Sasquatch Coffee


Photos of Pennslyvania Lake Monster?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 20th, 2006

For decades there have been many sightings of a creature in Huntingdon County’s Raystown Lake. Old photos show large shadowy figures just below the surface, boaters describing sudden water turbulence and strange appearances of a large water creature, Raystown Ray.

February 2006

Raystown Ray

The first known photograph of Raystown Ray. Photographed by a local fisherman looking over the lake from the Huntingdon Co. Visitor’s Bureau Center, close to Seven Points Marina. A series of 25-30 photos were taken and will be published at a later time.

Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau – PRESS RELEASE April 2006

Raystown Ray

"We’ve known it’s been in there a while now," admitted Managing Director of Raystown Lake Dwight Beall when he was asked his thoughts on this astonishing discovery. "It’s a private creature, but it comes out around this time of year. Call it Raystown’s own Punxatawny Phil."

Call it what you will, but this is no ground hog swimming in the water. It seems that our favorite Pennsylvania lake may now have a mascot.

When asked his professional opinion, Jeff Krause, Wildlife Biologist at Raystown Lake submitted the following statement in writing: "I believe it must be a vegetarian. We have not seen any evidence of this animal taking fish, geese, otters, or ducks. So I would suggest that our swimmers and boaters are very safe. It appears this animal’s habits are similar to Manatees, which are completely herbivorous and gentle. The increase of weed beds around the lake is probably providing more food in the shallows for herbivores and that would increase sightings." Krause concluded with, "Even if a visitor does not get a chance to see ‘Ray’ while at the lake, there is an excellent chance to see nesting Bald Eagles and recently re-introduced Osprey and River Otters, which were not present just a few years ago."

It is a wonder how "Ray" has managed to stay submersed with nearly 2 million visitors frequenting the lake each year to fulfill their boating and other recreational activity needs. According to Raystown Lake staff, the lake spans about 30 miles and contains 8,300 acres of water. With depths of the lake being over 185 feet deep, the lake remains over 100 feet deep at Seven Points, which is 10 miles upstream from the dam. With numerous coves, submerged timber, and other structures there is plenty of room for "Ray" to hide.

Should there be reason for caution though? Beall notes that "Ray has been known to scare off 50 pound striped bass." Hopefully this is not true for the anglers participating in this year’s fifth annual Stu Tinney Reunion Striper Tournament hosted by the Raystown Striper Club. Dates are May 13 and 14 with Mr. Tinney scheduled to be present this year for the event. For more information on the event, "Ray," or the Wildlife at Raystown Lake visit the Raystown Lake Region’s Visitor Center.

About Raystown Lake Region

The Raystown Lake Region of The Alleghenies’ tourism services are provided by the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau located in the Raystown Lake Visitor Center. The Center is in the Seven Points Recreation area of Raystown Lake just 8 miles south of Huntingdon.

The mission of the bureau is to develop and implement strategic marketing initiatives, which will result in increased visitation to the region. Visitor Services specialists can be contacted at 1-888-Raystown or visit www.raystown.org

Raystown Ray

Photos from the past showing a shadowy creature

What is believed to be Ray captured in older photos shows a dark figure just below the surface.

Raystown Ray

Raystown Ray

Artist’s concept of the creature

Raystown Ray

All content is taken from the Raystown Ray website

This lake is man-made, resulting from the construction of the Raystown Dam that was completed in 1912. How likely is there to be a lake monster in a man-made lake less than 100 years old? How did it get there?

What do the readers of Cryptomundo think? 

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster.


47 Responses to “Photos of Pennslyvania Lake Monster?”

  1. jjames1 responds:

    I think they’re making it up–and they’re essentially admitting it. From the press release:

    “The mission of the bureau is to develop and implement strategic marketing initiatives, which will result in increased visitation to the region.”

    I would say that creating a “lake monster” would be a pretty creative and clever strategic marketing initiative.

