2. First reported Edit
The first recorded sighting of Bessie occurred in 1793.
3. Country Edit
United States and Canada (In some places)
4. Region Edit
5. Habitat Edit
Water and Land
"South Bay Bessie" or "Bessie" for short has been reported to be approximately 30 to 60 feet long. Described as snake-like and darkly colored. It has a dog-like head, large fins, and a pointed tail.
Most sightings of Bessie are just that sightings, and it's believed to be non-agressive. But there have been reports of Bessie attacks. These usually occur when it feels it's territory is being encroached on. Most sightings occur in the Western Basin of Lake Erie.
The first recorded sighting of Bessie occurred in 1793, the captain of a sloop named Felicity startled a large creature described as "more than a rod (16 ½ ft) in length". Then 1817, there was a total of three separate sightings. The first was made by the crew of a schooner and reported a serpent; reporting it to be dark in color and 30 to 40 feet long. The second occured later in the year. A boat crew sighted a similar animal, saying it was 60 feet long and copper-colored. They shot at the creature, but the muskets had no visible effect on the creature. The third event occured near Toledo. Two French brothers named Dusseau emcountered a huge monster that had beached itself. They claimed that it was writhing in what they thought was it's death throes. The creature was 20 to 30 feet long and shaped like a large sturgeon, except the creature appeared to have arms. The brothers fled the scene in fear. They later returned and found the creature had vanished. They assumed carried off by the waves after it's death. Only the marks from were it had laid were left behind; along with some scales about the size of silver dollars. In 1892, there was a spectacular sighting seen by an entire crew. The ship they were aboard was chartered from Buffalo, NY to Toledo, Ohio. The whole crew (including catain) saw a large area of water approximately half a mile ahead. The water was churning and foaming as they approached. They reported a "huge sea serpent" that was "wrestling about in the waters, as if fighting with an unseen foe." They witnessed the creature as it relaxed itself and stretched out in full length. Estimating the length at 50 feet and circumference at 4 ft. It's color was brownish, with large fins, but they said it was "viciously sparkling". This sighting was carried by local newspapers upon it's report. May 5, 1896
Another sighting took place at Crystal Beach near Fort Erie. Four eyewitnesses watched as a 30 ft creature with a dog shaped head and pointy tail churn the waters. This lasted for 45 mins. before it finally disappeared before nightfall.
In 1960, Ken Golic was pier fishing when he heard two rats. Picking up some rocks he threw them at the rats. At this time a creature he described as cigar-shaped came a 1 to 1 ½ ft out of the water. This event occured around 11:00 PM on a clear, calm night. Another sighting took place in 1969. Jim Schindler saw a serpent that came within 6 feet of him near South Bass Island. He could not see how long the body was, he did say the width of the creature was close to 2 feet. The creature seemed to be 1 foot underwater. September,
1981 Theresa Kovach of Akron saw a snake-like reptile that "was so large that it could easily capsize a boat It seemed to be playing." She saw the creature from her house on Cedar Point Causeway. Around 1983 another sighting took place. Mary M. Landoll told John Schaffner about her encounter with "Bessie" off Rye Beach in Huron. Mary had gone out to her front porch just before dawn. The lake was placid, but from the left end, she heard a rowing sound. She saw what appeared to be a capsized boat. It was greenish-brown color about 40 to 50 feet long. She soon realized that it was an animal of some sort. It had a long neck, one visible eye on the side of it's head, and a grin going up one side. It also appeared to be playing, but it still scared her.
The Summer of 1985 had a reported sighting. Tony Schill of Avon, Ohio was boating with friends north of Vermilion when they saw a serpent-like creature. They said "5 humps came ojut of the water. No way it was a sturgeon." It was described as dark brown with a flat tail. Dale Munro, of Lorain was also boating when he saw the creature face-to-face. He stated it had 3 humps and was black in color. It was twice the size of his 16 foot boat. The waters were calm just off the Lorain Coast Guard Station and his sighting lasted 3 to 4 minutes. In 1986 there was a report on MonsterTracker from David Monk saying he spotted a "Sea Serpent". He said the creature eyes were the size of ostrich eggs and were located on the sides of its head. The head was 18 to 24 inches wide. He also said that he couldn't see a nose or mouth, it was a black with skin as smooth as a killer whales.
May or June 1989
Gail Kasner obtained a graph from a boat owned by Ken Smith, Streetsboro. The fishfinder shows a sonar reading of a cigar-shaped object about 35 feet long at a depth of about 30 feet.
July 8, 1990
Susan Seeson, of Salem witnessed the creature 2 miles from Cedar Point. She gave a description that matched other reports from the past. Two months later, Bob Soracco was jet skiing off Port Clinton when he thought he saw a porpoise. But after he looked again, he realized it was no porpoise. He gave a description saying "It was very long as I moved closer and it was going down." He stated it had humps with gray spots. The next day Harold Bricker and his family were fishing north of Cedar Point Amusement Park when a serpent-like creature swam 1000 feet away from their boat. He described it as 35 feet long with a snake-like head. The creature was moving as fast as their boat. Later they reported their encounter to the ODNR at East Harbor State Park. A week later, Fire inspectors Jim Johnson and Steve Dircks, of Huron saw a creature from a third story window that faced the lake. They stated the creature was dark blue or black and was about 35 to 40 feet long. He further stated that three parts of the creature were above water. "It laid motionless for 3 to 6 minutes and was flat on top."
September 16, 1991
Dennis Szececinski, of Toledo saw the creature near Toledo's water intake structure three miles offshore in Maumee Bay. He reported he was fishing in the bay, when something long and black slithered in front of him. July 2, 2004 There was a sighting at Madison Township Park in Lake County, OH. The water was described as calm, as the seunset on the lake a shape emerged from the water. Then resubmerged, the creature was reported be moving quite fast. It surfaced again and moved to the left at the same speed. It was claimed to have humps and was 30 to 40 feet long. A boat approached and it resubmerged again.
There have also been reports of aquatic attack beginning on August 2001. The attacks are savage in nature and occur mostly around Pump House beach, near Port Dover, Ontario. In a time span of 24 hours three people were bitten by a large, unseen animal. The first was Brenada McCormack, slipping into the water for a sunset swim when she felt a large bite on the side of her right calf. She frantically swam to shore and found a six-inch series of circular puncture wounds imbedded in her calf. The wounds were jaw-shaped in nature. That morning a man and his son were also assaulted in the same location. They swiftly swam to shore and rushed to the nearest hospital. The child required hopitalization for his injuries. Port Dover and neighboring communities began to theorize what could have caused the attacks; some believed it to be a school of piranhas, some attributed it to a juvenile "Bessie", and others thought it could be an eel-like cryptid known as "Cressie" which is mostly spotted in Newfoundland's Crescent Lake. Nothing solid has been found as of yet.
A reward of $100,000 has been offered by the Huron Lagoons Marina for the capture of Bessie, alive and unharmed.
Eyewitness accounts through the years, along with possible attack victims.
9. Possibiltiy of ExistenceEdit
3. Neutral: Not enough evidence to support or disprove existence
- Weird Ohio
- 'South Bay Bessie' - Lake Erie Monster 30 September 2009 written by Dale Ave-Lallemant
- Bessie (lake monster) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Lake Erie Monster by KiwiRose