The Iliamna Lake monster -- Alaska's own Loch Ness, "Nessy" of the North -- has escaped to the sea!
Or maybe it has spawned other monsters that have escaped to the sea.
There is no other logical conclusion to be drawn from the reports by Discovery Channel that it has video of the creature, or video of something like the creature, and the always reliable reports of Alaska fishermen. Reality TV star Andy "Hillstrand believes the many fishermen who have reported seeing the animal 'are not a bunch of fruitcakes. These are people who are familiar with the local marine life,'" reports Discovery News.
Amazingly, too -- again according to Discovery News -- Hillstrand saw the creature himself. Here is the Discovery News account:
A possible new believer in "Cadborosaurus" is Andy Hillstrand of "Deadliest Catch" television show fame. He told Discovery News that he might have seen another one of the enigmatic animals while filming "Hillstranded," a new Discovery Channel special debuting that features the 2009 footage.
Hillstrand and his brother Johnathan traveled to sites in Alaska where Cadborosaurus has been spotted. Referring to one location, he said, "We saw a big, long white thing moving in the water. We chased it for about 20 minutes."
What luck? P.T. Barnum call home.
This monster story is as old as the Alaska hills. The Anchorage Daily News once sent a reporter to Lake Iliamna, the reported home of Nessy of the North, the creature now being boldly classified as a Cadborosaurus (Suckerus, for short) to look for the creature. He didn't find anything. So the newspaper in 1979 offered $100,000 for solid evidence of any such creature. Needless to say, the reward was never paid.
Way back in 2004, when the Internet was still in its infancy, writer Matt Bille tracked the Nessy of the North legend for a website called Alaska Science Outreach. Here's what he wrote:
Reports of something odd in Iliamna go back to the Aleut and other indigenous tribes, although no one knows how far back in time these stories began. The Aleuts did not hunt the lake's creatures, and believed them to be dangerous to men fishing in small boats. Some early white settlers and visitors reportedly saw the things, too, but the stories about Iliamna did not gain wide circulation until the 1940s, when pilots began spotting monsters from the air. The flyers' descriptions generally matched the native tales.
The lake's mystery inhabitants were most often described as long, relatively slender animals, like fish or whales, up to 30 feet in length.
Iliamna Lake, where this creature has long been reported, drains to Bristol Bay via the Kvichak River. Bristol Bay is in the Pacific Ocean north of the Aleutian Islands. Once Alaska's Nessy got there, he-she-it could go anywhere. The 60-mile Kvichak River is undammed. Boats go up and down it all the time. So do sockeye salmon -- by the millions. A hungry monster swimming against the tide of fish bound for the spawning grounds could literally eat its way to sea every summer. What a life. Given this sort of abundance of food and the longevity of this story, there surely must be whole families of Cadborosaurus out there.
This writer must confess he once even lassoed a Cadborosaurus, or some such thing, on an excursion to Iliamna Lake. He was forced to let it go only when his kayak reached speeds surely in excess of 30 mph. Thus another escape for the wily monster. Discovery News, are you listening? There's another opportunity here for one of those whacked out Alaska shows.
Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com