    There are no other mentions of this “creature” online that I could find (with one exception–a message board post apparently referring to a local news station doing a report on this same press release). It’s all just marketing. Nothing to see here…

  2. embrynat2000 responds:

    It’s amazing that nobody can ever get a definitive shot of one of these lake monsters. It’s always the fuzzy out of focus pictures of floating tree branches and logs.

  3. jonom responds:

    That first photo looks totally fake.

    There seems to be something wrong with the perspective, and the shadow on the “creature” doesn’t look right.

    It would be nice to see higher-res images.

  4. shovethenos responds:

    The fact the lake is man-made and less than 100 years old is very suspicious. About the only thing that might mitigate this is if it were only a couple miles from natural lakes or other large bodies of water, anyone know if that is the case? The other possibility is a “stocked” lake monster, which is extreeemely farfetched.

    The theory that it is herbivorous is also pretty sketchy – all the usual suspects for lake monsters are carnivorous. Mokele mbembe is allegedly herbivorous, but it isn’t usually classified as a lake monster. That’s part of the tip-off that it is likely to be a marketing gimmick -”Ray’s herbivorous therefore he isn’t a danger to tourists”.

    embrynat2000-

    In my opinion the many blurry pictures of lake monsters are forgivable – refraction makes it difficult for photographers above the surface to accurately capture what is below the surface. Take the Lake Champlain footage from last summer – those guys allegedly watched it for a decent amount of time and clearly believe it was an animal they had never seen before, but all they could get were some strange wave patterns and a blurry shape under the surface.

  5. mrdark responds:

    Man-made lake = no ancient lake creature, but excellent marketing concept. Too bad it comes at the expense of cryptozoology.

  6. Chymo responds:

    I dunno, perhaps Charles Fort was right about his theory that there is some unknown force repopulating empty lakes & ponds with fish & animal life, hence rains of frogs & fishes. Maybe this force also deposits grossly out-of-place-&-time creatures such as prehistoric lake reptiles?

  7. MMTHPOOLGHOSTCAMPR responds:

    I agree with the above comments. All these people want is a mascot to draw in more visitors, count me out.

  8. Tabitca responds:

    There are lots of people who say the same thing about Nessie..it’s a marketing ploy. However I have my doubts about a man made lake holding an ancient creature or any large creature…unless someone put something in there such as a sturgeon(everybodys’ favourite scapegoat), a large snake or eel.
    Or Frank Searle is back……(cue ghostly laughter)

  9. fuzzy responds:

    This whole thing may be a ruse ~ take a look at the shape of the Lake! Then click on it for a closer look.

    Doesn’t it resemble a water beast?

    On the other hand, there are many reports of water monsters showing up in small lakes and farm ponds, even tales of those ponds being drained afterwards with no sign of the beast, so how they got into the water and where they went afterwards is all part of the mystery.

    On the third hand, this does look like a great PR piece, and it is a nifty lake!

  10. LordofShades responds:

    All negative comments aside, wouldn’t it be great to have another American Lake Monster? As for the “Stocked” theory, the one answer to it all is the same answer as to many other things, “Who can say for sure?” I know that we have to take the logic of it into consideration, and it sounds like a marketing ploy, but if it’s real, wouldn’t it be great if this is the one we could prove? Maybe even the one to make P&T kiss all our collective butts? And that, people, would truly be a wonderful thing.

  11. jjames1 responds:

    Guys, seriously: it’s not real. I know all of us *want* things like this to be real, but don’t let that get in the way of logic. Re-read the press release. Look at my first post. This is all just marketing to get more tourists to the area! It’s a great idea, quite frankly…

  12. cor2879 responds:

    While a marketing ploy certainly makes the most sense… I won’t dismiss this one outright just yet. I’d like to see just a litte more digging into this subject.

  13. fuzzy responds:

    jjames-11 ~ glad you agree about the marketing value.

