Lake Norman was created by Duke Power in 1963 as part of the construction of the Cowans Ford Dam. It is the largest man made lake in North Carolina and offers 520 miles of shoreline along with a surface area of more than 32,500 acres. Lake Norman powers the hydroelectric station at Cowans Ford and is used by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives their turbines. The lake also supplies water to Lincoln County, Mooresville, Charlotte, Davidson and Hunterville.
Duke Power partnered with the State of North Carolina to establish Lake Norman State Park; they have also built two bank fishing areas and eight public boating access areas along the shoreline. Popular game fish in Lake Norman include crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch, as well as striped, largemouth and white bass. Lake Norman is also reported to be home to a large unknown creature the locals have dubbed Normie.
Descriptions of Normie vary from sighting to sighting and range from a crocodilian like creature to the more classic three humped serpent, though most that have seen the Lake Norman Monster seem to agree that the beast is more fish like, with a slender body, thick whisker like appendages, flippers and a ragged looking dorsal fin. Legendary Lake Monster investigator, and founder of the Global Underwater Search Team, GUST, Jan Ove Sunberg, has even expressed interest in the Lake Norman Monster.
One of the better sightings from the Lake Norman Monster’s official website was reported by a teen named S. Campbell of Maiden, North Carolina and goes as follows:
About ten years ago in high school some friends and I were jumping from the Duke Power trestle. We had been there for about 2 hours and making a lot of noise. I went to dive in and decided to make a huge splash. When I arose to the surface everyone was like get out of the water! Yelling and screaming that something was after me. I shrugged it off and then after realizing that the water 20 feet behind me was rippling I decided to swim like crazy! I reached the surface and climbed up the rocks to see a giant shadow under the water. It was at least 14 feet long!! It surfaced a little more before finally going down, it had to be an alligator gar, but I couldn't imagine a fish getting that big! It looked like 2 people holding on to each other swimming. So who knows what it was? Needless to say I haven't been back to jump from the trestle anymore!
The most recent sighting of the creature, according to the Lake Norman Monster’s official website was reported by a man named Tyler from Fox River Grove, IL on January 22, 2007 and goes as follows:
So I was on vacation with my dad and we were on the lake. I was tubing and I had just fallen off from a quick turn. I floated in the water waiting for the boat and as I did I saw a large neck emerge from the water about 5 feet in the air. I was terrified because it was only about 40 meters from me and I don't know if this thing is mean or not. I quickly turned and started swimming towards the boat as my dad sped towards me because he saw it too. When I got on the boat he said it disappeared right after I turned around. We have had a good story to tell ever since.
With over 50 sightings in the last 40 years one must ask themselves, is there a monster lurking in the waters of Lake Norman? Well, some would say that depends on your definition of a monster. Jan Sunberg of GUST seems to support the theory that the creature could be a giant catfish. Rumors of human sized cat fish near the dam have persisted for nearly 40 years, and locals say that near record breaking Arkansas blue catfish have been caught in the lake before.
Another theory suggests that alligators are to blame for sightings of a lake monster, though alligators are not known to live as far inland as Lake Norman. However in late 2001 an video surfaced showing an alligator sunning its self on the banks of Lake Wylie, located just down stream of Lake Norman. This video would seem to support some eyewitness testimonies that the creature they saw in the lake was an alligator, although to this day there is no proof of an alligator actually living in Lake Norman.
Other theories include larger than normal alligator gar, lake sturgeon, fresh water eels and even a snakehead fish, since one was recently caught in Lake Wylie, though, similar to alligators, none have been proven to have made it to Lake Norman. Since it is hard to imagine how such a massive creature could have found its way into such a young, man made lake, a hand full of people have suggested that the beast may be a mutated form of a more common creature, stating that this mutation would have been caused by contact with chemicals possibly leaked into the lake by the nuclear power plant.
An interesting footnote to this story comes in the form of a rare species of jellyfish, which was discovered living in Lake Norman during the late 1990’s. No one is quite sure how this jellyfish, not indigenous to Lake Norman, or the rivers which feed it, ended up living in the lake. This little jellyfish has caused some investigators to give a little more thought to The Lake Norman Monster as it proves that creatures, not indigenous to the area have been able to thrive in the lake.
There is currently no physical evidence that would support the existence of a monster living in Lake Norman, however should one consider the giant catfish or alligator gar theories than the creature’s existence seems a little more probable.
On January 22, 2007 a guy by the name of Tyler was tubing with his family when he was flung off the tube by a hard turn. Upon surfacing he saw a large long neck emerge from the water about 5 feet into the air. He was terrified because the creature was only about 40 meters from him. His dad also saw the creature and rushed back to pick up his son as the object disappeared beneath the surface.
On August 21, 2006 a guy by the name of Bobby, while fishing on a boat with his father, saw what he described as a big creature in the lake with huge eyes about the size of basketballs and a striped squirmy tail.
On February 1, 2006 Shane Quinn, was walking on the beach near the hotel that his mother worked out when he saw 4 ducks. He turned his head for a second and when he looked back there was only 2 ducks remaining. As he watched another duck was quickly yanked underwater, they did not resurface.
January, 22 2006, Jeffery Fengoe and his brother, while preparing for a fishing trip head splashing in the water behind them, but turned only to see the ripples. Over the course of them preparing their gear they continued to hear the splashing but never saw the cause. When they finally did get a glimpse out of the corner of their eyes they estimated its size to be as big as a shark or dolphin. When they final got a full on view of the creature they only saw its tail, which they described as black and enormous.
The Stats– (Where applicable)
• Classification: Lake Monster
• Size: Unknown
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: Lake Norman, North Carolina, United States of America
• Movement: Unknown
• Environment: Man made lake