The Charlotte Observer Article

Nessie has some local competition
By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

No one can prove there is a monster in Lake Norman.

But no one can prove there isn’t, so Matt Myers gets the benefit of the doubt in his suggestion that Lake Norman is home to the creature from the brown lagoon.

Normie, he calls it.

“One thing is certain: People have seen things that no one can explain,” 28-year-old Myers says on his Web site

“Sightings of strange shapes in the water trickle in every so often. Rumors of human-sized catfish near the dam have persisted for nearly 40 years. Are these rumors or are they based on fact?”

Before you ask, the Mooresville resident hasn’t exactly seen the Lake Norman Monster. Myers is just “open to the possibility,” and he thinks a lot of other people are, too. That’s where his Web site comes in. Not only does it offer explanations of what the monster might be, but it invites people to post their sightings.

So far, a dozen postings have been made, such as this spooky note from K. Spitz: “I saw the water part in front of me, like something coming at me. … The shape was like a giant snake with a lot of fins. There were long, very thick whisker-looking things that stuck out of the water. The whiskers were a dark navy blue with red tips.” Other postings talk of something huge in the water, but slender like a snake, with “scabby” fins.

“We couldn’t believe our eyes,” writes B. Adams of Shelby.

Close to 10,000 people have visited the site since it went up in May, suggesting Myers is onto something. He’s already selling souvenirs, including hats, sweat shirts, drinkware, school supplies and baby bibs.

However, it’s more about fun than profit, says Myers, who is a professional Web designer and graphic artist. He moved to the Lake Norman area in 2000 and the idea of a Web site came to him after hearing co-workers talk repeatedly of strange things in the lake.

“What can it be?” Myers asks. “An alligator slowly meandering to the lake surface looking for food? A large catfish surfacing to gulp a small fish? Speculations have been made that it could be an alligator gar, a sturgeon or an American freshwater eel.”

Coincidentally, the world-renowned Global Underwater Search Team, best known for its search to find the Loch Ness Monster, has no opinion yet. But team leader Jan Sundberg knows of Myers’ Web site and says it will be helpful, even if just to document abnormal fish in the lake.

Sundberg offers a word of warning, though. “The initials (Lake Norman Monster) are the same as the Loch Ness Monster,” Sundberg says on the Web site. “The Scot’s are not going to like this.”

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