Old Ned

Old Ned is the tongue-in-cheek nickname of a lake monster in Lake Utopia, a 17 square kilometre, 100 ft deep lake that connects to the ocean via the Magaguadavic River, the second deepest natural canal in the world. Sightings of near-identical creatures also occur in the Passamaquoddy Bay, which connects to Lake Utopia and is likely the same species. Old Ned’s description is vague, but is generally described as being 40 ft long, with a serpentine cetacean-like appearance. Similar creatures called the Apotamkin in Malliseet folklore goes presumably thousands of years, but the first written account was in 1842. Canadian cryptozoologist Norma Stuart discovered that sightings appear in cycles every three to five years and she suggests it may be a breeding or feeding cycle.

On August 6th 1867, an “Old Ned” specimen was killed off the Passamaquoddy Bay. It was a serpentine animal with a whale-like head, dorsal fin, and horizontal tail. This feature is unique to mammals. It was covered in short, shaggy fur like a buffalo robe. Before it was killed, 13 sawmill workers on a raft observed the animal thrashing in the water 100 yards away. In 1872, multiple people observed an Old Ned basking in the water “like a pine log”. In 1891, William Francis Ganong, a naturalist, recorded in his notebook a description of the animal provided by a lumberman who said he saw it 20 years prior. "It was dark red in colour, the part showing above the water was 20 feet long (about) and as big around as a small hogshead; it was much like a large and very wide eel.“


In 1969, The Saint John Evening Times Globe reported in an interview with Mrs. Fred McKillop, of St. George, who said she saw a huge creature 18 years earlier. "It looked like a huge black rock . . . It moved up and down the lake, boiling and churning the water, making great waves.” In 1986, Sherman Matt and his family observed a 10 ft long hump come out of the water. In 1996, Roger and Lois Wilcox observed a 40-50 ft long serpentine animal undulating in an up-and-down motion towards Cannon Ball Island.

In my opinion, "Old Ned" could possibly be sightings of  misidentified whales briefly entering via the Magaguadavic River.