Monday, April 28, 2014

Looking for the Lake Labynkyr 'Devil'


Details of an expedition on Siberia's Lake Labynkyr were released over a week ago:

Aware of accounts of mysterious relic reptiles lurking in the deep, here are the first pictures from a record breaking dive.

Reports of a 'Devil' in Siberia's Lake Labynkyr date from the 19th century, and have intrigued scientists for many decades. The inaccessible lake, in the Sakha Republic, Russia's largest and coldest region, was in March the scene of the deepest-ever dive under ice in the world.

Divers on a joint expedition by the Russian Geographic Society and Diving Sport Federation of Russia reached a depth of 59.6 metres, but their achievement also had a serious scientific purpose. Braving air temperatures as low as minus 50C, and diving under tents erected on the ice, they took samples for examination by scientists which may prove a long-suspected underwater link between the Labynkyr and another similarly mysterious lake, Vorota, some 30km away.

The divers were keenly aware of the age-old accounts of primeval monsters - perhaps relic ichthyosaurs - in both lakes.

Ahead of the trip, the society said: 'Apart from plans to set up a new record for under-ice diving and to perform scientific research, the participants of the expedition want to check those legends about 'Labynkyrsky Chert' - the Labynkyr Devil, a huge monster supposedly living in the lake'. Read more at Siberian Times


Dr. Karl Shuker posted Some Fishy Findings Regarding The Monsters Of Russia's Lake Labynkyr which describes some of the history of the supposed creature in the depths of the lake. He also refers to the Siberian Times article, including his thoughts.

I posted the following information in early 2013:

The local people of the Lake Labynkyr area have long told stories of a large-jawed creature that makes a 'primeval shriek' before it tackles it’s prey. Now Dmitri Shiller and the RGO dive team may have found the remains of those massive jaws in their research:

A Russian scientist has made the first deep plunge in the waters of Yakutia’s Lake Labynkyr which claims to be home to a 'Siberian Loch Ness monster'. The fact has a real chance to be registered in the Guinness Book of Records, a statement of the Russian Geografical Society (RGO) has said.

Head of the RGO underwater research team Dmitry Shiller went down to the bottom of one of the world’s coldest lakes located in the remote Yakutia region of Russia’s Siberia. This was the first time a man plunged to the depths of the lake.

In winter the air temperature here drops down to minus 89 degree Celsius.

According to members of the team, the expedition’s aim was to take video footage of the lakes’ bottom and collect samples of water, flora and fauna.

Moreover, according to the scientists, with the help of an underwater scanner they discovered jaws and skeletal remains of a large animal.

Lake Labynkyr is known for its geographical characteristics, the depth of its cracks reaches 80 meters. Evenk and Yakut people, Yakutia natives, claim an underwater creature, a "Siberian Loch Ness monster", lurks in there.
- RUVR

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As reported last week, Russian researchers have reached the bottom of Labynkyr, one of the coldest lakes on Earth, popularly known as the Russian Loch Ness for the legend of it being inhabited by a cryptozoological monster. Guinness World Records took note of unique dive.

-71 Celsius (-96 F) is how low temperatures can get in the Siberian village of Oymyakon in Yakutia, home to lake Labynkyr. Located in a ‘Pole of Cold’, one of three places on Earth with the coldest air temperatures, it welcomed the expedition of the Russian Geographical Society with a relatively ‘mild’ -45 C (-49 F).

One of the crew of ten, Viktor Ozarenko, optimistically noted in his FB: “It’s warm in Oymyakon, just -45 C, can’t wait to swim”.

The man who actually carried out the historic plunge was, however, the leader of the group, Dmitry Shiller. The diving pioneer gave his reasons for wanting to go: “By now almost all the land on earth has been studied, but terra firma is only 30% of the planet! I’m sure there are a lot of secrets under water, so that’s where all of the science will go in the near future”.

Labynkyr has long been a research attraction for its anomalies. It freezes much slower than other lakes nearby and it has a huge crack at the bottom, where the lake’s average depth of 52 meters increases to 75-80.

That’s where Dmitry eventually went. Water in the lake was -2 C (-28 F), much warmer than -45 C of the air, which was nevertheless little relief to the diver, who also had to carry out some scientific work under water.

Dmitry managed to take footage of the lake bottom, took samples of water, flora and fauna, something no one has ever done there before. Previous attempts to explore Labynkyr were only made with the help of robots or echo sounders.

There’s also a mysterious side to the lake. Popular legend says it’s inhabited by a monster nicknamed ‘the Labynkyr devil’. The 1953 Soviet expedition to Oymyakon contributed to the myth of Nessie’s Russian brother, after Viktor Tverdokhlebov, the head of the Siberia geological unit of the USSR’s Academy of Science, said he saw the creature. He described the episode in his diary: “…There was some kind of an animal….

