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Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures Hardcover – May 5, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The authors poke some holes in previous lake monster studies, but perhaps the most damaging part is their deconstruction of the films taken of the Champlain and Okanagan monsters."―College and Research Library News

"Radford and Nickell have done more fieldwork than many cryptozoological enthusiasts and . . . have exhaustively carried out their own experiments and data collection that is of the highest scientific order. I wish all cryptozoologically inclined researchers would be as thorough and objective about their work.... I would recommend this tome to those who wish to learn to apply critical thinking to the mysteries surrounding these aquatic cryptids. Lake Monster Mysteries is a most enjoyable read and I guarantee you will learn much from these intelligent researchers."―John Kirk, author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters and president of the B

"Investigating some of the most complex lake monster mysteries in the world, Radford and Nickell closely examine these enigmatic creatures and come up with some surprises. Their approach is respectful of the believers, [and] attention to detail is evident throughout."―Michael R. Dennett, paranormal expert

"The most up-to-date, definitive, scientific assessment of the evidence for and against the existence of lake monsters."―Robert E. Bartholomew, coauthor of Panic Attacks: Media Manipulation and Mass De

"For those who are interested in these mysteries, it makes good reading."―WTBF Radio

"It delights in the better known resident of Loch Ness as well as Canada's "Champ" in Lake Champlain...It does, of course, verge on the tongue-in-cheek but not completely – which is doubtless why I enjoyed it."―Lincoln County News, Maine

From the Publisher

With a Foreword by Loren Coleman

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky; 1St Edition edition (May 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813123941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813123943
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,915,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Isaksson on May 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When two authors active in skeptic organization CSICOP decide to publish a book about lake monsters it's not much of an accomplishment to correctly assume what kind of book it'll turn out to be. Skeptical analyses, critical discussions, debunking of earlier research that has often been flawed and/or incorrect, and on-site investigations and interviews.

And, well, that's exactly what Lake Monster Mysteries is all about. Throughout the book Joe Nickell and colleague Benjamin Radford presents a number of lakes in the U.S. and Canada (as well as Loch Ness in Scotland) that all claim to be the home of one or more lake monsters. The reader is presented with a short but informative background to each lake and its alleged monsters, offered details about some of the most important research to date, and is taken along with Nickell and Radford as they carry out their fieldwork and analyses of some of the most famous photographs and sightings.

Which is all both interesting and worthwhile, but to the reader who has an earlier interest in these lakes and their mysterious inhabitants the book fails to offer very much new material. However, this doesn't mean it's not a very good contribution to cryptozoological research. Nickell and Radford - who not very surprisingly come out as extremely skeptical to everyone and everything - are very efficient in their work when they point out many of the errors that precious researchers have done and later used in their own books, and it's difficult not to agree with them when they show the reader how something as mundane as a floating log or otters swimming in a straight line very easily can fool even the most experienced of observer and create the illusion that it's really a slime sea serpent cruising along the surface of the water.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Smith on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lake Monster Mysteries, by Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell, is a genuinely excellent skeptically-leaning book about the various rumored creatures of the world's freshwater lakes.

The book focuses primarily on alleged monsters of the lakes of New England and eastern Canada, but it also addresses the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland, a famous lake monster in British Columbia, and a variety of creatures from around the world.

The book is written clearly and concisely, and is a fast read, and by the end of it I think most readers will not only have a good idea of how to think about lake monsters, but also a good idea of how one ought to think about all sorts of strange phenomena.

I found its explorations of "expectant attention"--or how witnesses expecting to see something report far different experiences and interpretations of events than those who aren't expecting anything--to be especially helpful.

The best part of this book, though, is how it's such a great showcase of hands-on skepticism--not the armchair variety that so many true believers love to deride; it shows what real skeptical investigation can and should be. Radford and Nickell track down witnesses and original sources, go to the lakes, perform tests, scrutinize photos and videos, check every fact, and keep their minds open until the evidence leads them to solid conclusions.

I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in cryptozoology, skepticism, or just an entertaining but scholarly read. I'd love to read a sequel to it--perhaps about sea monsters, or perhaps merely about other notable lake monsters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William on October 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
CSI investigators Ben Radford and Joe Nickell provide overviews of the most famous lake monsters in the world, and detailed analysis of the best evidence that has been provided to date. They do this in a series of essays which cover most of the well known lake monsters of North America, as well as Loch Ness and brief observations of other world wide lake monster phenomena. The book looks for the best evidence of mysterious creatures and analyzes that evidence very critically. Photos, illustrations, and detailed citations will provide both the credulous and the skeptical with plenty to think about. I, for one, am anxious to see some good video of otters crossing a lake after hearing how frequently people mistake such a natural occurrence for something much more mysterious.

If you're an amateur cryptozoologist and you're going to be looking for lake monsters, be sure and pack some good cameras, some measuring equipment, some sun-block, and a copy of "Lake Monster Mysteries." It will give you something very good to read for what might be quite a long wait.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joshua M. Hunt on January 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell have written a concise analysis of lake monsters. Radford and Nickell do not dismiss out-of-hand and they do not engage in armchair skepticism either. This is a hands-on objective investigation of lake monsters. All of the evidence for lake monsters is thoroughly examined.

When it comes to lake monsters the most important question we can ask is, "What is the evidence for lake monsters?" We learn things from Radford and Nickell such as, where are the bodies of these supposed creatures? Where are the bones? We also learn that if one of these creatures exists there has to be about 15-20 creatures to sustain a breeding population. Before we consider something to be a monster, lets rule-out other known entities. For instance, lets rule-out whether or not what people are seeing in these lakes are floating logs, otters, beavers, or even swimming deer.

We start the book by looking at the case of Loch Ness. Joe Nickell points out how wide and varied the eyewitness accounts are. Photographic and video evidence is thoroughly examined. In addition to examining specific cases of supposed lake monsters we also have four appendixes at the end of the book. One of the appendixes is titled "Eyewitness (Un)Reliability" which discusses how flawed and unreliable anecdotal evidence is.

If you want to know what the best evidence is for lake monsters, read this book! If you want to know whether or not that evidence stands up to scrutiny, read this book!
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