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Lake Elsinore Monster Bobs Up Again

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 15th, 2006

Lake Elsinore Monster Yarn Bobs Up Again

Elsinore – C. B. Greenstreet, rancher, today came to the aid of Southern California publicists, who have been chagrined during recent months for lack of a lake, sea or river monster.

Greenstreet revived the Lake Elsinore monster, reported to have been seen from time to time since Indians roamed the country.

He said:

I know you think I’m crazy; but I saw it. We all saw it — my wife and two children, and my little girl was terrified and afraid to return to our home at the head of the lake.

It was 100 feet long and had a thirty-foot tail. It would move along near the surface of the water lazy-like, and then all at once it would swish that huge tail and dart like lightning half the length of the lake. Waves as high as light posts washed on the shore in its wake.

Date of dispatch: September 14, 1934
Source: UP wire
Modesto Bee and News-Herald
Modesto, California
September 15, 1934
Credit: Jerome Clark.

This creature has been called “Elsie” (for obvious reasons) and “Hamlet” (not sure why). Sightings have been frequent since 1884.

Reportedly in 1954 when the lake went completely dry, no monster was found. Some said Elsie had crawled out of the lake and was waiting in a cave for the water to return. It apparently did, with sightings in 1967. In 1970, local resident Bonnie Play saw it twice, and described Elsie as being roughly 12 feet long and about 3 feet wide. Swimming up and down, it had humps and a long dinosaur like head. After the 1970 sighting, 3 state park authorities saw it surface about 50 feet from their boat. In 1992, there was a series of good encounters with Elsie on the lake.

Despite the serious sightings, Elsie has often been troubled with being at the receiving end of local newspapers’ humor columns, with the exception of a decent balanced overview article by John Hunneman in 2005.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


10 Responses to “Lake Elsinore Monster Bobs Up Again”

  1. EEB responds:

    Elsinore was the name of the castle where Hamlet lived, so that probably explains the name.

  2. twblack responds:

    The 1934 report I wonder if all the Nessie stuff going on at that time might have something to do with seeing a lake monster.

  3. rhayzerbak responds:

    Why are there no drawings of this creature?

  4. atom responds:

    Im not sure if any of you have been to Lake Elsinore, but its the pits. I dont think anything can survive in that lake other than bacteria. Seriously, don’t walk barefoot on any of the shoreline or you might just get poked with a discarded item. In the 20s and 30s it used to be a getaway for the hollywood elite. Now its filled with dismal…

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Thank you EEB for the name explanation.

    I should have googled “Elsinore” before writing that. Duhd!

  6. crypto_randz responds:

    100ft long lake dweller mmmm need more information on this creature. A drawing or photo would help. Theres probablly no video on this creature. Heads or tails on this story. Great update on this story Loren, you are coming up with some great topics and stories keepin comin.

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    the lake dried up? Is there a cave near by? I find it interesting that officials saw it and yet it is still called anything but real.

  8. otrian responds:

    I want to shake the flipper of any creature that could survive that lake.

  9. The FoOL responds:

    I have lived in the city of Lake Elsinore most of my life. I have walked the shores of the lake (which is only a couple of miles long and about 2 miles wide) and, unfortunately, I have been swimming in it also. But I have never seen any lake monster other than a carp in Lake Elsinore. The lake is very shallow, (15ft to 20ft at the deepest) with a high algae content that makes the water slime green most of the time. It is small enough to completely drive around it in like 20 to 30 minutes, and there are constant speed boats driving across it, and people are always swimming in it. If there is a “monster” in the lake, more than a handful of witnesses would have seen it. If I remember correctly, I think the sighting in 1992 was not of a lake monster, but people thought that someone released a pet alligator into the lake. But it turned out to be a log or something. I was really young when that happened, so I don’t know. Anyways, there is no real pausible way a living “dinosaur” could be in THIS lake. As for the cave theory, the only nearby place where there would possibly be a cave is the Ortega Mountains which border the lake on the south side, but in order to get to the foot of the mountains, a monster would have to cross through a large stretch of neighborhoods (Lakeland Village), and cross a busy road, and then somehow find a cave among the thickets of chapparel and sagebrush. A really hard thing to do without getting noticed. The shore of the lake is flat and sandy, so there wouldn’t be a cave near the shore. So in the end, this “monster” really has no where that I know of to hide. So, the only reasonable conclusion I can think of is that Elsie is or was (if it existed at all) some sort of big fish or something that buries itself in the mud when the dry season comes. Other than that, I have seen no pictures, photos, or drawings of any lake monster other than “Hamlet”, the former mascot of our minor league baseball team.

    Besides, if there was a dinosaur, the nasty lake would probably kill it anyways. :)

  10. connors responds:

    I have a book edition of”Mysteries of the Unexplained” by Reader’s Digest that has in it about the Lake Elsinore monster (pg.145), and that it was seen from time to time since 1884. Bonnie Pray says she saw it 2 times in 1970 and also noted that 3 park rangers saw it too. Anyways thought I throw that out there. Being a resident of Lake Elsinore for 6 yrs-all hubby caught was carp in that nasty lake though.



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