Sunday, May 29, 2011

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

Continued slim pickings going through the first two unsorted file boxes from the Warth era. So, not much to report. In desperation just to put up something on the blog, I've decided to trudge down through a file folder of Ivan's which contained newsclippings of sea monster reports, or claims. There are few thrills here as nothing rises to the status of a substantive investigated incident. But for your amusement here are a beginning twelve such news reports.

The first twelve reports in the notebook are roughly mapped below. As you can see, they are mainly US coastal cases. What you have are: 1). a "water elephant" from the Rio de la Plata in Uruguay [greater than five meters in length {good} and having pinkish spots {not so good}];

2). a "sea monster" from Deception Bay, near Brisbane, Australia [with a 3' wide head and prominent eyes held above the water; no neck, possibly meaning serpentine];

3). a "monster" from Tampico Bay, Mexico [4' long plus half-moon tail, and six feet thick; sharp teeth and flippers ---a manatee??];

4). a "sea serpent" from Venice beach, CA [16' long with a serpent's head and a fin tail, estimated weight about 800 lbs];

5). a "x?z?q?k?" from Miami Beach, CA [5 & 1/2' cylindrical body standing 3' high on eight hairy legs and eyes on stalks --- yep, that's the one I want to go after];

6). a "blob" from Delake Beach, OR [a 22' length whatever with a 4' body like a cow's and 9 "tails". A hairy chest". Scientists said: a piece of a whale; a whale shark; a squid.];

7). a "sea serpent" from Cadboro Bay, BC [ 35-40' long with snake-like head; body 1' diameter; can raise 4-5' out of water; dark color; coiled at about 6-7' --- well, at least we meet one old friend in these reports --- hello, Caddy];

8). a "seal serpent" [spelling on purpose] from Racoon Straights San Francisco Bay [10' long with seal's head and bluish-gray coloration];

9). a complete mystery thing from Sandy Hook, NJ [ a 40-50' long transparent cylindrical thing, 1/2' in diameter, undulating along beneath the surface like "fluid glass"];

10). a "sea serpent" from Ifafa Lagoon, Natal [ a serpentine body fronted by a pig-like face with bulging eyes staring at the witness at the waterline];

11). a "sea monster" from Marshfield, MA [ an elongated body about keg-thickness and two fins about twelve feet from the tail; an alligator-like head and gobbling fish --- one of my favorite kinds of sea serpents and maybe the only one I think could be a real animal];

12). a "serpent?" from Sutherland, CA [ an elongated thing swimming with its head raised 4' above the water].

There's our first "dirty dozen". The note book looks to contain quite a few more, though I haven't thumbed through yet --- you guys can discover what's in there just after I do. Maybe it will be fun; what the heck?? I have to admit: I like #11 & Caddy, and a few others might be "kin". #9 sounds like a neat mystery; and #5 is preposterous but right out of John Keel's universe.

Glad I don't live there.


  1. Greeting Professor - Glad to see a few posts. The Caddy reports from off British Columbia are fascinating - one of them, in the form of a letter, is in Heuvelman's book and is quite impressive. It's the one where he says something about how suddenly, it was like he was looking at a creature from back when the world was young, something like a dinosaur or a dragon. The Delake Beach, Oregon one os from 1947, no? Seems like it's in my clipping files and I ran across it several times while scanning the 1947 flying saucer wave.
    That one from Natal sounds interseting. I'll have to send you a link to a Morgwar sighting that was published in Fortean Times that has this mammalian sort of feature where the creature looks at the witness with presence and intelligence.
    Hope all is well.

  2. Hi professor,

    In regards to item 5 from Miami Beach, CA, I recognized it quickly from my clippings files:

    Said incident occurred in 1959. veteran diver Bob Wall encountered in an undersea cave off Miami Beach a creature "about 5 and a half feet long and 3 feet high when standing, and had a long, cylindrical body, eight legs, and eyes the size of silver dollars".

    My sources:
    - California, Hayward, Daily Review, The, 1959-03-12.
    - California, Oakland, Oakland Tribune, 1959-03-12.
    - Massachusetts, Lowell, Lowell Sun, The, 1959-03-12.
    - New York, Binghamton, Binghamton Press, 1959-03-12.
    - Ohio, Elyria, Chronicle Telegram, The, 1959-03-18.
    - Ohio, Coshocton, Coshocton Tribune, The, 1959-04-12.
    - Ohio, Elyria, Chronicle Telegram, The, 1959-03-18.
    - Ohio, Lima, Lima News, The, 1959-03-12.
    - Oklahoma, Lawton, Lawton Constitiution, 1959-03-12.
    - Pennsylvania, Lebanon, Lebanon Daily News, 1959-03-12.
    - Pennsylvania, Monessen, Daily Independent, 1959-03-12.
    - Texas, Odessa, Odessa American, The, 1959-03-12.
    - Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 1959-03-12.

    It reminds me of the famous "Giant Shrimp in the laundry room" incident, as retold in a phone message to the late Mark Chorvinsky and published in his excellent 'Strange Magazine', issue 6:

    Giant Shrimp in the Laundry Room

    Transcription of tape recorded phone message:

    "Hi. My name is Virginia Staples and in 1948 I lived in Bremerton, Washington. The apartment where I lived had a gigantically huge basement. There were huge holes in the walls and the apartment house manager used to tell me that it was rumored there was a passage to the water. The huge apartment houses were so close together and they all had basements and they were old buildings. There was a washer and a washtub and a clothesline. And on this particular day I had gotten my clothes all hung up but I kept feeling someone was staring at me or looking at me. And it was such a creepy feeling I finally turned around and looked towards the back of the basement and froze. I was so scared I can still feel it. I couldn't move. In one of the huge holes in the basement there stood this thing. [She breaks down here.] Oh, it was horrible! I stand five foot tall and this creature was as tall as I was. It had a bright orange colored body and little spidery thin legs and antennae on its head that kept moving back and in and out. [Crying now.] That thing started towards me. I backed out of the basement and got up to my apartment and I packed all my things and moved. I was so scared. I moved over to Seattle to my cousin's. I went to an aquarium to see if I could see anything that looked like what it was, and the only thing that I could find that looked anything like it was this little tiny shrimp. But it just doesn't make sense. I had horrible nightmares for years. I finally got up enough nerve a couple of years ago to go back to revisit Bremerton. But the Navy has enlarged so much and the apartment house on Denny Street has been torn down. Really nobody would really believe this, but as God is my witness it really happened. "



  3. beautiful, Theo. Nice to have a real researcher on the case. And now the real question: is there any way we can imagine such an encounter actually happening? And if so, by what "agency"?

  4. Hi Theo. Good to see you here. Michael, Theo P. is a good fellow. He does extensive searches of periodical databases and pursues ''Fortean'' in a most useful way for all concerned.

  5. @Willy: The Delake incident took place in 1950. Surely the remains of a whale. Without a doubt no squid.



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