Norwegian Lake Monster

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 26th, 2007

Swedish Sea Serpent

This picture is taken at a distance of about 20 metres at the Snaasa lake near Steinkjer i North Troendelag. (Photo: Einar Johannes Sandnes )

In Sweden and Norwary, sometimes, “sea serpent” is a term used for lake monsters.

Sea serpent in Snaasa lake

Is this a sea serpent?

Einar Johannes Sandnes wonders if it really was a sea serpent that he saw popping its head out of the lake. What do you think?

By David Brændeland

Could this be a sea serpent? The creature that stuck its head out of Snaasa lake managed to rattle Einar Johannes Sandnes.

It all started as a quite ordinary fishing trip a quiet summer evening.

– We had been fishing all afternoon. When the sun settled late in the evening we went ashore for a cup of coffee. Suddenly I turned and looked towards the lake, and there it was. I managed to take a snapshot with my cell phone before it disappeared, he says to Nettavisen.

He lives nearby Sandnes, whose farm is almost at the beach of the lake, remembers well the episode from June 2005.

– We really got exited and wondered what the creature was, he recollects.

The creature is supposed to have appeared quite close to the men.

– The distance could have been 20 to 50 metres, close to land. It was summer and still light, so it was clearly visible, he adds.

250 metres deep

Sandnes is well known in the area of the 48 km long lake that is situated just north of Steinkjer in North-Troenderlag. He says that he knows of several stories about sea serpents in Snaasa lake.

– There are rumours from time to time. The sea serpent also has been nicknamed – Kudulla. That name is the original name of the lake, he thinks.

A depth of 121 metres is registered. Sandnes tells that a depth of 250 metres was found when the firm NTE laid a communication cable across the lake bottom.

– No wonder if the lake harbours sea serpents, he claims.

Afraid not to be believed

Einar Johannes Sandnes has kept the snapshot of the possible sea serpent on his cell phone for a year and a half. Now he lets Nettavisen go public with it.

– A long time I was sceptical letting anybody see it, I was afraid nobody would believe me, says Sandnes.David Brændeland

Translation of above article by Erik Knatterud. Erik’s comments are below. He contacted the witness after reading the article. It is also apparent from Erik’s comments, that this occurred in Norway, as opposed to Sweden.

Today this article appeared on a newspage on the net. I have contacted the man, a farmer and owner of a forest. He will send me the snapshot later today when he is out of the woods from a long day felling trees in his own forest. The flimsy photo was taken with a cellphone (mobile phone or whatever) in the middle of a bright subartic summer night. There are both old and relatively fresh sightings of these creatures in that lake, a lake well to the north east of the Trondheim fjord in middle Norway, east of town Steinkjer. The photo is really bad quality, taken with one of the earlier cellphones. A bit of surprise and shaky hands probably did not help either.

I will comment no further till I at least get a copy of that photo on to my computer. The witness is a middle aged practical man with little knowledge of computers. Einar Johannes Sandnes is also the chairman of the local land owners association. He has promised to send me a book published by the association with an article in it about sea serpent sightings from the lake.

-He was fishing with a friend. Both men saw the creature.

-He told me that he looked down to check the photo on his phone, but when he lifted its eyes, the neck and head was gone.

-The distance and the location. He told me 20 metres. He never saw it rise from the water, when he turned around it was already there.

-The dark form in the lower part of the pic, in front of the creature, is land. The lake is very deep quite close to the shore where the creature appeared. The creature the must have been close to the shore.

-The height of the neck and head above the surface he estimates to be about 1 1⁄2 metres, from his recollection of what happened in June 2005.

Fake or real, we’ll see!Erik Knatterud
sea serpent chaser

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

15 Responses to “Norwegian Lake Monster”

  1. skeptik responds:

    *cough* Snåsa is a county in Trøndelag (Norway), but it borders to Sweden in the south.

    It could be a branch. But knowing country-side Norwegians, who hate creating a fuss, and the serpent stories of some of our lakes (just ask Knatterud) I think the story itself is authentic.

    But the object remains unidentified, and the interview reveals little to suggest its being an animal, or anything else for that matter.

  2. YourPTR! responds:

    If that picture is taken from about 60 feet wouldn’t the object be too big to be a lake monster? It looks like a lake monster’s neck and head. I think it’s fake!

  3. shovethenos responds:

    Looks pretty suspect. Looks like a hoax to me.

