Strange Creature Filmed In Lake Tahoe!

It had never been done before. But, a Northern California man dedicated to finding Lake Tahoe’s deep-water secrets finally recorded video from the deepest points of the lake.

A particular image Chase Petley captured during one of his adventures has researchers scratching their heads.

Petley started his quest to bring back the first video from the depths of Lake Tahoe after driving by the lake and then searching online for underwater images.

When he found nothing, Petley went to work. He built a submersible casing that allows him to drop a GoPro camera a quarter-of-a mile deep to see what lies at the bottom of Lake Tahoe.

Petley began working the waterproof device to house the camera and a powerful custom LED light about a year ago. The casing had to be capable of withstanding the pressure at Lake Tahoe’s deepest points.

“I’m looking for anything that is interesting. I’m looking for wildlife. I’m looking for beautiful landscapes,” Petley said. “I’m just looking for anything that would get people interested in Lake Tahoe.”

Petley often relies on volunteers to take him out and peek down at different points.

When KCRA went along, the Edmonds, who spend summers on the lake, took everyone out after hearing about Petley on Facebook.

“There are so many stories about what’s at the bottom of Lake Tahoe and what’s in here. And to have a camera go down and show us, I’m on board,” Leslie Edmonds said. “I want to know what’s going on.”

As the boat got closer to the crook in the Nevada-California state line, a pin was placed on the GPS so Petley knew where exactly he was dropping the camera into the lake.

“Ready, everyone? Here we go!” Petley yelled as he dropped the missile-shaped device overboard and let it fall to the bottom of the lake.

The capsule is attached to a football-sized reel of cable, and it unrolled as the capsule sank to the bottom of the lake.

“So, it’s going to be going down this fast for a while,” Petley explained.

Here the lake is more than a quarter-of-a-mile deep. The camera records the whole way down. The images become a darker blue as the sunlight disappears. It is so deep, it takes more than 4 minutes for the camera to travel to the bottom.

Finally, the camera hit the bottom. The images don’t look too impressive at the end of the line – a muddy lake bed – but it’s still an achievement. The video was recorded at one of the deepest points of Lake Tahoe ever seen by humans.

Other submersibles and scuba divers have brought back underwater video and pictures, but the images were from shallower points in the lake.

The University of Northern Illinois tried to examine the fault line at the bottom of the lake 3 years ago, but they never made it because of technical problems.

Researchers and historians said to they believe Petley is the first to record video from some of the lake’s deepest levels.

“It’s always exciting because every time we do it, everything’s new,” Petley said.

At 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, the first drop is just one location — and Petley is anxious to explore more.

Lake Tahoe’s water may be renowned for its clarity, but at its depths it still holds many mysteries and lore: Are there mob grave sites? Unidentified creatures? Underwater tunnels connecting it to other lakes?

Petley doesn’t have a live video feed from the camera while it is on the lake bed, so it’s basically a blind dive. He and his team never know what the camera recorded until it is reeled in and the video is uploaded to his laptop.

Before the second drop of the day, Petley’s crew added a glow stick and a can of sardines hoping it might attract wildlife at the bottom.

“Camera is on. Light is on,” Petley said as he reexamined his equipment before dropping it overboard.

Again the camera hit the lake bed, the camera recorded video and then the entire device was pulled to the surface.

On the video, there’s more mud. Then. Something swam by the lens. With the silt partially blocking the view, it is impossible to identify what kind of fish it was.

Chase Petley captured this image of a fish at the bottom of Lake Tahoe. While it moves like a shark, experts said it could be a large trout.Courtesy of Chase Petley
On a previous dive Petley’s camera recorded a white-bellied fish with a large round mouth swimming by the lens. The way the fish moved raised some eyebrows.

“We found a large fish while we were videotaping at 1,100 feet, and we don’t know exactly what it is,” Petley explained.

One fish researchers said it looked “remarkably shark-like” but believed it was a large lake trout.

After reviewing the image, researchers at UC Davis noted the fish swam with a shark like motion and some of the visible fins and mouth shape resembled a bull shark. A bull shark, the researcher noted, would not be able to survive in Tahoe’s cold waters.

The researchers concluded it is most likely a large lake trout and that the image maybe distorted by the angle, lighting and water.

Petley is hoping to expand and refine his project to explore more of the lake bed and to see if he can find species that have yet to be identified.

“I definitely think there are species or life at the bottom of Tahoe that we don’t know about,” Petley said.

He hopes to ultimately answer many of the questions about what lies below Lake Tahoe’s surface.



About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).