Member of The Crypto Crew:

Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:

And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):

And Kyle Germann's Blog

And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

More Footnotes on Waterhorse

Comparison of a recent reconstruction of "Ogopogo's" head to the head of a cow moose. There are several strong points of similarity. Older reports frequently featured the ears and the "Beard" (Bell) that a moose has, but these features are usually not reported in more recent accounts.

Map indicating Swimming Moose reports in North America. Below, Illustration "The Water Horse" for original report project as submitted to the CFZ at the time these original posts were made. Maps and pasteups done by Dale Drinnon, as per usual.

The original CFZ postings on the Waterhorse also included some comments on the end which I did not include with my earlier reposting. I had an occasion to add more material and so I went back to get those original comments:
Here is a sample accounting for the Freshwater-Monster accounts from Alberta, Canada. A state-by-state and Provence-by=Provence accounting yields similar results in most cases. LongNecked Sea-serpent and SuperEel types are the minority of reports in most cases and when they are seen they are not usually very far inland:

Alberta, Canada: catalogue of sightings by lake and year, Information drawn from Eberhart:

Battle River. A 30-foot long animal with a long gray head and neck was reported June 1934. Most likely a swimming moose with the effect of trailing humps in the wake.

Bow River, a large fish reportedly either an eel or a catfish was captured on July 30, 1942.

Christina Lake: Monster known as Christina, likely a swimming moose as above.

Clearwater River, near North Sascatchewan River, is the location of an early report a few miles from The Rocky Mountain House. Robert Forbes reported seeing a 20-foot-long gray creature on October 18, 1946: the creature raised a large head out of the water and seized a calf in its mouth, dragging it into the water. The creature swam off, oblivious of the shower of stones Forbes threw after it in an attempt to make it drop the calf. This sounds very likey to be a cow moose pulling its own calf into the water at the appearance of what seemed to be a threat-the threat being Forbes. Forbes afterwards described the creature as having red eyes and a huge mouth, which are probably somewhat exaggerated.

Cold Lake held a mythological creature called Kinsoo by the local Indigines
Cow Lake was also rumored to have a monster, possibly based on another swimming moose.

Frog Lake was also supposed to house another monster. One presumes a monstrous frog in Native lore from the name.

Glenmore Reservoir. Monster mentioned as a "Boon to tourism". No sightings are detailed, but the circumstances are dubious.

Heart Lake. Possibly only a mythical water monster

Lake MacGregor (Reservoir) was reported to have a 12-to-14-foot-long creature which raised its head on a length of neck in 1945. This also sounds like a swimming moose.

Lake Minnewanka. A large fish is mentioned but also a longer-necked mammalian creature. Probable conflation of unrelated sightings.The longer-necked mammal would be a moose.

North Sascatchewan River: "Pink Eye" is the name given to the "Ogopogo" which lives in the river. In 1939, Chief Walking Eagle reported that he had been chased by a 50-foot-long water monster while crossing the river, also near Rocky Mountain House. Several years later a rain of a larger Ogopogo and six smaller Ogopogos were reported in the River. These are likely to be swimming-moose reports with the wake giving the appearance of multiple humps (or multiple "Baby Ogopogos")

Saddle Lake was the location of several reports of a horseheaded creature between 1974 and 1982. Sometimes ears or horns (or only one horn) were reported. The length was given as 50 to 150 feet long. Once again this sounds like a series of swimming moose reports, the wake being counted as the length of the body.

The South Saskachewan River has a slightly different creature, called Agopogo, or Ogopup. A report by Parker Kent and his family in 1949 described it as a sort of furry alligator 5-8 feet long. This is possibly based on a sighting of a giant Beaver. These would probably be the same as "oogie-Boogies" reported at the Waterton Lakes and possibly other furry Water-Monsters reported in the Missoiri River in Native Traditions (Probably also Giant Beavers)
Just as a sort of a footnote, The Great Horned Water Serpent in the Great Lakes was supposed to have red horns made of copper according to native traditions. The copper deposits on Isle Royale were supposed to be produced from the horns, meaning that the horns were supposed to be made of copper, the horns were dropped and continually renewing, and the copper horns became the copper deposits.Renewable horns means antlers. The translators make the meaning of such traditions much less clear by their choice of wording.

Further West, some folklorists have mentioned red-horned Water Monsters from Native traditions and Mark Hall mentioned that in passing in a PURSUIT article on horned-alligator reports "Horrors" From The Mesozoic. It seems that these reports come from areas associated with the Apaches, and the Apaches are Athabascans out of Western Canada originally: one of the members at Frontiers of Zoology is a Kiowa and he sent me a personal message saying that the native name for the type of creature is Water Horse.

