In 1865 a giant lion's mane jellyfish was found in the Massachusetts Bay. The bell was 7 1/2 feet and it's tentacles measured 120 feet long and a width of 245 ft.. In 1973, the Kuranda, collided with a giant jellyfish that was estimated to have weighed 20 tons. The Captain of the Kuranda, Langley Smith, estimated the tentacles length to be over 200 ft long. With the aid of another ship, the giant jellyfish was forced off the front of the ship. A sample of the slime left behind was analyzed and found to be from a lion's mane jellyfish. One crew members died during this encounter after being stung by the creature. In 1969 2 divers encountered a jellyfish that they claimed was 150 to 200 ft in diameter. There also have been reports of giant jellyfish attacking small boats and pursuing divers.
Does a creature lurk the Canadian lake Manitoba? There have been reports of a water creature in the lake since 1908. The above picture is of a unexplained creature on the lake's surface. Numerous expeditions have not turned up any evidence to prove the existence of any large animal in the lake. The creature has been nick named Manipogo.
This corpse washed ashore on Mann's
Hill beach in 1970. The corpse was about 20 ft long and weighed
2 tons. The carcass closely resembled an extinct dinosaur called
Lake Memphremagog on the
is the home of Memphre'. This lake monster has been sighted
far back as the 1800's. The creature is described as having a
neck and a dragon like head. It also has a hump which is seen
often, creating a wake across the lake's surface.
Lake Van in Turkey is home to a dinosaur like creature. Many witnesses have observed this creature including the Deputy Minister of the province. The creature is described as being 25 to 30 ft long, blackish color, fins on it's back and hair like growths on its head. Much more on this creature at the CNN web site
Additional Comments on the Lake Van Video:
I'm a special effects/rubber monster
artist who works in Hollywood, and I
have some thoughts I would like to share concerning the Lake Van/Turkey
I actually do believe in Lake
least, some of 'em. Nessie has
had many witnesses over the years, and Ogopogo some very fine video footage.
On to to Lake Van monster,
My background has trained me to spot
fake monsters quickly--in a sense, I fake them professionally myself for
movies--and, although there may or may not be something cryptozoological in
the lake, I think the Lake Van video footage is some of the more transparent
hoaxing I've seen.
The edited nature of the footage,
off, suggests that someone behind
the scenes is trying to prevent the audience from seeing "everything" in the
scene. The camera appears to be keeping away from panning left in the
moving shot--which is where a motorboat would be if the "creature" were
being tugged on a cable/rope.
In the stationary shot, the
from the creature's nostrils
appears not to be respiratory (in-and-out or intermittent), but constant, as
you might see from an air hose.
The moving shot itself suffers from
two major flaws: 1., the creature's
back never exhibits flexibility, and is perfectly straight, as if the
creature's "detail" (ridges and soforth) was modeled on the upper side of a
two-by-four (in Plastic Wood, perhaps?) which was then weighted so that it
would not float too obviously above the surface. 2., it moves as though
being pulled on a cable (hence the tight tracking of the camera on the
object, to hide the agency doing the pulling) and does not exhibit muscular
action such as that exhibited by the object in the Ogopogo video footage.
The object in the Lake Van footage even "lurches" suddenly, as though the
motorboat's engine had just started up. I personally doubt very much that
the footage shows an animal. In many cases like this, it is useful to
observe not only the behavior of the object being photographed, but the
behavior of the camera as well.
As a point of comparison, though,
a look at the Ogopogo video footage;
you will notice many subtle flexibility's and muscular movements as the
creature swims and dives. (You will also notice far fewer cuts per minute
of screen time--so if there is a puppeteer under the water, they are doing a
long and convincing performance.) And the fin slapping the water, to my
eye, looks absolutely like a real animal, and not at all like a rubber
puppet. Such convincing movement would be very, very difficult to fake. A
rubber puppet being "motivated" by a mechanism or by a submerged performer
would look much less spontaneous. That fin belongs to a powerful
animal--and, while much has been made of the fin and the visible "head" or
"nose" in the video footage, I am much more prone to stare at the long,
thick body trailing behind these, just as obvious (if not more so) although
Hoaxes can be frustrating for the
but they do keep us on our
toes, and can even be enjoyed in a spirit of fun once they are uncovered for
what they are--and there's no doubt that, on occasion, certain hoaxes have
helped to perpetuate the public's interest in mysterious creatures.
No, I don't believe the Lake Van
shows an animal--but that's not to
say I would go SWIMMING in Lake Van any time soon. Just to be on the safe
side. - Rodd Matsui (email@example.com)
Loch Morar is not only close to and
similar to Loch Ness, but it also has a creature dwelling in it's
similar to Nessie in Loch Ness. Sightings of this hump-backed
date back to the 1800's. It has been witnessed by my locals whose
reputations are without question. Most sightings are of a huge
mass rising out of the water and moving quickly across the loch.
Morag is thought to be 30 feet long with humps and is a dark brown
A member of the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau, Neil Bass, saw
creature in 1970 and a water disturbance was witness by others with him
right after his sighting.
Types of Sea Serpents
Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans listed 9 basic types of sea serpents in his book , In the Wake of Sea Serpents. He was the founder of The Center for Cryptozoology in France. The types are in condensed versions below:
1 - Merhorse - 40/100 ft
large eyes, smooth skin and a mane
2 - Multi-Humped - 50/100 ft long, looks whale like with several humps
3 - Long Necked - 30/70 ft long, small head and 4 flippers
4 - Multi-Finned - 50/70 ft long, whale like, many fins, dorsal fin, armored skin
5 - Super Otter - Giant otter like animal, long tail , gray of beige in color
6 - Marine Saurian - alligator like creature, long head and tail, scales
7 - Super Eel - 20/100 ft long, giant eel like fish, no limbs
8 - Father of All Turtles - abnormally huge turtle
9 - Yellow Belly - 60/100 ft long, tadpole shaped, yellow with a black stripe
Tizheruk, also known as Pal Rai Yuk,
is a large snake like creature that inhabits the waters off of Key
Alaska. It is described as having a 7 ft head, a tail with a
and to having a snake like body. The natives claim this creature
has even snatched people off of piers as they stood there unaware of
Fisherman have reported catching
up to 8 ft long in the Trinity Alps in California. There are
species of salamanders in Japan that grow to 6 ft in length. No
of the California salamanders have been captured and studied yet.
In 1922, 2 women observed a 6 humped creature in the Paint River, Michigan.
Anyone have any more on this? email
The Ocean liner Santa Clara
The Santa Clara struck a unusual
while off the coast of North Carolina. Witnesses reported that
ship struck a eel like animal that was about 30/40 ft long and dark
The creature was reported to have been cut in half and sank below the
In the late 1800's a dam was built across the outlet of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau County, Michigan, raising the level of the lake 10 to 12 feet and flooding quite a large amount of land. This was done to make logging in the area easier and to supply power for the sawmill in Leland. Since the lake was surrounded by swamps and bogs there were a lot of dead cedar stumps and smaller trees sticking out of the water as late as the 1960's.
About 1910 my great-grandfather,
Gauthier, then a teenager, was
perch fishing in the lake. Perch tend to be a shallow-water fish which hang out in the water weeds that have grown up in the flooded areas. He was in a spot that he had never tried before, near the town of Lake Leelanau (then called Provemont or Carp Lake), and there were several dead cedar trees sticking out of the water conveniently near-by.
