Photo compliments of: Barbara Schulz
Photo Compliments of: Barbara Schulz

Chessie is the Cheapeake Bay's very own resident sea creature. One of the early reports of Chessie was made in 1936 when a military helicopter flew over the Bush River. The crew reported seeing something reptilian and unknown in the water. Reports of Chessie were not common until the 1980s. A woman named Trudy Guthrie reported seeing an unknown animal in the Bay in 1980. It is now thought that the animal Ms. Guthrie saw was actually a manatee. Either way, reports of Chessie started rolling in after that.

In May of 1982, the first hard evidence of Chessie's existence arrived. While at their Kent Island home, the Frew family, along with friends, believed they spotted Chessie and they made a videotape. In the summer of 1982, the Smithsonian had a minisymposium to determine if the videotape was indeed evidence of Chessie's existence. Along with the video, there was a photograph taken by a woman who was previously afraid to bring it to public attention. The officials concluded that the object was definitely alive, but they did not conclude what it was.

In recent years, reports of Chessie have subsided. A journalist named Bill Burton has archived about 78 reports of Chessie-spotting. He received the last report around 1995.

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