Bessie is a lake monster that is said to live in Lake Erie which is found in the northeastern part of the United States where it shares its shoreline with Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan. Bessie of Lake Erie is also known as the Lake Erie Monster or South Bay Bessie and is described as being very similar in appearance to the Loch Ness Monster.
|Cryptid Name:||Bessie of Lake Erie / Lake Erie Monster|
|Location:||Lake Erie, United States (specifically the South Bay area)|
|Description:||Long, snake-like creature with a serpentine head and large fins.|
|Size:||30 – 50 Feet / 10 – 15 Meters.|
|Habitat/Environment:||Lakes specifically Lake Erie.|
|Evidence:||No concrete scientific evidence; Eyewitness sightings.|
|Sightings and Encounters:||Reports date back to the late 1700s.|
|Skepticism/Explanations:||Some believe Bessie of Lake Erie is a real creature, while others believe it is a myth or a hoax.|
What Does Bessie of Lake Erie Look Like?
Most people agree that Bessie looks like a large snake-like creature that is about 30 to 50 feet / 10 to 15 meters long. It has fins that resemble those of a Plesiosaur dinosaur and it is gray or silver in color. Most witnesses agree that it has a snake-like head but there are witnesses who have claimed that it has more of a dog-like head and in some cases, even human-like features and arms leaving some to speculate that Bessie has mermaid-like features similar to the Michigan Mermen.
The first recorded sighting of Bessie was in the late 1700s and since then there have been many eye-witness accounts with a notable uptick in sightings in the last three decades.
Possible Explanations for Lake Erie Monster Sightings
There are a few possible explanations for the Lake Erie Monster sightings with many skeptics believing that it is simply an elaborate hoax that has the benefit of drawing tourism to the area. However, with so many eyewitness accounts it is difficult to simply explain the sightings away without looking at other possibilities.
As mentioned above, there are many who believe that Bessie could be a surviving plesiosaur dinosaur. This theory is not at all unusual with many believing that the Hawkesbury River Monster in Australia and The Flathead Lake Monster in Montana could be a similar creature.
Another interesting suggestion is that the Lake Erie Monster could be a massive sturgeon fish – specifically the Beluga sturgeon (Huso huso). Sturgeons are known to easily grow up to 20 feet / 6 meters and they are the largest freshwater fish in the world and, just like descriptions of the Lake Erie Monster, they have a long, snake-like body that is gray or silver in color.
What is interesting about the Beluga sturgeon is its very unusual features. As you can see from the picture below, it has a face that almost has human-like features which could explain the different eye-witness accounts of what people are seeing.
That said, Lake Erie is not where Beluga sturgeon fish are usually found. They are native to the Caspian Sea and Black Sea basins in Eurasia particularly in countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran so it would be very unusual for one of these fish to be found in Lake Erie.
Rewards For Bessie of Lake Erie
If you are a cryptid hunter or cryptozoologist, then it is worth noting that there are a couple of rewards for the capture of Bessie. I found conflicting articles claiming that the Huron Lagoon Marina is offering rewards to anyone who can capture the Lake Erie Monster alive. The first reward I could find was for $5,000 and the second one is for a whopping $100,000!