Lake Monster Traditions: A Cross-Cultural Analysis
Michel Meurger and Claude Gagnon
1988, Fortean Tomes
This unique scholarly work surveys monster reports and folklore from around the world and explores the common themes involved. While not entirely rejecting the possibility of “real” lake monsters, the authors trace the cultural roots of the subject in a way no one else has done.
LMT is a frequently cited source for understanding the problems with application of ancient cultural tales to cryptozoology. There is much to digest in this book, translated from French. The translation and detailed scholarship does make it difficult sometimes to decode the meaning but it’s not incomprehensible. It’s slow going, not for beginners, but for those with some background in folklore. The main premise regards if we should be using folklore, traditional native tales, and historical texts as “evidence” of, in this case, the existence of lake monsters. This book is concerned with the discourse of monsters – not so much their zoological or occult significance. Meurger discusses the position of scientists, debunkers, and occultists. Meurger takes the stories of monsters in all their cultural glory and complexity for what they are. This book is critical to understanding the workings of historical cryptozoology framework. It is no longer in print but can be obtained used at a reasonable price.