The latest Russian Lake Monster story has taken the cryptozoological world by storm, and today both Richard Freeman and Dale Drinnon provide their own unique takes on the events...
This article appeared in the Daily Mail in the UK, the other day, and can be found here
Russian fishermen demand an investigation into killer Nesski's 19 lake deaths in three years
Russian fishermen are demanding a probe into a creature resembling the Loch Ness monster in a remote Siberian lake. Locals say that 'Nesski' has devoured anglers who have been pulled into the murky waters of Lake Chany from their boats. Those claiming to have glimpsed the creature say it resembles the classic long-necked image of Scotland's fabled monster. It has also been called 'snake-like', while other accounts suggest a large fin and huge tail.
In this photo illustration, a witness points to where one of the men went missing, alongside a close-up of the creature that has been dubbed 'Nesski' The latest mysterious death of a 59-year-old man last week has fuelled demands for a proper probe into what lurks beneath the surface of Chany, one of Russia's largest freshwater lakes. 'I was with my friend... some 300 yards from the shore,' said 60-year-old Vladimir Golishev. ''He hooked something huge on his bait, and he stood up in the boat to reel it in.
'But it pulled with such force that he overturned the boat. I was in shock - I had never seen anything like it in my life.
'I pulled off my clothes and swam for the shore, not daring hope I would make it.'
He said his friend was pulled under the surface, a description in common with earlier incidents. 'He didn't make it - and they have found no remains.' Three years ago 32-year-old Mikhail Doronin - a special services soldier - was lost. 'The lake was calm, but suddenly the boat was rocking, and it capsized,' said his 80-year-old grandmother Nina, who has lived beside the lake all her life. 'Something of an awesome scale lives in the lake, but I have never seen it,' said her husband, Vladimir, 81. Official figures say 19 people have drowned in the lake in the past three years and in most cases their remains were never found. Locals say the true figures are higher. Some bodies that have been washed up had been eaten by a creature with large teeth, they claim.
'It is time to find out the truth,' said Golishev.
Unlike deep Loch Ness, Lake Chany is no than 23 feet in depth. Frozen in winter, it is warm and popular with swimmers in summer. It is known to contain large carp.
The lake is 57 miles in length by 55 miles in width. A relic of the Ice Age, accounts of monsters in its waters were first made public in Soviet times.--Lake Chany is about 200 miles east of Omsk and is in the Ob River system basin. However I thought it might help to add a quick map of the Central Asian Water Monsters to demonstrate the common threads among them (locations of some lakes are only roughly indicated owing to the scale)
Here is a quick rundown on these creatures from standard internet sources (Wikipedia, etc: ultimately drawn from sources such as Peter Costello and Bord and Bord)
Canavar (Lake Van in Turkey): Also known as Vanna or the Lake Van monster, this creature has created quite the controversey of late since the Lake Van footage was taken. This shows an object, presumed to be the monster, swimming at great speeds through the lake. Then there is a close up of the beast's presumed head which could be legitimate, although there is something odd about the way the creature moves. A legend of a beast in the lake goes as far back as all written history of the region goes, and there is a depiction of the beast in an engraving in an ancient church on one of the lake's four islands. The canavar is said to bear triangular spikes on it's back. These could be the scutes along a sturgeon's spine.
Vorota beast (Lake Vorota in Siberia): One of several isolated lakes on the Sordongnokh tablelands which are said to contain monsters. The closest villiage is 120 kilometers away from the lake, and even so very few, if any, people ever visit the lake, because they are afraid of the beast within. It was seen by a geologic expedition to the tableland, and sicne then a few expeditions have been sent to look for of, two out the three having seen the creature. It is described as being about ten meters long, with a head two meters wide with widely seperated eyes. It was grey in colour and had a dorsal fin about one meter high, being shaped like the fin of a shark or porpoise. It was said to move "in a jumping manner", in the fashion of a porpoise. Other sightings saw the same creature, sometimes describing "humps" on the surface. The humps as usual merely indicate the waves in the wake on the surface.
Lake Labinkir carnivore (Lake Labinkir in Siberia): Another Siberian creature, the Lake Labinkir beast is feared because of it's dangerously agressive disposition and carnivorous habits. The first reliable reports date back to the 60's, as that is when people started to settle more aound the lake. Witnesses saw the beast swimming beneath the lake ice, and said it was lizard-like. It should be mentioned that Lake Labinkir is freezing cold, and is covered in ice for much of the year. People have also observed the creatures rising out of the lake to catch birds in mid flight, and one hunter who sent his dog to retrieve a goose that had fallen in to the lake after being shot lost both the goose and his dog to the beast! This all sounds very similar to Ogopogo, and the "Long Neck" reports due to the long fishlike creature occasionally leaping into the air.
Kokkol (Various lakes of Turkestan, Central Asia): Named after Lake Kokkol, where one such beast was seen by an archaeologist and his son, the Kokkol creatures are large serpents said to dwell in various lakes in the Tien Shan mountain range area. The beasts are said to be immense serpents, perhaps 20 meters long, inhabiting the cold lakes. The head is described as being similar to a beluga sturgeon's head in size and shape, but the estimated body length is doubled of what it should be.
The Lake Kanas giant fish are also in the area where China abuts Russia and Mongolia. These are often written of as if they are gigantic landlocked salmon (Hucho) but it seems that this is based on a mosprint for the genus of giant Sturgeon, Huso.
It would seem that the "Nesski" is another fish of the same type: Huso sturgeon can be very large, and capable of running into small boats and upsetting them. There are other reports elsewhere alleging that they will eat swimming men and dogs, and so that part is not surprising. NONE of these Water-monsters are really long-necked, and the "Nesski" photgraph very likely simply shows the sharklike tailfin of a big sturgeon going away.
Once again to recap in case some readers have missed it, Huso sturgeon are of a different body shape than ste smaller Acipenser sturgeon, shaped more like a whale with a much blunter snout. Their scutes are relatively smaller and spread out instead of overlapping. There is a good chance that the white sturgeon of the far Western parts of North America are Huso sturgeons, but any sturgeons at Loch Ness would NOT be. The ones that are seen as "Water monsters" in Central Asia and Siberia might well be of the "Known" species: but if a similar creature is being sighted in Central Canada and the Great Lakes region, it is presumably an unknown species: Huso is supposed to be unknown there.