The district council of Fljótsdalshérað municipality in East Iceland has appointed a 13-person investigative commission to evaluate whether the infamous lake monster Lagarfljótsormurinn is the phenomenon filmed by Hjörtur Kjerúlf, farmer at Hrafnkelsstaðir, last winter.
Lagarfljót. Photo by ESA.
Hjörtur’s video of an object or creature that appeared to wriggle like a worm in the river Jökulsá í Fljótsdal which runs into the lake Lagarfljót, the monster’s alleged habitat, garnered significant attention, resulting in foreign television crews coming to Iceland to try and catch the monster on camera, ruv.is reports.
This summer, Hjörtur has made claim to ISK 500,000 (USD 4,200, EUR 3,400), a prize in a competition the local municipality launched 15 years ago on photos of Lagarfljótsormurinn. The prize was never paid out because none of the photos entered were thought to show the monster.
However, the district council at the time promised that if the monster would ever be caught on camera, the photographer would be entitled to the prize.
“A man pointed it out to me so I decided to ask to check whether my video would be worth the prize,” Hjörtur told Fréttablaðið.
When asked whether he truly believes that his video shows Lagarfljótsormurinn, Hjörtur referenced a famous author: “Þórbergur Þórðarson said it characterized the inhabitants of Hérað that they never believed what they saw. I’m not like that.”
Another farmer in the region, Sigurður Aðalsteinsson from Vaðbrekka in Jökuldalur, has also entered a photo of what he claims is the monster to the competition.
“The same must apply to that photo as to Hjörtur’s video,” commented Mayor of Fljótsdalshérað Björn Ingimarsson, stating that the district council takes the competition very seriously.
According to ruv.is, members of the district council all stated that they didn’t doubt the monster’s existence. However, as guardians of public funds, they cannot pay out the prize money without carefully investigating the matter first.
And so a so-called “truth commission” was established to determine the authenticity of the video and the phenomenon it shows. The commission comprises of district council members, a natural scientist and a parliamentarian.
The commission will not be paid for its efforts but has been given a long time to complete the task, until the end of the current term.
Click here to read more about Lagarfljótsormurinn.