Great Lakes Mysteries - Monsters, Ghost Ships, UFOs & Vortexes of Doom

Marble Head Lighthouse. Photo by Mark Turner

Before Europeans encountered the great lakes, the Native Americans had hunted along its banks and fished and drank from its waters.  The stories that come down from them begins our strange tales of the Great Lakes.

Monsters . . .

Charles Cassady Jr. relates many native American Legends in his Paranormal Great Lakes (a book that covers all of the subjects listed in this article and so much more. I highly recommend it!) 

Chippewa and Canadian Indians told of Naitaka, a long necked monster that ate men and deer alike.  The Chippewa also told of a nameless beast, the Giant Sturgeon of Lake Superior that ate whole ships.  Ojibway Indians said Mishipishu was another monster of Lake Superior.  It was a giant, cat-like creature, with something like spines down its back, who protected its copper at Isle Royale & Michipicoten Island, like a dragon protecting its gold.  It's tail could level one whole village.  And then there was the snake-like Mishi Ginabig, a great Horned Serpent who battled the equally massive Thunderbird.  The Thunderbird won the battle, taking the giant serpent form the water and carrying it away, as lightning flashed and thunder shook the skies.  There were spirits along the lakes too; the Wendigo drove men to madness and cannibalism.

View of Lake Erie from Marble Head. Photo by KK Lewis

More modern reports are of a creature with the non-threatening name of South Bay Bessie in Lake Erie, sometimes called Lem or Lemmy as a shortening of Lake Erie Monster or the Great Snake of Lake Erie.  In 1793 the captain of the sloop Facility startled a large creature more that 16 and a half feet long.  From then on, sightings of the elusive creature were reported from the 1800's into modern times.  Was this a cousin of Mishi Ginabig in a bordering lake?

Storm over Lake Erie by Mark Turner
Vortexes of Doom . . .

The Great Lakes are some of the most treacherous waters known to sailors, and they have claimed many ships and lives over the centuries.  Some of these wrecks have strange legends attached to them.  There are over 1000 ships claimed by the lakes.  It is no wonder that there are two mystery triangles or areas of doom given to these lakes.  There is a Great Lakes Triangle, because the lakes are formed in a kind of triangle, and the Michigan Triangle.  Like the Bermuda Triangle off the coast of Florida, these triangles are said to cause strange disappearances, vortexes, instrument anomalies, and the like. More on the curse of the Michigan triangle to follow.

Ghost Ships . . .

The first Ghost Ship of the lakes is the Griffon.  In 1678, after setting sail from Green Bay, the ship had made it to its destination in Wisconsin, but once setting sail again, it is believed to have entered a storm.  The Griffon was never seen again.  That is until Indian tribes reported seeing the ship along Lake Erie, Huron & Michigan.  It was sighted by sailors in northern Michigan.  They sailed to the ship, but the closer they got, the Griffon vanished.  Some accounts say that the Iroquois prophet, Metiomek, thought the Griffon was made to destroy the Great Spirit, Gitchee Manitou, and put a curse on the Griffon.  It is said you can still see the the ship glowing at night.       

The best ghost ship sighting is from Rowley Murphy, who was on Lake Ontario in 1910.  While sleeping, he was awakened in the middle of the night by a steamer's whistle-alarm blasts.  In the moonlight, Rowley could see a small, older design of steamer ship.  The alarm blasts continued.  Several men boarded a dingy and went out to offer aid.  As the men reached the area where there should have been a ship, they were greeted with nothing but open water. The phantom ship had vanished.        

UFOs . . . 

The Michigan Triangle is attributed with the mysterious disappearance of Northwest Orient Airlines, Flight 2501.  On June 23rd, 1950, in the late evening hours, radio contact with the DC-4 was lost.  The plane was over what some call the center of the Michigan Triangle.  Two hours after the last call from the flight to traffic control, a UFO was spotted in the area. Though debris and bodies were recovered, the plane was never found.

There are theories that an Alien base exists under one or several of the lakes.  Reports of USO's or Under Submarine Objects from the Great Lakes dated back to the 1940's and into our current era.  In 1951, a steamship captain and his crew saw an orange craft over Lake Superior with two glowing portholes.  And in August of 1952, a TWA pilot reported being 'buzzed' by a flying saucer.  That same month the Air Force Radar base on Keweenaw Peninsula reported a 'formation' of UFO's over Lake Superior.

In the last few years, video of UFOs over the lakes have made the rounds.  Some do give me reason to pause and wonder what power lurks beneath the dangerous waters of the Great Lakes.

- Mark

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For a list of Michigan Ghost Ships visit http://www.paramyst.com/ghostships.html     


Paranormal Great Lakes: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, by Charles Jr Cassady it's got it all!


Other Ohio UFO Sightings . . .

UFO Formation Near Canton Ohio - 5/24-25 2011 Matches Previous Objects

Delaware UFO Sightings - More Reports on the 5/21/2011 Event

UFOs Formation Delaware Ohio - May 21 2011

Columbus Ohio UFO - Video & Eyewitness Report - Saturday May 14th 2011

Ghost Stoires on this site . . .

The Ghost that Communicates through TV

Spirit Board

Sleeping Where a Man Died

The Haunted Radio Station-My First Encounter with a Ghost

Ghosts of Harper's Ferry, Ghosts of Antietam