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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Teggie and the Afanc

Tabitca Cope recently posted an article about the Welsh lake monster Teggie and I thought I should reprint it. Teggie always nonplussed me because there was one report that sounded like a ten foot periscope sighting. But there is ac way to account for it and I shall come to that after the reprint.

Bala Lake, Wales, from Wikipedia

Friday, 12 April 2013

new sighting of Bala Lake creature

Please see comments for latest sighting
Bala Lake, in Wales, is a protected wildlife site. It is 4 miles long and is said to be 125 feet (42 metres)deep. The Welsh name is Llyn Tegid. One of it’s residents is the unique gwyniad fish, believed to have been restricted to Lake Bala from the end of the last Ice Age. The fish spends most of its life in the deep cold parts of the lake and only comes up to shallower water at night to spawn. It is not found anywhere else in the UK. The lake is also home to a creature nicknamed Teggie, said to be a dinosaur or crocodilian type aquatic animal.
It has been reported since the 1920’s but the first documented report I found was in 1975.
Dowie Bowen, the former lake warden, saw something strange. "I was looking out at the lake and saw this thing coming towards the shore," he says. "It was at least 8ft long, similar to a crocodile, with its front and rear ends about 4ins above the water." He rushed to the shore but found nothing.
Then in 1979 I found two reports. One in the The Sunday Express. Anne Jones was gazing out on peaceful water when the surface began to foam and bubble. For a few seconds she saw what looked like a huge hump-backed beast. "I shall never forget it," said Mrs Jones. "All I saw was its huge back, and froth boiling around it."
Then in the same year John Melville Rowlands, a local businessman, was fishing in the lake with his cousin. The pair saw something they described as having a large head like a football, big eyes, nearly 8 feet(2.2metres) long. It swam towards them and then disappeared within a few yards of the boat. Mr Rowlands said he wouldn’t describe it as a monster, just something very large unlike the large pike normally seen.
Then I found this on the internet :
My encounter with the monster took place when I was 14 in the summer of 1992. It was twilight and I was on the shingle beach of the lake, in front of the Catamaran Club, looking for flat stones to skim on the lake's calm surface. Without thinking, I suddenly turned a full 180 degrees and looked straight at the monster. The reason for my sudden turnaround was because it was looking right at me. It was about twenty metres away, it's black head and neck clear above the surface of the water. The instant I saw it, it ducked under. My first thought was that a diver was playing a hoax, swimming under the surface with a Loch ness monster head. I immediately disregarded this for two reasons. The head had ducked under the water extremely quickly - only an animal with fins or paddles could have ducked under the surface that fast. Furthermore, there were no tell-tale bubbles indicating the presence of an artificial underwater breathing system. It looked to me like a plesiosaur and I would estimate its length to be approximately twelve feet (3.66 metres). B Vickers BSc (Hons),
In March 1995 Paul and Andrew Delaney, were fishing from a small boat on the lake They were visiting from London and unaware of Teggie reports. They were surprised to see a small head that appeared at the lake's surface only 80 yards( 26 metes) or so away, which then proceeded to raise itself on a long slender neck until it was about 10 feet ( 3.1 metres) above the surface before disappearing under the water. The same year by Japanese TV crew, investigated the lake and obtained a sonar trace of a very large, unidentified object moving swiftly under the water, but failed to film anything.
. One windsurfer recently reported being strangely "lifted out of the water". And many boating accidents have been attributed to the beast.

Some of the explanations put forward include one from the First World War. Secret military experiments were said to have been carried out with seals, which were trained to place limpet mines on their targets. Some escaped and Teggie was born. Others believe that Teggie is actually the 'Pontrhydfendigaid witch, Mari Berllan Biter' who can transform herself into all kinds of shapes and forms. Could it be some sort of seal? It certainly is the size for one and a seal can have the look of a long neck if it stretches itself to see something. The crocodilian type creature described could not be a seal though. I also would have thought a seal would have been seen more often and on the shore, they don’t live permanently in the water. Maybe there is more than one creature from the Ice Age still living in the lake, only further investigation can tell.


