Rare Sighting of Tahoe Tessie--April 2006

The famed, "Lake Tahoe Monster," stuck its head above water off Sunnyside just before sundown on Friday. A large gathering of participants in the five-day Mountain Travel Symposium was enjoying refreshments and the view across the wind-swept lake when suddenly a shout was heard above the din: "There's Tessie!!"

Many present were unfamiliar with the monster. They were people who had come from all around the world for the 31st annual Mountain Travel event, which was held at the Resort at Squaw Creek this past week. Next year the event is at Whistler in British Columbia.

Some people thought that Tessie was a waitress or the mayor of Tahoe City. But word quickly spread that Tessie was visible out the windows, and that is was a legendary monster only rarely seen at Lake Tahoe. Somehow Tessie's presence added to the closing event on the symposium's ambitious agenda and record-setting attendance.

Last Sighting
A year ago this month Tessie was spotted by a Sacramento couple. They saw "a solid shape in the water with five humps along its back." The sighting occurred off Tahoe Park beach, next to Sunnyside, adding evidence that Tessie may, indeed, call West Shore waters home. This sighting was reported in the Tahoe Daily Tribune on April 29, 2005.

USOs: Unidentified Swimming Objects
Dr. Charles Goldman, a long-time observer and speaker on the waters of Lake Tahoe, told people attending a Palisades Tahoe Institute meeting in January 2004 that a number of scientists testified at a conference 20 years earlier in Reno that they had seen Tessie. The conference was on USOs: Unidentified Swimming Objects.

Goldman, a professor at UCD, who has a home on the North Shore, went on to say that all the sightings of Tessie shared one characteristic: No one had ever reported seeing the monster's head or tail. This could change now, given the Friday night sighting of Tessie's head (and neck) off Sunnyside.

Editor’s Note: The picture was taken by an off-duty bartender as Tessie slipped below the waves on Friday. The photo, allegedly, is of the very top of Tessie’s head.

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