(Credit: Matt Bille, editor of Exotic Zoology)

From the January 1988 issue of ALASKA magazine, page 17:

The Lake Iliamna monster once again has reared its legendary head. On July 27, several, reportedly sober, etewitnesses say they saw a 10-foot, black "fish" leaping ans splashing in the lake, about five miles northwest of Pedro Bay village.

Verna Kolyaha was fishing from a skiff with her mother and sister when they saw the creature. Kolyaha approached to within 100 feet of the creature, which she said was shaped like a whale, with a white strip along the fin on its back. "It made an almost complete cricle around us," Kolyaha told the Bristol Baytimes.

Back at the village, Rainbow Bay resort owner Jerry Pippen and pilot Jerry Blandford were airborne within 30 minutes of the sighting, but saw nothing but a large ripple in the lake.

The next day, however, Pippen reported seeing "a really huge seal. This seal was squirting water six to eight feet in the air." (MATT BILLE's COMMENT: since seals don't squirt water, one wonders if he meant "splashing.")

Pippen said the animal was cream colored, with lighter markings.

Sightings of a huge creature that lives in the depths of Alaska's largest lake are so persisten that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game keeps an open file labeled, "Lake Iliamna Monster."

In 1963, a department biologist was flying his small plane over the lake and for 10 minutes watched a creature that appeared to be about 25 to 30 feet long swimming below the surface. It never came up for air. The biologist estimated the beast's length by comparing it to the airplane's shadow on the water.

A number of times in recent years, sportfishermen near the villages of Iliamna and Pedro Bay have reported a big, peculiar, snake-like form moving along at the water's surface.

Explanations for the creatures that have been observed range from a lost whale that strayed in from the ocean to a huge sturgeon to a species of freshwater seal. The Native people say the creature is a monster that doesn't like people and upsets boats that stray too far from shore, but there's no scientific evidence to prove any theory."

MATT BILLE'S COMMENTS: The descriptions don't all match (Pippen's creature sounds like maybe it was a stray beluga), and a "snakelike form at the water's surface could be wave effects, but the biologist's report is very persuasive.