On the 10/04/2013 my son and i were fishing for pike at the top end of the lake using very large surface lures. When attempting to cast out again we saw a large black shiny head surface where we had been casting our lures. We watched this thing glide along to surface about 20 yards out making its way to the shore. We watched it for about 20 seconds until it disappeared under the surface. The head was about 2,5 feet long with about 2,0 feet sticking above the surface. It was about 2 meters in length. I believe that our contstant casting in and out must have brought this thing up to see what was going on. We have been pike fishing Bala lake for over 25years and have never witnessed anything like this. We have seen all types of birds and mammals so what we
saw was not any of those.

I will never wade out in Bala lake again we have reported this incident to Bala police. It has given us a greater respect for Bala lake and we know what we saw was not natural, now its sunk in its left us quite scared to go near the water again as this thing was hunting for a meal.

Paul Rushton
Richard Rushton.
Richard Rushtonsaid...
I and my dad were fishing there yesterday and we saw it! We have fished Bala for years and used to be told by a farmer who has sadly passed away now, who we used to camp in his field about 15 years ago. He used to ask us if we saw the Bala monster as we would camp on the edge of the lake but we never did, until yesterday. Yesterday we travelled up there to catch pike and there was a lot going on in the day time, I think it was a training day for the fire rescue team as there was the rescue helicopter doing a rescue attempt with people on the roof of a sunken caravan. Also there were numerous rescue power boats surging up and down the lake. The waters were being parted from the blades from the helicopter as it hovered over the caravan whilst winching the people from off the caravan. With all this commotion going on we decided to fish another lake further out from Bala. Anyway we decided that around 5pm we would head back to Bala presuming that all the noise would have calmed down, we fished various points around the lake with no joy and we ended up towards the nature reserve end where there are 3-4 rocks that go out in the lake looking slightly towards your left you would see a fence going into the water where the cormorants perch themselves where the river dee flows in, in the background. We fished and had no joy the water was flat calm and there was a cold chill. It just felt very eerie. The gate behind us went and a farmer was watching us from up the top of a very large bank we walked down and as I turned around to look, my dad said to me "what’s that" We looked and we saw a large head and it was black and it was though it had two parts where its head was above the water and its back was also above too. It was swimming toward the shore and it’s as though it appeared from out the lake. Our first natural reaction was that it was a dog but the more we stared it resembled something very unusual. It wasn't a dog. The farmer was asking us if we had caught anything and that’s when he told us about the sad loss of the farmer we knew. We didn't mention what we just saw because it hadn't quite sunk in and after he had gone we decided to walk down in that direction along the railway track. Whilst on the way down in that direction toward the nature reserve end we talked about what it could have been
Richard Rushtonsaid...
. As it's a nature reserve area there is a bird watching hut where this unexplained creature was swimming toward the shore so we kept thinking despite our doubts maybe it was a dog. We got near to where this hut should have been but it wasn't there anymore??? We don't know how long ago it has been gone but if it was still there then it could have been a bird watcher with his dog but there was nothing. Nobody could have thrown a stick in the water for the dog because you couldn't throw a stick from the railway because of all the trees and you would have to climb over a wired fence which would be awkward to say the least. We didn't hear a stick thrown in the water nor any noise which would resemble a dog swimming out to swim back in to the shore again. As I explained it was quiet and it appeared from the lake. When I looked around to see the farmer making his way toward us it was my dad that first spotted it as it was so quiet the way it swam in; only sight could verify it being there. It was so subtle and we weren’t far away from it at all not to hear it. The evening was very quiet as it was around 19:30pm. Our theory as to why we saw it was because of all the noise at the other end of the lake during the day from all the power boats and the helicopter, where the deep contours are (only electric outboards can only usually be used for boats normally)... must have driven it up the other end of the lake where it could find peace and to back it up we were using heavy lures which we were using for pike with the noise of the splashes must have intrigued it to surface. When we thought about it though it was too big to be a dog, seal or anything else I could relate it too. It could have been at least 8 ft or more. What’s really reassuring to know is it tallies up with what other people have witnessed that its black, at least 8 ft long swimming toward the shore. My dad has notified the police at Bala today and that the Warden for Bala Lake will keep on the lookout for anything unusual in the water. My summary is that I shall not call it a monster but rather it must be a large rare creature of some kind because the more I watched it swimming toward the shore the more puzzled I was trying to verify what it was. Being a fisherman all my life we get to see it all whether a dog, seal, ducks, otters swimming in the water but nothing like this. It's a large natural lake over 100 ft deep and has so much history. Even the Gwyniad fish only seems to be native in this lake, and I've seen one of these in there too.
This is the reference in George Eberhart's Mysterious Creatures:
Consensus of sightings is that the creature is about ten feet long on average and therefore it is difficult to see how a ten foot length of neck could belong to the same creature. However it is possible that original meaning was that a total length of ten feet was seen above water, and a collector who had a fixation about all water monsters being Longnecks misread and misinterpreted the statement. If the original meaning was that ten feet of its body appeared above the surface then it fits right into place, Parallel examples for such a misreading could be cited at other locations. 


