Crater Lake in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest in the world. It was formed of the eruption of Mount Mazama over seven thousand years ago. The blast was believed to be 42 times greater than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. It expelled so much magma that the summit of the mountain collapsed and formed a giant crater. Over time, the caldera sealed itself off and allowed rain and melted snow to fill the crater. Cinder cones was formed due to earlier eruptions. Only one managed to breach the surface of the water. In 1885, a man named Will G. Steele dubbed it Wizard Island because it resembled a wizard’s hat. Native Americans were known to inhabit the area long before it even erupted. They believed it to be a sacred place.
Some believed if you looked upon the lake you would die instantaneously. Crater Lake went undiscovered for so long due to local tribes steering away any visitors. They would deny its very existence. There are so many Native American legends about Wizard Island and Crater Lake they all can not be told here. However, one story told by the Klamath Indians begins with some returning from a hunting trip. They stood at the top of the mountain and spotted the beautiful blue lake below. Feeling they had invaded forbidden territory, the Indians left and set up camp far away from it. One Indian, however, couldn’t resist sneaking back to the rim to gaze at it. When he walked away, he felt stronger. He went back once more and came away stronger. The third time he went down the steep slope and bathed in the blue water. Walking away, he became the strongest and most skillful warrior of the tribe. Others decided to do as he had done. Each bathed in the water and came out faster runners and better hunters. That is until one day, an Indian brave was bathing in the water and for whatever reason killed one of the creatures in the water. Several hundred lake creatures attacked and killed him. The spell on all the warriors broke. They were no longer welcomed at the lake.
Native American folklore is not the only thing Crater Lake is known for. A woman named Mattie Hatcher from Albany, Georgia visited the lake when she was a little girl. While sitting in a rowboat with her friends, something a block long swam under the boat. She described it as a monster, dragon-like. The story surfaced in May 2002. No one has reported seeing the “dragon” since. If there are creatures in the lake, they may company. The dragon may not be the only cryptoid living in Crater Lake National Park. On June 8th or 9th, 1976, the Chief Park Naturalist, George Morrison, observed a Sasquatch-like (or Bigfoot) creature crossing the South Road at dusk and headed into Annie Creek Canyon. About two years later, two rangers seeing something large in the forest with a foul odor that threw a pinecone at them.
Several deaths have taken place in the Crater Lake area. Between 1926 and 1997, at least thirteen people have fallen to their deaths due to the steep slopes. The area around the lake has been the settling for various plane crashes, car wrecks and recreational accidents. Two executives for United Motors Service, a subsidiary of General Motors, were found shot to death execution style on July 19, 1952. As the news spread of the murders, people flocked to the location, contaminating evidence. The crime remains unsolved. A number of suicides have occurred here as well. Rangers have reported seeing campfires burning on Wizard Island. By the time they get there to look in to the situation, the fires are gone. A ranger named Jan Kirwan witnessed a campfire outside the designated campgrounds with ten people surrounding it. When she stopped to confront them, all traces of the people and fire had vanished. Mysterious lights have also been seen streaking over Crater Lake.
What could be causing all the unexplained phenomena at Crater Lake National Park?