  4. swnoel responds:

    Is there a reason this picture is so out of focus?

    Maybe the reason most BF photos are.

    They’re easy to fake.

    My opinion another fabrication, lie, hoax, whatever you choose to call it.

  5. SEBigfoot2007 responds:

    Hoax in my opinion.

  6. jayman responds:

    Insufficient evidence to make any conclusion.

  7. Ceroill responds:

    I agree with jayman. Interesting but too vague to say anything for certain.

  8. skeptik responds:

    I did a background check on Mr. Sandnes. He’s a fishing veteran, member of Snåsavatnet Grunneierforening (landowner association) and was on the county election list for mayor in 2003.

    Interestingly enough you can see him here with the naming committee of the lake monster; “The name-giving jury consisted of Belbo, Aune and Sandnes whom by many is held to be the father of the lake monster. The jury fell on ‘Kudulla’. (…) Kudulen is supposed to be the old name of the lake, and in democratic fashion it was decided that the monster was a lady.”

    While this may raise suspicion because of monetary interest (tourism), remember that this last article is from 2006 while Sandnes claims the photo is from June 2005. (Should be able to read this from the Exif info, or is this non-existant on cell phone cameras? I don’t know.)

    In addition, the county governor decided to protect the monster by law on 30th of April 1991, because of the number of observations.

    Anyway, it’s a Norwegian Lake Monster.. Wiki: Snåsavatnet. Sweden is a different country.

  9. mystery_man responds:

    He took this from that far away on a cell phone? I couldn’t even take a decent picture of my HO– USE from that distance on my cell phone. I’m no photo expert but is this consistent with the quality you would expect from a cell phone photo at this distance on a moving object? Without any objects for size comparison, it is also hard to get any idea of how big this thing is. It could be huge or a toy.

  10. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Additional information has been added to the post above regarding Erik Knatterud’s investigation of the case, with his comments regarding his conversation with the witness.

    Also, mention of the corrected locale of Norway vs. Sweden has been made.

  11. NuncScio responds:

    I’m pretty sure that’s a log of a tree with a unusual curvature.

    I used to crew a ship in the St. Juan Islands, and on lookout we were always told to look out for ‘deadheads’, or waterlogged logs that floated vertically and bobbed up and down, sometimes rising two or more meters above the water. Seems like there’s a similar phenomenon at work here.

  12. DWA responds:


  13. Muskie Murawski responds:

    Isn’t this the lake where the televised monster search occurred on discovery awhile back? If so that lake did not appear to be able to support any kind of life beyond small fish, it was too shallow. I don’t think the photo is of a lake monster.

  14. springheeledjack responds:

    The usual. If you trust them at their word, then they saw something animate and moving. The man kept referring to it as a creature and to me that means it was something moving that did not act like a log or floating inanimate object. I don’t always trust the details of the eye witness because they can “add details” to make more sense, but initial instincts I usually trust–such as referring to it as a creature by its movements or actions.

    On the other side of the coin, the photo does not help, and there is no definitive on this guy, could be looking for his proverbial 15 minutes of fame. In that case, probably a fake.

    Either way, I choose to add it to the list for the Norwegan area and see if it jibes with other sightings/descriptions and info on that lake.

    Add it to my list of lakes to go investigate.

  15. Mnynames responds:

    Not to be critical here, but in my observation, if someone sees something and doesn’t have a camera with them, most posters tend to believe him and cry out, “Why didn’t he have a camera?” Yet whenever anybody sees something and takes a picture that is less than professional quality, the cry of “Hoax” goes out far and wide. Not sure we can have it both ways here…

    As to what it is, heck I dunno, too soon to tell really. I just think we shouldn’t jump to conclusions too fast, or at least be more aware of why we might be jumping in any given direction. That this guy was on the naming committee for the monster is suspicious, but it’s not like the creature (if indeed it is one) knew that. I even half believe Biscardi when he says he had a sighting of Bigfoot many years ago. Neither particularly changes their credibility any. Biscardi’s a shyster regardless, just as this guy might indeed be trying to capitalize on the creature’s existence for his community and even personal gain. But if they saw it, they saw it.

    It would be ever so lovely if cryptids only ever showed themselves to qualified, decent and honest folk. Most of us here would probably be guaranteed sightings. On the other hand, there would likely be a substantial drop in sightings if that were so. Most people are, well, very, very human.

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