Russian academics are calling for a scientific probe into claims of a 'Siberian Loch Ness monster' in one of the world's remotest lakes.
Researchers using underwater scanners have found evidence of 'Nesski' - measuring up to 33 feet in length - in the deep waters of Lake Labynkyr, says a new report.
Intriguingly, the evidence is at a lake where native Evenk and Yakut people have long claimed an underwater creature lurks.
The evidence includes a picture which, it is claimed, shows the monster, says the Siberian Times.
Known as ‘the Devil', testimony dating back to the 19th century says the monster has enormous jaws.
Associate Professor Lyudmila Emeliyanova, of Moscow State University, told The Siberian Times that on her own scientific mission to Labynkyr she recorded ‘several seriously big underwater objects’ with sonar readings.
Images have also recently emerged from a 2006 scientific trip to the lake when strange objects - one of 21ft 4in (6.5 metres) in length - were recorded on a Humminbird Piranha MAX 215 Portable fish-finder at a depth of 138 to 197 feet.
Territory: Lake Labynkyr in Siberia, the alleged home of a giant 'Nesski' monster
Based on the sonic readings, researchers drew how the creature might look in real-life on the fish-finder's screen.
‘It was our fourth or fifth day at the lake when our echo sounding device registered a huge object in the water under our boat," said Dr Emeliyanova of her own close encounter.
It was clearly alive and too large to be one of the dozen or so known fish species in the lake.
‘The object was very dense, of homogeneous structure, surely not a fish nor a shoal of fish, and it was above the bottom," she said.
‘I was very surprised but not scared nor shocked, after all we did not see this animal, we only registered a strange object in the water. But I can clearly say - at the moment, as a scientist, I cannot offer you any explanation of what this object might be.’
Other similar findings since her 2002 mission mean that a new scientific mission to discover the truth is essential, said Dr Emeliyanova, a biogeographer.
‘I believe there is a mystery in this lake because there is no smoke without fire,’ she said.
She was told an account of two fishermen who were ‘in a 10 metre long boat when suddenly the bow began to rise as if somebody was pushing it from under the water.
'It was a heavy boat, only a huge and strong animal can do such a thing. The fishermen were stuck by fear. They did not see anything, no head, no jaws.’
Another 'sighting' came when a group of Russian geologists were fishing in the lake.
‘Suddenly those in the boat started screaming - apparently they saw a huge head of some creature. Others, who were waiting for them on shore, started shooting, and scared the creature away,’ said a witness.
A 1953 sighting of a 'monster' in neighbouring Lake Vorota by respected Soviet geologist Viktor Tverdokhlebov was initially covered up by the Soviet authorities.
But now Dr Emeliyanova wants to investigate a theory that the two lakes are linked by underground tunnels.
Strangely, despite being close to Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited town on Earth, the lake does not freeze completely in winter.
There has been speculation in Russia that Labynkyr and Vorota might be inhabited by a school of ichthyosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles resembling dolphins or sharks, or plesiosaurs, a popular theory concerning 'Nessie' in Scotland which is often depicted with a long neck.
Another version is that relic killer whales could have become marooned in Labynkyr when it was attached to the sea.
Some accounts even suggest the 'creature' makes a hideous primeval cry as it attacks its prey.
‘Personally, I do believe that when the information about something strange circulates among local people for so many years, it just can't be groundless, it means something is there,’ said Dr Emeliyanova.
’I know the local people very well - they are ingenuous but they do not lie.’
She stressed: ‘There are many lakes in Yakutia and around the Indigirka River, hundreds of them, big and small, their shores are more or less populated, but all the talk is about Labynkyr and Vorota lakes, and it has gone on for many dozens of years.
'It makes us think about it. And these stories about the local monster are older than those about the Loch Ness monster.’ - dailymail
|Echo sounding device data of the underwater object in lake Labynkyr, with travelers drawing in red what they imagined the creature could have looked like. Pictures: veslo.ru|
Accounts began reaching the outside world after nine geologists led by Viktor Tverdokhlebov, of the East Siberian branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, were involved in an expedition to this remote corner of the then USSR in the summer of 1953, a few months after the death of Stalin. As they rode on horseback, their guide was the elderly Varfolomey Vinokurov, a local man.
