Monday 21 September 2009

Mussie The Muskrat Lake Monster, seal or serpent?

Muskrat Lake in Canada is about 10 miles long and two hundred feet deep. It is said to be the home of a lake monster. The creature has been named Mussie by local residents. It is said to be a fish eating creature ,about 25 feet long with a fin down it’s back and has legs. Mussie has been alternately described as “serpentine, prehistoric, and resembling a giant seal

The local folklore is that over 300 years ago, Samuel de Champlain, while exploring the region, learned from the natives in the area of a legendary creature who lived in the lake.. The myth has been strengthened by sign which once welcomed visitors to Cobden. The sign featured Champlain holding his famous lost astrolabe while looking out over Muskrat Lake. In the lake is a creature with three eyes and a long tongue ,classified as a hepaxalor,. The Muskrat Lake region was originally inhabited by the Nibachis, a sub-division of the native, Algonquin speaking.

Reports of Mussie apparently can be traced back to 1916. Two of these creatures were also caught on film by a fisherman. The film is said to show two creatures at the same time, in the water. The film is short and was studied by scientists who concluded that maybe they are seal like animals.

At 8:30 P.M., June 7 , 1976, two people, Allen Childerhorse and John Hoard reported seeing a large creature in the lake. Hoard wrote: “Trailing about thirty feet behind and cutting the surface a green fin of some sort. I felt a little weird…I don’t know what to make of it…”

Then a Mr. and Mrs. Stark reported seeing two humps moving across the lake and then disappearing into the water.

In 1988 Michael Bradley conducted a sonar survey of Muskrat Lake in an attempt to find evidence of the existence of a large creature . He captured a sonar image of two creatures, 6-8 feet (1.8 to 2.45 meters) long, at a depth of 24 feet (7.3 m). Bradley notes that these creatures seemed to be undulating vertically. According to Bradley this is remarkable because only two types of creature undulate vertically, invertebrates and marine mammals. Bradley theorizes that Mussie may be a type of freshwater pigmy walrus, similar to the seals in Seal Lake, Quebec. Some eyewitness accounts seem to support this theory with descriptions of slick, silver-grey fur and long white teeth or tusks.

In the mid-1990s Mussie was made the focal point of a Cobden/Ottawa Valley marketing campaign. Flags, windsocks and signs sprung up all around Cobden and the entire Ottawa Valley. There was even talk of offering a $1,000,000 prize for Mussie's capture; unfortunately the plan never saw fulfillment. (Once again we see cryptids as a money maker)

Other theories include that of Mussie enthusiast Dennis Blaedow, who thinks that Mussie may spend the winter in some form of hibernation feeding off a cache of food deep in the Muskrat Lake caves and retired High School geography teacher Stew Jack thinks that belief in Mussie's existence may be caused by hallucinogenic qualities of the lake water itself.

So varying descriptions from serpent to seal as is normal with lake sightings. If the eye witness accounts were all the same then that would be more suspicious than if they are all different. Perception is individual and memory fallible. There seems to be no recent sightings documented but that doesn’t mean to say none have happened. Most people are reticent about coming forward saying they have seen a monster.


Anonymous said...

Mussie is a seal probably mirenga lionina
I wittnessed this animal and from what I seen they are around 10 feet long or so gray in color to blackish and sleek looking skin
I witnessed back in the 90s and know the animals are real however they are not a serpent and probably got trapped in there or may come and go seals are known to do this in other freshwater bodies. Or possibly a small relect population of freshwater seal from the champlain Sea

Tabitca said...

Thanks for sharing. It did sound like a large seal but one can always hope for a monster :-)

Mr. W. said...

I highly doubt it is a seal or walrus of any kind. I grew up in Cobden, and the lake is heavily fished, boated, and cottaged. It is not reasonable that any kind of mammal would elude definitive detection. Plus, although the lake is deep and long, it is quite narrow.

To suggest that something comes and goes from the lake ignore that doing so would require a passage to the Ottawa River, through some very small rivers.

The best guess for many people is that the odd sturgeon found its way into the lake now and then. This isn't far off from what leading researchers at Loch Ness believe Nessie to be. I spoke to Dr. Tony Harmsworth at length about Nessie (and Mussie) in 1992, and his position was sturgeon.

Tabitca said...

Mr W -Please Note Tony Harmsworth is not a doctor nor does he have any academic qualifications to that level. His Bio states he did not attend university. He does have a great deal of experience of living by the loch and of tourism in the area, having set up one of the two Loch Ness exhibition centres. He is not a biologist nor a zoologist.

Crissy said...

I've lived in Cobden for 13 yrs and there's nothing in the lake, no monsters anyway. Never even heard of it til now. There's also no seals in the lake either