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Lake Monster Mysteries Solved! The Ultimate Tome On Revealing the Truth About These Mysterious Creatures

Updated on March 10, 2017

The Classic Skeptic Work on an Equally Classic Unexplained Phenomenon

Any serious reader interested in applied scientific research, legitimate investigative journalism and a bit of personal introspection is not likely to look for such things in a book about the Loch Ness Monster. While it would make sense to skip a book covering the subject of mysterious lake monsters when your predilections are geared towards the serious and not escapism and diversions, ignoring Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures by Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell would be a mistake. The subject matter may be a little obtuse, the book is a lot of fun and an incredible learning experience.

A Serious Study from a Unique Angle

It could be said this unique book is a serious study of a topic few take seriously and, quite honestly, some take way too seriously.

At first glance, Lake Monsters Mysteries looks like many of the other dozens of ''mysterious monsters evading discovery'' books published over the years. This book does not adhere to the same conventions of mysterious creature books as it is not a collection of second hand reports claiming mysterious sea serpents and long surviving dinosaurs absolutely do exist. It is an intelligent look at the legends that have permeated about these monsters from a scientific perspective. For those wondering about these mysterious creatures, a lot of the mystery is dispelled in this book. The work even sheds light on why myths about lake monsters survive even though a serious critical examination of the legends reveals, well, it is extremely doubtful any such creatures exist. They do make for a lot of fun tales though.

And this is a fun book to read. Never once does it come off as being overly clinical (nee dull). Fans of science, science-fiction and folklore will definitely find Lake Monster Mysteries an excellent and long overdue work.

It has been a long time as the public has been learning about the existence of lake monsters in the USA and Canada for well over a century.

The Legacy of the Monster Fad of the 1970s

Those that have been around a long time remember the monster craze of the 1970s. During this era, television specials, motion picture documentaries, and scores of books were written on the subject of Bigfoot, UFOs, and the legendary Loch Ness Monster. So huge was the massive public interest in these creatures, well, televisions specials, documentaries, and books are still written on the subject to this very day. You could even say a resurgence of renewed interest has recently taken place.

Monsters have been hugely popular topics on cable television for the past 20+ years and this does not seem to be abating. In the 1980s, there was a dearth of monster lore on television as this was considered passe when the 1970s ended. All of this changed when an A&E Bigfoot special in the early 1990s was a huge ratings hit. The consciousness of the public is not as interested in monsters to the same degree as it was in the 1970s when a massive number of the population was captivated by the mystery of these creatures, although they might not necessarily believed the creatures exist. Interest today, however, is still strong which is why programming dedicated to the topic continues to draw in an audience. What is interesting today is the subject of monsters and mysteries has matured enough that intelligent critiques on the subject on monsters emerge. This is where Lake Monsters Mysteries shines.

Lake Monster Mysteries Does Not Propagate a Myth

The lesser monster books are pseudo-scientific in the extreme. There really is no science to be found in the vast majority of the books claiming to be legitimate studies on the subject. Rather, they are collections of eyewitness accounts of sightings along with false scientific explanations both designed to, as the authors of Lake Monster Mysteries note, promote the myth of the creatures instead of actually studying their legends from the proper perspective.

It can be said the proper perspective of how to look at the subject of modern mysterious monsters is in the eye of the person studying it. The most common way it is looked it is through the perspective of belief. Those that believe these creatures are real will try to prove they do. The highly skeptical might be outright dismissive of the subject. There are other ways it can be seriously studied. These include:

  • The Pop Culture Perspective: Monster legends are for pure entertainment
  • The Folklore Perspective: Monsters, along with urban legends, are modern folklore
  • The Scientific Mystery Perspective: Looking at science for an angle to solve the mystery

Lake Monster Mysterious is 80% Scientific Mystery focused allowing the book to be very focused. I would have preferred the other perspectives were covered to a greater degree, but staying on the scientific investigative approach does help the book remain more focused.

For those wishing to further examine the mystery surrounding Lake Monsters and be further left with the question ''Do such creatures exist?'' , this is not the book to read. The authors go into very clear detail about why it would be utterly impossible for lake monsters to exist. Namely, each lake would need about 20+ monsters in order to maintain the breeding population so these creatures that could continue to survive for the 100+ years. If they could, they definitely would be visible far more often. Little obvious facts such as these are not so obvious in most eyewitness collection books.