As it approached, I grew overwhelmed by a strange consternation, freezing me inside. A dark grey oval bulk was seen in the water. On it were two symmetrical white spots, looking like eyes of an animal, and something like a stick poked out of it… Maybe a fin? We only saw a little part of the animal, but could guess a huge solid body under water. No doubt, that was a predator, one of the strongest in the world”.

Researchers of the Russian Geographical Society did not encounter the legendary monster though. But still what they did see was unique, and according to the expedition supervisor Tatiana Nefyodova, the Guinness World Records is interested. Evidence for registering “the first ever winter aqualung dive in a cold pole natural body of water (Oymyakon, Yakutia)” is now being gathered. - RT

Guinness World Records 2014

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Nesski: Lake Labynkyr


In September 2012, Russian academics are calling for a scientific probe into claims of a 'Siberian Loch Ness monster' in one of the world's remotest lakes.

Researchers using underwater scanners have found evidence of 'Nesski' - measuring up to 33 feet in length - in the deep waters of Lake Labynkyr, says a new report.

Intriguingly, the evidence is at a lake where native Evenk and Yakut people have long claimed an underwater creature lurks.

The evidence includes a picture which, it is claimed, shows the monster, says the Siberian Times.

Known as ‘the Devil', testimony dating back to the 19th century says the monster has enormous jaws. Read more at Daily Mail



Echo sounding device data of the underwater object in lake Labynkyr, with travelers drawing in red what they imagined the creature could have looked like. Pictures: veslo.ru

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Eyewitness Account

Accounts began reaching the outside world after nine geologists led by Viktor Tverdokhlebov, of the East Siberian branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, were involved in an expedition to this remote corner of the then USSR in the summer of 1953, a few months after the death of Stalin. As they rode on horseback, their guide was the elderly Varfolomey Vinokurov, a local man.

It took eight years for his diary account to be published in a Soviet magazine and this referred to his own sighting in Lake Vorota - a name which literally 'Gates' (an unusual name for a lake, perhaps signifying Gates of the Devil?) while also including historical accounts he heard from locals.

'30 May. We left Tomtor village, went 70 kilometres up the Kuidusun Valley, turned left and got to the large Sordonnokhskoe plateau. Ahead of us there is Lake Labynkyr where there is storage with food and equipment.

'There are many legends about this Lake Labynkyr. In the evenings sitting by the fire our old guide told us that a 'devil' lived in this lake. He is so big that the distance between his eyes, as Varfolomey said, 'is wider than a fisherman's raft made of ten logs'.

'I heard about this 'devil' before and many times. In Ust-Ner, I heard that the devil ate a dog. The dog swam to bring the shot duck to the hunter, then huge jaws raised from the water and the dog just disappeared in a moment.

'One of the Tomtor villagers told me that one day he found a huge bone on the shore of Lake Labynkyr. It was like the devil's jaw - if you put it vertically, you could ride on a horse through it like under an arch. He said this jaw bone remained near the fishermen house on the shore.

'I heard legends how a whole caravan perished going under the ice of Labynkyr. It was spoken that people saw a big horn stuck out of the ice. People gathered around it on ice and tried to take it out but suddenly the ice broke and many people and reindeer died'.

'5 June: Early in the morning we got to the shore of Lake Labynkyr and reached the storage. Comfortable tents with wooden beds and floor and table awaited us.

'7 June: We are having a rest. Lake Labynkyr is a square, 15 km long and 3 km wide. I found the ruined fisherman's house on the shore, carefully explored the house and all around it but did not find any 'jaw bone'.

He did not witness anything untoward in Labynkyr but went on with his expedition.

28 July: Now we stopped at the shore of Lake Vorota. Mikhail made a raft and went to measure the depth. It is 60 meters as in Labynkyr. But the lake itself is much smaller.

30 July: This is what happened today. It was sunny friendly morning, Boris Bashkatov and I went on a walking trip around Lake Vorota. We had to climb rocks on the way - about 11 am the way became dangerous and we decided to go down a bit, closer to the water. Looking at the water from the rock, I clearly saw a terrace under the water with a huge white spot on it. But when I looked at the terrace again a minute later there was no white spot there. 'Maybe sunshine is joking with me', I thought. But suddenly Boris shouted 'Look! What is there, in the middle?' We stopped. Some 300-400 meters away on the water there was clearly seen some white object, shining under the sunlight. 'A barrel', said Boris, 'made of tin.' 'Maybe a horse got into the lake,' I said.

Truly, the object was swimming, and fast enough. It was something alive, some animal. It was making an arch - first along the lake, then right towards us. As it was getting closer, a strange coldness like a stupor was growing inside me. Above the water there was big dark grey body, the white colour has gone. On this dark grey background there were clearly visible two symmetrical light spots looking like eyes and there was just stick in the body - maybe a fin? Or a harpoon of an unlucky fisherman?