He rowed close to a tree, about
feet tall and 6 inches thick, sticking out of about 6 to 7 feet of
and decided to tie the boat up to it. As he touched the tree with
the rope two eyes opened up, just about face level, or 4 feet above the
water, and looked directly at him. As he told us the story he
pause about one second, the time the creature paused, and then say,
straight down it went, and then I could see the head past the rear of
boat while the tail was
still in front of me" as it swam off very quickly. He always admitted to being very frightened, and that he rowed directly home and would not go fishing on the lake for quite a long time.
Something interesting about his
is that he was one of the better educated children of one of the
more important families in the area. He told many people about it
over the years, and mentioned to my uncle that other men in the area
admitted over a couple of glasses of wine to having seen the creature,
but would not do so publicly. I would suspect that this would
been a solitary beast, cut off from Lake Michigan by the dam, and that
it probably died many years ago, since the area is heavily populated
and no recent reports of
sightings have appeared.
submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org ,
for the info!
©Drs Paul Leblond and John Sibert
For hundreds of years the native
of Vancouver Island have told legends about a mysterious sea
In fact, there are tales of sightings going back three hundred
Petroglyphs even exist in which such creatures are depicted. Much
like the legends of the sasquatch, these tales were not taken seriously
by the European settlers. Not until 1937 during an incident in
station on the Queen Charlotte Islands did these legends become very
Whalers had cut open the stomach of a recently harvested whale to
a set of unique remains. The creature in the stomach of the whale
was around 10 ft long, it had a camellia head, a serpent like body and
fins and a tail. Luckily photographs of this carcass and the men
who found it have survived to this day. These photographs
the definitive proof of the existence of what has been named the
"cadborosaurus willsi" (by scientists Paul LeBlond & Ed Bousefield
who have devoted more than 20 years of study to the subject), more
known as the "caddy". The Cadborosaurus was named after a
on Vancouver island called Cadboro Bay, near
To this day many people have claimed that they have seen this sea
Even though it is less well known than its cousin the Ogopogo who lives
in the Okanagan Lake, the sightings have been as numerous. In the
past four years there have been over 20 sightings up and down the
Coast. The descriptions of the Caddy
match the description of the remains found in the whales stomach. They are also very close to the descriptions of the Ogopogo leading some people to believe that all of these animals are members of the same family of reptilian water dwellers. Perhaps even related to the most well known of the sea monsters, Nessie..
submitted by email@example.com
Book Review: Cadborosaurus:
from the Deep by Dr. Paul H Lebond and Dr.
Edward L Bousfield. (1995, Hordal and Shubart: Victoria, British Columbia).
If you ever
wanted to know more about the cadborosaurus, this book is where to
Dr. Paul Leblonde and Dr. Edward Bousfield have spent a
of years gathering data about the Caddy. They begin the book by
a closer look at the field of cryptozoology. They
cryptozoology as the period between first reports and scientific
the area where there is not enough evidence to ensure full acceptance
a new creature. Although scientists were once eager to
want to discover new life there seems to have been a movement in science away from discovery towards explaining the mechanisms of life we already know. Therefore, the caddy and many other so-called sea monsters have not had the benefit of lots of attention by the scientific community. Leblonde and Bousfield disagree with the lack of attention and have spent many years trying to prove that the caddy does exist. They base their findings on a wealth of qualitative data in the form of
eyewitness descriptions. The earliest descriptions of Caddy are based on the folklore of the native inhabitants in the area. The next group of sightings began as soon as there was a European settlement on the West Coast. The earliest recorded observation was in 1881. The fact that these sightings have even been recorded is a feat in itself considering the fact that many people have not wanted to talk about their experiences because of a fear of ridicule. Over the years there have been hundreds of sightings. (The most recent that I have heard about was a year ago when two pilots in a float plane spotted the Caddy near Victoria and followed it for half and hour.) The legend of the Caddy have also been given more credence by other physical evidence that has washed up on shore. There have been carcasses or parts of carcasses that have caused a buzz in the field of marine biology. Although, even in the earlier mentioned case of the carcass at the whaling station, there has never been an overall agreement on whether the carcasses are in fact a new creature or an already known species by the scientific
community. Leblonde and Bousfield instead rest their case for Caddy on the wealth of information that can be garnered from the eyewitness sightings over the years, which number in the hundreds. Overall, this book is an interesting and informative
look at the creature we know as Caddy.
submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org
Tales of sea monsters have been told
by every seafaring race since the
dawn the of man. Sometimes, these monsters prove real. The lungfish
could certainly fit the description as it can upwards of 20 feet and has
a strange looking ‘mane’ running along most of its length. Other likely
candidates for real life serpents include giant squid and octopus.
Scientists have now accepted the existence of giant squids,
though information about them remains scarce. The best evidence indicates that the giant squids are cool water, deep sea creatures. They probably live
at depths between 1000 and 3000 feet of depth. Like all squid, their
blood is not highly efficient at carrying oxygen at higher temperatures.
So they tend to live in open water where the prevalent currents are cool
(ex. the North Atlantic current stream towards North America). They eat
other squid, fish and in the case of the largest, whales. This last fact
is supported by eyewitness accounts. They are in turn eaten by sperm
whales, though this is not as common as once thought. In fact, it
appears that often it is the squid who will initiate attacks on the
whale. This is borne out by the incident involving the Brunswick. At
least three times, the squid swam beside and paced the ship before
suddenly turning to attack. The squid could not grasp the metal of the
ship and died when it slipped into the propellers. Second incident
involved a US nuclear submarine which returned to port shortly after
launch when its sonar system failed. At port its was found that the
rubber covering of the system had been partially torn off and large
hooks from the tentacles of a giant squid were found embedded in the
remainder. The giant squid then seems a likely candidate for the origin
of the Norse tales of the Kraken, given that it inhabits waters sailed
by the Vikings, and does on occasion attack ships.
There are also stories of giant octopi attacking ships. This is
much less likely. The existence of the giant octopus has not yet been
accepted by science though it is certainly possible that they do exist.
The giant pacific octopus may qualify as a sea monster, though it is a
little small, about 9.6 meters from arm to arm. However, if they do
exist, they will probably exhibit behavior similar to that of other
octopi. In this case, the giant octopus would be a shy, retiring, bottom
dweller. Their main food sources are crabs, lobsters, and detruis (dead
material scavenged from the sea bed). They are central place foragers,
meaning that they have a home- a hiding spot [usually] from which they
go out to search for food and to which they return when they are
finished hunting. In this way, they resemble many small mammals. They
have almost entirely soft bodies allowing them to fit through tiny
spaces to avoid predators. They can also change color and produce the
famous ink cloud to avoid predators. Given that they hunt on the sea bed
and usually attempt to avoid predators (unless cornered), it seems very
unlikely that the reports of giant octopi attacking ships are real. For
more info on sea monsters, or cephalopods, see-
1) The Cephalopod page at http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/wood.html
2) About Octopi at http://www.marinelab.sarasota.fl.us/OCTOPI.HTM
3)The Unnatural Museum at http://unmuseum.mus.pa.us/unmuseum.htm
(specifically the lost worlds section)
Article by email@example.com (Garett Kutcher)
thanks for the info!