It took eight years for his diary account to be published in a Soviet magazine and this referred to his own sighting in Lake Vorota - a name which literally 'Gates' (an unusual name for a lake, perhaps signifying Gates of the Devil?) while also including historical accounts he heard from locals.
'30 May. We left Tomtor village, went 70 kilometres up the Kuidusun Valley, turned left and got to the large Sordonnokhskoe plateau. Ahead of us there is Lake Labynkyr where there is storage with food and equipment.
'There are many legends about this Lake Labynkyr. In the evenings sitting by the fire our old guide told us that a 'devil' lived in this lake. He is so big that the distance between his eyes, as Varfolomey said, 'is wider than a fisherman's raft made of ten logs'.
'I heard about this 'devil' before and many times. In Ust-Ner, I heard that the devil ate a dog. The dog swam to bring the shot duck to the hunter, then huge jaws raised from the water and the dog just disappeared in a moment.
'One of the Tomtor villagers told me that one day he found a huge bone on the shore of Lake Labynkyr. It was like the devil's jaw - if you put it vertically, you could ride on a horse through it like under an arch. He said this jaw bone remained near the fishermen house on the shore.
'I heard legends how a whole caravan perished going under the ice of Labynkyr. It was spoken that people saw a big horn stuck out of the ice. People gathered around it on ice and tried to take it out but suddenly the ice broke and many people and reindeer died'.
'5 June: Early in the morning we got to the shore of Lake Labynkyr and reached the storage. Comfortable tents with wooden beds and floor and table awaited us.
'7 June: We are having a rest. Lake Labynkyr is a square, 15 km long and 3 km wide. I found the ruined fisherman's house on the shore, carefully explored the house and all around it but did not find any 'jaw bone'.
He did not witness anything untoward in Labynkyr but went on with his expedition.
28 July: Now we stopped at the shore of Lake Vorota. Mikhail made a raft and went to measure the depth. It is 60 meters as in Labynkyr. But the lake itself is much smaller.
30 July: This is what happened today. It was sunny friendly morning, Boris Bashkatov and I went on a walking trip around Lake Vorota. We had to climb rocks on the way - about 11 am the way became dangerous and we decided to go down a bit, closer to the water. Looking at the water from the rock, I clearly saw a terrace under the water with a huge white spot on it. But when I looked at the terrace again a minute later there was no white spot there. 'Maybe sunshine is joking with me', I thought. But suddenly Boris shouted 'Look! What is there, in the middle?' We stopped. Some 300-400 meters away on the water there was clearly seen some white object, shining under the sunlight. 'A barrel', said Boris, 'made of tin.' 'Maybe a horse got into the lake,' I said.
Truly, the object was swimming, and fast enough. It was something alive, some animal. It was making an arch - first along the lake, then right towards us. As it was getting closer, a strange coldness like a stupor was growing inside me. Above the water there was big dark grey body, the white colour has gone. On this dark grey background there were clearly visible two symmetrical light spots looking like eyes and there was just stick in the body - maybe a fin? Or a harpoon of an unlucky fisherman?
'We saw just a part of the animal but we could guess its much bigger, massive body was under the water. We could guess this looking how the monster was moving - raising from the water, it threw its body forward then fully went under the water. At this time the waves were going away from its head, waves originating under the water. 'Flapping its mouth, catching fish', I guessed.
The animal was obviously swimming towards us and the waves made by the animal reached our legs. We looked at each other and immediately began to climb up the rock. What if 'it' goes out of the water? We witnessed a predator, no doubt, one of the strongest predators in this world: such indomitable, merciless and some sensible fierceness was in every his movement, in all its looks.
'The animal stopped some 100 meters away from the shore. Suddenly it began to beat against the water, waves went all ways, we could not understand what was going on. Maybe it lasted just a minute and then the animal was gone, dived. It was only then when I thought about a camera.
