Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 15th, 2006
Lake Elsinore Monster Yarn Bobs Up Again
Elsinore – C. B. Greenstreet, rancher, today came to the aid of Southern California publicists, who have been chagrined during recent months for lack of a lake, sea or river monster.
Greenstreet revived the Lake Elsinore monster, reported to have been seen from time to time since Indians roamed the country.
I know you think I’m crazy; but I saw it. We all saw it — my wife and two children, and my little girl was terrified and afraid to return to our home at the head of the lake.
It was 100 feet long and had a thirty-foot tail. It would move along near the surface of the water lazy-like, and then all at once it would swish that huge tail and dart like lightning half the length of the lake. Waves as high as light posts washed on the shore in its wake.
Date of dispatch: September 14, 1934
Source: UP wire
Modesto Bee and News-Herald
September 15, 1934
Credit: Jerome Clark.
This creature has been called “Elsie” (for obvious reasons) and “Hamlet” (not sure why). Sightings have been frequent since 1884.
Reportedly in 1954 when the lake went completely dry, no monster was found. Some said Elsie had crawled out of the lake and was waiting in a cave for the water to return. It apparently did, with sightings in 1967. In 1970, local resident Bonnie Play saw it twice, and described Elsie as being roughly 12 feet long and about 3 feet wide. Swimming up and down, it had humps and a long dinosaur like head. After the 1970 sighting, 3 state park authorities saw it surface about 50 feet from their boat. In 1992, there was a series of good encounters with Elsie on the lake.
Despite the serious sightings, Elsie has often been troubled with being at the receiving end of local newspapers’ humor columns, with the exception of a decent balanced overview article by John Hunneman in 2005.