Lake Erie Has a Loch Ness Monster


Looking to make yourself a quick $5000.  It’s simple to do. All you have to do is catch the Lake Erie’s Loch Ness Monster, commonly known as South Bay Bessie.

Thomas Solberg owner of Huron Lagoon Marina has offered a $5000 reward for anyone who catches South Bay Bessie. The catch, pardon the pun, is the offer states a $5,000 reward to anyone, who captures her alive. This ad has been posted for many years, but still, no one seems to be able to catch her.

Bessie known as Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster’s cousin was first recorded sighted in Sandusky Ohio in 1793 when the Captain of a ship reported seeing her. She was reported to be 30 to 40 ft long and at least a foot in diameter.  The Captain described her to be grayish in color and looked snake-like.

She wasn’t reported seen again until 1817, twenty-four years later, when another captain of a boat reported seeing her. Later that year, another boat crew spotted another snake-like creature. Only, she had grown to be 60 feet in length and her color was copper-colored.

Bessie was seen again in 1817 when she was reportedly seen a third time near Toledo Ohio, by two brothers, who reported an encountering with a huge monster on the beach with large serpent arms that was 20 to 30 feet in length.

The brothers reported being freighted by the large creature and fled the scene.  When they returned later, the creature had disappeared, leaving behind marks in the sand where she had been seen on the beach and a number of silver scales about the size of a silver dollars.

Seventy-five years later, In July of 1892, Bessie showed herself again. Another ship sighting, only this time by an entire crew, who reported seeing Bessie along the waters between Buffalo, NY and to Toledo, Ohio.

The crew reported seeing a huge serpent thrashing around in the water. When the creature stretched out full length, she was estimated to be 50 feet long and 4 feet in circumference. When she raised her head above the water, she was reported to have an additional four feet in length, with vicious sparkling eyes and large fins.

Four years later, Bessie appeared again. In May of 1896, this time on the Canadian side of the water, in Crystal Beach, Ontario. Four eyewitnesses reported watching a 30-foot creature with a dog-shaped head and pointy tail, as it swam along the beach.

She seemed to hide away for many years, until 1960 when she was reported seen off a pier in Sandusky, Ohio.  She was reported to be cigar-shaped and came out of the water about 11 1/2 feet.

In 1969 she was reported to be seen near South Bass Island in Ohio.  This time she stayed underwater but was estimated to be two feet in the width.

Then in 1981, another report of a snake-like reptile was made on the Cedar Point Causeway. Bessie was described to be so large that she could easily capsize a boat.

Two years later, there was another encounter with Bessie off of Rye Beach in Huron where a woman reported hearing a rowing sound and first thought she saw a capsized boat. After observing for a short time, she stated she saw a creature who appeared to be playing in the water and described it as a greenish-brown color, about 40-50 feet in length with a long neck and large eyes that were visible on each side of the head.

Over the next four years, Bessie was seen three times. In 1985  north of Vermilion, Ohio, she was described as a dark brown serpent with a flat tail. She had 5 humps that came out of the water.


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A drawing of Bessie


Later again that year, off of the Lorain Coast Guard Station, a man described coming face-to-face with Bessie while he was on his 16-foot boat.  He stated she was twice the size of his boat and had 3 humps and was black.

In the Spring of 1989, a graph from a fish-finder appears to show a sonar reading of a cigar-shape apparition about 35 feet in length at a depth of about 30 feet.

Then in 1990, Bessie became very active. She was witnessed in the Spring, 2 miles from Cedar Point Ohio. In the Fall she was seen at Port Clinton Ohio and a few days later just north of Cedar Point, Ohio and again not long after at East Harbor State Park.  All the people reporting her were in the water on their boats and were less than 1000 feet away. Their description all being similar to a 35 feet long creature with a snake-like head.

Later that Fall, two Fire inspectors also reported seeing her. They reported seeing a creature floating on the water from a third story window facing Lake Erie. They said it laid motionless for about five minutes before it descended back into the water describing her as dark blue or black at about 30-45 feet long.

A year later in the Fall of 1991, Bessie was reported being seen near Toledo’s water intake structure three miles offshore in Maumee Bay in Ohio. The fisherman reported he was fishing in the Bay when something long and black slithered in front of him.

Sightings were reported again in 1995 and the last one in 1997 made CNN News. It was a blurry video shooting of her in the lake. The description followed the similarities of her over the past 225 years.


There haven’t been any reported sighting of her since 1997, but she has been known to disappear for many years before raising her head again.

She has chosen a large home for herself with Lake Erie covering about 10,000 sq. mi. of surface area and at the lakes deepest point, the Lake is over  210.64 feet deep.

A serpent of her size averaging between somewhere between 30 and 60 feet long, being dark in color would have lots of places to hide.

The legend of Bessie and her sightings have persisted since the late 1700s. Her reward to catch her has also been around for a while with the latest rumor being that is it now $100,000.


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She was made famous by a brewing company, using her as 
their logo.


If you are looking to make some quick cash, all you have to do is find Bessie. But don’t forget the reward only pays if she is alive. On the positive side, there has only been one time that she was supposed to attack a boat and killed three people leaving one survivor.

The survivor had a heck of a story to tell but no signs of Bessie were left to be found.


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The new paper capitation of the reported incident.


2 thoughts on “Lake Erie Has a Loch Ness Monster

  1. Hmmm. It’s a very tempting offer, but if you don’t mind, I think i’ll give this one a miss. Loch Ness, by the way, is about 755 feet deep at the deepest point but average 450 feet deep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Put out a bowl of dog food and hope, I suppose. I hesitate to challenge the authenticity of Bessie, but I can testify that my grandfather was a master mariner and after a bottle or two of whisky he saw many things.

    Liked by 1 person

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