(Extracted quotes from letters from Hans Wíum in Múlasýsla 1750)
Such monsters have frequently been sighted but most often in the years of 1749 and 1750. From spring 1749 till autumn of 1750 they were seen on numerous occasions by respectable and decent individuals. Pétur, the legal counsellor of northern Múlasýsla shire and two others saw one close to Ketilsstaðir farm in Vellir but could not describe it. Two other men travelled there together and met with Pétur in Fell county. North of Arnheiðarstaðir farm they saw a beast moving along the lake, its size approximately one of a boat with six rowers; it moved with great haste; this was also seen by the people of Hrafnsgerði farm – which is nearby.
The third man travelled alone the same route as the other two. He told of a monster he had sighted right off the shore, seemingly a seal, its belly looking like the stingray when fished out of the sea; this beast tossed itself into water with much splashing. Those three men came to the farm Arnheiðarstaðir and told of what had occurred. When they were telling their tale all saw a monster on the shore close to the farm; it was thirty to forty fathoms long and had a tall hump on its back. One of the men claimed he saw tentacles emanating from both ends which reached into the lake.
All those men were decent and respected. In addition all the people at the Arnheiðarstaðir farm had witnessed the monster both far off and close to the farm but never seen it in close proximity to give a clear description. After this the people of Hrafngerði farm noticed three humps sticking out of the surface, for about a whole day, there were hundreds of fathoms between them, according to the tale told by the farmer.
One time Hans Wíum stayed the night in Arnheiðarstaðir farm, but in the morning he met with vicar Hjörleifur, vicar Magnús and vicar Grímur who were also there. The weather was calm, with gentle winds when they all saw across the lake a blowing of water as if by a whale, only larger, and close by there seemed as if a cairn was sticking out of the water. When they had watched it for a while, it turned towards shore.
Never have there been as many sightings as in the spring and summer of 1750; because then mon-sters were sighted in rivers running into the lake; three close to Hrafnkelsstadir farm, two had the likeness of horses, with whisks of hair sticking out from the back of their heads and having a hump on their back, seemingly black. One of them raised two muzzles and the water drained off between them. In addition one came ashore by Hreiðarsstaðir and the farmer there claimed its size amounted to a large house.
Such monsters have been sighted many more times such as in the spring of 1819. It was first seen close to the edge of the ice where the ice had not reached the shored, off Hafursá farm. According to speculations of those who observed the monster it was quite the distance off shore, in color of grey and in the shape of a horse standing on its head, abdomen up but no limbs or tentacles were visible. It was first seen on a Saturday; then it moved very slowly upstream, against the current and soft breeze up to and across from Hafursá farm there it disappeared the next Sunday. While this was occurring the ice was drifting north along the lake. Vicar Gunnlaugur in Hallormsstaður and farmer Hinrik in Hafursá farm witnessed this sighting and so did many others. One of those who saw it wanted to shoot it; but the others didn´t agree with him. There was no boat nearby and prob-ably would few of the onlookers have dared to get close to it, because they were no heroes except maybe the one who wanted to shoot it.
Íslenzkar þjóðsögur og æfintýri (bindi 1)