Guess I should start this by admitting I am a real-life Monster Junkie.
I love monsters; I always have, I always will. When I was a tiny child I would sneak into the family den, turn on the TV, turn the sound WAY low so Mom and Dad wouldn’t hear it and wake up and watch horror host “Gorgon” (Bill Camfield ) introduce movies like BRIDES OF DRACULA, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, THE TERROR or BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS on KTVTs NIGHTMARE THEATER.
Had and still have most of the Aurora monster models. Read and re-read every issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND I could get my hands on. And ever since I was a child I’ve also read everything I could get my hands on about UFOs, “Bigfoot”, the “Mothman” and of course the Loch Ness Monster. Think it’s safe to say that perhaps my love of movie monsters made part of me hold on to some subconscious desire that real life monsters do exist.
The Loch Ness Monster was one I particularly wanted to believe in although more and more evidence seems to be coming to light in the favor that most of the photos were staged hoaxes as opposed to real evidence (carcasses, bones etc.) Also despite the 24-hour webcams that are now pointed at the Loch there have been relatively few sightings of any kind in recent years. (click photos to enlarge)
In late August of 2009 when I first visited Canada “K” and myself had a lovely picnic lunch alongside the shore of Cameron Lake, a lovely little lake that sits in a bowl of tree-covered mountains and is ringed by a very busy twisting and winding two-lane highway. I snapped a few photos after we ate, then loaded the car back up and we drove off and I didn’t think much more than “what a beautiful place” about it until a month or two after I got home a local woman snapped a picture of some kind of creature at Cameron Lake with a cell phone camera. The local press gave it the name “Cammy”.
Reports of a monster in the lake date back to the 1980s but most have been brushed off by most people as a ruse to get tourists (and their tourist dollars) into the area. A few blurry photos have emerged but much like “Nessie” no hard-core evidence. Most locals just write it off as her seeing a large fish or a sea otter splashing around in the water.
When I was there a local newspaper dated August 20 had a story about a local group, the BC Cryptozoology Club who were conducting their own investigation of the lake and claim to have some unique “sightings” using a fish finder and they were planning a second round of sweeping the lake with one again in September.
After finding out all of this we devoted the final afternoon I was there to an additional picnic lunch at Cameron Lake only this time armed with an array of cameras and a tripod. “K” made a delicious pair of ham and turkey sandwiches with farm-fresh slices of tomato, lettuce and cheese as well as packing my favorite potato chips in the world: Old Dutch Dill Pickle. We arrived at the honor system parking lot and just to spite them I put an American dollar into the pay envelope, peeled off the part I was supposed to put in the windshield and watched in horror as the slip fell into the inner recesses of “K”s dashboard. Only a tiny white sliver of a corner stuck out; oh crap! I had already paid one parking ticket and wasn’t interested in another so I wasted much time trying to fish that stupid receipt out of “Ks” dash ( a pair of hemostats would have been perfect) I clipped another American dollar under the windshield wiper and stomped off in disgust.
Well I got to the ONE picnic table that the Canadian Parks Department called the “Picnic Area” (ahem) and we once again just like the year before had a lovely but uneventful picnic lunch by Cameron Lake.
“Cammy” failed to make a cameo appearance and we drove off onto the curvy winding mountain pass highway in disappointed silence that we had no monster photos to show the world.
As we rounded a curve we spotted a mysterious green object in the lake water. Puke-green and wiggling a long red tongue at us in defiance for having our cameras put away…(insert screeching brake noise here)
I pulled over and we hopped out with our cameras clicking away before the mighty beast submerged…
Well okay turns out this particular “monster” was merely the craftiness of a local trickster/monster enthusiast: (see link : http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_central/parksville_qualicumbeachnews/news/101423409.html )
We fell for it this year but next year I hope our own little picnic/monster hunt can do better than this.