The Oar Fish
OARFISH (regalecus glesne)
by:Mary Anne Simpson
Sometimes mistaken for a sea serpent the Oarfish has mystified skin divers, ichthyologists and quickened the heart rate of several swimmers. The fish measures between twenty and thirty feet long, and weighs upwards to four hundred pounds. Sightings of this rare fish are few and far between. The fish dwells at depths of seven hundred feet, and only comes to the surface when it is sick or injured. It appears like a pre-historic eel, measuring four feet in circumference, with large saucer like eyes and a raised, red elongated dorsal fin along the upper ridge of its spine.
According to Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist, H.J. Walker, the fish is harmless, eating only small shrimp off the ocean floor. He tasted a cooked Oarfish and stated it tasted something like paper. Reports of a fifty- six foot serpent like fish was found on the shores of Scotland, it is believed to be an oarfish. Some have speculated that this is a link to the infamous Loch Ness Monster.*1
Navy Seals in training at San Diego, California found a twenty three foot oarfish in the bay off Coronado Island in 1996. The oarfish had washed up shore due to a probable collision with a boat propeller. In another incident, an under water cameraman on assignment in Nassau in 1997, photographed an oarfish in his own habitat. He described it as appearing silvery and reflective. Its dorsal fin ran the length of its back and undulated to propel it along. It had no caudal fin as the body tapered to a point where the tail would normally be, and its large eyes made me think that I was looking at a deep-sea creature.*2
In another incident a Colorado eye surgeon Dr. William Shachtman on vacation in a lagoon off the Baja Penninsula snorkeled into an eighteen foot oarfish. For his own credibility, and as luck would have it, he had a camera ready and was able to catch the fish on film. Otherwise it may have been a fish story that the people back home in Colorado might have attributed to some other source.*3
The oarfish is simply another creature that we have become aware since we as humans have made technological advancements allowing us to view them. Their survival is dependent on our care of their habitat.
1. all hands, april. 1997-seal
right whale rediscovered
Thursday January 15
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's
southern right whale population, thought to have been hunted into
early last century, are "highly likely" to still be living in sheltered
waters off a remote sub-Antarctic island,
scientists said on Thursday.
DNA analysis indicates about 100 to 150 right whales that breed off the Auckland Islands, south of New Zealand, are the remnants of the once numerous New Zealand population, not of the Australian population as previously thought. "We know that these whales once migrated up and down the New Zealand coastline, but it has long been thought that the whaling industry slaughtered them to extinction," said Conservation Minister Nick Smith. He hailed the discovery, made by Department of Conservation (DOC) and Auckland University researchers, as "tremendously exciting" for conservationists, who will be encouraged that the rare mammals have managed to recover from severe over-hunting. "The reason they're called right whales is because they're slow-swimming and coastal in their migratory patterns, and have a great deal of oil so (they) float when they're dead," said Michael Donoghue, a DOC marine biologist. "So they're exactly the 'right' whale to hunt." He said there were only 3,000 to 5,000 right whales left in the world, which is estimated to be just five percent of their original abundance.
"Between the late 1790s and about 1830, the right whales were thought to have
gone pretty much to extinction, and that was a generic pattern around the
southern hemisphere," Donoghue said. "They were harvested for their oil, which basically lit the streets of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries." Per meter of body length, the right whale is the heaviest of all whales and can reach up to 60 or 70 tons in weight.
Reuters New Media
Is there another Lake Monster hiding in the depths of a lesser know Canada lakes?
The lake is called Charleston, located between Landsdown and Lyndhurst, 30 miles north of Kingston. In 1897 over 100 years ago , Noah Shook claimed he was pursued by a large, hissing creature. In 1947 three fisherman reported that they had seen a dinosaur type creature near a place called Tallow Bay Rock. Although the stories may seam old there is a few resent sighting, In 1994, Mr. H while visiting his fathers final resting place, (his ashes were placed in the lake) saw what he described as being a large rain slick,"I had never seen any thing in the like that before" he said. Another couple while traveling at night in the summer of 1997, claimed they saw waves that were 3 to 4 feet high, there was no wind and the water was calm and there were no boats in the area.
Although Charlie (so dubbed by the locals) may not be the only monster lurking in the area, there have been several reports of a Large snake like creature, living in the murky waters of Red Horse Lake (located in Lyndhurst). This creature has been seen more often then Charlie. This Creature is said to be greenish black, a head like a horse with small breathing tubes on its head and it about 60 to 80 feet long.
Fisherman have seen its black body
from the waters and in mid 1970s one woman who wishes to remain
was leaning over her small row boat in order to grab a bullfrog for her
pond when the monster she said "just popped its head right out of the
and looked at me!" The woman screamed from fright and the creature was
so long it created foaming bubbles while trying to dive beneath the
The woman decided to leave the bullfrog alone.
The Location of that was a place called Cold Spring Bay, a beautiful spot with a natural spring flowing from the rocks. I have also hear of one in the late 1800s of a boy about 10 maybe 12 went down to a large field near the waters edge, to bring his family cow up for the nightly milking. When he reached the field he immediately seen a large serpent like creature laying half in and half out of the water, "It was bigger round then a stove pipe" he said. The boy watched as the serpent began swallowing a young calf, whole. He ran back to his house and told his father what had happened, and begged for his father to come and look, not knowing what to make of the ordeal, his father took a riffle, and hurried down to the waters edge, the monstrous snake had gone, but had left a trail as deep as a small ditch, and one of the calves were missing.
Needless to say I am surrounded by
bodies of water that could harvest some incredible creatures,
they have been some large fish caught in these areas such as pike
40-50 lb. and Muskie 50-65lbs. one Muskie (the one that got away) was
as weighing as much as 95lbs and one reportedly scooped up a woman's
poodle while she was bathing it. The Lakes are deep and dark, in
Ontario, Canada and my question is this...Do we really know what swims
in our own Lakes and Rivers?
Sometime back in 1996 if i'm not mistaken, a body of an unknown creature was found decaying near the shore on one of the islands of Masbate here in the Philippines. At first they thought it was a decaying cow but later found out it was not. The local folks who claimed to have found it sold it to the butcher who wanted its meat. The description of the butcher as seen on television appears to be a cross between a Plesiosaur and a gigantic tortoise without its shell. They described it as somewhat black or dark in color, has four fins and a long tail. There is even a controversy as to who gets to have the rights to the creature. Here is a sketch of the creature to give you an idea (it's about 40ft in length) as the butcher drew it on the sand
info sent in by firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks for the contribution.
is a ancestor of the great white shark was the ruler of the seas 25
to 1 million years ago. This gigantic shark is estimated to have
measured 40 to 60 ft long. The average length of a great white
is 15 ft and it's rare to see one near 20 ft long. The megalodon
was thought to be long extinct. Two teeth of this shark have been
dated are are said to be only 24,000 and 11,000 years old.
11,000 years is a short period of time when compared to the millions of
years the animal was known to be alive, so it still could be possible
the species has survived to modern times. There have been a few
of giant sharks resembling the great white over the years. In
some crayfish fisher man reported a shark that was about 115 ft long
their bait. While they may have exaggerated the length, cutting
estimate in half still gives you a great white shark more than 2 times
their normal length. They were also familiar with the local
sea life and the great white shark so it's unlikely they confused
There is also a few theories on how such a large shark could remain
all this time. Many cryptozoologists believe that the megalodon
much of is time in very deep waters, perhaps feeding on giant squid
the sperm whale does.
