Lake Chelan is located in the American state of Washington and is 88 km long and 2 km wide.
It is the largest natural body of water in the state with an average depth of 114 meters and a maximum depth of 453 meters.
Every year a huge number of tourists, lovers of fishing and water recreation come here, but among researchers of anomalous phenomena, this lake is first of all known for its legends about the “water dragon” living in its waters.
For such a large lake, the presence of huge fishes, which are traditionally considered the sources of most legends about the mysterious “lake monster”, will not be surprising, but the ” water dragon” of Lake Chelan does not just hide somewhere in the water, but supposedly comes from the unknown depths.
There are persistent legends that Lake Chelan has no bottom at all, for this reason, one of its ancient names is translated as “Deep Lake”.
The Indians said that during the periods of drought, the water line in the lake dropped greatly, but even then they never saw its bottom and could not measure the depth.
In 1960, the journal “Western Folklore” published an article by the researcher Henry Persona, who studied the local Indian legends about this lake:
“I heard from several widely scattered informants that“ everyone has long known that this lake has no bottom. During the war, the navy tested sonar systems there, and they tried to determine depth over and over again with the latest, most advanced equipment. But they never got any echo – the bottom was never registered on the machine. “
As mentioned above, official data say that Lake Chelan still has a bottom, although in its deepest place it really goes to almost half a kilometer depth.
Maybe military instruments were just wrong then? Who knows.
In addition to the legends about the bottomlessness of Lake Chelan, the Indians told that in the depths of the lake there is an extensive system of underwater caves and in the depths of those caves, a huge water beast was hiding.
It was believed by the local Indian legends that if the water beast was disrespected, it would attack people by dragging them underwater.
It also attacked livestock, grabbing them with his huge mouth right from the coastal strip due to which the Indian tribes living near the lake rarely swam on the lake on boats and did not like to fish in it.
When European settlers arrived at this place, they heard stories from the Indians about the water spirit and supposedly saw it too.
These stories began to multiply, adding many new elements, but eyewitness stories that appeared from time to time convinced people that these were not just fairy tales and legends.
Eyewitnesses clearly observed something large in Lake Chelan, which some described as a giant crocodile. others as something with a long neck, more like a monster from Loch Ness.
On December 2, 1892, the Daily Picayune published the first documented observation from three eyewitnesses who were on the shores of Lake Chelan and decided to swim in it.
“Recently, three travelers were on the upper shore of Lake Chelan, one of them went down into the water to swim. His leg was grabbed by a sea monster that dragged him into deep water and his screams attracted the attention of his comrades who came to his aid.
They dragged him ashore but the monster still had a hold on his leg. It had legs and a body like that of an alligator, whereas the head and eyes of a snake. Between its front and hind legs were large ribbed wings.
The men struggled to tear the monster away from their comrade’s leg and shot fire, causing the animal to suddenly rise into the air, carrying its prey with it, and finally landed back in the lake, where both disappeared out of sight. “
Strange sightings and stories from eyewitnesses continued to be reported, and a particularly bizarre account came in 1945.
When a school bus tragically fell into the lake, killing everyone on board, after which a group of divers was sent to investigate.
These divers allegedly encountered a “huge dark figure” underwater that circled around them at a depth of about 200 feet.
Apparently, the divers were so alarmed by this spectacle that one of them refused to go back, and the question arises, what could it be.
We can only guess what is happening in the waters of this lake since officially no research has ever been conducted to find the mysterious “water dragon”.
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The bottom of the lake was mapped by US Navy sonar in 1967 and the profile map published in the Wenatchee World has its depth at 1697 feet to glacially carved bedrock excluding current sediment layer of approximately 100 feet. The bottom 597 feet are below sea level in the upper Lucerne basin, which is where most modern sightings occur. If this lake had land locked cryptids (plesiosaurs or mososaurs) from its ancient Lake Missoula days, I believe they have been impacted by the heavy metals contamination of the holden copper mine which collapsed in 1960. This lake has Mackinaw trout lurking in its depths in excess of 6 feet long.