Theo's Quest: In Search of Monty

The Lake Monroe Monster


Most would believe that what brought Theo Hollerbach to Sanford was his dream of opening a destination family restaurant to bring German Gemütlichkeit to guests from central Florida and beyond. However, his true purpose all along was to track Monty, better known as the “Lake Monroe Monster.” Theo has devoted his life to discovering the creature and studying it, believing that “figuring out this mystery could be the key to unlocking the secrets to life itself.” While there are conflicting reports, the common threads suggest Monty has a long scaled neck with pink fins and an appetite for alligators, especially their delicious tails.


In spite of most people’s skepticism about the idea of a mysterious ancient monster right here in Sanford, Theo knows there is something lurking in the waters of Lake Monroe. This brings us to the evidence Theo has collected over the years, presented below in the transcribed journal entries from 20+ years of research. Please take these records as you will, but know that each statement has been made with an analytical eye and truthful heart.



Exhibit 1: Theo sets his sights on Sanford - Kyllburg 1976


"When news reached my small town there was both confusion and curiosity, I knew of the Loch Ness monster and the Yeti, but those were just stories to scare and entertain children, no different than Krampus. This is real - this could change the entire world, and so many are just shrugging it off. I will not let this go undiscovered."

Author’s note - I was unable to track down the article or video that might have inspired this journal entry



Exhibit 2: Training in the Undersea World


"I began my training with Jacques. He’s a good guy, for a Frenchman anyway. He has taught me biology, anatomy, diving, seamanship, and these three important rules when it comes to finding no one else can find:


  1. Exceed conventional thinking

  2. Create opportunities

  3. Benefit the environment



Exhibit 3: The Sanford Expedition - Sanford, Florida


"August 1, 2001 - Up until this point everything I have done has been training and research, but now that I live in Sanford just a few blocks away from where the Lake Monroe Monster lives, I am finally ready to prove my theory. My sense of discovery is high! But the bills need to be paid... so I will open a destination German restaurant while I search for the creature that has become my passion."

Exhibit 4: The Research


Author’s note this exhibit does not have a journal entry attached but rather comprises scanned copies of Theo’s collection of research. Throughout his entries he mentions how he frequently visited the Sanford Museum and it can be inferred that many of these exhibits have been researched there.


The Air Boat Incident


This is the most damning evidence that the monster may be harmful to humans, with airboat accidents becoming relatively uncommon due to the wet air in Sanford.


Theo’s Thoughts


"How could a creature that has been so docile be responsible for this tragedy?"



The Story Story



Shorty Story

Patrick Story, a veteran chef at Hollerbach’s not only works with Theo at his restaurant but also shares his desire to find Monty. Patrick is a sixth-generation Floridan and he says stories of the monster have been in his family throughout.


“This is a snapshot of my pops ‘Shorty’ Story in the 1940s, shortly before he embarked on his journey to Lake Monroe from Holopaw. As a fifth-generation Floridian and an avid alligator hunter, he and his brothers were on a mission to bag the mysterious “Lake Monroe Monster.” Though they were never successful, their tales of traveling through the tumultuous terrain of the Timucuan in search of this tremendous trophy would not soon be forgotten by me. Though I myself have never seen a sign of the sea-bound serpent, I spend a few extra minutes looking upon the glassy water of the Monroe with my children, hoping to catch a glimpse of the magical monster that meanders under the murky waters.”


The “Sleepy Hollow” Incident


Here we find an alligator with its head and tail bitten off; upon closer inspection the teeth marks do not match any known species.


Theo’s Thoughts

"This has convinced me that the steady alligator population is what Monty is feeding on. This means the creature is carnivorous."



Out to Lunch - Sighting: October 23, 2018 out by Lake Monroe.


On a misty, fog-filled day Monty the Lake Monroe Monster was sighted coming ashore. The fishy creature was reported to be looking for a good cup of coffee and a delicious hot dog. Perhaps unintentionally, while reaching for a passing ladies Dachshund, Monty misidentified the small canine as that tasty snack he had been in search of. This caused the pooch to have a sudden fainting spell and the lady to scream in terror. Pedestrians enjoying their afternoon stroll ran to assist the woman and her furry friend. Monty, enraged at not being able to secure a good cup of coffee and perplexed by the apparent pooch faux pas sat for a second on the retaining wall and sobbed into his plant-dotted fishy arms. A brave young lady appeared shortly after and gave Monty a cup of juice and sent him back to sea. Stepping on a turtle as he departed, he disappeared into the water swimming under the vessel dubbed the “Nut-up”. Carrying a current behind him of upturned cresting water the waves eventually settled under the Barbara Lee Riverboat and he was not seen again. Hey Monty - next time call ahead.

The Full Monty...?? (artist's concept)

The St Johns River Monster


There have been reports of another monster that lurks in the St Johns - which of course flows through Lake Monroe - including this report from the Pine Barrens Institute. It has been proven that the two monsters are not the same but we are unaware if they interact in any way.


Theo’s Thoughts

"It would be foolish to chase irrelevant leads about ‘Pinky’ in the St Johns. While this creature is a noble pursuit, it is not mine to chase."


Exhibit 6. The Conclusion


“Our German restaurant has been a great source for funding my research, but unfortunately some of that research has been stolen. This will therefore be my final entry, but my drive to patrol the depths of Lake Monroe and bring Monty to light remains undiminished.”


Thank you for taking the time to review this research. With the evidence at hand, it seems it’s only a matter of time before Monty is discovered - with that, I’ll leave you with this footage of the Monster taken by YouTuber Aaron Marshall

Lake Monroe Monster



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