"The Snapping Turtle"
Terror in the Adirondacks near Lake George, Ticonderoga, and Schroon
Genetic Science can create miracles -
- for Good or Evil
The Los Angeles Times, Friday, July 31, 1992: San Diego,
Ten Million Years of Evolution in Ten Days
Scripps Research Institute scientists used a population
of enzymes that cleave RNA and forced them to evolve in ten generations
into enzymes that cleave DNA. They
compressed ten million years of molecular evolution into ten days.
A Harvard Medical School professor said, "This
is the first use in this way of these new methods of rapid
"This is closer to evolution than what anyone has
done before," said a Salk Institute chemist.
"It's mimicking Darwinian evolution
and speeding it up."
What does it mean?
advances being made in genetic science such as cloning, manipulation of
genes, and changing of life forms, rapid evolution also is possible. In
fact, scientists have accomplished it in populations of enzymes, lower
life forms. They compressed ten million years of evolution into ten days.
What is the next step? Will it be done with individual members of a species?
story describes what happened when two genetic scientists caused rapid
evolution, not in a population of enzymes or other lower life forms, but
in one individual of a population of one species. They experimented with
a higher order life form, a vicious, predatory snapping turtle, known
in biology by the name, Chelydra serpentina. By genetic manipulation they
caused it to evolve through two hundred million years of change to human
of the story
People drown in lakes, but they don't drown and then just disappear.
But three of them did in Perplexity Lake near Schroon Lake Village in
the Adirondacks. Marc Goddard, a biology professor from Ticonderoga, is
convinced that a mutant savage creature got them. No one believes Marc,
but he trusts his instincts. His enthusiasm to prove he is right ends
his teaching job, alienates his friends and colleagues, and antagonizes
the woman he was to marry. He barely survives attacks by the creature
and an unknown enemy. Women and young girls are raped and murdered in
Saratoga Springs and Lake George. What is the connection between these
tragedies and what happened at Perplexity Lake?
Two genetic scientists, near Albany, know the answer. In a secret genetic
experiment, they forced hundreds of millions of years of evolution from
a reptile, Chelydra serpentina, through a mammal, to a primitive man in
only a few years. What they did not plan on was the escape of the creature
into Perplexity Lake.
Marc uncovers their work and hunts for Chelydra, now an adult human
but brutal and irrational rapist and murderer named John Lake. Marc confronts
him in a struggle, the outcome of which will either destroy Marc and continue
the murders or end the terror.
Here is a sample from the book
Spencer and Crystal swam out into the bay toward the float forty yards
away near the other shore. The calm water rippled and sparkled from the
moonlight that spread an orange path across the lake. Her long tresses
flowed along her shoulders and her back. Crystal rolled over on her back
and rested. Spencer stared at her silhouette. Her nose and chin, her parted
lips, and her breasts carved a black outline against the golden moonlight.
Chelydra slithered off the bench in its den, filled its lungs with air,
and slid down into the water. Outside its lair, it followed the pulsing
in the water ahead of it and knew there were two objects. Chelydra glided
nearer to them, close to the bottom of the lake, and knew with instinct,
primitive reasoning, and a new vibrant urge in its insides which one of
the others it would take.
WHAT A REVIEWER WROTE
This intriguing read is written
from both the human and reptile point of view. . . . the complexity and
care with which Sanders creates his monster, the giant snapping turtle
turned humanoid turned human male. What is particularly worthwhile in
this novel is the way in which the horrifc situation is resolved. Lake
[the evolved monster] is confronted with his past in a touching final
scene that is unique in horror. This is one horror novel . . . worth reading
simply for its originality.
How to order:
Chelydra Serpentina (Paperback) ISBN: 0-9645867-3-8 334
Price: $19.95, plus $5.75 shipping and handling. CA orders please
add $1.55 sales tax. Each additional copy of this book add only
$1.75 for shipping and handling.
Send a check or money order to:
Dr. Wm. J. Veigele
Astral Publishing Co.
333 Old Mill Road # 324
Santa Barbara, CA 93110-3655
published by Astral Publishing Co.