by Mike Conley
Scotland is home to the world-famous Loch Ness Monster, also known as Nessie. But could nearby Lake Norman have a monster named Normie?
Residents say something strange is lurking in the waters of Lake Norman Some people living along the shores of North Carolina's biggest lake suspect that some kind of strange, large creature exists beneath the surface. For years, they have told strange stories about a monster in the lake.
And an entire Web site is devoted to the weird phenonemon. If you go to LakeNormanMonster.com, you can read all kinds of strange and sometimes funny stories about the purported creature. You can also submit your own report if you have seen something unexplained at the lake. The many rumors and tales prompted Mooresville resident Matt Myers to create the site.
'People in Lake Norman have seen strange things in the waters,' read a news release from the Web site. 'Many dismissed these sightings and the resulting speculation as flights of fancy. In 2000, locals began spreading disturbing sightings of alligators sunning on docks and sand bars. No one believed these sightings, either, until video footage of one of the alligators was delivered to a Charlotte news station.'
Bobby of Huntersville submitted his tale to the site, dated Aug. 21, 2006. 'I've lived in North Carolina all my life and while I was growing up I've always heard the story of the Lake Norman monster also known as ‘Normie' and I never really believed it until last week when I was fishing off my boat with my dad,' reads Bobby's tale. 'I had a bass on my fishing line and while I was reeling it in I saw a big creature in the lake with huge eyes about the size of a basketball and a striped squirmy tail. At this time I couldn't believe what I had seen and I told my dad and all he said was ‘Bobby, your seeing stuff,' but when I pulled in my line something pulled it and then out of nowhere my bass was gone and the creature I saw was gone too. I was in total shock and now I believe there is something in that lake and I am scared to swim in it.'
The site also offers a history of Lake Norman, facts about the man-made lake, a list of the most recent sightings, a form for users to submit their own sighting and a tongue-in-cheek introduction by world famous Swedish cryptozoologist Jan Sundberg, best known from documentaries on The Learning Channel, including 'Loch Ness: The Search for The Truth.'
Visitors to the site can also sign up for a free monthly newsletter and purchase souvenir T-shirts, mugs, hats and more.
In addition, Asheville author Joshua P. Warren and his team of paranormal investigators called LEMUR have looked into what is underneath the waters of Lake Norman. LEMUR stands for League of Energy Materialization and Unexplained Phenomena Research. The group has previously investigated the Brown Mountain Lights, the Pink Lady ghost at the Grove Park Inn and UFO sightings.
In April 2003, the LEMUR team got on a pontoon boat and went out on Lake Norman, armed with video and digital cameras. 'It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day,' reads LEMUR's Web site. 'However, we never witnessed anything out of the usual.
Of course, if Normie was out there, it would literally have been easier to find a needle in a haystack. At least a needle doesn't move around!'
Unlike Loch Ness, Lake Norman is a manmade body of water. It was created from 1959 to 1964 when Duke Power built the Cowans Ford Dam across the Catawba River to generate electrical energy.
Lake Norman has more than 500 miles of shoreline and some parts of it are more than 110 feet deep.
In addition to Normie, other folks have reported seeing huge catfish in the lake. Some people have said they are as big as a car with mouths large enough to swallow a human.
So how could such weird creatures live in a manmade lake?
Some folks speculate that the Lake Norman Monster and the huge catfish could be mutations caused by the nearby nuclear power plant.
Others think that Normie swam up the river from the ocean and got trapped there before the lake was formed in the 1960s.
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