Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 5th, 2012
Harry Trumbore’s drawing of the Thetis Lake Monster in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates. This cryptid case is puzzling.
Daniel Loxton’s debunking was carried in this issue of Junior Skeptic.
Two sightings in 1972 were debunked by Loxton and demoted by him to hoax status because one man years later claimed what occurred was a prank.
As John Green has noted regarding Bigfoot incidents, there usually is someone around who wants to tell whomever will listen that such and such an event was a hoax to get their fifteen minutes of fame. It is remarkable that debunkers often totally “believe” the stories of the hoax claimers, while routinely dismissing sightings of eyewitnesses as mere “stories.”
Even Wikipedia has changed their entry (back and forth) on the “Thetis Lake Creature” to “Thetis Lake Monster Hoax,” with the thinnest of logic.
Recently, it became known that a new incident that might be a Thetis Lake Creature encounter has occurred. Jesse Martin has stepped forward to share his account:
Five summers ago , I got a job with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. teaching people how to fish on Vancouver Island. I lived out of Duncan, about an hour north of Victoria. I spent my summer teaching people to fish and my time off chasing rainbow and brown trout in the Cowichan River and smallmouth bass in other area lakes.
One day in August I decided to try out Thetis Lake just north of Victoria. I didn’t have a boat at the time but heard that it had pretty good shore access, so I decided to give it a try.
Sure enough, there was a great walking path around the lake, and the action was pretty steady including one solid 3+ pounder on a tube bait. I was having a blast exploring this new lake when I came to the realization that daylight was fading fast. After a few more casts, and more than one “last cast” I hustled back to the parking lot.
It was completely deserted. My mustang was the last car there. As an experienced urban fisherman, being the last guy in the parking lot was nothing new at all but just as I was entertaining myself with this thought, I heard something moving through the bushes behind the car. Being the scaredy cat I am, I rushed into the car, shoved my rods into the passenger seat and fumbled for my keys. As I did this I happened to glance into my rearview mirror where I saw a man running towards me.
Now, if this were a horror movie, this would’ve been the part where the car didn’t start.
Thankfully it did, and not a moment too soon as the figure was rapidly catching up. As I put it into gear, he made one last lunge for the passenger side door, where his hand smacked against the handle.
I peeled out of the parking lot and didn’t check the rearview until I was on the Malahat highway. I tried to calm myself during the ride home, but I was definitely rattled thinking about what had just happened.
When I got back to the place I was staying in Duncan, I pulled into the driveway and was about to go inside when I decided to take a look at the spot on my car where the man had struck it.
As I walked towards it I stared dumbfounded at what I saw. Five scratch-marks with patches of fish scales strewn throughout.
I didn’t sleep well that night, and when I went into work the next morning I just had to tell somebody what happened. That somebody was my co-worker. For the sake of anonymity let’s call her V. V listened patiently to my entire story, but I was taken aback when she didn’t even seem surprised at the ending.
The following dialogue went something like this:
Me: This doesn’t surprise you?
V: No, not really.
Me: Wow, you must think I’m really full of crap then?
V: Ha, no. Just a little. Actually, I’ve heard stories like this before. It was the Thetis Lake Monster.
Me: You’re kidding.
V: Not at all. It’s a real thing.
Me: There’s an actual monster that lives there and terrorizes people?
V: Go look it up.
And I did. And after doing so, I had to admit, it sounded a lot like what I encountered that August night on Vancouver Island.
And I haven’t been back to Thetis Lake since.
Posted On November 01, 2011 by Jesse Martin.
Jesse Martin grew up fishing for trout and salmon in British Columbia, but discovered a new love in bass fishing in his teen years. He currently works as both a seminarist and fishing guide in the South Okanagan area of B.C.
Only March 5, 2012, I received an answer to my question to Jesse Martin, what do you say to debunkers who dismiss your report. He replied: “My response to the debunkers is simple: It’s easy to deny the existence of something if it doesn’t fit into our concept of what is real and what isn’t. It’s difficult to come forward and admit you’ve actually had an encounter with an unknown creature knowing you’ll be in the position to be attacked.”
Furthermore, comments on the Internet tell of a variety of incidents of cryptid encounters in British Columbia, similar to the Thetis Lake Monster, in recent times:
Moss Street, in Fairfield, on a porch eating cat food,
At the Esquimalt Lagoon, in an old building, at Royal Road,
At Lost Lake [Blenkinsop Lake?] in Blenkinsop Valley,
In the Nanimo [sp?] River, caught on fishing line, and
In the lakes [including Goodacre Lake?] at Beacon Hill Park.
[Appreciation to Thylo for location spelling corrections.]