    IMAGINARY CONVERSATION:
    Managing Director of Raystown Lake Dwight Beall, addressing Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau’s annual “Advertising & Marketing Meeting”: “Y’know, boys, I was lookin’ at a map of our Lake and I noticed that it kinda looks like a dragon or an eel or somethin’, and it occurred to me that it might be a fun thing to put out a Press Release hinting that there’s one of them there monsters in the lake ~ you know, generate some controversy and interest, get more fishermen and tourists up here…”

    Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Director Wally Balloo: “Hey, I like that idea! We could put it on the Internet ~ my nephew Bobby Joe is really good at doin’ them fake pictures that look just like they’re real ~ he did this one of me catchin’ a 50 pound striped bass from my canoe an-”

    MDRLDB: “Damn, Wally, I saw that in the paper, an’ I thought it was real!”

    HCVBDWB: “See what I mean? We could get tons of folks down here lookin’ for the monster – we oughta give it a name, you know, like they have for that one up in Lake Champl-”

    MDRLDB: “‘Champ’ – that’s what they call it, ‘Champ’. Good idea – we could call it Alice, that’s my wife’s name, and I’m always telling her she’s my little monst-”

    HCVBDWB: “Nahhh – that’s not scary enough – I wouldn’t cross the street to see a fish named Alice – we need something really scary, like, um, The Jabberwocky or -”

    MDRLDB: “I think that’s been done – we need something with the Lake’s name in it – Raystown something – Ralph, no, Rudy, no – how about Randy – that oughta bring the ladies, too.”

    HCVBDWB: “Nah, that’s my brother’s name – how about Ray? “Raystown Ray”? Kinda friendly, won’t scare the kids – we could have Bobby Joe make up a logo with a sketch of Raystown Ray on it, smiling…”

    ************

    Anyway, let’s not overlook the educational aspects here. Learn that ambiguous images can be offered as truth. Learn that arguable statements can be interpreted in various ways. Learn that tourist money REALLY talks!

  14. jjames1 responds:

    cor2879 – Why do you want to see more investigation? Is there any aspect of this story/press release that indicates that it even might be real? If there is, I certainly don’t see it. How do you address the fact that there’s no mention of the creature anywhere other than this press release?

  15. greywolf responds:

    Well if you keep fish in a small bowl they stay small , when you have them in a large tank they tend to grow large. Now if some amphibian lives in a lake is it possiable that it could adapt to the size of the lake (ie) 8300 acres with average depth of 185 feet.

  16. twblack responds:

    jjames 1: You have hit the nail RIGHT on the head as much as we want it to be real nothing here but the come see our made up lake monster and oh by the way spend lots and lots of $$$$ while you are here. This is prob. why the other 25 or 30 photos are going to be released yet. I would say they never will be or only after the summer tourism season is over anyway.

    I like the public guy he says “we’ve known its been in their for a while now”
    What it took this long to come up with a good fake photo first then say hey come on over here and see what we got. If I am wrong I will gladly eat my words with salt. But I do not think I have a thing to worry about. Oh and man made lake to me just puts the icing on the cake and maybe a big ole cherry too.

  17. inspector71 responds:

    well hey! there have been reports in the past of something navigating on land between loch morar, i believe it is and loch ness, also sightings by sheep herders in the low hills so why couldn’t a creature make its way to another water source man made or not.

  18. jjames1 responds:

    Craig, Loren, John, or Rick – any thoughts from any of you? Do you agree with me that this is all manufactured hype?

  19. Tabitca responds:

    A friend just sent me this:Sometimes, however a mutation occurs and the eel is sterile. These stay in fresh water and keep on growing. Known as eunuch eels no one knows how old they get or how big. In February 2004 two Canadian tourists came upon a 25-foot eel floating in the shallows of Loch Ness. At first they thought it was dead but when it began to move they beat a hasty retreat. In the 1980s a 20-foot eel was reported in the Birmingham Ship Canal. This is a new one on me.Has anyone else heard of this big eel sighting in Loch Ness and If this sterile eel thing is true …could it be raystown ray? I’m inclined to take this with a pinch of salt but will contact a marine/ estuary biologist I know to ask his opinion.It’s after 1am here in the UK so will do it tommorrow.I agree with you jjames, but I am always prepared to be wrong.:-)

  20. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Tabitca (18) – I’m with you on eels. There’s something about them.

    But regarding the current post – maybe yonder across the Pacific you have bunyips of your own?