This animal was first spotted by
americans who lived in Montana's Flathead Lake. It is described
a long, slender, black bodied serpent with no fins. It is
to be 30 ft long. It has been seen numerous times swimming across
the lake and also spouting streams of water into the air.
1885, the skipper of the US Grant observed the creature swimming
at his ship. It was also sighted by 50 witnesses in 1919 aboard another
boat. In the 1920s, fishermen on Flathead Lake reported that
nets were being shredded by a large unidnetified creature. The
was a period of many sightings. One 1960 witness described the
"It had the head about the size of a horse.. and about a foot of neck
The sightings have dwindled over the years but have not stopped
DIve teams have made attempts to locate the creature to no avail.
Native american legends speak of a
serpent with a huge mouth and teeth that inhabits Lake Utopia in New
Canada. The serpent has been known to break holes through
surface of the frozen lake and snap at people through them.
There have been numerous sightings over the last 100 years. In
the creature was observed by Sherman Hart, who saw the creature surface
the and then submerge again.
Bizarre Marine Mammal Found on a Beach in France
Quebec City newspaper : Le Soleil January 22, 1999
The corpse of an extremely rare marine mammal, with a whale corpse and a dolphin head, was found jan 16th on a beach at Biscarosse (south-west) according to the Groupe d'études de la faune marine atlantique (GEFMA), This mammal of the zhitiidés family is an Europaeus or a Mesoplodon bidens but according to the teeth it is likely an Europaeus declared to France Press Associated Alexandre Dewez, president of the GEFMA of Capbreton (South-West); The Europaeus is a very rare specimen which was observed only once in France in 1850 he precised. Mesoplodons bidens specimens are relatively more common, because one specimen is found each 4 years on the beaches of France
sent in and translated by
The Gloucester Sea Serpent
In August of 1817 an unknown marine
creature created a sensation when it visited the harbor in Gloucester,
Massachusetts nearly every day for a month. Witnesses (among them
clergy, statesmen and housewives) described the 80 to 100 foot long
which they believed to be a sea serpent, as resembling a “row of casks”
or the “buoys of a seine”. All agreed on one thing - they’d never
seen anything like it before.
The intense interest in the creature by the New England Linnaean Society during the summer of 1817 and the newspaper coverage of its return (and alleged capture) in 1818, along with additional eyewitness accounts, especially from Nahant in 1819 and Rockport in 1886, make it perhaps the world’s best documented sea serpent.
Dr. Antoon Oudemans considered the Gloucester reports authentic and included them in his book The Great Sea-Serpent (London 1892). Commander Rupert Gould devoted forty-three pages to the New England Sea Serpent in his The Case for Sea-Serpents (Phillip Allen 1930). Bernard Heuvelmans uncovered additional reports of the creatures (it stands to reason that reports dating from 1638 to 1960 cannot all have been a single animal) which he dubbed Plurigibbosus novae-angliae (that-with-many-humps-of-New England) in his book In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents (Hill & Wang 1965). And in his Monsters of the Sea (Knopf 1994) Richard Ellis concluded that it was “One of the great unsolved mysteries of sea serpent lore.” But the unknown creature which has come to be known as the Gloucester Sea Serpent did not confine itself to the waters off Cape Ann.
Reports from the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the coasts of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland indicate that the creature(s) made regular seasonal appearances throughout the north Atlantic as recently as the 1960s, (and possibly since) apparently following their preferred prey (herring and mackerel) to the Grand Banks - until recently one of the richest fishing grounds in the world.
In spite of being well documented in sworn statements, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and in Oudemans’, Gould’s and Heuvelmans’ books, the New England Sea Serpent remains virtually unknown among the general public. That may change in the summer of 1999 when Down East Books publishes the first ever book-length account devoted solely to this elusive and intriguing marine mystery.
Building on the material compiled by the above authors and incorporating some of the prodigious research of cryptozoologist Gary S. Mangiacopra, along with dozens of “forgotten” newspaper reports from a scrapbook in the Cape Ann Historical Association archives, author J.P. O’Neill has assembled an historical account of The Great New England Sea Serpent that will make it far harder to dismiss as a “fish story”, a hoax or a mass hallucination. The people who live by, and of, the sea in New England have been seeing something strange in the water for three hundred years, and whatever it is, or was, they called it a Sea Serpent.
by J.P. O’Neill (Pusbach@aol.com )
Evidence of an unknown inhabitant of the lake can be traced to ancient native legends in which references to the woodum haoot, (pond devil), or haoot tuwedyee (swimming demon). The lake and surrounding ponds are famous for their population abnormally large Anguilloidei or fresh water eel population, which some unfortunate RCMP rescue divers had the dubious pleasure of encountering on two such dives. The first of which in the early 80’s when they were called upon to investigate a large hole punched in the mid-winter ice originally thought to be a snowmobile accident, however the dive turned up nothing. Several years later other divers trying to recover a body from a downed plane encountered some over-friendly eels the size of a man’s thigh. The diver’s were attacked by the eels who apparently were tired of their usual surf dinners and decided to try some turf. The divers returned to the surface shaken from their ordeal.
Many sightings of “Cressie” have persisted over the years, yet there are no known photos of her at this time. All the descriptions of the monster from first hand accounts are remarkably similar; black, serpent shaped, eel like in appearance. However, some disparity in length is prevalent (5ft up to 25 ft) leading most to believe that perhaps there is a family of “Cressies” living within the confines of the lake.
Next month the author of this report will be traveling to Robert’s Arm to investigate the Crescent Lake Monster first hand. I hope to be able to provide interviews of witnesses, photographs of the Crescent Lake and South Pond areas, the ecology and geological history of the lake.
Nyami Nyami of Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River
I have heard reports of a pair of
which inhabit the Zambezi River in Southern Africa.
The destruction of part of the Kariba dam wall (whilst under construction sometime around 1958-1960) was rumoured to have been caused by the male of the pair.
Apparently the female had gone
with her young during the dry season previous to the start of building
the wall, but when she tried to return to her mate she found her way
by the new wall. Cracks which mysteriously appeared as well as the
of workers, who lost their
footing and fell, are rumoured to have been caused by her attempts to break the wall. She however bided her time untill the rainy season, with it's accompanying flood waters, when her mate was able to ram a breach through the concrete. The story continues that she may have left her off-spring in
the pools of the flood plain above the dam wall, which are now covered by the waters of Lake Kariba.
Fishermen have reported sightings of
large hump backed creatures, mostly around sheltered river mouths,
submerge and swim gently away as soon as they sense that they are being
observed. These creatures are apparently far larger than the known
species of the lake - Hippopotomii, Nile Crocodile, Vundu (a very large
species of Cat fish - up to 80 lbs.) and Leguaan (a type of monitor
Further details are conflicting, most probably due to the extremely
waters of the lake. Some say they are similar to a large porpoise,
others have reported seeing scales,
leading to the assumption that they must be crocodile related, but around 35 - 40 metres in length!
submitted by email@example.com
In Lake Seljordsvatnet located in
Norway there is a creature known to the locals as Selma.
is described as a long snake like animal that is approximately 30 ft
The first sighting of Selma dates back to 1750 when an attack on a
boat was attributed to the creature. The creature was sighted
times during the 1800 with the high point being an incident in 1880
a woman reportedly cut the creature in half and the rear half returned
to the water. The local left the front dead half on the
to rot away and no samples were taken. Since 1750, there have
over 100 sightings of the creature up to and including the year
Recently Selma has been featured in the international press. Some
of those articles are listed below:
Monster mysteries continue to baffle Europe
The alleged monster and its possible eye
August 2, 2000
Web posted at: 6:28 PM EDT (2228 GMT)
(CNN) -- From creatures of the deep to massive mountain monsters, legends of shy prehistoric forms of wildlife persist throughout European culture and history.