'We saw just a part of the animal but we could guess its much bigger, massive body was under the water. We could guess this looking how the monster was moving - raising from the water, it threw its body forward then fully went under the water. At this time the waves were going away from its head, waves originating under the water. 'Flapping its mouth, catching fish', I guessed.

The animal was obviously swimming towards us and the waves made by the animal reached our legs. We looked at each other and immediately began to climb up the rock. What if 'it' goes out of the water? We witnessed a predator, no doubt, one of the strongest predators in this world: such indomitable, merciless and some sensible fierceness was in every his movement, in all its looks.

'The animal stopped some 100 meters away from the shore. Suddenly it began to beat against the water, waves went all ways, we could not understand what was going on. Maybe it lasted just a minute and then the animal was gone, dived. It was only then when I thought about a camera.

'We stood for another 10-20 minutes, it was quiet. We went further.

'There was no doubt, we saw the 'devil' - the legendary monster of this area. The Yakut fisherman was right, the animal had dark grey skin and the distance between its eyes was surely not less than a raft of 10 logs. But he saw it in Labynkyr and we saw it in Vorota lake. They are 20 km away from each other - and they are not connected.

'I recalled that white spot under the water. Obviously, the animal was hunting at that underwater terrace and we scared it when shouted going down the rocks.' - Siberian Times

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Labynkyr "Nessie"

In 1953, geologist Victor Tverdokhlebov and a companion spotted a huge creature swimming quickly and jerkily across Lake Labynkyr in eastern Yakutia. When reports of the sighting emerged, public curiosity was piqued, and expeditions embarked on largely fruitless hunts for the Labynkyr "Nessie". Locals weren't surprised by the sighting, and speak of animals pulled down into the water never to be seen again. Suggestions as to the true identity of the mystery monster include a gladiator dolphin somehow stranded in a freshwater lake miles from the nearest ocean, and a giant pike. - A Study Guide to Ufos, Psychic and Paranormal Phenomena in the U.S.S.R.

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Russians Report Loch Ness Type Monster

United Press International, Sept. 30, 1963 - MOSCOW - The Soviet Union has its own sea monster with a taste for hunting dogs, Radio Moscow reported today.

The "dragon like creature" lives in Siberia's Lake Labynkyr and has frequently been seen by local inhabitants."

"On one occasion the monster swallowed a hunter's dog," the broadcaster, a student of biology at. Moscow State University said. He cited monster sightings in the west-including one off Brazil and in Loch Ness-and said an expedition had gone to Lake Labynkyr and will return next month.

The lake is 220 miles north of the port of Okhotsk on the Sea of Ohkotsk, east of Alaska.

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Mysterious Labynkyr Lake

The legendary lake Labynkyr is situated near the Pole of Cold on the territory of Oimyakon uluss. It is mystical and exotic attraction. Legends speak about the monster that lives deep in the water of the legendary lake and attacks dogs, reindeers and even people. Stories say how one day the monster wiped out a caravan of Even people. There are several documented encounters. The public learned about the monster in the 50′s from the diaries of soviet geologist Tverdohlebov. Since then several expeditions have set out to prove or disprove the existence of a monster. Some say that it is something real, that it could be a huge pike, a water mammoth, a reptile or a plesiosaurus, or even something from the parallel world. The mystery, however is still a mystery. There will always be people who want to solve the mystery, or at least have a glance at the monster. - Yakutia Travel

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In a book 'Trip to the Cold Pole', author Gennady Borodnuli recounts another tale from Labynkyr in the 1920s.

'An Evenk family of nomads followed their reindeer and reached the shore of Lake Labynkyr. They decided to stay overnight on the shore. A five year old child went to the bank of a stream which led into the lake while adults were busy. Suddenly the adults heard the boy screaming.

'The father and grandfather rushed to the bank. They stopped on the edge of water and saw the child being carried away by an unknown animal to the centre of the lake. It was a dark creature, with a mouth looking like bird's beak. It held the child and moved away with quick rushes, then it dived leaving huge waves and dragged the child under the water.

'The granddad swore to revenge the 'devil. He took a sack made of animal skin, stuffed it with reindeer fur, rags, dry grass and pine trees needles, put a smouldering piece of wood inside. He attached the sack to a huge stone on shore with a rope and then threw the sack far into the waters of the lake.

'At night there was noise and splashes and terrible screams of the 'devil'. In the morning the waves brought the huge dead animal, about seven meters long with a huge jaw, almost one third size of the body, and relatively small legs and fins.

'The old man cut the animal's stomach, took out the body of his grandson, and buried him on the bank of the stream. Since then this stream is called 'The Stream of a Child'.

'It is hard to say what happened to the remains of the animal but this jaw was put like an arch on the shore.'


Lake Monsters

Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures

Tales of Yukaghir, Lamut, and Russianized Natives of Eastern Siberia (Dodo Press)





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