Have you ever noticed that films are always shot from a great distance and photos are really close you can never get a decent scale of the actual size based on the background. The authors of this book point such things out and and, in doing so, undermine the credibility of many bits of evidence purporting proof of the existence of Nessie, Champ and Ogopogo.


Is the book cynical? No, it is a lot of fun reading if you remember these monster mysteries from your childhood and wish to delve further into the folklore of the creatures far beyond the superficial treatises on television. When examined from this perspective, the entertainment value of the subject is no longer lowbrow.

A Great Foil for Critical Thinking

In a way, this is not so much a book about lake monsters or, for that matter, mysteries. Rather it is a solid book about critical thinking that uses a somewhat obtuse foil (giant lake monsters) as the springboard to educate the reader on critical thinking. Far too often, the subject o critical thinking is taught from too boring of a method. We read the classics in a classroom and do so in manner that leads audiences to tune out as opposed to enthralling them. Then, there is the overly cynical path to teaching critical thinking that is rooted is passive aggressive anger more than anything else. While angry audiences may gravitate to this material and find is enjoyable, the enjoyment wears off. Angry themes may attract at first, but they do end up repelling the reader. Cynicism loses its appeal after a while. An intelligent and educational path to learning how to look at things with a critical eye can be much more enjoyable. If something is enjoyable, you may be more interested in investing more time in it. The entertainment value and fun nature of this book definitely contributes to its ability to help teach critical thinking skills to the reader.

Whoever said there was no value in the mysterious world of Lake Monsters?


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    • profile image

      Moral Man 

      2 years ago

      Lake monsters and Sea serpents have been seen by people for centuries. The long neck varietties are Nessie of Scotland, the Lukwata of Africa, Champ of North America, and Ogopogo of North America. These creatures have a long snake like neck. Some believe that they are Plesiosaurs which survived extinction.

      Theres another possibility for both lake monsters and sea monsters. The snake like Zeuglodons were whales which lived during the Tertiary period. Perhaps they still exist in lakes and oceans and didnt become extinct.

      The Lukwata is said to have a long neck and a slender, dolphin like body. It lives in Lake Victoria. An explorer named Grant sailed across the lake and encountered one of these monsters. The monster killed one of the men on his boat. A long neck dolphin or long neck whale living in fresh water which attacks and kills people? Most dolphins and whales dont attack people unless they are provoked. Others speculate the Lukwata is a Plesiosaur, a snake, a catfish, or an eel. The Lukwata has been confused with another dangerous cryptid known as the Lau.

      Ogopogo is similar to the Lukwata in having a foul temperament and known for attacking people. These creatures are scary and make the water a forbidding, scary, and dangerous. The Lukwata evokes such fear that its human victims are known to faint before it even attacks. These monstrous creatures are among the reasons why its wise to stay out of the water.

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      5 years ago

      Lake monsters are real. Ogopogo of North America is real and Nessie and Morag oof Scotland are real. Africa is also home to lake monsters. One of these is the dinosaur like Mokele-mbembe of Lake Tele and the Likouala Swamp. In Lake Victoria lives one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Called Lukwata it could be a fish or a whale or a snake or a long neck such as Nessie. Its appearance and size are the subject of controversy. Some say it has a rounded head while others say it has a square shaped head. Some sources say its neck is 4 feet long. It seems to be some kind of aggressive dolphin or whale living in freshwater. Estimates of its size are anything from 12 feet to 100 feet long. Other sources say its 20 feet to 30 feet long. Some believe it has supernatural powers. The Badanga tribe in Uganda are aware of its existence. The Lukwata kills and eats large Crocodiles. In these fights it would lose pieces of its skin which natives would keep as amulets. Lukwatas attack and kill people and any other animal they can catch. The European Sir Clement Hill saw a Lukwata decades ago as it tried to snatch a man from his boat. Lukwatas make loud bellowing roars. Travel guides should mention these animals and signs should be posted to warn people of the risks of entering the water. Population numbers of these formidable animals is unknown. The Lukwata is one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Information about the Lukwata can be found in the book On the Track of Unknown Animals and the Last Dragons of Africa by Bernard Heuvelmans and by authors Daniel Cohen Michael Newton and George Eberhart. Africa has a zooful of unknown animals living in lakes rivers swamps jungles and grasslands.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      5 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I am looking for a good intelligent read. Thanks for this.


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