The legend of Scotland's Loch Ness monster is easily the most popular and enduring.
But now Norway has a rival to the famed creature -- "Selma," a fabled serpent which has caught the attention of an international team of monster hunters.
A giant trap for catching the creature, reputed to be a cousin of the Loch Ness monster, has been set up in a lake in south Norway.
The 18-foot (6m) long tube-shaped trap, comprising a metal frame with nylon netting, is set to be lowered into Seljord lake in south Norway and will contain live fish for bait to catch "Selma."
Over the next two weeks, the team, which comprises seven Swedes, three Norwegians, a Canadian and a Belgian, will dangle the cage in the lake, about 110 miles (170 km) southwest of Oslo, at depths of up to 300-feet (91m) near where sightings of the monster have been reported.
Reports of a beast in the lake first surfaced around 1750, and most accounts agree it looks like a serpent with the head of an elk or a horse.
But despite perpetual reports of sightings, claimed photographs of the monsters and a number of attempts to scientifically prove their existence, the mysteries of Loch Ness and Selma remain just that.
In the case of the Loch Ness monster, the legend grows ever larger and more popular among the local community -- particularly because of the tourism it generates.
Whether it is that factor or similar enduring folklore, lake creatures are also becoming more regularly spotted throughout Europe.
The latest attempt to catch Nessie's Norwegian cousin follows other sightings in Scandinavian countries. Swedish monster spotters have been kept busy in recent years with a rush of stories about a similar strain of serpent.
Five years ago, a new legend was born in Lake Van, Turkey. Authorities recorded witness accounts of a monster-like dinosaur in the country's largest lake.
In 1997, pictures claimed to be of the reclusive lake snake were sent to England's Cambridge University and to renowned marine biologist Jacques Cousteau for analysis amid accusations of a bid by the nearby community to attract more tourists to the region.
Across the Atlantic, Canada has its own version of the mystery, the Ogopogo.
But it is not only slippery serpents that capture the imagination of monster spotters.
The Yeti, a hairy, oversized, man-like beast, is said to live in mountain ranges in Europe -- particularly the Caucasus range.
Russia has recorded more than 1,000 sightings of the Yeti and, according to London's Daily Telegraph newspaper, several dozen scientists gathered in Moscow in 1997 to talk through reported evidence of the monster, also known as the Abominable Snowman.
Claims of sightings of the Yeti are also common in Asia. In North America, a similar creature, the Sasquatch or "Big Foot" is part of common folklore.
Sightings and claims of proof of inexplicable beings are most frequent in the United States. There, expanding archives of films, photographs and now Web sites attempt to prove the existence of an array of fantastic wildlife.
But perhaps a lesson to nonbelievers comes from the South Pacific, where a giant race of squid, mythologized for centuries, turned out to be real.
After remaining elusive for many
more and more of the creatures, some measuring more than 60 feet long,
are being caught by fishermen off Australia and New Zeland.
Expedition sets out to trap Norwegian 'sea monster'
Selma witnesses say the serpent has black eyes and a head like a horse
August 7, 2000
Web posted at: 3:17 PM EDT (1917 GMT)
SELJORD, Norway -- Last year scientists recorded what the Oceanographic Institute of Bergen called "an unknown sound of a mammal." This year they're back, trying to catch a mythical monster they have named "Selma."
For the third time the expedition team GUST 2000 is searching for the creature in the Seljordsvatnet, near Seljord, a town whose coat of arms features a sea serpent.
They have returned with sonar and a specially designed serpent-trap. The trap is a labyrinth net, designed to catch a sea serpent baby.
In addition to the team with a trap and sonar, a second team is being placed up in the mountains in case Selma decides to make a sudden appearance on the surface.
In addition, a third team is diving, shooting underwater pictures and searching the bottom.
GUST 2000 members are also interviewing locals to get a picture of what Selma might look like should she appear. The common view seems to be that she has big black eyes, a head like a horse without ears, is black all over, and has a considerably thicker middle region that includes flippers. Locals suggest her length is between 3 and 12 meters (10 and 40 feet).
The serpent has been part of local
since the first "documented" sighting in 1750. There are some villagers
who don't believe in Selma, but plenty of locals do think there is
in the lake.
Scientists are using this labyrinth net to try and catch a baby serpent
Whether Selma is a monster eel, a sea serpent or just a flow of dark water, Jan Sundberg and his team believe that Selma exists in some form, and that she might be living with others of her kind.
"We're trying to catch a little baby, because we think there is a whole family here. It's a long shot, but we're trying," Sundberg said.
If they do manage to catch her, then a team of two biologists will come and take samples and her DNA.
Somehow one thinks that life will never be the same for this little Norwegian village if Selma turns out to be a reality. And if they can't find her, true believers will be no doubt be unfazed.
"Of course there's something in the
lake," says one local resident. "It's something, but I don't know what.
I've seen it myself."
[Original headline: Kraken hunters not the full squid ]
Moby Dick, move over.
That 19th century tale of adventure on the high seas is about to be challenged by a 21st century adventure beneath them, when the son of a legend sets sail from Port Moresby to chase the shadow of a myth. The son of a legend is 61-year-old Jean-Michel Cousteau, who is due to leave Port Moresby on October 1 on an expedition which would do his late famous father, Jacques, proud. The myth Cousteau is chasing is the "kraken", a giant squid with eyes the size of soccer balls, a beak which can tear through bone and wood and a reputation almost as big as its one-tonne, tentacled frame. Moby Dick author Herman Melville immortalised the mysterious creature when he wrote about a duel-to-the-death between a squid and a sperm whale in his 1851 classic. In reality, little is known about the world's largest invertebrate. Although carcasses have been found tangled in fishing nets, washed up on various beaches and half-digested in the stomachs of sperm whales the only known predator of the squid it has never been seen alive. That is because the giant squid, dubbed the "kraken" by the ancient Greeks, spends most of its life in cold darkness thousands of metres beneath the ocean waves. But that was before Deep Ocean Odyssey, the adventure-exploration company co-founded by Cousteau, sponsored the development of the Deep Rover, a revolutionary, clear bubble of a craft which its designers say can dive deeper, stay down longer, and manoeuvre more freely than any other conventional submarine. Deep Ocean Odyssey now has two Deep Rovers, worth more than a $1 million each, ready to carry its scientists and cameraman deep into the Kaikoura Canyon off the east coast of New Zealand in pursuit of what the Cousteau-led team calls the "giant calamari". Teeming with marine life, Kaikoura is known to be a veritable McDonald's drive-through for pods of sperm whales presumably hunting giant squid. The Cousteau team plans to follow the sperm whales 650m into the canyon, where they will load up the Deep Rover's arms with fresh bait, switch off their engines and lights and simply wait. No one is sure what will happen if and when a squid fixes its dinner plate-sized eye on two human beings sitting in a transparent bubble. What is known is that it can move at lightning speed, has the ability to change colours in the blink of an eye and judging by the wounds left on the carcasses of whales it has bested in hostile encounters has remarkable strength in its eight arms, all of which are lined with toothed suckers. "I'm not sure I want to be in a sub if he takes it and decides to keep it as a toy," Cousteau confessed wryly at a media briefing in New York.
