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When Lake Monsters Were Serpents

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 27th, 2007

Serpent in Nevada Lake

Mining Man Brings Strange Story
to Goldfield.

From the Savannah Bee.

A report from Walker Lake states that a monster sea serpent has been seen at the northern end of the lake. Dan Cornelison, a mining man of good reputation for veracity, brought the story to Goldfield.

Cornelison says that he and a companion named John McCorry sighted the reptile while fishing from a boat half a mile from the northern shore of the lake. The monster was then making its way toward the east shore of the lake. Cornelison says that at first sight he took the serpent for a man in a skiff, and when it disappeared for a moment he thought the boat had capsized, and rowed toward the spot, when it suddenly reappeared, giving them a good view of its proportions, which they estimated to be about thirty feet in length and six feet across the back.

Another resident of that vicinity, a man named Peters, is said to have discovered the serpent sometime ago reposing in shallow water near the shore, and on being aroused it disappeared in deeper water. There is also said to be a legend among the Piutes around Shurz concerning the existence of a serpent in Walker Lake.Washington Herald, September 22, 1907

For more information on watery cryptids, see Chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 in Mysterious America.

Thanks for this historical item from Jerome Clark.

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.


5 Responses to “When Lake Monsters Were Serpents”

  1. Bob Michaels responds:

    Long necked alleged monsters could be mammals, instead of reptiles. Both are air breeding so that they would have to appear on the surface more or less in a frequent fashion. A primitive whale such as the zeuglodon is a candidate for the Champ, a theory put foward by Dr Roy Mackal. There has to be a reasonable explanation for all the reports of Lake Monsters around the world. I patiently await future discoveries. We know that Sea Dragons existed in the past, are any still around, not necessarily a Pleisosaur but a Ichythosaur?

  2. kamoeba responds:

    I’m always confused how zeuglodon/basilosaurus is a candidate for sightings of long-necked sea creatures. Those creatures were built more like mosasaurs with short necks and long bodies. It seems about as plausible as saying Nessie sightings are merely swimming elephants (huh?).

  3. Bob Michaels responds:

    Dr Mackal feels that a primitive whale has access to the ocean, have you ever seen a drawing or picture of a Zeuglodon, it’s long and thin, almost like a swimming skeleton. Kamoeba you can say anything about anything is an alleged Lake Monster or Sea Monster but we won’t know what is until it’s identified and we are able to have a DNA analysis.

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    Zeugladons are also bigger in size…fitting the possibility of larger critters like in Champlain…

    serpents are an easy mark I think, because people get short glimpses of sea critters in the water and they may be thinner in body or proportion like a whale, dolphin, shark, etc…and it may be the movements of the things that make people think serpent (though many of the accounts oceans/lakes talk of the undulation movements, but we’ll leave that for another discussion).

    I am guessing we are dealing with something that has evolved beyond the dinosaur motif…after all, there are several hundred million years between them and us, and part of our classification problems may stem from the fact that people are seeing something that has characteristics of the old creatures, but had adapted and evolved into newer forms of reptiles/mammals, etc…not that I have any proof of such claims, but it is a theory I entertain…

    however, i tend to go along with Huevelmanns, when he talked about several different varieties of critters roaming the oceans, and that too would muddle classification if we have long necked seals, actual serpents and what not…personally, I would love to see a kronosaur:)

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    or at least one of his distant cousins…



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