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Sea Monsters - The Chesapeake Bay's Chessie

Updated on December 11, 2015

Legends of the Chesapeake

A boat passes through a portion of Chessie's Chesapeake Bay home on the southern tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This photo was taken in Cape Charles, Northampton County, Virginia.
A boat passes through a portion of Chessie's Chesapeake Bay home on the southern tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This photo was taken in Cape Charles, Northampton County, Virginia. | Source

Secluded Beach on the Chesapeake Bay

This photo was taken on Saxis Island, Virginia which  is surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay. I wonder if Chessie has ever visited this quiet waterfront community.
This photo was taken on Saxis Island, Virginia which is surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay. I wonder if Chessie has ever visited this quiet waterfront community. | Source

The Chesapeake's Usually Calm Waters

The Chesapeake Bay calmly washes the shoreline on Saxis Island, Accomack County, Virginia.
The Chesapeake Bay calmly washes the shoreline on Saxis Island, Accomack County, Virginia. | Source

Over a period of the past 200 years, there have been reports of a strange creature spotted in the midst of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States of America covering more than 4,479 square miles. Said to be a dark, snakelike animal with flippers, Chessie is about 30 feet long and able to swim at a speed of up to 10 MPH. The strange creature is known to be playful and unfeared by those who live and work on the Bay.

Some believe Chessie to be a prehistoric creature. However, the Chesapeake Bay, as a very shallow and cold body of water, would not be a suitable habitat for a cold-blooded prehistoric animal. Such a creature could not possibly survive in these frigid waters.

Some believe the creature may be the very same Manatee that was captured and tagged here in 1994. After being returned to its home in Florida and released, the animal has swam back into the Chesapeake Bay every year since; and has swam as far north as Rhode Island before heading back south again. However, manatees do not swim while undulating from side to side like a snake as reported by Chessie’s viewers.

Other theories to explain the creature’s sightings have included a mutant eel, large river otters and South American anacondas which may have escaped from sailing ships during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The “sea monster’s” first recorded sighting, as documented by Matt Lake in “Weird Maryland,” was in 1943 in the water near Baltimore. Spotted by two fishermen, Francis Klarrman and Edward J. Ward, from about 75 yards away, they described the "sea monster" as being “black and the part of it that was out of the water seemed about 12 feet long. It has a head about as big as a football and shaped somewhat like a horse’s head. It turned its head around several times – almost all the way around.”

On May 21st, 1982, Chessie was captured on video by Maryland couple, Robert and Karen Frew. Viewing the Frew’s images, scientists found them too blurry to identify the creature exactly; but did confirm it to be a very large animal. Through the blur, Chessie appears to be a brownish creature moving through the water like a snake.

The creature’s most recent recorded sighting was in 1997, when Chessie was spotted very close to the shore of Fort Smallwood State Park, near Marbury, Maryland.

The majority of sightings of this “sea monster” occur May through September in areas such as Love Point in Kent Island, the mouth of the Potomac River and the eastern portion of the Chesapeake Bay. There were many reported sightings of this mysterious creature in 1977 and again in the mid 1980s. A variable in reported sightings, Chessie’s length ranges from 25 to 40 feet.

While there are alleged photographs of the Chesapeake Bay’s Chessie, there is no absolute proof of this creature’s existence.

Another Tranquil Eastern Shore Beach

This is Guardshore Beach which is located just behind the tiny Eastern Shore town of Bloxom, Virginia. I have heard from several watermen who have had experience with a very large creature here while working the bay. Might it have been Chessie?
This is Guardshore Beach which is located just behind the tiny Eastern Shore town of Bloxom, Virginia. I have heard from several watermen who have had experience with a very large creature here while working the bay. Might it have been Chessie? | Source

The Sun Shines Brightly on the Chesapeake

The sun shines brightly on the Chesapeake Bay just off of Saxis Island, Accomack County,  Virginia. What a terrific view! However, no Chessie found.
The sun shines brightly on the Chesapeake Bay just off of Saxis Island, Accomack County, Virginia. What a terrific view! However, no Chessie found. | Source

The Southern End of the Chesapeake

The only thing captured in this photograph is the sunset on the Virginia end of the Chesapeake Bay in Cape Charles, Northampton County,Virginia.
The only thing captured in this photograph is the sunset on the Virginia end of the Chesapeake Bay in Cape Charles, Northampton County,Virginia. | Source

Where to Look for Chessie:

A markerChesapeake Bay -
Chesapeake Bay, United States
get directions

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    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 21 months ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Thank you, cool :) I agree and have replaced the video with a new one.