Also known as Addanc, Afnac, Abhac.
  • Culture: Celtic
  • Attribute: Aquatic
  • Behaviour: Troublesome
Abac is a fierce water monster from Wales. It once lived in Lake Llyon Llion where it would thrash around causing floods to nearby areas. It terrorised the people in this way until the hero Peredur tied a rope around the beast, and used his oxen to pull the creature from the depths of the lake. The beast was then killed and the local people were safe from floods.

Afanc  Also known as Avanc

  • Mythical Number: #0049
  • Culture: Celtic Celtic
  • Attribute: Aquatic Aquatic
  • Behaviour: Deadly Deadly

This Welsh water creature is non-specific in shape or size although it has become known as a giant beaver. The Afanc lives in a large lake where it aggressively splashes its tail to create huge waves. These waves would flood areas of Wales and Cornwall. The word Afanc comes form the word ‘beaver’. It features in many stories and is known for preying on travellers.
One Afanc lived in the Bala lake where it caused a flood. A man named Dwyfan suspected a flood would come and so he built a large boat for himself and his wife, and put all the animals of his land inside it. When the flood came, only he and his wife survived and thus they founded the British race. Another story tells of an Afanc in the Bearded Lake: Llyn Barfog, where the creature was put to sleep by the singing voice of a virgin lady. The Afanc slept in her lap while the viallgers chained the beast. The beast awoke at this and thrashed about violently killing the virgin lady. However there were too many chain binding the beast that it was safely captured. It was then dragged away to lake Cwm Ffynnon where it still lives. A variation of the story states that Peredur killed the beast. Also according to legend, Arthur killed an Afanc in single combat. King Arthur bound the dead beast and dragged it up the hills of Snowdonia. Today near the Llyn Barfo is a hoof clear hoof print preserved in a rock. This hoof print is called petrosomatoglph or ‘Carn March Arthur’ or ‘Stone of Arthur's Horse’. It was created by the horse of King Arthur, Llamrai when they carried the corpse of the Afanc up the hill.

I believe with all the evidence we have a pretty good indication for a Master Otter sort of creature, an otter the size of a crocodile and with a tail flattened out somewhat after the fashion of a beaver. Some of the depictions also specify it has a long snout, bulging eyes and prominent pointed ears, like the Irish Master Otter is also supposed to have. The shape of the webbed feet is also depicted fairly well.  And it is also much the same size and shape as its North American counterpart the Mishibizhiw, with many similar parallel traditional representations (With the hairs on the back represented as spikes or triangular scales and so on).
Dale Drinnon's Composite Reconstruction for the Master-Otter, possibly a surviving Megalenhydris

Which excerpts the hairy humanoid dwarf capable of casting a spear. That would be the Water Sprite or Imp form recently mentioned here under the name Grindylow. Surprisingly, that creature also seems to survive in isolated spots all across both Europe and Britain.

 South American giant river otter showing something of the tail flattening. and below, these otters really are of a size comparable to some crocodylians.

Two-tailed Alpine monster, Scheuchzer, 1708 This is a "Dragon" from the mountainous region of Southern Germany and possibly another giant otter. The two tails could be a deformity BUT the allegation of two tails is also mentioned in one of Ted Holliday's Irish Lake Monster sightings, and there it is evidently a reference to having a V-shaped wake. (Compare shape of face head-on, and the tongue sticking out, to giant otter in photo above the ones with the caimans for scale)

I have a suspicion that the creature seen head-on by Michael Peer Groves and family off the Isle of Man in the Irishe Sea is a similar creature seen at sea. It seems to be seen both in saltwater and freshwater, and also amphibiously onto the land: it is also said to burrow underground to dig dens.

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