In 1796 Seneca War Chief Cornplanter was granted 15,000 acres along the Alleghany river by Pennsylvania for his assistance to the State as a loyal and a steadfast protector of American families settling in the wilderness of the upper Ohio River basin. In what would become the oldest standing Indian treaty, George Washington granted the land to Chief Cornplanter and his ancestors forever.
Forever ended in 1965 when the completed Kinzua Dam flooded the Alleghany river and covered the ancestral lands of the Seneca leader. Their homes, their only viable farmland, and the graves of the ancestors were now under hundreds of feet of water. Despite petitions from Tribal leaders to JFK to stop the proposed Dam in 1960, the President and United States broke the longest standing treaty between the Government and the Native Tribes of North America.
The residents of Kinzua and the adjoining town of Corydon were relocated, the Indian burial grounds were dug up, including that of Chief Cornplanter himself and the remains were entombed on the nearby hillside with a memorial.
But to this day the Seneca claim that not only was the removal itself a vile act of desecration, but that there are still some missing tribal graves under the flooded waters of the Alleghany. And even the bones of Cornplanter himself were treated with irreverence and disrespect, leading some who witnessed the desecration to believe that perhaps not all the remains of the historic Chief were re-interned. (American Heritage Magazine, December 1968, Vol.20 Issue 1)
The flooded valley is called the Alleghany Reservoir by the Government but to the Seneca nation this man made lake is called Lake Perfidy. Perfidy because of the underhanded deception that was conducted by the Corps of Engineers throughout the planning and building of the Dam and the promises made to the relocation of the people of the Tribe.
With all of the trauma and desecration one is not surprised to find out that there have been paranormal happenings along the Kinzua Dam and Lake Perfidy. But one would be amazed at the cornucopia of high strangeness that has manifest itself along the shores and beneath the waves of this cursed lake. But finding out these nuggets of Fortean happenings is not an easy task. Most of the campers and fishermen who spend their days and nights along the site are not the kind to openly share their incredible stories of the unexplained. But once in a while you get some who are willing to share their stories, and sometimes they are in the strangest places.
Kinzua is an Indian name which means “fish on spear” and the area since the flooding has been a prime Pennsylvania fishing spot. Indeed there have been record catches made on the man made lake. My family has fished at the Dam for years and I had never heard of any paranormal activities. However, recently I took a trip to the Tom Ridge Center, a welcome center to tourists coming to Presque Isle Peninsula here in Erie and I came across some strange first hand information. The reason for my trip to the center was to check out their exhibit of the 1966 UFO landing on Presque Isle, which I have reported on here. The Exhibit was not very informative and actually very condescending, disappointing since the incident was listed as never solved by Project Blue Book and the amount of time the Air Force investigated the incident. In fact the Air Force is never mentioned at the display; all they reference is a Park Ranger who claims ‘nothing spectacular happened’. But what peaked my interest was an adjoining display of Bayside Bessie, Lake Erie’s resident lake monster. The display made it seem that the creature had been sighted locally, when it was only briefly seen in the 1890s and the modern sightings took place near Cleveland Ohio. So I talked to one of the executive staff of the center about the display to see if I was missing anything. And of course when you talk to some people about the unexplained, you usually get their own stories.
The staff person told me that there have been some very strange sightings of a lake creature at Kinzua. She had heard a report from a Park Ranger that the Dam divers had a harrowing encounter with a very large snake-like creature within the last year. There was video supposedly shown by the Army Corps of Engineers to some Government officials of the creatures in Lake Perfidy. The executive told me the neck of the creature they had on tape had a massive neck that was almost two feet thick. The tape was made as divers were doing maintenance on the Dam itself and it also showed some monstrous fish near the bottom of Lake Perfidy as well. I was told that the divers have since resorted to working in cages as they inspect the Dam for fear of both the unknown aquatic creature and the car sized Catfish that might mistake them for a possible snack. Intrigued, I did some research...