warned about a river creature in the region before the Hodges Dam was built in 1918. He knows there were many reported sightings after the dam was completed. (The last one was in 1966). There's even a photograph that verifies that the lake at least used to be home to something that can truthfully be described as a "lump." Leonard Nimoy did not rush out to do an "In Search Of" episode. But Hall, 76, still leads Hodgee hunters on lake tours. (The next will be July 9). Hodgee is a hook to lure visitors. Kids love it. "It makes a good story," Hall said. "Anything to get people to come out." The abundant rainfall has perked up the local flora and fauna, and Hall, a volunteer with the San Dieguito River Park, tells the uninitiated what they're seeing. He also goes into Hodges' history and describes the water project that will stabilize the lake level.
"I also talk about the American Indian lore," Hall said. "It's a nice outing."

However I found when researching this that there is supposed to a volcanic fault in the lake bed. So earth tremors which would explain the wrecked boats, mining equipment and disturbances in the water but not the head nor humps seen by some eye witnesses. Being a man-made lake has not stopped other lakes being the supposed home of lake monsters and it was originally a smaller lake before the river was dammed so some large fish or creature could have been trapped there.

To find out more :http://www.hodgee.com/ “The LHSRC is a research organization that is dedicated to learning more about the unexplained phenomena related to Lake Hodges. In particular, we are focused on the so-called "Lake Hodges Monster," known locally as "Hodgee."”

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

In this case the "Lizardlike" descriptions prevail and it parallels several other reported big lizardlike creatures seen in the area, including other "Lake Monsters" in Arizona and Southern California. They are essentially sightings of one of the things called "Chupacabras", a big lizard with a spiny back-crest, and more usually seen as a land animal. I had personal information of such a creature being reportedly connected to animal mutilations in the 1970s when I had just joined the SITU, and the creature is legendary in Mexico, where it is reputed to rob graves. It is more likely a big iguana lizard and primarily a herbivore, and there are similar reports from South America.