Lincoln Times-News Article
Lake Norman’s Normie
Popular Web site tracks antics of legendary monster
By Jacob Rudolph
How many times have you been swimming in the lake and felt something long and slimy brush against your leg?
You have probably chalked it up as a misguided fish or turtle. But what if it’s something bigger? What if there’s a monster lurking in the depths of Lake Norman?
That is exactly the question that a popular Web site asks its visitors to speculate upon. The question, though, doesn’t seem to be whether a Lake Norman monster exists, but where it will be sighted next.
The monster is known affectionately as Normie —— not unlike Loch Ness’ Nessie. The Web site is www.LakeNormanMonster.com. The man responsible for both is 28-year-old Mooresville resident Matthew Myers.
“I was out on the water, fishing with friends and the idea came up,” Myers said. “I thought, ‘I might as well start an urban legend.'”
What started out as a joke among fishing buddies has turned into fodder for worldwide speculation. Normie has been researched by Swedish cryptozoologist Jan Sundberg and mentioned in an ABC News story on Bigfoot.
However, the most telling aspect of Normie’s growing legendary status is the Web site’s numerous monster sightings.
“I was looking out over the lake when all of the sudden this big, dark looking creature stuck its head up out of the water,” N. Nichols of Huntersville recorded on the site. “It had a long, narrow head and long neck. The portion of the creature I saw was approximately 5 feet or so long.”
Myers credits the fueling speculation to curiosity, or what he calls “the X-files factor.” The page is celebrating its first year on the Web and receives 120 unique visitors a day.
At first, he didn’t expect the site to attract as much attention as it has, but Normie, he said, is slowly becoming a household name.
“A lot of the people that I meet recognize Normie,” Myers said. “It’s becoming popular.”
The venture is a part-time gig for Myers, a Web designer. In addition to monster sightings, the site contains history and information on Lake Norman, as well as souvenir t-shirts, mugs, hats and more.
Lake Norman experts don’t automatically discredit Myers’ and his visitors’ claims. After all, everybody thought the numerous alligator sightings of 2000 were a joke until video footage was delivered to a Charlotte news station.
However, most experts swear it must be a gar, freshwater jellyfish or oriental snake-head fish, all of which have appeared on the lake, Myers said. Or maybe it’s flotsam, or debris.
Even the man behind the monster can’t quell the suspicions. Nor can he say whether or not Normie exists.
When asked whether he thinks there is a monster lurking in the waters of Lake Norman, Myers answers only with a shrug.
This article is reprinted with permission of the Lincoln Times-News.
Staff Writer Jacob Rudolph can be reached at 704-735-3031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.