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Chessie – The Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster

Chessie is a sea monster said to live in the midst of the Chesapeake Bay, similarly to the Loch Ness Monster, which is believed to live in the Loch Ness and is known as Nessie. Over the years there have been many alleged sightings of a serpent-like creature with flippers as part of its body.

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One of the earliest reported sightings of Chessie — the cryptid serpent that’s said to inhabit Chesapeake Bay — was in 1936 when the crew of a military helicopter flying over the Bush River. “Something reptilian and unknown in the water” was observed by the helicopter’s crew.

In 1980, four charter boats carrying twenty four people observed the creature. While the cryptid has been captured on film, none has been clear enough to be accepted as proof of Chessie’s existence.

A Description of Chessie

It’s amazing that the large number of the cryptid sightings have been so consistent in Chessie’s description. The creature is almost always described as being thirty to forty feet long, as round as a telegraph pole, with a dark snake-like body and having a roundish football-shaped head.

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Chessie has been compared to a python or an anaconda. There have been no reports of it attacking or posing a danger to humans. Mike Frizzell is the Director of Project Enigma, an organization that studies the creature.

He correlated the cryptid’s appearances with movements of bluefin fish in the area from reports filed about Chessie. The accounts suggested that the serpent’s feeds on these fish.


Clyde Taylor and Daughter Carol Sight Chessie

A man named Clyde Taylor and his daughter Carol are among the individuals who have reportedly witnessed Chessie. They were walking on the Chesapeake’s beach by the Chester River, at the far northern part of the bay, when they saw a ripple moving across calm water, then saw the creature creating the disturbance. It was black or amber.

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According to Clyde, its tubular body was about thirty feet long, as thick as a telegraph pole and it looked like a giant serpent. It swam through the bay with an up and down undulating motion.

Its eye resembled a large snake’s eye. Carol got within thirty feet of the creature; it saw her, then disappeared underneath the water.

Robert Frew Videotapes Chessie

On May 31, 1982, Robert Frew and his wife Karen were entertaining guests, al fresco, of their Kent Island home, at the mouth of the Chester River, when they saw a strange creature, in calm water, two hundred feet away.

Robert got his video camera and taped the creature as it dove down into the water and resubmerged several times during their sighting. It swam within fifty feet of boys who were playing on submerged rocks.

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The group yelled warnings to them, but there was no response. Apparently, the children didn’t notice the Chessie.

Witnesses estimated the cryptid to be about thirty feet long and less than a foot in diameter. The visible part of the back appeared to have humps. Its head was shaped like a roundish football.

Robert rejected the idea that the creature was a snake or that this was a case of misidentification.

Scientists Review Frew’s Chessie Videotape

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On August 20, seven scientists from the Smithsonian Institute, with representatives from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources and the National Aquarium gathered to study the Frew videotape and discuss their findings.

George Zug, from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, wrote the report. All agreed that there was an animate object in the Chesapeake Bay that they couldn’t identify.

He wrote that sightings of such sea serpents have been reported on a regular basis in recent years.

The most recent sighting

The most recent reported sighting occurred on April 5, 2014, at 1:40 am. While parked on the side of Arundel Beach Road directly next to the Magothy River “when the tide was really high”, a Maryland resident and his friend reportedly saw Chessie less than 5 feet (1.5 m) away from his car.

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He described it a snake-like creature 25–30 feet (7.6–9.1 m) in length, without fins, topped with a slender football-shaped head, and black in color, although he could not distinguish between having scales or leathery skin.

The creature did not rise out of the water, but the head and tail end “just breached the surface” of the water as it moved “with a serpentine motion”.

The witness first questioned himself if it was two separate animals traveling behind one another, but soon realized that it was one creature because of the pattern it created on the water surface.

There are no known snakes in Maryland that get anywhere close to 25 feet long. Although no photo was obtained because the witness was “so busy trying to figure out what the hell I was looking at” that he did not think to take a picture with his cell phone, the witness was so moved he called the Maryland Department of Natural Resources soon after the sighting.

What Could Chessie Be?

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Some parts of the Chesapeake Bay contain brackish water. Some suggest Chessie is a python, but offer no theories about how the cryptid got into the bay.

Another theory is that it’s a giant anaconda that escaped from a ship sailing from South America. Anacondas can swim in fresh water, but it’s believed that this one adapted to brackish waters.

One of the problems with this postulation is that it would take several snakes or a pregnant female to explain the group sightings. Others say it’s doubtful that anacondas could survive North American winters.

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Others propose that Chessie is an oarfish; however they are silver and have a long salmon colored dorsal fin and are usually deep sea denizens.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.