Canada’s Great Slave Lake covers an area of 10,962 square miles and is more than 2015 feet deep, making it the ninth largest lake in the world and the deepest lake in North America. Named after the Slavey North American Indians the Great Slave Lake is roughly 298 miles long and up to 67 miles in width. Its chief tributaries are the Hay and Slave Rivers and it is drained by the Mackenzie River. The lake remains partially frozen for roughly 8 months out of the year and during the winter the ice becomes thick enough for semi-trailer trucks to pass over it.
In 1771 British fur trader Samuel Heame explored the area and crossed the frozen lake, which he initially named Lake Athapuscow, after an erroneous French speaker’s pronunciation of Athabaska. In the 1930’s gold was discovered in the area around the Great Slave Lake, this lead to the establishment of Yellowknife, the territory’s capital city. Other towns around the lake include: Fort Providence, Hay River and Fort Resolution.
On January 24, 1978, the Soviet Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite, named Cosmos 954, built with an on board nuclear reactor, fell from orbit and crashed into the frozen lake. The satellite exploded on impact causing its nuclear fuel to fall over the area. A joint Canadian American recovery team was assembled, dubbed Operation Morning Light, to collect debris, including the radioactive portions of the satellite’s power plant and other items of interest to intelligence agencies.
Although stories of an unknown creature in the lake date back to its original inhabit, the Dene, documented sightings of the beast were not recorded until very recently. Many people traveling the lake, though not actually seeing the creature, report weird happenings on the lake, including their craft striking or being struck by a solid object in over 300 feet of water. Some sightings, like Antoine Michel’s, consist of the appearance or sighting of a large hump in the water, usually mistaken for a rock, until it submerges into the lake.
Some time in the mid 90’s during a recovery operation to located the body of a man who had fallen through the ice, two of the three divers reportedly saw a large animal which was described by one of the them as having an alligator like body with a head like that of a pike. The divers surfaced to ask the other Search and Rescue workers what it may have been, but no one knew. They again made their way to the bottom in search of what they had seen, but this time the sediment at the bottom had been stirred up making it impossible to see. The body of the man who had fallen into the water was never found.
One of the most credible sightings took place in 2004 when a Roman Catholic priest, Father Jim Lynn, looked out from his home on the shores of the Great Slave Lake, near Yellowknife, and saw a strange object trailing a small speed boat across the lake. Lynn grabbed his goggles, curious as to what the object was. He described what he saw as a large dragon headed creature that rose six to eight feet above the water and moved at a very fast rate of speed.
Father Jim Lynn, contacted the Yellowknifer, a local newspaper, to place an advertisement asking the person who was piloting the boat being chased by the creature that day to call him. The story quickly got the attention of columnist Chris Woodall who dubbed the creature Ol’Slavey in an article which outlined the existence of a strange and unknown creature living in the Great Slave Lake. To his surprise his phone began to ring with calls from people claiming to have seen just such a creature.
With so many people coming forward to claim that they too had seen something in the lake, many began to wonder just what the beast was. No formal theories as to the Ol’Slavey’s true identity could be found at this time, leaving us to consider a wide array of possible explanations. Giant fish, like Lake Sturgeon, Catfish and Alligator Gar all make excellent candidates, things like Giant Eels, Prehistoric Relics and Large Snakes may also be considers. Also to be considered should be the possibility of a completely new and undiscovered species of marine life. A final option would be the misidentification of a well established creature, such as a moose, whose head sticking above the water while swimming across the lake could easily be mistaken for something much different when viewed form a distance.
There is currently no physical evidence to suggest that an unidentified large creature is currently living in the Great Slave Lake.
On a moonlit night Antoine Michel and his wife where returning to their home from a caribou hunt across the lake. Antoine saw what appeared to be a large rock formation sticking up out of the water and navigated his boat around it. As he passed the formation sank below the surface, waves from large object rocked the boat.
Some time in the mid 90’s during an recovery operation to located the body of a man who had fallen through the ice, two of the three divers reportedly saw a large animal which was described by one of the divers as having an alligator like body with a head like that of a pike.
In 2004 Roman Catholic priest, Father Jim Lynn, looked out from his home on the shores of the Great Slave Lake, near Yellowknife, and saw a strange object railing a small speed boat across the lake. He described it has having the head of a dragon which tore through the water at incredible speed.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Lake Monster
• Size: Unknown
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: Great Slave Lake, Canada
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: North America’s deepest lake