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20th Century Dinosaurs... Page  29
20th Century Dinosaurs... Page 29

Is This the Famous Nahuelito?

Source: El Cordillerano, April 17, 2006

An anonymous citizen left these photos and departed. We had no chance to question him and thus have no way to ascertain the truthfulness of the account. For that reason we ‘re printing them for everyone’s consideration.

Seeing what the photos were of surprised all. Later we began to closely analyze the contents of the photographs. Some were alarmed and others incredulous. Without doubt in Bariloche, when one speaks about the 'Nahuelito',people take serious notice.

On Saturday, the gentleman approached the receptionist of the newspaper, spoke with an employee of administration and left him with three photos and a plain envelope that said “it is not a twisted tree trunk. It is not a wave. Nahuelito has shown his face. Lake Nahuel Huapi, Saturday 15 of April, 9 o’clock. I’m not giving you any personal information in order to avoid future annoyances for myself ".

In the images, at a short distance from the shore of the lake, different views of an animal can be seen, similar to a serpent with a semi-submerged body.

None of the three photographs left by the unknown individual were taken with a digital camera. The man who brought the photos left so quickly and mysteriously (as he had come), that did not have time to ask him where he had taken them.

The Legend of is based on an unknown aquatic creature that according to the popular belief lives in lake Nahuel Huapi, in Argentina.

Like Nessie, his Scottish counterpart, he gets his name from the water mass that he supposedly inhabits and his existence has never been proven in spite of systematic searches. The legend is well known in the country and it is a classic reference in books and articles on cryptozoology.

 

History

The origin of the legend goes back to indigenous stories before to the conquest.(pre-columbian) The first explorers heard stories from the local Indians about occasional meetings with enormous aquatic monsters. The first recorded modern sighting dates back to 1910, although George Garret, the eyewitness only made it public much later.
In 1910 Garret was employed at a company located next to Nahuel Huapi. After sailing along the lake and on the verge of disembarking, one day he sighted at a distance of approximately ¼ mile a creature whose visible part measured between 16.1/2 to 23 feet long and who was standing approximately 7 feet over the water.

On having commented on his experience to the local people, Garret found out about similar stories reported by the natives. But the account became public again in 1922, when it was printed in the Toronto Globe newspaper.

At that time the first expedition was organized to look for Nahuelito and the controversy reached its highest point, in the international press.

Beginning in 1897, Dr. Clemente Onelli, the director of the Buenos Aires Zoo, had been recieving sporadic reports about a strange creature inhabitanting the Patagonian lakes.

In 1922 he received the eyewitness testimony of Martin Sheffield, a North American gold prospector, about very large tracks on the shore of lake Nahuel Huapi. In the center of the tracks, Sheffield claimed to have seen an enormous unknown animal.

Convinced by Sheffield’s report, Onelli decided to organize a search expedition. The Expedition was led by the superintendent of the Zoo, José Chiagi, and he had among the participants, recognized hunters armed with elephant rifles to hunt as well as dynamite to mine the lake.

The general population reacted negatively to the presence of the hunters' and Dr. Albarracín, president of the Protective Association of Animals, requested that the Secretary of the Interior revoke the authorization for the search, since the law prohibited the hunting of exotic animals.

Finally the subject of permission was resolved and the expedition went forward, but it returned to Buenos Aires without positive results. The event had an international repurcussions, commented about in many publications such as the Scientific American Magazine.

More recently, in 1960, the Argentina Navy chased an unidentified submerged object in the lake for 18 days, without managing to identify it.

The growth of the city of Bariloche as a tourist destination, led to additional sightings on the banks of lake Nahuel Huapi, but a photographic conclusive record was never obtained. Scientists have proposed various theories to explain the myth, but none has survived a serious analysis.

The indigenous accounts hardly can be quoted as proof, since the natives had legends on the existence of aquatic monsters in practically all the lakes and rivers of the Patagonia. The direct precedent of Nahuelito seems to be the local myth of the 'leather', monster without head or paws that supposedly inhabited the lake.

Frank Searles 1972-1974 Loch Ness Photos are Extremely similar to the alleged Nahuelito photos.

The most popular hypothesis is that of a prehistoric monster; Nahuelito would be a survivor of the epoch of the dinosaurs, probably a plesiosaur. Others support the theory of an ichthyosaur, based on the number of fossils of this animal found in the region.

Nevertheless, the Patagonian lakes formed in a geologic epoch after the extinction of the dinosaurs, which would refute that hypothesis. Also it has been suggested that it might be a milodon, an extinct terrestrial mammal who lived long ago; although it might coincide with some of the descriptions, it did not have aquatic habits.

A more modern theory (and a more fantastic one) suggests that Nahuelito could be a strange mutation of some local animal produced by the nuclear experiments performed in the decade in the 1950’s by German scientists (or more recently for the Atomic Center Bariloche.

The latest theory to come to the public is one that attributes the appearances to a small submarine of unknown origin, which many people interpret as a cultural modern day version of the myth of the aquatic monster.

But the latter theory has never been demonstrated.

It is telling nevertheless, that the majority (although not all) of the sightings describe Nahuelito similarly;: a total length of approximately 33 to 48 feet, two humps, skin like leather and, sometimes, a neck in the shape of swan. This characterization coincides with the descriptions that the Mapuches gave approximately two hundred years ago.

This suggests it is science, up to this moment that has not been able to explain certain observations, and not that the observations are not true simply because science has failed in explaining them.

BEWARE: Translation by s8int.com utilizing 6 years of grade school Spanish, Bablefish and PromptOnline

 

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