Classic Tales Of Cryptozoology: Does The Creature Really Walk Among Us?

Written By: Ken Hulsey

For centuries people from all corners of the globe have claimed to have seen all kinds of creatures ranging from dinosaurs to werewolves and if you are inclined to believe so, a real life "Gill-Man".

Way back in the summer of 1972 two young men claimed that they were chased from the beach at Thetis Lake, British Columbia, Canada by the "Creature From The Black Lagoon" or at least something that looked very much like it.

Was it a case of mistaken identity or overactive imaginations run wild after an afternoon of watching monster movies?

At the time the local police believed the two youths and began a search for the monster. Four days later the story seemed to be validated when two fishermen spotted the monster on the opposite side of the lake. Of course the search didn't turn up any man-fish at the time yet reports of the aptly named "Thetis Lake Monster" continued on for two more decades.

Initially the reported sighting was blamed on an escaped pet Tegu lizard which can grow to the size of a small alligator. That explanation seemed to be enough for most people but some hardcore cryptid hunters believed the creature to be a relative of the legendary "Loveland Frog" (another reported man-fish) or just another of the numerous lizard-man sightings from across North America. As most monster historians (or uber geeks like me) know lizard-men are reported to live under the mountains and cities here in California and in the swamps of South Carolina most notably.

Is there a REAL "Gill-Man" in Thetis Lake?

Well .... probably not.

In 2009 a reporter for the "Junior Skeptic Magazine" (Daniel Loxton) tracked down one of the original witnesses named Russell Van Nice who finally fessed up to hoaxing the whole affair with his buddy Mike Gold to get a little attention. Van Nice also mentioned that their description of the creature had been taken from the film "Monster From The Surf" (Beach Girls and the Monster) which had aired the prior weekend on a local television station.

Funny that no one noticed that little tidbit at the time ... then again there were probably very few people over the age of ten watching Monster from the Surf that day? Of course I would have been one of those people ... and odds are you would have been too.

Well no need to go to Canada (eh) to look for lizard-men ... guess I'll just go back to searching the catacombs here under Los Angeles. Reportedly they got a city made of gold down there!

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