Bownessie or Bow-Nessie is a sea serpent similar to Nessie that allegedly lives in the waters of Lake Windermere in England. Eight sightings have been recorded since 2006.
Windermere is England's largest natural lake at 10 and a half miles long, 1 mile wide and approximately 220 feet deep. The main reason to visit Windermere is of course the beautiful and often stunning natural surroundings and scenery.
Bownessie was first spotted by tourist Steve Burnip in 2006. Mr Burnip described a serpent like creature, around 15-feet in length, at the north end of the lake. He described it as being 15 to 20 feet long with a little head and two small humps following in its wake. He said it looked like a giant eel. “I am absolutely convinced that there is a big creature in the lake,” said Mr Burnip. “I am really pleased that there is a renewed interest in it because I know what I saw. “I can see it in my head now, this grey lump and the humps breaking the water like you see in the classic Loch Ness pictures. There is something in there, something quite big and elusive.”
The creature was snapped by Winderemere photographer Linden Adams in 2007. Mr Adams, whose picture of the creature was studied by photographic experts after appearing on the front page of the Gazette, said: “I looked at it through binoculars and the naked eye and what I saw was huge. "A lot of photographic experts have had the opportunity to look at the pictures and they are still baffled.”
Lake District hotelier Thomas Noblett declared he was hit by a three-foot wave as he was swimming in 2008. He later become 'enraged' with the search of bownessie and embarked on a curious and fruitless expedition with celebrity psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard. “Since last year, a lot of local people have told me they have felt something in the lake but have been too scared to say anything,” said Mr Noblett, owner of the Langdale Chase Hotel. “There is obviously something large in there. You just have to look at the depth, width and length of it to know that.”
In February 2011, IT graduate Tom Pickles, 24, said an animal the size of three cars sped across the lake in front him last Friday. 'It was petrifying and we paddled back to the shore straight away,' he said. 'At first I thought it was a dog and then saw it was much bigger and moving really quickly at about 10 mph. Each hump was moving in a rippling motion and it was swimming fast.' Mr Pickles, who said he watched the creature for 20 seconds, added: 'I could tell it was much bigger underneath from the huge shadow around it. 'Its skin was like a seal's but its shape was completely abnormal - it's not like any animal I've ever seen before.'
Mr Pickles's companion Sarah Harrington, 23, said: 'It was like an enormous snake. 'It freaked us all out but it wasn't until we saw the picture that we thought we'd seen something out of this world. 'I only saw it for a few seconds but all I could think about was that I had to get off the lake.'
Dr Ian Winfield, a lake ecologist at the University of Lancaster, said it was highly unlikely that an animal as large as three car lengths could survive in Windermere. 'It's possible that it's a catfish from Eastern Europe and people are misjudging the size but there is no known fish as large as the descriptions were hearing that could be living in Windermere.'
Richard Freeman, of the centre for Fortean Zoology which researches mystery animals, said the sightings could be giant sterile eels which, unlike normal eels, stay in fresh water and "get bigger and bigger". Monstrous.com experts team believes it is a hoax.