Windermere Lake-Monster Sighting

A university lecturer and his wife have told of their surprise and subsequent horror at seeing what he can only describe as a Loch Ness type lake-monster in Lake Windermere. Steve Burnip and his wife Eileen saw the serpent-like creature…
UPDATE: New Photo of Bownessie, Windermere Lake Monster! Taken February 2011
A couple kayaking on Lake Windermere have photographed what they believe to be Bownessie (Bow-nessie), the legendary Windermere Lake Monster!
Lake Monster or Wells Catfish?
Lake Monster or Wells Catfish?

A university lecturer and his wife have told of their surprise and subsequent horror at seeing what he can only describe as a Loch Ness type lake-monster in Lake Windermere.

Steve Burnip and his wife Eileen saw the serpent-like creature from the popular Watbarrow viewpoint at the north-end of the lake.

They claim the creature was about 15-20 foot long, with a small head and two small humps in its wake – “It was like a giant eel.” said Steve.

Lake ‘monster’ sighting

A HOLIDAYMAKER has spoken of his horror at seeing a Loch Ness-type monster’ emerge from the depths of Windermere, report Paul Duncan and Peter Otway.

University lecturer Steve Burnip and his wife, Eileen, were shocked at seeing the serpent-like creature surface from the waters as they stood at a well-known viewpoint.

“I was absolutely flabbergasted, I just stood there and couldn’t believe what I was looking at,” said Mr Burnip, who has been holidaying in the area for 13 years with his family.

He claimed the creature was about 15-20ft long with a little head and two small humps following in its wake. “It was like a giant eel.”

Mr Burnip, who is 51 and from Hebden Bridge, was looking out from Watbarrow point that looks across the lake to Waterhead.

Ian Winfield, a fish ecologist for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Lancaster University, believes Mr Burnip could have seen a catfish, as they have been introduced to a lot of lakes for angling.

“The Wels catfish comes from mainland Europe and can grow to about 500cm and weigh up to 306kg and there have been numerous records of catfish washing up dead in Cumbrian lakes,” said Mr Whitfield.

Source, The Westmorland Gazette [link].

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CW Staff
In the late 80s I started investigating UFOs and crop circles and joined the CCCS (Centre for Crop Circle Studies) and a local group researching strange sightings and reports along the south coast of Dorset (UK). In the early ’90s I started my own research group called SPS (Strange Phenomena Studies), this was renamed in 2004 to Cryptoworld.


  1. “Can grow to about 500cm.” An evident misprint for 5 metres, as “the largest authenticated wels, taken from the river Dnieper in the Ukraine in the southern U.S.S.R., measured over 16 ft (5 m) in length and weighed 675 lb (306 kg).” (Sir Christopher Lever in ‘Naturalised Animals of the British Isles’, quoted in the Centre for Fortean Zoology’s report on the ‘Monster of Martin Mere’ (2002).)

    Steve Birnip’s estimate is therefore physically possible, but I question whether any wels in the UK could have grown this big since their 19th-century introduction by the then Duke of Bedford (I think). The British rod-caught record is 62lb 0oz (28.123kg), caught by R. Garner in Withy Pool, Henlow, Bedfordshire in 1997. The record Dnieper specimen was of course netted!

  2. 500cm has more zeros than 5 meters, so I guess it makes it look bigger and sound more impressive?

    The Monster of Martin Mere is an interesting case, Richard Freeman from the CFZ said he saw the Monster “close-up” and concluded it was a catfish.

  3. My goodness what a mouth the fish has, ive never seen a fish that big, the guy who caught it must have been surprised

  4. […] There are been another recent sighting of Lake Windermere monster. The monster was also spotted last Summer. […]

  5. i have seen it !!!!
    as a local rafter
    i have been rafting in these parts now
    for over 22.3 years
    it is no catfish
    as i am an avid angler and i should know
    it has two mouths
    i know where it lives
    call me

  6. Windermere monster? My arse, could it be that trade in Windermere is a bit slow due to the rubbish summer?

  7. Daniel, you could be on to something – although most of the sightings seem to have been by people visiting the area…!

  8. This sighting was brought to our attention by friends staying in the area when it was first reported.

    Why? Because last year my husband and I – and other passengers – had the same kind of sighting from about 30ft away whilst on the ferry crossing Ullswater.

    Huge grey eel like creature, humps breaking the water as it swims. two humps visible at the same time.

    We had told our friends about it and they recognised the chilling similarities.

    Given my response would have been the same as Daniel and Daves unless I’d seen it with my own eyes, we’ve onlymentioned it to close friends.

  9. i have just obtained video footage of a similar looking creature form the lakes! I’m taking it for analysis next week, so will try and keep u all posted

  10. It’s just a large catfish.

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