Story originally published by The Courier-Mail / Australia | By Christine Jackman - April 29 2000
This fish story allegedly happened on July 2, 1893, and was reported in the July 3 issue of the Tacoma Daily Ledger.
The fisherman who told the tale preferred to nameless, and confided only that he and his friend were from the East. The other three men who had been part of the three-day fishing excursion around Puget sound were from Tacoma.
"The party was supplied with the necessaries of life as well as an abundance of its luxuries, though it must not be inferred from this fact the luxuries played any part in creating the sights seen on that memorable morning."
"We left Tacoma July 1, Saturday,
4:30 P.M, and as the wind was from the southeast we shaped our course
He said fishing was fair until a change of wind forced them to try a trout stream which emptied into Black Fish Bay on Henderson Island. There they made camp for the night.
Sometime after midnight, the sleeping campers were startled by a terrifying noise. A stinging sensation like thousands of electrified needle points suddenly stabbed through their clothing.
The Easterner related, "The air was filled with a strong current of electricity that caused every nerve in the body to sting with pain, and a light as bright as that created by the concentrate on of many arc lights kept constantly flashing.
"I turned my head in that direction,, and if it is possible for fright to turn one's hair white, then mine ought to be snow white" (the reporter taking notes indicated the Easterner's hair was still black) "for right before my eyes was a most horrible looking monster.
"The monster slowly drew in toward
and as it approached, its head poured out a stream of water that looked
like blue flame."
Hesitantly, the stranger described the creature as 150 feet long and thirty feet in circumference. He confided, "Its shape was somewhat out of the ordinary insofar that the body was neither round or flat but oval. It had coarse hair on the upper part of the body.
At about every eight feet fran its heat to its tall a substance that had the appearance of a copper band encircled its body. Blue flames came from two horn-like structures near the center of the head. The tail was shaped like a propeller. "Sir, I tell you, in the electrically charged atmosphere birds and insects died. Two of my fellow fisherman became paralyzed when licked by the blue flame. They lay on the beach until eventually recovering.. At last, the monster submerged into the dark waters and a telltale luminous light betrayed its course.
"I hardly need tell you we were not long in getting underway for Tacoma, declared the Easterner, and I can assure you I have no further desire to fish any more in the waters of this bay. There are too many peculiar inhabitants in them.
The reporter wrote the human interest feature, much to the delight of the Daily Ledger readership.
Was the hairy sea monster the result of ample libation among fishermen, a drunken dream enlarging the ordinary sea dwelling creature teasingly swimming in the dark beyond the campfire and the deeper dark of imagination? or did they really see something?
(The Tacoma News Tribune for August 14, 1960 has a drawing of the "sea monster" by Wayne Zimmerman.).
Carol J. Lind, "Tacoma's Sea Monster," Western Gothic. Seattle: C.J. Lind, 1983, p. 13-15.
The Pacific Northwest stands in sharp contrast to other parts of the American West. There are no cactuses or parched deserts in this land of rain and fog, towering forests and meandering fjords. When Lewis and Clark wintered near the mouth of the Columbia River in 1805, their foremost concern was to keep dry. They noted in their diary on Boxing Day, 1805, "...a continuation of rain, accompanied by thunder, and a high wind from the southeast. We were therefore obliged to stay in our huts and endeavored to dry out wet articles before the fire."
Water plays an all encompassing role in the Pacific Northwest and it is not surprising to find that its coastal seas and wet forests continue to this day to hide unresolved mysteries.
The economy of coastal tribes of the area has long rested on the rich bounty of sea and forest. Abundant resources have left leisure time for artistic creation, and native peoples have left an artistic legacy of the region's creatures. ne sea life, in particular sea otters with their lustrous pelts, drew English, Spanish, Americas, and Russian fur traders in keen competition for the resources of the region.
European and eastem North American explorers marveled at the rich sea life, many species of whales, playful otters, seals, and birds. They soon heard from the Indians about other, rarely seen creatures that vied with orcas for strength and speed and occasionally even ventured on land.
The Manhousat people along the west coast of Vancouver Island, for example, spoke of the hiyitl'iik, or sea serpent, a semilegendary creature.' This animal was seven or eight feet long, moved quickly on land as well as on water, and could grow wings at will. It was very rarely seen.
Sea serpents remain a persistent and unsolved Pacific Northwest mystery. Reports continue to trickle in of sightings of large, unknown marine animals in coastal waters and some large inland lakes. Despite wide public interest in such mysterious creatures, scientists hesitate to draw conclusions or even involve themselves in the search. Observations of sea monsters are sparse and fleet- ing, and many scholars would rather dismiss them than seek a rational explanation.
Questions regarding the existence and nature of mysterious, undiscovered animals do, however, attract some scientific attention. Crypto zoology, a term coined by scientist Bernard Heuvelmans that derives from the Greek cryptos (hidden) and zoology (the lore of animals), describes the activity of those (crypto zoologists) who apply scientific methods to the study of hidden animals, or cryptids.1 Crypto zoology remains on the margin of the scientific mainstream.
The time has passed when the discovery of new animals motivated zoological research. There may yet exist animals unknown to science, and some of them might occasionally be glimpsed, in Scotland's Loch Ness, for example, and elsewhere. Concern about the existence of such crypteds now attracts mostly amateurs and hobbyists. Classically trained French zoologist Heuvelmans is a rare exception: A professional who has devoted his scientific life to the exploration of this challenging topic, scouring old manuscripts and virgin forests for evidence and writing extensively on the subject.
The International Society of Crypto zoology, with offices in Tucson, Arizona, and presided over by Heuvelmans, serves, through its publications and meetings, as a focus for approximately one thousand members, divided about equally between curious amateurs and equally curious scientists from many disciplines.
News of the existence of marine crypteds in the Pacific Northwest first arose from native legends, and designs on native crafts have preserved their likenesses. The Skagit River atlatl is one of the best known and most solidly authenticated of the prehistoric Northwest Coast artifacts. The yew wood spear-thrower, now in the collection of the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, is crowned by a carving of a rampant sea monster with white inlaid eyes. The artifact was dredged near the mouth of the Skagit River, and carbon-14 dating has shown that the atlatl was carved circa AD 200.
Depictions of sea serpents also are common in native petro glyphs seen along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. A creature in one of the petro glyphs at the Monsell site near the Nanaimo River on Vancouver Island, bears some resemblance to the sea monster carved on the atlatl.
Reports by European eyewitnesses support the native legends, drawings, and pictographs. A classic early sighting and description by nonnatives of a sea serpent was that of prospector Osmond Fergusson and his partner, identified only as Walker, in the Queen Charlotte Islands in January 1897. "I saw ahead of us what I thought was a piece of driftwood," Fergusson wrote,
"On getting closer I noticed it was moving towards us. When within 50 yards I said to Walker, What is that? What we could see was,an object sticking out of the water about two feet. When within a few feet of it the end uncoiled & raised a long neck out of the water with a head like a snake on it."
When the animal submerged and passed near them, Fergusson wrote, they "could see a body 25 feet long tapering with a fish like tail."'
Others spotted similar long-necked creatures. One Sunday in September 1905, Philip Welch and a friend were fishing for trout in Johnstone Strait off northern Vancouver Island. In 1970 he wrote that on that day sixty-five years earlier, an enormous salmon run at the mouth of the Adams River made it impossible to catch trout.