The Water monster at Flathead Lake is moose-antlered in the Native traditions of that particular area. That is one place where the tradition specifically states that feature.

That the antlers are red in the season when the velvet comes off of them and they are actually bloody for a short while. And so we have a direct inferrance that these Water Horses are antlered (Moose-antlered) and that during part of the year the antlers are characteristically all red (because the velvet has just come off). And this was a mth given for the origin of the copper at Isle Royale.

Incidentaly one of the later news items out of PURSUIT before it folded was about a Water Monster report from Colorado. The report was of a creature swimming along the surface of the water with one hump placed prominantly midway along the exposed back right behind the head and neck (as also recorded at Lake Winnepeg/ Winnepegosis/ Manitoba). The witness denied it was a swimming moose but that is EXACTLY what he had described.
(Clarification in reply to Jon Downes, who had introduced the subject by saying "Water Horses Excepting Nessie of Course")
Excuse me, Water Horses INCLUDING "Nessie"

The problem is that anything not immediately identified that is sighted on Loch Ness is automatically "Nessie". There are more than one kind of unknowns involved, and another part of the problem is that "Nessie" is somehow permanently attached to that lake and somehow peculiar to it. None of the unknowns that appear there are confined to Loch Ness and exclusive to it.

What BEGAN as "The Loch Ness Monster" was traditionally The Water Horse. THAT was a horse-sized and shaped animal that went into the water. It was recorded as such in reports at least as recently as 1934. However, the more spectacular reports that caught the attention of the press and what the world came to know as "Nessie" was the Long-Necked type of Sea Serpent, and was immediately identified as such by those in the know at the time (eg, R.T. Gould and A.C. Oudemans) THAT is something else again, and something that has a worldwide distribution.

THE characteristic Freshwater "Monster" in what have been called "The Monster Latitudes", primarily the Taiga zone as identified by Ivan Sanderson (who also used the generic term Northern Lake Monsters but MEANT this same distribution) IS "The Water Horse". That is the distribution for the Elk/Moose. The Long-Necked Sea Serpent type turns out to be mostly riverine and temporary when it is seen inland. This is also true of the Giant Eel types, but the proportions differ to such an extent that the two types are easily separated statistically. Giant Eels are also traditional on Loch Ness, as well as Master-otters, and both of them seen SPECIFICALLY in Loch Ness from the older records although also reported elsewhere.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

It has also come to light that both Oudemans and Gould had specific information which identified ALL of the "String-of Buoys" reports as being due to wave action in the water-and that both of them refused to accept that possibility. One specific instance of this is that they had extensive reports and sketches from the Leda sighting and those drawings definitively show that the "Humps" dissolved into mere waves in the wake during the course of the sighting. That the "String of Buoys" effect was due to a wave action and that it could be caused by differennt animals at sea (including both large fishes and whales) was plainly stated by certain mariners in the early 1800s, and they were ridiculed by the believers for pointing that out.

Loch Hourn (Leda) sea-serpent, 1872
This creature was reported as "ManyHumped" and "SuperOtter" conformations at different times: the second Sketch makes it clear that the "Humps" are formed by the wake. The engraving is developed from the top sketch and was the version reproduced in Magazines at the time. Both Sketches (Fig. 44) were reproduced by R.T. Gould in his book on the Loch Ness Monster.

1 comment:

  1. Because the first of these CFZ Water Horse postings included the Ogopogo blog which finished up with the conclusion that many Ogopogo reports were sturgeon, I was asked privately about the possibility of Loch Ness Monster reports also being sturgeons, which is Adrian Shine's pet theory. The answer is that not all sturgeon are created equal and the sturgeon which would be going into Loch Ness would be the Atlantic Sturgeon. There is a record of fourteen feet long for the Atlantic sturgeon but it seems to be disputed, and at any rate individuals of the species rarely exceede ten feet long in the twentieth century. I believe there are records of them showing up at Loch Ness historically, although they make very paltry monsters with an "Upturned boat" aspect only a few feet long, maybe a third of the length of the typical "Nessie" upturned-boat-aspect report.

    My distinction is that there appears to be a larger relative of the known white sturgeon as represented in most of the Canadian reports, that it is outaside of the usual white sturgeon range and more in the range of the known lake sturgeon. It is a much different animal than the lake sturgeon and can be distinguished by the shape of the head and scutes on the back as well as the larger size. Because of that I count it as a true Cryptid and a potentially new species. If there is a sturgeon in Loch Ness that is being reported as a "Monster", then it is truly a Monster sturgeon, presumably unknown, and for that reason no less of a Cryptid than a living Plesiosaur would be


This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.