Monday, September 14, 2009
Chessie the sea monster
'Chessie' is the name given to the sea serpent that supposedly inhabits the waters of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. While the first confirmed sighting of a reptilian oddity that may or may not have been Chessie took place in 1933, the sighting of a 'dragon' on the Patuxent River, legends of a reptilian monster haunting the confluence of the Piscataway Creek and the Potomac River date back to the 1800s. Chessie was sighted in 1965 swimming in the South River near Annapolis. In 1977, it was sighted where the Potomac empties into the Chesapeake, and in 1978 the serpent returned to haunt Calvert Cliffs. That same year, something left three-toed tracks near Leonardtown on the Potomac. Sightings continued throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1982, Robert Frew filmed a 'giant eel' off of Love Point, on Kent Island. Reports of Chessie have died off since the 1980s. Leatherback turtles in the waters of the bay have been mistaken for Chessie, and a manatee which made its way into the Chesapeake in the 1990s was nicknamed Chessie after the monster.