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The Flathead Creature Resurfaces

Posted by: Nick Redfern on May 22nd, 2012

Does an unknown animal call Flathead Lake, Montana its home?

As cryptozoologists may know, the lake does indeed have a history of unusual encounters attached to it (see this link), and so that makes the following all the more intriguing.

There’s a new story doing the rounds which suggests the beast is – or the beasts are – still there. Indeed, whatever it was that a trio of eye-witnesses recently saw at the lake’s Finley Point, it certainly seems worthy of comment, as the story in the Lake County Leader demonstrates.

It was an estimated twenty-five feet in length and sported a whale-like tail and spiked dorsal fins. Any ideas???

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


7 Responses to “The Flathead Creature Resurfaces”

  1. Cryptidcrazy responds:

    It seems to fit the description of a sturgeon, although none have ever been recorded in the lake. There actually could be a small population though. It’s not exactly the type of fish that many anglers target, especially if none are expected to be in that body of water, so maybe a few have gone undetected. Who knows?

  2. mandors responds:

    I think we need some more info. The glaring observation is the tale. A horizontal, whale-like, tale means a mammal. That’s problematic, especially with a “spiky” dorsal. Now, a vertical “fish” tale, with a spiky dorsal isn’t so bad. It could just be a giant walleye. Mmmm. Walleye.

  3. Reverend responds:

    Could it be a large Ray? I know – it’s a wild suggestion but a ray’s body could be mistaken for a “whale-like tail2 (if, say, it didn’t completely clear the water surface) and the tail of most rays is a spike…

    Just a thought.

  4. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    No clue. The whale like tail isn’t a normal thing for a fresh water fish. I was going to guess sturgeon but they have vertical tails. Mystery for sure.

  5. sschaper responds:

    I, too, think sturgeon or paddlefish likely. Likelier than a whale or sea lion.

  6. PhotoExpert responds:

    This is a difficult one to call.

    How far away were the actual eyewitnesses?
    If they had to use binoculars to view the mystery animal, then it was quite a good distance. We would have to assume a few things about the eyewitness account. We would assume that at a great distance, when viewing through binoculars, there is going to be some shake caused by handholding a long lens. We must also take into account that there were probably no filters on the binoculars such as a UV or Haze filter to cut the haze. So the viewing might not have been as clear as one would hope.

    One would also assume because of the distance the reflection properties of water as well the the index of refraction of light through the water, the actual size of the mystery animal can not be accurately measured by the eyewitness account.

    This also leads to other questions. Perhaps the tail was not horizontal but a vertical tail. If the animal was in distress or simply chasing prey, then the body of the animal could have been 90 degrees off from it’s normal orientation. That would give the impression of a horizontal tail on an animal that actually has a vertical tail. This would also make the supposed dorsal fin they saw merely one of the side fins.

    If investigating this, I would not throw out the eyewitness testimony nor question the eyewitness’ credibility. However, I would question the facts leading up to the sighting and consider possibilities of what the eyewitness was actually seeing.

    I have been fishing all over the world. I have seen some strange things and some ordinary things that looked strange at the time. I once saw a pinniped in the Chesapeake Bay surface near our fishing boat in the fall of the year. Seals are not commonly seen in that part of the Chesapeake Bay or rarely seen in any part of the Chesapeake, but it does happen occassionally. And I was lucky enough to witness such an appearance. So that was a strange sighting.

    I have also been fishing in tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, the same watershed and have seen ordinary things. I have seen rays mating doing spectacular dances near the water’s surface. Novice fisherman on board our boat were spooked out of their minds when they saw the ray’s fins take on a shark-like appearance when the ray went 90 degrees to it’s normal orientation. I immediately knew it was a ray’s fin, but the novice fisherman, even though they knew what a ray was, because of it’s unusual orientation, could only think of some types of shark. The ordinary looked strange and like a new type of creature to them.

    That is the way it is. Of course my examples were withing 15 feet of the boat and still, misidentification could have been possible. But looking at something through binoculars from hundreds of feet away without filters and stabilization, well that is another story! Add in the laws of optical physics such as reflection and refraction of light from a great distance, and that compounds the problem. For me, it is a sighting of something. But since things are not always as they appear, even common fauna, may look like some kind of beast, even to someone who has familiarity with said subject. The fisherman on my boat knew what a ray is and have even caught them on occassion. But they had never seen the air dances and water ballet of these creatures during mating season. They had always seen the rays swimming along in horizontal fashion. When you move them 90 degrees to their normal orientation, they look much different, even strange, an unidentified creature some would say. Imagine what a novice with no fishing experience would assume these rays were.

    It is a good eyewitness account. We don’t know the experience level of the eyewitness when it comes to creatures that may inhabit the water there. We do know of some of the limitations of this sighting based on optical physics. Throw in a disoriented known animal and the sighting needs to be analyzed a bit more for me. Too many variables and unanswered questions to say it was nothing more than a known type of fish, probably a sturgeon or perhaps catfish.

    That’s my two cents! But I see nothing to get too excited about here.

  7. sasquatch responds:

    I’d like to see an episode of River Monsters where Jeremy Wade took a crack at this beast. Can you imagine him out on a little boat
    sending out some bait at the end of piano wire?



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