Although it was only 9 A.M., the disappointed fishermen were re- signed to returning home when they saw a long neck appear some two hundred yards astern their boat. The animal submerged. Alarmed, they rowed for shore as quickly as they could, hitting salmon with their oars at every stroke. The creature reappeared about one hundred feet astern. It was gaining on them when once more it submerged, and they did not see it again.
The animal, Welch wrote, had a long neck, six to eight feet of which protruded above the water. The neck, about the size of a stove pipe, tapered from a twenty-inch diameter to about ten inches at the head, which looked somewhat like the head of a giraffe. 'Me creature looked up and down Johnstone Strait, turning its head this way and that, giving the men a good view of it. Welch noticed two bumps on the head, about five inches high and rounded on top. Nostrils were plainly visible but eyes were hard to detect.
No mane or hair of any sort were visible. The animal was brown in color. Welch's report did not include a sketch; his description of the animal, however, resembles a creature observed many years later on the Oregon coast.
Although stories of sea serpents continued to appear in the press and to attract public interest through the early years of this century, many scientists refused to take the evidence seriously.' The views expressed by David Starr Jordan, the first president of Stanford University and a prominent zoologist and ichthyologist, were widely shared. Commenting in 1893 on a sea serpent sighting in the North Atlantic, Jordan insisted that
the sea-serpent is a myth. It does not receive the attention of scientific men because they have real things to attend to. If people were not telling marvelous tales of the sea-serpent, they would find something else to tell marvelous tales about and somebody to believe them.
Turn-of-the-century scientists were too busy with more readily verifiable phenomena to pay attention to fleeting eyewitness reports of hypothetical creatures. Observers, often subjected to ridicule were hesitant to disclose findings. For many years, the cultural climate was not favorable for the reporting of sea serpents.
This changed, however, after 1933 when the British press began to pay serious attention to reports of a large "monster" in Scotland's Loch Ness, beginning with a sighting by John Mackay in April of that year. Mackay was the innkeeper in Drumnadrochit on the north side of Loch Ness.
He and his wife were returning from Inverness along the recently opened north-side road when they spotted a giant creature in the Loch. Their report in the Inverness Courier started the interest in a Loch Ness "monster."
Exactly one year later Lieutenant Colonel R- K. Wilson, a British army surgeon, captured Nessie on film while he was grouse hunting near Loch Ness. By the time Wilson took his photograph in April 1934, Fleet Street journalists had transformed "Nessie" into an international celebrity. Following the example of the British press, the former colonies assumed a similar interest in sea monster sightings.
Major W. H. Langley, clerk to the British Columbia legislature, announced to a receptive audience that on Sunday, October 1, 1933, while sailing near Chatham Island, just east of Victoria, he and his wife had heard a very loud noise, "something between a grunt and a snort accompanied by a huge hiss. We both saw a huge object about 90 to 100 feet off ... and on the edge of the ke p just off the Chatman Island shore," he told the Victoria Daily Times. "It was every bit as big as the back of a large whale, but entirely different in many respects. Its color was of a greenish brown. ... It had markings along the top and sides. They seemed to be of a serrated nature."
The animal was visible for only a few seconds before it dived quickly, and they saw it resurface in the distance.
Encouraged by Langley's report, F. W. Kemp, an officer of the Provincial Archives of British Columbia, revealed that he and his family also had seen a strange animal in the same area the previous summer. On August 10, 1932, they had observed a "huge creature with head out of the water travelling about four miles per hour against the tide." Kemp reported that the creature,
swimming to the steep rocks of the island opposite ... shot its head out of the water on to the rock, and moving its head from side to side, appeared to be taking its bearings. nen fold after fold of its body came to the surface. Towards the tail it appeared serrated with something moving flail-like at the extreme end.... Around the head appeared a sort of mane, which drifted round the body like kelp."
Kemp and his family came back the next day and measured logs on the beach against which they had compared the creature. One log was more than sixty feet in length. The Kemps also drew a picture, which tallied with Langley's description (Figure 3).
Archie Wills, news editor of the Victoria Daily Times, gradually developed an active interest in the strange creature. He soon had a dozen letters from people who said they, too, had seen the sea serpent but had refrained from talking about it for fear of ridicule.
Wills organized a contest to name the animal, which was dubbed "Cadborosaurus," after Cadboro Bay near Victoria, where it had been repeatedly sighted. The name was soon abbreviated to "Caddy," a more. manageable form under which later sightings were reported. Since then, about fifty sightings of Caddy at close range have been reported by eyewitnesses in the protected waters of the Puget Sound-Strait of Georgia system, as well as on the outer coast from Oregon to Alaska . From among the fifty reports a sampling is noted here to suggest the nature of the evidence.
Mrs. E. Stout of Klamath Falls,
her sister-in-law Mrs. Fred Parson; and their two small sons, ages four
and five, were walking along sandy Dungeness Spit, watching ships
in and out of Juan de Fuca Strait. It was the middle of March 1953, and
the weather was overcast and drizzly, as it so often is on the coast
winter months. They were watching a large freighter, about a quarter of
a mile offshore, moving eastward toward Port Townsend, when they saw
appeared to be a tree limb. Mrs. Stout wrote that the object
abruptly beneath the surface and in a few seconds appeared again, much
closer. The two women made out the form of a creature and distinctly
a large, flattish head turned
away from them and toward the ship. Mrs. Stout continued:
"I think all of us gasped and pointed. We could distinctly see three humps behind the long neck. 'Me animal was proceeding westward and at an angle toward us. It sank abruptly again and reappeared closer, almost due north of us. In the dim light, we could distinctly make out color and pattern, a long floppy mane, and the shape of the head.... We estimated that the length of the exposed neck was at least 6 ft. and the head probably at least twenty inches long.
"As a trained biologist, I simply could not accept that long floppy mane or fin. Yet, we all saw it. It was a limply hanging thing. We deduced that the humps were at least five feet. Again, I simply could not accept their arrangement. They were close together with no visible curve .... The animal was rich deep brown with large reticulations of a bright, burnt orange. The pattern wasn't unlike that of a giraffe except much larger. ne fin appeared to be drab or colorless.
"We could see no body movements, except that the neck lowered and moved backward with grace and the head swivelled, raised and lowered. Its forward progression was smooth, like a swan's. It sank and rose almost perpendicularly; although there was no indication of effort, it progressed westward, toward Pt. Angeles at a fair rate of speed. The whole episode lasted about eight minutes."
Another close-range sighting, which clearly involved an unidentified creature, was reported by David Miller and Alfred Webb, two fishermen from Victoria. The observation occurred in midafternoon in late November 1969 about one-half mile off the Discovery Island Lighthouse in eastern Juan de Fuca Strait. Miller wrote:
"I observed this strange creature surface roughly 80 ft. on our port beam. It started to move rapidly away from us so we speeded the engine up and gave chase. We got within 30 ft. when it suddenly submerged, not in the method seals or sea-lions do but as though something pulled it under. A few moments later we arrived at its place of submergence and there was a tremendous turbulence, suggesting a creature the size of a 30 ft. sea whale.
"Its speed under water was also astounding as it surfaced a few minutes later over a hundred yards away. It stayed up while we took after it again but this time it never let us close again. ne first encounter was so close that both of us remarked about its large red eyes and short ears visible at that range .