'We stood for another 10-20 minutes, it was quiet. We went further.
'There was no doubt, we saw the 'devil' - the legendary monster of this area. The Yakut fisherman was right, the animal had dark grey skin and the distance between its eyes was surely not less than a raft of 10 logs. But he saw it in Labynkyr and we saw it in Vorota lake. They are 20 km away from each other - and they are not connected.
'I recalled that white spot under the water. Obviously, the animal was hunting at that underwater terrace and we scared it when shouted going down the rocks.' - Siberian Times
In 1953, geologist Victor Tverdokhlebov and a companion spotted a huge creature swimming quickly and jerkily across Lake Labynkyr in eastern Yakutia. When reports of the sighting emerged, public curiosity was piqued, and expeditions embarked on largely fruitless hunts for the Labynkyr "Nessie". Locals weren't surprised by the sighting, and speak of animals pulled down into the water never to be seen again. Suggestions as to the true identity of the mystery monster include a gladiator dolphin somehow stranded in a freshwater lake miles from the nearest ocean, and a giant pike. - A Study Guide to Ufos, Psychic and Paranormal Phenomena in the U.S.S.R.
Russians Report Loch Ness Type Monster
United Press International, Sept. 30, 1963 - MOSCOW - The Soviet Union has its own sea monster with a taste for hunting dogs, Radio Moscow reported today.
The "dragon like creature" lives in Siberia's Lake Labynkyr and has frequently been seen by local inhabitants."
"On one occasion the monster swallowed a hunter's dog," the broadcaster, a student of biology at. Moscow State University said. He cited monster sightings in the west-including one off Brazil and in Loch Ness-and said an expedition had gone to Lake Labynkyr and will return next month.
The lake is 220 miles north of the port of Okhotsk on the Sea of Ohkotsk, east of Alaska.
Mysterious Labynkyr Lake
The legendary lake Labynkyr is situated near the Pole of Cold on the territory of Oimyakon uluss. It is mystical and exotic attraction. Legends speak about the monster that lives deep in the water of the legendary lake and attacks dogs, reindeers and even people. Stories say how one day the monster wiped out a caravan of Even people. There are several documented encounters. The public learned about the monster in the 50′s from the diaries of soviet geologist Tverdohlebov. Since then several expeditions have set out to prove or disprove the existence of a monster. Some say that it is something real, that it could be a huge pike, a water mammoth, a reptile or a plesiosaurus, or even something from the parallel world. The mystery, however is still a mystery. There will always be people who want to solve the mystery, or at least have a glance at the monster. - Yakutia Travel
In a book 'Trip to the Cold Pole', author Gennady Borodnuli recounts another tale from Labynkyr in the 1920s.
'An Evenk family of nomads followed their reindeer and reached the shore of Lake Labynkyr. They decided to stay overnight on the shore. A five year old child went to the bank of a stream which led into the lake while adults were busy. Suddenly the adults heard the boy screaming.
'The father and grandfather rushed to the bank. They stopped on the edge of water and saw the child being carried away by an unknown animal to the centre of the lake. It was a dark creature, with a mouth looking like bird's beak. It held the child and moved away with quick rushes, then it dived leaving huge waves and dragged the child under the water.
'The granddad swore to revenge the 'devil. He took a sack made of animal skin, stuffed it with reindeer fur, rags, dry grass and pine trees needles, put a smouldering piece of wood inside. He attached the sack to a huge stone on shore with a rope and then threw the sack far into the waters of the lake.
'At night there was noise and splashes and terrible screams of the 'devil'. In the morning the waves brought the huge dead animal, about seven meters long with a huge jaw, almost one third size of the body, and relatively small legs and fins.
'The old man cut the animal's stomach, took out the body of his grandson, and buried him on the bank of the stream. Since then this stream is called 'The Stream of a Child'.
'It is hard to say what happened to the remains of the animal but this jaw was put like an arch on the shore.'
Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures
Tales of Yukaghir, Lamut, and Russianized Natives of Eastern Siberia (Dodo Press)
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