Idaho's Loch Ness Monster

The Mysterious Pend Oreille Paddler

Since the 1940s Lake Pend Orielle in Northern Idaho has been the location of numerous sightings of a pleisiosaur type creature dubbed by locals as 'paddler'. The lake is one of the deepest in the USA at over 1,100 feet deep at some locations. It is also relatively large being over 40 miles long.

Eleanor Roosevelt proposed the area around Lake Pend Oreille for the location of a naval training center. The area was chosen and construction on the inland naval base began in March 1942 around the same time the 'paddler' sightings began.

Sightings have been relatively consistent and are in agreement with sightings of similar creatures from various locales around the world. A large aquatic creature with an elongated neck that extends above the waters surface. Like Nessie and other elusive plesiosaurs, the beasts are generally not clearly visible. Sometimes just a glimmer in the corner of the eye, sometimes a shadowy form skimming by under the waters surface.

In addition to hosting a legend of its own Loch Ness monster, Lake Pend Orielle also harbors the Farragut US Naval training station from which the Navy tests submarines and sonar. Naturally this has lead to claims that some of the sightings attributed to a biological cryptid similar to Plesiosaurs were actually Navy subsurface vessels.

Researcher and College Professor James McLeod lashed out in a paranoiac attack on the Navy, so common among cynical college intelligentsia, when he claimed the Navy was using the 'paddler' legend to cover its secretive research from Farragut Naval station. McLeod and a number of his minions conducted an investigation in the 1980s, 'Crypto Quest 84', and concluded that most of the sightings may have been a huge sturgeon which are believed to be occasional visitors to the Lake.

The first recorded sighting was in 1944, some have attributed this to Naval submarine activity. Scattered reports ensued but were not well documented. Reports subsided for some time but began pouring in again in the 1970s highlighted by an attack at a lake front beach in 1977.

On Memorial Day, 1985, a local teacher reported a large V-shaped wave crossed in front of her boat, indicative of something moving rapidly below the surface. Whatever created the wave began bobbing out of the water.

"There was clearly something in the water ahead of us that was undulating, coming in and out of the water," teacher Julie Green stated. She gave chase, but the object quickly outran her. She further described the object as ' gunmetal gray ' and about the same length as her boat of 22 feet.

In March of 2007 a sighting was photographed, it's a sketchy photo at that, as are so many cryptid photo ops, they tend to be camera shy. The picture was taken in Green Mountain Idaho by a River Journal staff photographer.

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