So what is Chessie? Some believe it is a prehistoric creature, however, this is unlikely. If it were a prehistoric reptilian creature, the Bay would not be an ideal habitat. The Chesapeake is very shallow and cold, in fact, in winter it can freeze over in places. A cold blooded prehistoric animal would not be able to survive.
Others have leaned towards the idea that Chessie isn't an unknown animal at all. In 1994, a manatee was captured and tagged in the Chesapeake Bay. It was taken back to its native Florida home and released. The following year the manatee swam into the Bay again. In fact, it swam clear up to Rhode Island before turning and heading south again. Year after year this same manatee makes his journey. Could it be Chessie the monster and Chessie the manatee (as it has been named) are one in the same? I find that scenario as unlikely as the prehistoric animal theory.
|Chessie the Manatee. Not very snake-like.|
|Still frame from Frew video|
In 2008, while visiting the memorial for the U.S.S. Tulip in southern Maryland, we happened to spy a couple of strange aquatic "creatures" in the Potomac. What we saw was roughly 6-8 feet long and swam around for a few minutes before swimming off. It appeared that whatever the creatures were, they were in the middle of fishing/feeding. One photo shows what appears to be knob-like objects along the spine. This is similar to a fish known as an Atlantic Sturgeon.