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.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LINDSAY SELBY: Texas Lake monster?

Lindsay Selby sent us this by e-mail. As soon as I read it I thought that this is something we can investigate. We do, after all, have our specialist crypto SWAT team in Texas, although they are actually at Loch Ness at the moment; so I have emailed the details on to Naomi, and await developments with interest....

I came across a web page dedicated to a lake serpent in Lake Granbury in Texas.


Lake Granbury was created in 1969 and is only one of three lakes damming the Brazos river. It is a narrow lake, encompassed by 103 miles (221 km) of shore-line. The web page author states : "Sadly there is a strange side to this pleasant community. Slowly more people have come to realize this fact as local newspapers and Japanese television started to feature reports about a prehistoric water serpent living in Lake Granbury." The report continues: "Early Spanish traders use to whisper stories about a giant serpent, which roamed the depths of Lake Granbury." (However, as the lake is only a recent creation because of a dam they perhaps mean the river) and then : "At 180 kilometers in length and with depths of almost 1,200 feet, it is not unreasonable to believe that something large and very unusual may live in these waters."

Well, there are stories of giant fish from other man-made lakes. This creature goes by the name of “Old One Eye”. I have been unable to discover anymore about it but this one site. It is described alternately as a dinosaur or as a huge serpent and supposedly Old One-Eye has terrorised fishermen for decades. Strange, then, that I could find so little about it.

Texas has other sightings and stories of sea and lake monsters. One of the earliest recorded sightings comes from the Caddo Indians of east Texas. According to Caddo mythology, a boy sighted a water monster in the river and ran upriver for two miles before he got to its head. Also from Caddo mythology is the story of a monster in Caddo Lake that would attack anyone making loud noises on the water.

Then in 1872 the captain and crew of the Norwegian ship St. Olaf witnessed something strange off the Galveston coast. Below is the actual sworn statement from the captain:

"Report of Captain A. Hassel, of barque St. Olaf, from Newport to Galveston, Texas. Two days before arrival at Galveston, and about 4:30 P.M. on May 13, weather calm, smooth sea, lat.26 52", long. 91 20", I saw a shoal of sharks passing the ship. Five or six came under the vessel's stern, but before we could get out a line they went off with the rest. About two minutes after, one of the men sang out that he saw something on the weather bow, like a cask on its end. Presently another one called out that he saw something rising out of the water like a tall man. On a nearer approach we saw it was an immense serpent, with its head out of the water, about 200 ft. from the vessel. He lay still on the surface of the water, lifting his head up, and moving the body in a serpentine manner. Could not see all of it; but what we could see, from the after part of the head, was about 70 ft. long and of the same thickness all the way, excepting about the head and neck, which were smaller, and the former flat, like the head of a serpent. It had four fins on its back, and the body of a yellow greenish colour, with brown spots all over the upper part and underneath white. The whole crew were looking at it for fully ten minutes before it moved away. It was about six feet in diameter. One of the mates has drawn a slight sketch of the serpent, which will give some notion of its appearance. -- A. Hassel, master of Norwegian barque St. Olaf. --Witness to signature, J. Fredk. Walthew."

From: The Great Sea Serpent: An Historical and Critical Treatise. A.C. Oudemans 1892. (pages 64-65).

Does anyone out in the CFZ world know anything about this "Old One Eye" or is it just an urban myth? I had to include the sea serpent sighting; I love these historical accounts.


Tabitca said...

By gum . you are a grand lot down south.
Thanks Jon, :-) I look forward to hearing what they turn up.

Unknown said...

When they were young, my dad and uncle went out on the lake in a flat bottom to find a better spot to fish. (Yes, they were being foolish) While sitting upon the lake ‘some big fish’ rolled in the water near their boat almost capsizing them. Scared they went back to the shore and being true anglers fished from the shore that day. Even to this day, my father describes it as a ‘big fish’. I am not sure which lake (It could have been Granbury or Whitney) I will ask him next time I visit.

Bluff said...

I found the old one eye article funny.
If his body has not been found, how do they know tentacles erupted around the boat and capsized it?

But apart from that, how about:

The story states that one "Gordon Sumner" was out in his boat "Sahara" to publicize his boat "Secret Journey, a life in synchronicity"

Gordon Sumner is the real name of Sting, lead singer of the Police.
Their songs include:

Secrect Journey
Tea in the Sahara.

I'm just saying ;-)

borky said...

“Old One Eye”?

And what colour, precisely, was this singular 'eye' - brown?

Somebody's probably choking somebody's 'sea serpent', here.

Nick Redfern said...


I know of this story. It's actually not too far away from us, so one of the days I'll dig into it deeper and have a drive up there...loik.

Chris Clark said...

And this Gordon Sumner has a Mach 8 boat! That would be about 5500 mph. Someones having a laugh here.

Cullan Hudson said...

Yeah, this definitely smacks of a bad internet hoax. In addition to the interesting things already pointed out, I find this odd: "At 180 kilometers in length and with depths of almost 1,200 feet..." Who mixes kilometers and feet???

Geoff313 said...

There isn't a lake monster in Granbury. Its a man made lake that I have been going to since I was 5. I just recently heard of it and the idea is just idiotic. There are some huge catfish there and thats it.

Geoff313 said...

There isn't a Lake Monster in Granbury. It's a man made lake for God's sake. The only thing there are some big ol' catfish. I've seen them be up to 50 lbs.

Caeti said...

I love in Granbury, and sadly our lake is only 75 feet deep at the deepest point. I haven't heard of these rumors and stories, but they are terribly fascinating!