    As a resident in the land of Aus, I totally, without any real analysis, completely rejected any notion of bunyips as Aboriginal dreaming.

    Now that I’ve read the accounts of why there are those who will believe that bunyips did exist – even during colonial times – I can’t be so sure of myself.

    The reason I’m saying it, is that bunyips did leave the water and navigate on land. Mind you – the Raystown bunyip is a long way from home! :)

  21. youcantryreachingme responds:

    for more info on bunyips.

  22. shovethenos responds:

    Haven’t seen anything on how big the Raystown river was before they dammed it, where it flows from, or how close it is to any other large bodies of water. It’s possible something could have been trapped there or migrated from somewhere close by, but it’s a long shot. It’s not like Lake Champlain or Loch Ness, which have long histories of sightings running for hundreds of years.

    I’m still thinking marketing gimmick.

    Re: Eels and Loch Ness-

    That’s possible, but it doesn’t explain the land sightings. (Eels can slither short distances, but not trundle through fields and across roads like the sightings indicate.) It also doesn’t explain the large number of “swan-like neck” sightings – eel physiology just isn’t set up that way. Big eels might be responsible for some portion of the sightings, but it’s a stretch to claim they’re responsible for them all.

    My money’s on surviving tanystropheus or a relative, similar to what seems to be in Lake Champlain.

  23. jjames1 responds:

    I’m surprised that some of you are still seriously debating the merits of “Raystown Ray.” Then again, I suppose that just shows that this group’s idea to fake a lake monster to hype tourism might be working even better than they anticipated. I expect someone to announce that they’re mounting an expedition to explore the lake any second now…

  24. coolzaidi786 responds:

    The first picture looks suspicously similar to the photos found at the bottom of this page.

  25. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Well if someone is going to start a tourist draw I would rather see a ‘lake’ or even ‘Bay’ creature than some fictious pirate! Like My home town gets ‘conquired’ (sp?) by every Year!

  26. ammoniad responds:

    Hello everyone. I use to post on Loren’s Champ list back in the 90′s and have been a lurker for a while on this blog.
    I am a big fan of lake monsters and such, but for this one I would have to see a lot more evidence to get me onboard. “Photoshop” is one hell of a drug, and it is a man-made lake. I need some footage that can get through heavy computer D- bases. Keep in mind, I want to think these creatures could exsist, but I am a skeptic.

  27. shovethenos responds:

    jjames1-

    Well, you have to keep a somewhat open mind and try to objectively analyze the evidence. You don’t want to be like one of those skeptics who throws out one possible explanation that really doesn’t even address the evidence and then declare “case closed”.

    I thought the Lake Champlain phenomena was pretty far-fetched until I looked into some of the evidence.

  28. Tabitca responds:

    sorry guys the sterile eel thing is a load of cat b*ll***s. There’s no empirical evidence and a sterile eel would still go to mate.Apparently this theory came from one man who runs a sort cryptozoological thing in the UK.
    He’s the sort of bloke who could talk a glass eye to sleep.
    moving on….science is only guesswork with letters after it’s name afterall :-)

  29. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Sterile eels or certainly anomolously large ones do exist and are common though not of the size (required in this picture!). The Common or European eel Anguilla anguilla does also migrate overland not, just to return to marine spawning grounds but in search of food. If anyone cares to look,(May i suggest google scholar search for Laffaille + Guilloue 2005) you will find papers published to verify this. Despite alot of work and reseach into eels, ALOT is still unknown about them, thats why i love em!

  30. lamarkable responds:

    A four course meal from a cookie.

  31. sausage1 responds:

    This picture reminds me very much of some of the joke postcards they used to sell around Loch Ness.

    A fake.

  32. ToddPartain responds:

    Of the three cryptid experiences I have had in my lifetime. The sighting of a large serpentine creature in the Red River is one of those where I regret not having taken more action. Around 1992, I was walking over the Texas Street Bridge, which joins Shreveport and Bossier City, LA. I had only walked out over the bridge a short distance when looking down, I spied motion in the water just off the Bossier side of the river. The Red River has earned it’s name honestly, for anyone that has seen it knows the water is filled with reddish brown clay and silt. There is very little visibility and the current can be swift.

