Every November, in the city of Dallas, Texas, me and a good friend, Shelly Covington-Montana, do a series of lectures on the subject of cryptozoology. Otherwise known as the study of unknown animals. They are lectures organized by one of the local school-districts for kids aged from about 7 to 9. Of course, they look forward to hearing about such things as Bigfoot, Nessie, the Chupacabra, and the Yeti. And they are eager to pick our brains with a mass of questions. But, it’s not just the kids that find the lectures intriguing. Occasionally, a parent or several will come along. And, sometimes, they will even share a story of the notable and intriguing kind.
In November 2013, one parent shared a fascinating story with us. It all revolved around a supposed monster lurking in a certain body of water situated only a relatively short drive from where I live. Its name is Lake Granbury. Constructed in 1969, it serves as a dam for the Brazos River, which is the lake’s primary inflow. At more than 1,200 miles long, the Brazos River is the 11th longest river in the United States. And Lake Granbury is hardly small either: it has a surface area of 8,310 acres. The approximately 75-foot-deep lake is home to wide and varied kinds of fish, including catfish, bass, gar, and sunfish. It’s a popular spot for a bit of fun, too: water-skiing, boating, and fishing are all very popular on weekends and holidays.
As far as the resident monster is concerned, it goes by the name of One Eye and is described as a classic lake-monster: dark gray in color, with a long neck, and a hump-like back. Irish creature-seeker Ronan Coghlan says: “Whether it has attained a one-eyed state by accident or whether it is naturally one-eyed, I cannot say.” Although the lake itself is less than half a century old, the Brazos River has a long history of sightings of huge fish and mysterious creatures. Native Americans and early Spaniards talked of something terrible and savage lurking in the river. In 2010, a huge gar was hauled out of its waters.
Accounts such as these have given rise to the theory that the association between lake, dam, and river has, somehow, allowed the monsters to find their way into Lake Granbury. And, just maybe, there is some truth to the story; maybe a lot of truth. All of which brings us back to the story told to us on a Friday afternoon, in a small classroom in Highland Park, a town of around 8,500 in central Dallas.
As the account went, it was a Saturday afternoon in August 1999. The woman in question was standing on a stretch of shoreline when, suddenly, a large animal lurched out of the water and, for about ten or fifteen seconds, partially beached itself on the land. It thrashed around violently, finally managing to return to the waters and vanishing into the depths. The animal was around seventeen feet long, with a body-thickness of close to two-feet. Very interestingly, the woman was in no doubt whatsoever that it was a gigantic eel. Certainly, the world of conventional zoology will assure you that eels simply do not – and cannot – reach such immense sizes. Except, of course, when they do…