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Silvermine Stone Co. Takes Credit For Chippy

By on May 18, 2012

Back on May 2, the media sighted an art installation of a “Loch Ness monster” (nicknamed “Chippy”) in the Chippewa River in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The DNR quickly declared the sculpture an illegal obstruction and demand it be removed.

A mysterious artist identifying himself or herself only as “The Phoenix” had taken credit for the art, and said they’d removed it. I put out a call for this enigmatic visionary. Wisconsin Sickness wanted an interview, and perhaps the person’s identity. While WisSick didn’t get the scoop, the Chippy is out of the bag.

According to an article posted on the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram’s website last week, “The Phoenix” is actually a collective of workers from the Silvermine Stone Co. Silvermine had some left over materials and decided they’d have some fun with it rather than simply tossing it out. For no particularly reason at all, they built Chippy. The little river monster has since been removed and replaced with a replica on floats, which Silvermine believes complies with laws regarding placing objects in navigable waterways.

The original was placed on Ebay with a $5,000 asking price. No one bought it. It’s since been re-listed with a $2,000 asking price. Silvermine is apparently making other replicas of “Chippy” for various businesses around Eau Claire, including Menards’ corporate office. The river monsters are multiplying.

I’ve got to tell you, I’m a little disappointed. While I didn’t think a Guerrilla Cryptozoology artist had anything too earth shaking to share with the world, I hoped it’d be a bit more exciting than this.

It’s also sort of let down that they’re now cranking out the Chippys. I’d of preferred it be a one-of-a-kind. Oh well. “The Phoenix” turned out to be a bust, but I’m certain something even stranger is just around the bend. This is Wisconsin after all.

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J. Nathan Couch

About J. Nathan Couch

J. Nathan Couch is an author and paranormal investigator. He is part of the Wisconsin-based Paranormal Investigation and Research Society, and guides ghost walks and bus tours in support of Washington County Paranormal. His new book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? is available now.

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