    • profile image

      cool 21 months ago

      cool not cool video

    • profile image

      Tripleb 3 years ago

      My friend and I saw something similar to melconst22 in Eastern Bay last night. We saw it surface about 4 times, the last 2 it appeared to be taking a breath and then it disappeared. The head looked like a giant snapping turtle. About the size of a football.

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 4 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      There are many things in the Chesapeake that are not yet understood...Years ago, I heard a bunch of stories about a very large turtle-like creature off the coast of Guardshore (near Bloxom, Virginia), which was at least the same size as the fishing/crabbing vessels. If hubby sees this again, tell him to take some pictures! :) Maybe one day, we'll solve this mystery...

    • profile image

      Melconst22 4 years ago

      My husband was fishing last night off of the southern end of kent island, in the middle of the bay. Off the back of his boat he spotted a large head pop out of the water and very clearly take a breath. Stunned he continued to watch the surface of the water. Again, he saw the large head pop up again and take another breath. He said it was at least the size of a human head but did not see the rest of the body. We have read that a couple years ago there was some manatee spottings in the area. Now it's just the question, manatee or Chessie ???

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 4 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Thank you for reading and the additional information, digiroad :) I'll see if I can dig up this information online somewhere :) Have a wonderful day! :) -Windy Grace AKA VAMPGYRL420

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      digiroad 4 years ago

      In September of 1985, my friend and I (both police officers) were fishing next to Fort Wool (Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel), on the southside of the channel, just east of the island. We sighted the head and neck of an unknown animal protruding out of the water, about 75 ft. NW of our position, behind the stern of our boat. It submerged in the water. About 10 minutes later, my friend shouted at me that he had something on, as I was baiting my hook. I looked up to see his rod bent over, and moving from my right to my left, at a steady pace. Suddenly, about 15 ft. behind our boat, it rose up out of the water, approximately 8-10 ft. neck, reptilian-like head, and thrust two diamond-shaped flippers in the water several times before diving back into the depths. His fishing line was draped across its body, between the flippers and neck (snapped). When it surfaced, it rocked the boat up and down. Stunned, we quickly started the motor and sped away from the area at maximum speed, toward the shore. We didn't see it again! It looked exactly like a Plesiosaurus, patchy greenish-yellow lizard-like skin, with some barnacles on its back. It did not have any humps on its back. Its main body was oval shaped, but we couldn't see the back flippers? or tail? This was reported to the Smithzonian Museum, with drawings and a letter.

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 5 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Good :) You need someone with you to make sure you stay very safe :)

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      josh 5 years ago

      i will not go by my self

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 5 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Let me know when you find Chessie, Josh :D I have lived here the majority of my life and haven't been able to find her yet :( Good luck on your move and thank you very much for reading and commenting :)

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      josh 5 years ago

      I am moving there a i will be the first 10 year old to find it and i WILL!

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 5 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Thank you, Joey :) Yes, we will!!! I'll have my camera!!! :D

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 5 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Lilleyth. No, I have never heard of a UFO base under the Chesapeake Bay...Where is it located?

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      Joey is boss 5 years ago

      Great job mommy!!! When we go fishing we have to watch for chessie!!!!

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Vampggyrl, I have never heard of this? Have you ever heard any stories about a UFO base under the Chesapeake Bay?

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 5 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Stunner :) I will definitely check your Hub out! Love and peace to you :)

    • stunnercold profile image

      stunnercold 6 years ago from Dubai

      fantastic article. I've written a similar article on real life land based monsters, I think you'll enjoy it. I'm leaving a link here.

      https://hubpages.com/education/Real-Life-Land-Mons...

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 7 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Isn't the Chesapeake Bay beautiful? :) I've grown up here :)

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      dracaslair 7 years ago

      i'v been there.

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image
      Author

      Windy Grace Mason 7 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

      Thank you, voice :) I live on this Bay myself so I thought it was kind of cool to write about :)

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific amazing hub work thanks