    But on the bossier side there was a shallow eddy, and I was surprised to see what appeared to be a large snake or eel writhing about in the eddy. The head kept darting around in circular motions as if it were chasing prey and it just kept moving about in figure 8 and circle motions. It was black, or either so dark that it appeared black from the height of the bridge. I stopped to try to gauge the size, because at the moment, I could not accept that it was as large as it appeared. The only object I had to help gauge size was a soda can, and I dropped it off the bridge so that it landed near the animal. I was shocked to see that the creature’s body was about twice the circumference of the soda can. This would have made the creature about 15 to twenty feet long by my estimation. If it noticed the soda can splashing down nearby, it gave no indication and just continued it’s motions. I debated whether I should work my way back down under the bridge to get a closer look and thought better of it. Today there is a thriving boardwalk shopping area with restuarants in the location, but at the time of my sighting there was just brush and some rubble. If the creature were a giant water moccasin, I could be in real trouble if it came up out of the water. I had no weapons and was on my way to meet a girl in downtown Shreveport. So I decided at the time to keep it to myself. Now I wish I had done more than just walk on across the bridge.

  33. shovethenos responds:

    Ranatemporaria-

    I’ll check the paper out.

    That still doesn’t explain all the “swan-like” neck sightings, and the mode of locomotion is still slithering, not walking as some of the sightings suggest.

  34. Tabitca responds:

    sorry should have made myself clearer,I didn’t say sterile eels didn’t exist but the information on the sightings was naff.I think the way an eel goes through the water might negate it from some of the reported sightings around the world.Still it gave food for thought.

  35. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Yeah that is defiantly a point. I don’t think an eel could ever lift its head, I presume its vertebrae simply would not allow it. I think though large eels could be responsible for “Surface humps” type sightings and the subsurface shapes/shadows. I must add im mighty sceptical about this one though although it is on what looks like a fairly well established river system, could be eels a plenty, but not in that photo that’s for sure!

  36. aaha responds:

    Fraudulent

  37. JeffC responds:

    As for man-made lakes, Sardis Lake in Mississippi is a man-made, flood-control lake built by the Army Corp of Engineers less than a hundred years ago. When I was a kid, we used to go camping there and at Arkabutla Lake (the lake being made in the movie O! Brother Where Art Thou?).

    On these trips, I would often fish along the shore of the lake. I was only a kid, but my parents let me go off alone for hours at a time fishing. One day at Sardis Lake, I saw something in the water that scared me so bad, I ran all the way back to our camp site.

    It wasn’t a fish. Or a snake. I was a young explorer and avid fisherman and I had seen pretty much everything, including some pretty big catfish some friends used to catch in Arkabutla Lake.

    This thing made three distinct humps in the water. One hump cleared the water enough to get an idea of its girth, and I’d say it was as big around as a basketball. It was swimming about 50 feet out from shore, and I’d guess the three humps covered a total area of about 20 feet. I got the clear impression that I was only seeing a portion of the complete creature. And it was swimming, not floating. I dropped my fishing rod and ran as fast as I could.

    I have never heard of a creature in Sardis Lake. As far as I know, I’m the only person who has ever seen anything like that in that lake. And this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned this to anyone other than my parents.

    But I know that what I saw was not one of the usual suspects – a big catfish, a big gar, driftwood, garbage. It was a big “something.”

  38. Batgirl responds:

    Anybody here ever hear about the CORMONS???
    Some story from britain about Wizards back in the day summoning nether creatures like bigfoot and nessie and incidentally populating the world with them?
    Sounds ridiculous…but ya never know.

    I need a coffee.

    BG

  39. MattBille responds:

    According to Maurice Burtin and other authorities, eels have been known to do odd things, including swimming with head out of water and undulating on their sides at the surface, both of which could create very un-eel-like appearances. An eel could not produce the shape in the photo above, but huge ones would fit a number of lake and ocean sightings, possibly including the gold standard of sea serpent reports, the Nicoll/Meade Waldo sighting of 1905.

