Sunday 3 September 2017

The Lake Bala Monster

Having seen Nick Redfern's recent interesting article on the Lake Bala Monster, it brought to my mind an article I had on the creature from years back plus some recent thoughts I had on the phenomenon. The article is from issue 82 of the Fortean Times dated August 1995 and is shown below with the relevant text. There is also a big cat article which may be of interest to some.

Early last March, brothers Andrew and Paul Delaney from London were fishing on Lake Bala in Gwynedd, North Wales. "It was very calm and we were about to finish when we noticed something coming up to the surface about 80 yards from the boat. At first we thought it was a tree trunk. Then it straightened up and towered 10 feet in the air. It had a small head and a long neck, like'pictures of the Loch Ness Monster."

The first recorded sighting of Lake Bala's monster - nicknamed "Teggie" after Llyn Tegid, the local name for the lake - was made 20 years ago by the former lake warden, Dafydd Bowen. Others have since claimed to have seen a strange shape lurking in the depths of the lake, which is 4 four miles long and 150 feet deep. "I looked out of my office 1 window and saw this thing moving through the water 200 yards away," said Mr Bowen, now 72, a teetotaller who worked on the lake for 25 years.

"It was grey, about eight feet long and looked like a crocodile with a small hump in the middle. Many others have seen it, but most of them are too shy to report their sightings in case they are made fun of." Dr Rick Leah, a zoologist at Liverpool University, said last April that the environmental and evolutionary biology department was keen to use its latest £10,000 digital echo sounder equipment on the lake to look for Teggie, but would need financial backing for the tests.

This report prompted a letter to the Fortean Times two issues later:

Nick's article about a possible 10 foot pike does in fact make some sense looking at the sketch at the top done by Craig Boscombe. After all, a crocodile head is not too dissimilar to that of a pike. Having said that, the Delaney brothers' account is distinctly more in line with the traditional long neck ascribed to lake cryptids.

Now, I was actually in North Wales for a holiday back in July but time forbade me paying a visit to Llyn Tegid. However, I had taken a look at the map at the time and was struck by something that may or may not be a coincidence. Take a look at the map below.

Lake Bala is seen to the top right and to the left you will see Barmouth Bay. Seasoned lake monster fans will know that Barmouth also has the reputation for sightings of sea serpents. This article gives various dates for some possible cryptid encounters in that area. Could the two mysterious creatures be connected in some way? Certainly, at four miles long, the lake does not seem a sustainable place for one or more large creatures and so perhaps the Lake Bala Monster was once the Barmouth Bay Monster?

There is probably some river route amongst the complex of rivers and streams that gets you from the sea to the lake, but it looks like a fifteen mile swim, so it is hardly a trip that would be undertaken regularly. Nevertheless, perhaps some food for thought.

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