Monday, June 20, 2011

Peeking at Ivan's SITU files: meaningless reports of sea monsters.Part six.

Ten more of Ivan's news stories about Sea Monsters from the "Individual Reports" notebook. This gets us into the 60s, but there are a lot of repeats showing up now, so whether we make it to a round 100, who knows?? As usual, I'm not peeking ahead; more fun that way.

These things are quite varied this time and we have only one carcass. In the midst of this set, there was a repeat of the Cinsta, South Africa encounter of 1958. Most of the brief commentary was the same, but one witness was quoted as saying that the thing had reared up just like "a giant Lion sitting on its haunches". That reminded me of the antique illustration of a sea monster above. So, I've thrust it upon you for whatever's it's worth.

Case#55: South China Sea, early 1900s. A "big snake" followed a ship for three days, keeping pace with it, but never closing in. Finally it just swam away.

#56: Fairway Beacon, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 1934. An elongated animal estimated at greater than 40 feet long, swam with its head raised 8 feet out of the water. Along its body were three humps spaced about 20 feet apart.

#57: La Jolla, CA, 1955. A compact [i.e. not serpentine] monster swam about 50 feet from observers for 25 minutes. It had the head and shoulders reminiscent of a bull gorilla. But it had no discernible face. Observers swore it was no whale nor sea lion.

#58: Santa Barbara, CA, 1966. A 15-20 foot long "serpent" moved by underwater camera several times [film clip to the side]. Motion was "spiraling". It had "rudimentary" head but noticeable eyes and mouth. A long thin tail completed the creature. Scientists speculated about jellyfish.

#59: Yakutat, Alaska, 1956. Carcass. Greater than 100 feet long. Fifteen feet wide at broadest. Reddish-brown hair. No blubber on carcass. Head 5 1/2 feet wide. 7-9" diameter eyes placed a foot apart. Ribs 5-6' long. Upper jaw protruded 5 1/2 feet beyond lower. Speculation about a Baird's Beak-nosed Whale.

#60: Whidby Island (Puget Sound), WA, 1958. A sea serpent of modest proportions [only twelve feet long] swam by using "snake-like" motions. Body was one foot in diameter. This thing was said to appear there seasonally in the warmer weather.

#61: Queen Charlotte Islands, Hecate Straits, BC, date not stated [and no date on clipping either]. A very long "sea serpent" [but no estimate given for length] appeared for quite some viewing time. (Observer made three sketches; none included). Head was raised thirty feet out of the water. Head was 1 1/2' wide and 2 1/2' long. Body was greenish shiny and of telephone pole diameter. Submerged in a spiraling fashion.

#62: Isle of Soay, near Skye, Scottish islands, 1959, maybe. This multiple witness sighting created a lot of news there. Witness diagrams are at left, plus a professional drawing. Professional drawing blows it as far as head conformation is concerned, as it should be rounder and more "turtlish".

Head protruded above water, two foot top to bottom and large eyes. Nasal holes easily seeable as well as mouth. Behind head 8-10 feet of body was seeable, rising three feet out of water. Creature was scaly and had row of serrated "fins" running down back. Body was 4-5' broad at waterline. Neck was about 8" in diameter. The head was described as like a tortoise's but as big as a donkey's. The eyes were large and round like a cow's. It made a terrific roaring-whistling sound when it breathed. Desperate scientists speculated about a displaced iguana lizard, even though they aren't nearly as big. There were claims that other seamen have seen this same sort of animal in these waters near the Isle of Mallaig.

#63: Mediterranean Sea, 1877. Relating perhaps to the Soay case, it was brought up that the HM Yacht Osborne had witnessed a strange creature the previous century. This was a long thing with serrated fins along its back [note the drawing below], and when it turned to swim away, appeared to be turtlish with flippers.

#64: near Barnstable harbor, MA, date not given [pre-1971]. Witnesses observed a large bony "grotesque" head rise up out of the water only twenty feet away. Head was covered with barnacles and "horse-like". It spouted water short distances. Its body "snaked" into view: thick, black, clean of fins or any protrusions, and 50-60 feet long. Witness had film as he was out to make film of something else at the time. Writer of story allegedly saw film and vouched for it.

So the crosses on our map are growing into the sixties, but their pattern isn't changing much. Again, this looks pretty culture-&-language driven to me, but interesting nevertheless. I'll get back to more when I can.


  1. Professor, this is somehow off-topic: Will you let us know when your book will be available? I can't wait to read it.

  2. #59: You can read in press that it first was estimated at 100 feet but on the other hand the first fishermen who found the carcass and other witnesses estimated the length at 40 to 60 feet. "It would be pretty hard to estimate the length" he said because it was buried by sand and only parts of it could be seen. As it seems the body of the carcass was not in one part r at least "stretched" and this has lead people to exaggerate the length. Scientist thought it to be a whale but also wondering about the length and so at least Dr. Peter Tack of the Michigan State fishery and wildlife department identified it (with a length of 38 feet) as Berardius bairdii. That's it.

    1. There's a picture of the globster on Life Magazine 6th August 1956:

  3. Anonymous: I am assuming that you mean the "government response to the UFO phenomenon" book that our twelve person team has written. [rather than the Grass-Roots UFOs book that Anomalist Press has just gotten back out]. The government documents-based book is finished in any creative writing sense of the word. We are having literally a Devil's time trying to sort out the issues concerning photo illustration copyright. There are some "good guys" in the business and some businesses that are criminals against humanity. Once we make decisions [one of which is whether to have any pictures at all], we'll be very close to being ready for the printer. If I had any control over a rational world, your answer would be "tomorrow". I do not.

    As to the Alaskan carcass case: to be expected [at least by me]. The goodness of some encounters and the absence of any good carcasses leads one strongly towards paranormal hypotheses. I hold out some hope for something physical in the PNW BC area, but most else is not too impressive.