Jeff Stafford, owner of the Ripplecove Inn
Quebecer claims to have photos of lake monster
CTV.ca News Staff
A Quebec innkeeper claims to have picture proof that the legendary monster of Lake Massawippi exists.
Although it doesn’t enjoy the status of Ogopogo—the country’s most famous water monster said to inhabit Lake Okanagan in the south central B.C. interior—“Whippy” has been alive in local monster folklore.
Townspeople have been reporting sightings of the elusive creature for generations in the peaceful, picturesque lake nestled in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, near Sherbrooke.
Jeff Stafford, owner of the Ripplecove Inn, showed photos of what he claimed are “Whippy” to CFCF News reporter Rob Lurie.
Stafford said he was given the photos last week by a tourist, along with a story of how the alligator-like creature surfaced from the depths of the Massawippi and treated him to an extended view.
The series of blurry photos show a far shot of an oddly-shaped protuberance sticking out of the water.
“This thing was floating on top like a large crocodile or large water snake,” Stafford told CFCF. He said, according to the tourist, that Whippy was 10 feet long, and had its head stuck out of the water for several minutes.
“We were blown away,” said Stafford, who didn’t doubt the tourist’s story for one second.
There are many stories of monster sightings in these parts, reports Lurie. Nearby Lake Mephremagog has “Memphre”; Lake Champlains’ has “Champ.”
But with this latest sighting on the Massawippi, the legend of Whippy has pulled ahead of the others.
Florent Hebert, who’s been guiding tours on the lake for 23 years, said he’s seen a lot of strange things that he just can’t explain.
He said he’s been trying to convince people of Whippy’s existence, and that these photos finally prove he’s not crazy.
“I feel much better, because no one believes in the stories I’ve been telling about the lake,” he told CFCF News.
Scientists have explained that these waters are inhabited by some very large fish.
At almost 500 feet deep, Lake Massawippi is home to many monster sturgeons. Fishermen have spotted fish more than seven feet long in the lake.
Vancouver author John Kirk, whose specialty is investigating unknown animals, guesses the mystery creature in Stafford’s photo “could be a form of catfish.”
“But it doesn’t have the profile to be a classical lake monster,” he told CTV News.
Stafford said whatever it was, it didn’t act very fish-like. “It was on the surface of the water for about 15 minutes—that’s not fish behavior,” he said.
With a report from CTV’s Rob Lurie