A TV reporter said he shot a 20-minute video of six "Lake Tianchi Monsters", near the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Zhuo Yongsheng, who works for a local TV station run by the administration office of the nature reserve at Mount Changbaishan, Jilin, has sent pictures of the Loch Ness-type creatures to Xinhua's Jilin provincial bureau.
One of them showed the creatures swimming in three pairs, in parallel. Another showed them together, leaving ripples on the surface of the deep, volcanic lake.
Zhuo, director of the TV station's news center, said he shot the video and photos last Thursday.
"I went on top of the southern slope of the mountain with two local guides at 5:05 AM hoping to shoot the sunrise," he said. "I was not able to do that because it was cloudy."
By 5:26 AM there was a clear view of Tianchi Lake at the foot of the mountain. "Du Baiqing, one of the guides, suddenly pointed to the lake and yelled in amazement that a stone had emerged from nowhere", Zhuo told Xinhua.
He focused his lens on the black moving object in the center of the lake and five other forms emerged from the deep water.
Zhuo said he witnessed the six seal-like, finned creatures swimming and frolicking in the lake for an hour and a half, before they ducked out of sight at 7:00 AM.
"They could swim as fast as yachts and at times they would disappear under the water. It was impressive to see them all swimming at exactly the same pace, as if someone was giving orders," he said. "Their fins - or maybe wings - were longer than their bodies."
Zhuo said he previously did not believe in legends about lake monsters. "But I believed what I saw with my own eyes."
Rumors the volcanic lake harbors some sort of monster have been circulating for more than a century.
Scientists, however, have dismissed the rumors saying the lake was too cold for large creatures.
(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2007)