Wallowa Lake Monster (Wally)
The Wallowa Lake Monster, also known as Wally, is a creature that has been rumored to inhabit Wallowa Lake in Oregon, USA. Wallowa Lake is a ribbon lake 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Joseph, Oregon, United States, at an elevation of 4,372 ft (1,333 m). Impounded by high moraines, it was formed by a series of Pleistocene glaciers. The lake has a strong history in both bloodshed and gold. Descriptions of the mysterious monster said to lurk somewhere in the lake have varied, but it is commonly described as being hump-shaped and anywhere from 8 to 100 feet long. The Wallowa Lake Monster first appears in a local First Nation-legend.
Wallowa Lake Monster legend
According to the Nez Perce, two recently married young members of separate tribes were eaten by the monster. The legend states that the son of the Blackfeet chief named Tlesca and the daughter of the Nez Perce chief named Wahluna were to be married to bring peace between both tribes. During the wedding, the two tribes gathered in peace as well as interacted with other tribes from around the area such as the Kiyouses and the Yakimas.
With the ceremony complete, the young newlyweds got into their canoe and paddled out into the middle of the lake to gaze upon the natural beauty before them as well as take in the sight of the joined tribes. Suddenly, a great serpent shot up from beneath the canoe and tossed it into the air, destroying it.
Both Tlesca and Wahluna were thrown into the water and were viciously consumed by the serpent before it finally dove back beneath the surface. The Blackfeet chief took it as a sign that the Great Spirit was angry at the joining of the two tribes and quickly left the area after dissolving the treaty the Nez Perce and the Blackfeet had just made.
First recorded sighting
In 1885, a prospector reported a sighting of the monster in the Wallowa County Chieftain newspaper. According to the article, the first sighting of the monster was in 1885, when a prospector rowing his boat across the lake encountered a large animal with a 10-foot-long neck and estimated the creature’s length to be almost 80 feet.
The prospector described the monster as having a snake-like body, a large head like that of a hippopotamus, and a neck as thick as a man’s body. The sighting was taken seriously, as it was known that the lake had a tradition among the Indians of having a “big sea cow” in it.
In 1932, a married couple known as the Reesey’s saw a “great fish” beneath the surface that appeared to be longer than their 11-foot boat. A few years later, a young boy saw a large snake-like monster with a head reminiscent of a classic Chinese dragon. The monster appeared to be curious and swam close to shore before diving back below the surface.
Irene Wiggins, who lived along the lake, also claimed to have spotted the creature numerous times between 1945 and 1983, describing the monster’s head as “a big, black thing, like a hog’s head,” and estimating its weight to be hundreds of pounds.
In 1947 a group of Boy Scouts reported seeing a large creature with a long neck and humps on its back swimming in the lake. They claimed that the creature was about 20 feet long and moved slowly through the water.
In the 1950s, a married couple named Wicklander and a man named Joe Tatone saw two large unknown creatures chasing and eating fish near the head of the lake. One creature was estimated to be nearly 8ft in length while the second was estimated to be around 17ft. Both creatures’ bodies resembled that of a shark’s, but with no dorsal fin, and the heads appeared to look like that of a buffalo’s, but were nearly 2ft wide.
In 1982, a man and woman named Kirk Marks and Marjorie Crammer witnessed an estimated 50ft unknown creature creating high waves near the northeastern side of the lake. The body was described as very dark in color and serpentine in shape. In 1984, a couple fishing on the lake saw a large, hump-shaped creature that was estimated to be about 20 feet long. The creature was swimming on the surface and submerged when they got closer. In 2000, another witness reported seeing a creature that was about 15 feet long and described it as having a body like a giant eel.
There are many theories about what the Wallowa Lake Monster might be, including a sturgeon or other large fish, a beaver, or even a hoax. However, the lake has been sounded to a depth of 270 feet, leaving the possibility that some unknown creature inhabits its unexplored depths. Some also speculate that the monster could be a prehistoric creature that has survived in the lake since ancient times.
Sightings of the Wallowa Lake Monster have been reported consistently every decade since the 1920s.:
• 1920s – Sighting of the Wallowa Lake Monster by a group of fishermen who claimed to have seen a large creature in the lake. No further details about this sighting are available.
• 1940s – A local farmer reported seeing a large creature swimming in the lake while he was fishing. According to the farmer, the creature had a long neck and humps on its back.
• 1950s – Multiple sightings reported by locals and tourists, including a family who claimed to have seen the creature from their cabin window. The family reported that the creature had a long neck and humps on its back, and that it appeared to be swimming leisurely in the lake.
• 1960s – A man reported seeing a large creature with a long neck and humps on its back swimming in the lake. He estimated that the creature was about 25 feet long and had a very smooth skin.
• 1970s – A group of fishermen claimed to have seen the creature while fishing on the lake. They described the creature as having a long neck, humps on its back, and a dark color.
• 1980s – A group of tourists reported seeing a large creature with a long neck and humps on its back swimming in the lake. They estimated that the creature was about 30 feet long and had a dark, scaly skin.
• 1990s – A woman reported seeing a large creature with a long neck and humps on its back swimming in the lake. She described the creature as having a very smooth, shiny skin and estimated its length to be about 40 feet.
• 2000s – Multiple sightings reported by tourists, including a group who claimed to have seen the creature while on a boat tour of the lake. They described the creature as having a long neck, humps on its back, and a very large size.
• 2010s – A man reported seeing a large creature with a long neck and humps on its back swimming in the lake. He estimated its length to be about 50 feet and claimed that it moved very gracefully through the water.
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