"The Snapping Turtle"

Terror in the Adirondacks near Lake George, Ticonderoga, and Schroon Lake


Dan Sanders

Genetic Science can create miracles -

- for Good or Evil

Press Release

The Los Angeles Times, Friday, July 31, 1992: San Diego, CA

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 evolution."

"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?

With current 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?

This 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 form.

Summary 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.


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 Pages

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.


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Dr. Wm. J. Veigele
Astral Publishing Co.
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