Lake Norman Times Article
Lake Norman Monster Spotted?
By Scott Burns
Lake Norman Times
Published July 31, 2002
Just because an object floating in the water looks like a log, doesn’t mean it’s a log. It probably is a log, but it could be something else — a monster, perhaps. But most likely it’s a log… or possibly a confused manatee.
No matter what it is, as long as it raises curiosity or piques some interest, it will be right at home (submitted electronically, of course) on Matt Myers’ new Web site, LakeNormanMonster.com. Don’t worry, Myers isn’t going to turn you over to the guys in white coats — it’s all in fun.
Myers, whose job brought him to the Lake Norman area from Wilkes County two years ago, is a professional Web designer and an avid Discovery Channel buff. When you add all that up, it makes sense that the 27-year-old newlywed would conceive of an Internet site that caters to monster sightings on Lake Norman. Well, maybe not.
“I tinker with sites as a hobby,” said Myers, who resides in Mooresville. “One weekend, I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s see if we can perpetuate the myth. So I basically started it for the fun of it.”
The bottom line is this unusual rest stop on the information highway offers a lighthearted getaway for local surfers, or even those from as far away as Great Britain — like the guy in Scotland (home of the Loch Ness Monster) who insisted that such unknown creatures do in fact exist.
“He sent an e-mail saying that the early Scottish settlers brought eggs over here with them,” Myers said, “or something like that.”
Myers added that he tried to respond to the man’s submission, but, like “Nessie,” the Highland “historian” seemed to suddenly vanish, avoiding all human contact.
Still, Myers can claim at least one genuine submission — that of a Huntersville resident who claimed to have witnessed something queer taking place on the lake’s surface. The site lists the eyewitness report as follows:
“Blythe Landing – A report of what seemed to be a catfish about 20 feet, at the most, next to the pier. It jumped from the water to sang a bird. No photograph is available. Submitted by: J. Mckenzie, Huntersville, N.C.”
Furthermore, Myers receives increasing correspondence from visitors to the site who send their comments, all of them favorable.
“I didn’t expect so many responses,” Myers said. “I’m very surprised by the sense of humor in this area.”
Myers explained that he basically started LakeNormanMonster.com out of boredom. Like the man on the island (or in Myers’ case, the new guy on the block), he put the proverbial message in a bottle, set it adrift and waited to see what happened.
The site, which Myers started creating in the days leading up to his June 29 wedding to wife Amy, went live late last May, when it received 27 individual visits; that was followed by 2,190 hits in June, then 1,222 more as of July 21.
After tallying up the visits his site received in the first month, Myers began contacting various search engines to get it registered, thus making it more easily accessible. LakeNormanMonster.com is now listed with Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, LookSmart, Lycos and others.
“It’s definitely picking up some interest, now that I’ve listed it,” said Myers, whose site also offers souvenirs such as LakeNormanMonster T-shirts, caps and coffee mugs. “Hopefully the souvenir sales will at least pay for the server space I rent for the site.”
The oddball project doesn’t seemed to have fazed Myers’ new wife, a Richmond, Va., native whom — believe it or not — he met via the Internet.
“She is amused by what I do when I get bored,” said Myers, who leads the Web development team of a “home improvement company (that is in the process of) relocating to Mooresville.”
When he’s not using his Web-design talents to create a stir, Myers says he enjoys casting the occasional line and spending time with his wife. But, who knows what might spring up on the Web if the fish aren’t biting and (heaven forbid) the wife isn’t speaking to him?
This article is reprinted with permission of the Lake Norman Times.