Located northwest of Syracuse, New York and south of Lake Ontario is Onondaga Lake, a five mile long, one mile wide body of water with a surface area of 4.6 square miles and a maximum depth of 73 feet. In the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, as Syracuse began to grow, the western shore of Onondaga Lake became increasingly industrialized. Sewage disposal and industrial discharges into the lake also increased dramatically during this period, resulting in the deterioration of the water’s quality. By World War II the lake was primary being utilized for the disposal of both industrial and domestic wastes, including run off from Oswego’s Nine Mile Island nuclear power facility which discharged its waste directly into a river that feeds straight into Onondaga Lake.
Today Onondaga Lake is considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to be one of the most polluted lakes in the United States. What used to be pristine fresh water, once filled with all manner of flora and fauna, has been reduced to a festering cesspool fit only to support viruses; coli form bacterium, algae blooms and the heartiest of fish specie known as carp. It is this polluted body of water which supposedly gave birth to a monstrous atrocity known to the locals as, Oggie.
One of the more popular legends involving the origin of Oggie takes place in 1972, when a youthful boy scout returned from a camping trip, somewhere in the dense, swamp infested forests of upstate New York, with a salamander he had found while sitting on a log. At first the boy’s parents allowed him to keep the tiny amphibian, but as time passed and the boy lost interest in the creature, his mother insisted that the animal be released. One night the boy’s father snuck into his son’s room and removed the creature from its cardboard home.
Feeling the salamander would have no chance of survival in the notoriously cold Syracuse winter, he decided to flush it down the toilet, hoping the tiny animal would find some comfort in the relative warmth of the sewers, or at least meet a quick and painless end. The salamander survived the flush and eventually ended up in Onondaga Lake where it was immediately immersed in a plethora of pollutants like mercury and various other chemicals. The little salamander mutated and grew over the years until 1977 when people began to notice bizarre occurrences in the lake, including the reported sighting of a “dragon” swimming not far off shore by members of the Syracuse branch of the Cub Scouts Troop 400.
Urban myths aside, the history and traditions of the Onondagas, as well as the native Iroquois of the region, seem to indicate that the creature known as Oggie has lived in Onondaga Lake for centuries.
Theories as to the identity of Oggie vary depending on who you speak to, some suggest that Oggie may not be a vertebrate at all, but a bizarre descendent of the bacterial colonies and algae blooms that infest the lake, others have stuck to the more urban myth aspect of the tale, including the original salamander story and the always popular alligator in the sewers myth. What ever the creature may turn out to be it has become some what of a local celebrity, being included in the area’s annual Halloween festivities in the form of a 14 foot long fiberglass and chicken wire statue.
There is currently no physical evidence to support the existence of Oggie in Onondaga Lake.
No individual documented sightings of sightings of Oggie could be found at this time.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Lake Monster
• Size: Unknown
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: Onondaga Lake, New York, United States of America
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: Highly polluted lake