He included a sketch with his report and emphasized that of all the many kinds of marine creatures he had seen in his years at sea, none looked even remotely like that one. Marine crypteds seen along the outer Pacific Coast include one reported in 1934 by L A I-arson, first mate on the Columbia River lightship. The animal, later described for the press as "Colossal Claude," was "about 40 feet long," Larson said.
"It had a neck some eight feet long, a big round body, a mean looking tail and an evil, snaky look to its head." Claude broke into the news again in 1937 when Charles E. Graham, skipper of the troller Viv, reported sighting a "long, hairy, tan-colored creature, with the head of an overgrown horse, about 40 feet long, and with a 4-ft. waist measure."
One of the best documented West Coast sightings occurred around New Year's Day 1937 about two miles south of Yachts, Oregon, just south of Cape Perpetua near a chasm in the rocky shoreline known as the Devil's Churn." The weather was stormy and the sea very rough. The witnesses, a couple who insisted that their names be kept confidential to avoid ridicule, were sitting on a landing about thirty feet above the sea along the switchback trail that leads from the parking area near the highway to the Churn.
They were watching the spectacular breakers when they saw the creature about two hundred feet due west of the mouth of the Churn. It came directly toward the Churn, swimming slowly without any visible propelling motions and stopped for fifteen to twenty seconds close to the entrance of the chasm, about one hundred feet from the observers.
The couple remarked that "the heavy breakers did not seem to toss it around one bit." A truck came by on the highway during that time, and the animal turned its head to look at it, then looked back at the witnesses, then again at the truck.
Afterwards, it swam south along the
coast, moving rapidly at a speed the man estimated to be twenty-five
The two witnesses followed the animal along the shore highway in their car. At an observation point about a mile south of the Churn, they saw it veer off from the coast and swim out to sea.
The couple sketched the creature showing a neck, approximately fifteen feet long, surmounted by a head described by one witness as like that of a horse or camel and by the other as similar to a giraffe's head. One witness observed small, "incessantly fluffering" ears while the other did not notice the ears but thought that the animal had I small, straight horns on its head, eight to ten inches high and the size of a small water pipe. A mane the color of seaweed was visible along the neck all the way down to the body. The body itself was about six feet across, the "size of a steam boiler," although not rounded, with a ridge along the back.
About three feet of the body emerged above the water surface. While the animal was in a low wave trough after a breaker had passed, one of the witnesses, who observed a tail as long as the rest of the body, estimated the total length of the animal to be fifty-five feet.
Are such stories true? Have people seen sea serpents or merely glimpsed real and elusive animals yet unknown to science? Or are their reports akin to the sensational offerings of tabloids? Logic suggests three possibilities:
(1) Witnesses were lying;
(2) they were honest but deluded; or
(3) they actually observed what they described.
The veracity of witnesses is not readily testable. Undoubtedly some hoaxes have been reported.
Nevertheless, the surprise and disbelief expressed by many people at what they have seen, plus the reluctance of several individuals to speak of their experience for fear of being ridiculed, suggest that they might be telling the truth. In some cases multiple witnesses have corroborated each other's descriptions.
Many skeptics acknowledge that the observers have encountered some strange animal. The interpretation of what witnesses saw is most often not accepted by scientists, who suspect some error of observation and are wary of jumping to conclusions on the basis of irreproducable evidence, and by laymen, who feel threatened by novelty.'Mus, a plethora of alternate explanations has come forward: 'What you must have seen is an oarfish," insists the dismissive critic.
Others are equally sure that a pod of leaping dolphins or belugas were seen, or a leopard seal, a family of sea lions, a tangle of giant kelp, and so on.
Most cases of misinterpretation tan
be eliminated by admitting only the best evidence such as sightings at
close range, under good conditions, by sober and (preferably) numerous
witnesses who provide detailed and consistent information. The
accounts reported here are among the best. None of the "monsters" is
with any known living marine creature, which indicates that perhaps
saw a creature thought to be extinct.
This possibility has gained respect since 1938 when Marjorie Courtenay Latimer identified a bluish, man-sized fish captured in the Indian Ocean off South Africa as a coelacanth, previously known only as a fossil fish with stubby, leg like fins, thought to be ancestral to land vertebrates." The last known living coelacanth had lived eighty million years ago! The prospect of discovering more "living fossils" has fired both public and scientific imaginations.
Numerous marine crypted sightings have been explained in terms of extinct animals such as Staller's sea cow, a sluggish sirenian hunted to extinction by starving Russian fur traders soon after its scientific discovery in the Bering Sea in the eighteenth century; the zeuglodon, a serpentine, primitive whale known from shallow seas of the Miocene Period (twenty-five-million years ago); and long-necked plesiosaurs, marine reptiles from the Jurassic Period (more than sixty-five-million years ago)." Each of these hypotheses has its proponents, but none draws universal approval.
The final possibility is, of course, that the animals observed are entirely new and unknown to science. Most oceanographers readily concede that the ocean may yet have secrets to reveal. New animals continue to be discovered, usually by accident. For example, the megamouth shark, a fifteen-foot-long filter feeder, was found tangled in the anchor chain of a United States Navy ship near Hawaii in 1976. It had never been observed before, and only five other specimens have been seen since.
What unknown animal hides in the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest? A creature with a long neck, whiskers, a mane, and a large body with lumps on its back. An animal that makes noises and hisses when it surfaces; by all appearances an air-breather and a mammal. But why would a large air-breather be seen so rarely at the surface? Where would this unknown, presumed mammal, perhaps even Heuvelmans's hypothetical "merhorse," breed? Heuvelmans has attempted to classify marine crypteds according to their character- istics and has hypothesized a variety of new animals to fit the observations.
One of them is the "merhorse," a long-necked, horse-headed marine mammal with large eyes, whiskers, and a mane, similar to many of the observations of Caddy. Seals and other pinnipeds congregate in gregarious rookeries; whales engage in musical frolics. How could such a large, unknown marine mammal be so elusive?
The mystery is not likely to be
in the near future. Sightings are rare and apparently random. The
and funding of a research program that embraces review of evidence,
of hypotheses, search strategy, and instrument design in what is, after
all, a legitimate scientific question tends to be thwarted by the
of "frivolity" that mars the subject, as well as by the absence of any
obvious practical application.
Crypto zoology, without a clear prospect for the betterment or enlightenment of humankind, remains a science that seems too "pure" for most oceanographers to pursue seriously.
PAUL H. LEBLOND is professor of oceanography and director of the Program of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. His scientific interests range across the field of physical oceanography, including waves, tides, coastal currents, and the influence of the ocean environment on fisheries. LeBlond has been collecting eye-witness reports on marine crypteds since 1967. His article is adapted from Mysteries of the North American West (Fulcrum Publishing, 1993).
(Figures were included in the original article as published in the Montana Magazine as were photographs).
Paul H. LeBlond, "Sea Serpents of the
Northwest," Montana Magazine. XLIII (Autumn, 1993) p. 44-51.
Sweden's Lake Storsjon is home to a
creature know as Storsjoodjuret or the shortened, Storsie.
Thousands of people have reported seeing this animal as far back as
Witnesses report the creature as being multi-humped with a thin
body with feet and being around 20 feet long. The body is mostly
gray but it has been reported to also have shades of red, yellow and
as well. The creature is usually reported traveling at high
speeds across the lake.
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