    Matt Bille

  40. sasquatch responds:

    If it’s a photoshop, it’s very well done.
    the average hoaxer would most likely fake a much closer picture for dramatic effect. I’d like to see the other photos that were supposedly taken at the time. Yes, animals migrate all the time. They found a dead wolf just a short distance from Denver along side I:70 about a year ago. It had traveled hundreds of miles from Yellowstone Park.
    So if there are connecting rivers etc. I see no reason why some large serpent couldn’t have gotten from point A to point B. Think of this for a cotton pickin’ minute; Godzilla lives on Monster Island, but regularly swims across the sea to invade Japan!

  41. Loren Coleman responds:

    Sorry, but I would have to file this one away as probable “tourist promotion hoax, locally sanctioned, to generate visitor revenues” or alleged “local chamber of commerce stunt, due to boredom.”

    From information of my sources on the ground in Pennsylvania, there is absolutely no history of this, and it appears to be a local recent creation for one of the two reasons noted above.

  42. Nachzehrer responds:

    We need a new category, “Chamberofcommerzoology”,

  43. josh W. responds:

    I agree that the first photo is possibly a hoax. but, this photo is a lot better than the nahuelito photos.
    It is a lot clearer and has a reference point. But this photo is still very sketchy at best.

  44. osp001 responds:

    Way, way late on the conversation, but I’d like to make a couple of mentions here. My ancestors go way the heck back in that neck of the woods, and I lived for a time in Huntingdon when I went to the miserable college in that town.

    As has already been noted, Raystown is a modern artificial impoundment; the top image on the page is almost certainly a floating log. The lake, formed from flooding a valley, is filled with trees, some of which are still standing even decades after having been flooded. Trees wash down the Juniata River and into the lake as well. There is so much debris that one fisherman that disappeared in the lake wasn’t discovered for more than a decade.

    The lake is deep, particularly towards the new dam; the old dam (from circa 1913) was flooded, and the new dam (from around 1973, I think) put the lake level up even higher. It’s deep enough that one can practice diving using exotic mixes; a diver died there a few years back practicing for a dive on the Andrea Doria. I think the lake maxes out at about 200′, which is pretty good for Central Pennsylvania.

    The only “monster” sightings there are of monster pike- muskellunge. One of the SCUBA instructors out at the lake once told me of a large muskie he sighted by the base of the old dam. It was swimming close to another diver that was going in the opposite direction; he reported it was almost as long as the diver- from the tip of his head to the ends of his fins. His perspective was almost certainly off, as that would put it at well over 7′ in length; anything over 5′ would be a true monster!

  45. jhimlin responds:

    Yunz guys are idiots. Napoleon Dynamite would be shocked at these comments of disbelief.

  46. guyer1 responds:

    I’ve lived by the Raystown branch for 47 years, fished in the old dam as a kid, regularly fish in the new dam (dedicated in 1974). Heard reports of sturgeon in the old dam and had described to me two years ago by one of my longtime friends a fish I believe to be a sturgeon. Some years ago there was an article in the local newspaper about the fish commission shocking fish at the tailrace of the dam and I believe it said they brought to the surface a muskie over 5′ long. Then there’s the local story of the tourists poodle swimming on the lake and being gabbed, taken under water and disappearing. Big muskie? While I have no doubt there are huge sturgeon, muskies, stripers and carp in the lake, I believe Raystown Ray is a bunch of hyped up horse manure.

    And how about you tourists that act like affluent swine, when you leave the area, take your garbage with you!

  47. rutters27 responds:

    raystown ray was an april fools joke in the local paper a few year ago i say its to bring in tourists im local and thats my opinion any one who know anything about rays town knows its man made so i guess someone lost a dinosaur egg off of thier boat that would by my opinion



Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|


Cryptomundo Merch On Sale Now!

mmcm

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest

Advertisers

DFW Nites


Monstro Bizarro Everything Bigfoot The Artwork of Sybilla Irwin



Advertisement




|Top | FarBar|



Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.