The search for the Dublin Lake monster

By NICHOLAS HANDY

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 07-26-2017 8:17 PM

At its surface, Dublin Lake may be a family-friendly body of water – offering the region a place to fish, swim, and recreate – but dive deeper and you might not like what you find.

Legend has it that a yet-to-be-classified form of sea monster dwells in caverns at the deepest point of the lake, which is 100-feet according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

While those who have allegedly seen the monster have been driven mad, that doesn’t stop some lake-goers from hoping they find Dublin’s underwater cryptid.

“I would’ve died to see it,” said Maurica Smith, 24, of Milford, who went diving in Dublin Lake recently to obtain her scuba diving certification. “I could have had proof that it was real.”

The legend of the Dublin Lake monster has been written about in at least two books, “America’s Loch Ness Monsters,” written by Philip Rife and "New England’s Scariest Stories and Urban Legends," written by Summer Paradis and Cathy McManus. 

Lore surrounding the lake monster dates back to the 1980s, when a free-diver allegedly went missing after a routine dive. The diver was found a number of days later, naked and incoherently babbling about monsters. 

Another version of the story states a diver was using a diving bell when exploring the lake’s bottom, but the tether was not long enough as he descended. 

After heading down deeper to find the caverns, the diver disappeared. A group of hikers found the diver in the woods naked days later,with the diver once again was babbling about monsters. 

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With meager evidence to support the claim that a lake monster dwells at the bottom of Dublin Lake, many locals and passers through have questioned the validity of the legend. 

“I’ve never heard of the monster, but there can’t be any truth to it,” said Alef Deghize, of Alstead, who stopped into Dublin General Store on Wednesday afternoon. “My take is that someone was trying to explain something they couldn’t understand.”

Perhaps, what those divers believed was a lake monster was actually a species of fish prevalent to the lake. Brook trout, smallmouth bass, and hornpout are all common species in the lake, according to Jason Smith, chief of inland fisheries with NH Fish and Game.

But for every non-believer of the legend is a person who wants it to be true. 

“I haven’t heard of the legend but I love it and hope it’s true,” said Augusta Petrone, of Dublin, who said that as a child, she heard a rumor that the lake didn’t have a bottom. “I’m 80 years old and I used to not believe a lot of things. I’m hoping they find Atlantis.”

NH Fish and Game Conservation Officer Bill Boudreau said he has seen a large increase in scuba diving in Dublin Lake over the past few years, although he admits fishing still seems to be a more popular recreational activity.

Having been a conservation officer in the area for the past 13 years – and a member of the dive team since 2007 – Boudreau said he has never been called to Dublin Lake to respond to a report of a missing diver.

Boudreau said he has never heard the legend but questions its validity, as the conservation officer prior to him had only ever told one story of a rescue on the lake, and it dealt with a man who had a heart attack while swimming. 

“If there was a missing diver, we would’ve been called to it,” said Boudreau. 

Outside of a few fish, Smith didn’t see much in her time exploring Dublin Lake, although she admits that because she was taking a certification course, she didn’t go much deeper than 20 or 30 feet. 

Certification in hand, Smith hopes to one day return to the lake to explore its depths.

“I would definitely love to go out to Dublin Lake again, to explore a little deeper,” said Smith. “I’ve also heard that there is a space ship down there, which would be cool.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT. 

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