Friday, July 1, 2011

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


Cases #s 75-84 from the "Individual reports" notebook. A few of these are interesting, but none will probably send us to the National Academy of Sciences. As my father would say about our task, "We are in the short rows, now".


Case#75: near Hong Kong, China, 1901 or 1902. This case came to Ivan from the letter shown in part on the left. Witnesses saw a "heap" or "pile" on the sea. As they neared a head raised out of the mass, the body uncoiled, and a serpentine-shaped thing dived and swam under their boat. Green oval markings were seen on the body. Supposedly several pictures were taken.

#76: near Acosta, WA [Gray's Harbor], circa 1900. Shore witness walking over a bridge saw a head raise up over the height of the railing. Head was "ugly", not large, and mainly eyes and mouth. The neck was smooth and several feet long. The body smelled foully, and was "fat" with a short tail and flippers. It was flapping about in a shallow swampy area over which the bridge passed.

#77: Gulf Stream near shore in Fort Lauderdale, FL area, 1920. Several witnesses watched long-bodied animal with head "some distance ahead of the body" swim past. It had dorsal fins on body.

#78: Deepdale Holm, Orkney Islands, 1942. Carcass. Animal about 22' long. Head shaped like cow's head on an extremely long neck. Body covered with scales and three humps on back. Allegedly photos were taken.

#79: Cadboro Bay, Victoria, BC, 1969. Many witnesses watched as unidentified sea creature swam about for over an hour. Picture at left [yeh, I know, it's lousy] commemorates the sighting.

#80: Cadboro Bay, Victoria, BC, no date [mid-1950s?]. Witnesses in boat saw smallish sea monster surface near boat. Neck and head held two feet out of water as it swam. When back of body rose in swimming motion, it broke surface with about 3-4' exposed. Did this surfacing and diving three times as it quickly swam away. Brown-colored curved back. Witnesses said "definitely not a seal".

#81; Lima, Peru, 1973. Carcass. Animal 12' long with head like an elephant. Giant fins. No tail. No teeth. Thick "jelly-like" skin.

#82: New River Inlet, FL, 1885. Carcass. A long-bodied animal measuring 42' despite missing its head. Its neck was long and relatively thin with a body "broadening to a considerable girth", and then narrowing to a thin, long tail. It had a single pair of flippers towards the front. [This feature clues you to search for solutions within the cetacean class of animals, or if shorter the manatees].

#83: Nahant, MA, 1819. This case was stated as being similar to the famous Cape Ann, MA sea serpent of two years previous. It was 60' long, chocolate brown, and having the appearance of several humps along its back as it swam. There was speculation that these humps might be the result of the creature's flexible body "bunching up" during its swimming technique, rather than being a permanent structure. There were several hundred witnesses.

#84: Thetis Lake, Victoria, BC, 1972. Well, this is what we've really been hoping for: a real life Creature-From-The-Black-Lagoon. It was a silvery-colored beast built on a humanoid body plan. Scaly all over. Pointy things sticking out of its head. Very large ears. And a face to stop clocks with. [I've colored in the background of the newsclip artistic rendering to make our monster stand out a bit ... I tried to stay within the lines ... something that this story doesn't accomplish]. Two boys reported this, after two other teenagers had reported their own encounter days earlier. The RCMP came out to investigate. Whether they scared off the monster or the teenagers is not reported.

Here's our map. It's not changed much since the first set. Does it mean that sea monsters favor English-speaking people? Or does it mean that English-speaking people are crazier than most? I prefer to think that it's because "english" reports get into a notebook of an English-speaking guy who knows mainly English-speaking people. The monsters, if they are out there, probably speak elfintalk or dragon, if anything.

1 comment:

  1. #78: one of two carcasses washed ashore on two Orkney islands in 1942. The first at Deepdale Holm and the second at Hunda. Both turned out as basking sharks. For a picture of #78 I found please visit: http://www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/imagelibrary/picture/number23523.asp

    #82: Michael Newton and others favour a basking shark: http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2011/04/michael-newton-another-one-that-got.html

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