Loch Ness Monster?

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Isn’t this a beautiful lake?

Well, I promised you an interesting story about it…..so here we go….

A monster lives in the waters of Lake Hodges and his name is Hodgie.

And I’m not kidding!

Here’s a bit of the history:
1921 – Local San Diego fishermen report seeing “…a large disturbance…” in the water. Rumors that the Navy may have been conducting underwater tests on early submarines were denied by a U.S. Navy spokesman.

1929 – Escondido Mayor John L. Offitt formally requests that the City of San Diego look into reports of a creature in Lake Hodges.

1930 – Researchers found no conclusive evidence of any sort of creature in the lake, although one assistant did report seeing a “…lizard-like…” head “…protruding from the surface…”

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1931 – A boat docked on a small pier is destroyed. Police find no footprints near the sandy beach entrance to the pier and note in their report that there appears to have been “…great turmoil under the water along the base of the pier, from a boat or underwater vessel…or perhaps a large creature.”

1932 – At the behest of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, attempts were made to capture the Lake Hodges monster. A large cage-like trap was created and a small California sea lion was secured inside as bait. Cameras held underwater in glass containers were secured to buoys nearby.

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While no lake creature was captured by the cage, the sea lion bait disappeared and one astonishing photograph was taken from one of the buoy cameras. Subsequent attempts to capture the creature resulted in smashed cameras and buoys, and the project was finally cancelled.

1936 – U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research worked with students on a research project using a new approach: A large section of the lake was placed off-limits to fishermen, and a trip-wire was held 12″ under the water and connected to a bank of cameras. After three months with no results, another incredible photo was taken. Shortly thereafter, all research was put on hold as San Diego prepared itself for the war effort.

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(Okay you are TOTALLY NOT GOING TO BELIEVE this next item from the Lake Hodges history book – I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!)

1956 – Using thousands of pounds of highly toxic chemicals, officials kill virtually all of the fish in the lake. The lake was then restocked with new fish. The official reason was to get rid of carp. An anonymous statement written on City of San Diego letterhead stated that officials were attempting to kill any creature in the lake — including the monster.

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1966 – A pleasant two-family picnic outing turned frightening when a large creature surfaced about 50 yards offshore. Although this photo was the only clear one, there were seven eye witnesses whose stories, even under scrutiny, all corroborated.

1999 – Researchers using sophisticated equipment trying to detect Hodgee.

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TODAY – Hodgee is very well known among locals. There have been TV reports, news articles and even cartoons. And of course there’s an online gift shop with Hodgee memorabilia.

Alrighty then……..

What do you think?

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“The Loch Ness Monster is the world-famous creature said to inhabit Loch Ness in northern Scotland. The search for the monster has probably consumed more money, time, and newspaper space than attempts to prove the existence of UFOs.”

PETER D. JEANS, Seafaring Lore and Legend

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