Wednesday, August 27, 2014

There’s Something Out There!

Here's a link to some background about the Flathead Lake monster, the topic of today's post.

Skeptics have explained the mysterious creature sighted in Montana's Flathead Lake as an overweight skindiver, a mother-in-law in a swimsuit, a sturgeon, a superfish, a prehistoric holdover, even a wayward seal. As unlikely as it may seem, however, the USO (unidentified swimming object) may not be a hoax. For well more than a century, reports of something in the third largest body of fresh water west of the Great Lakes has kept residents and tourists on the lookout. And sightings have been numerous.

Stories about a creature living in Flathead Lake have long been the subject speculation.
Flathead Lake, Ralph De Camp, oil on canvas, Montana State Capitol
Visitor Services Bureau Chief Ken Soderberg of Montana State Parks related an incident that FWP Maintenance Supervisor Merle Phillips shared with him a few years ago. Phillips and his crew were called to Wild Horse Island to dispose of a dead horse that was, as Soderberg puts it, "making a bit of a stink." While sometimes in such a situation the men will resort to dynamite, a nearby cabin made that solution unwise. The horse was stiff as a board and too big to load on the boat, so they built a raft of inflated inner tubes and boards intending to haul it across to shore. They lashed the horse to the boards, legs sticking straight up in the air, but they slightly miscalculated the weight of the horse. Once in the water, it partially submerged.
The boat moved slowly, dragging the raft with its unusual cargo. Boats passing by gave the FWP crew double takes as they saw what was tethered to the raft. Finally one boat turned around, pulled alongside the FWP craft and the driver asked, "Hey, what are you guys doing?"  
Phillips replied in all seriousness, "Mister, I would advise you to stay back from this official boat."
The driver was taken aback, "Well, how come? What are you doing?"
Phillips realized he had to come up with an answer. The look on the fellow's face was priceless when he heard Phillips' response, "We're trolling for the Flathead Lake monster!"

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