Monday, July 25, 2011

Quick addendum of the new film of the Alleged Alaskan Monster.

Robert's suggestion of going to a site and looking at the "latest" sea monster film was taken. The above and below are two bits of the film that are posted elsewhere. They seem to me to be as good a quality [that being "pretty poor"] as you can see while watching the film clips yourself, but maybe you have better eyes. Some would say "seals", but the witness says "No way". I cannot really tell enough to risk guessing what I'm seeing. But this is on the edge of Caddy territory, and since Caddy seems as good a candidate as we have for something real, well, maybe.

For some reason, the internet likes to "mate" the current Alaskan tale with whatever other more recent tale that is about, so the 2006 Lake Windemere, UK photo [below] is popping up too. I understand that people would like to dismiss this one as a fabricated hoax, but have read [as yet] no reason for doing so other than the usual "It's not true, therefore it's something else-style of 'analysis'". That may well be true in the end, but I won't go there without some actual information.

Anyway, It's nice to see that things still rise above the water level which would entertain Ivan and get his juices flowing.

Back to Michigan for two weeks soon. That may well create a blog pause. I'm always happy to try at least to answer questions about all this stuff, however. See you later.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Last Dish of Fish and a [short?] Pause.

It's been a week, so I've tried to grind out one more sea serpent post before retiring for a while. [My back's been killing me and Wheeling WV is currently an unhelpful sauna --- things conspire to impede "progress" in the pursuit of our "fun" it seems]. This post doesn't have much to do directly with Ivan, but I thought I'd put him up there on top so he could read it, too.

I was going through my own relatively flimsy Sea Monster files, which I brought with me from Michigan when I hauled Ivan's notebooks here, and found something worth mentioning at least. Some time ago, Gary Mangiacopra asked me if I could search my files seeking unpublished reports of various kinds, and by chance there seemed to be one [which I sent him]. The report is in a letter which I'm attaching here to the left of the commentary. I believe that it's a pretty good case.

The letter is from the files of my favorite lunatic, George Hunt Williamson. It is fortunate for us that it is not he who is claiming to see the monster, or we'd have to adjust our crap detectors to full power. Instead, this letter is from someone who doesn't even know GHW, and is just responding to a request.

George was sailing on the Queen Mary between the US and England on one of his lecture trips. Being a ladies man, he wasn't being shy with the girls, and got into a conversation with an Aussie lady about, what else?, weird things. She told him that her father had once seen a sea monster.

George of course was immediately GaGa at anything out-of-normal [he believed that all those things from UFOs to Nessie to ABSMs were somehow part of one BIG deal involving spiritual enlightenment, trance mediumship, "elder masters" walking among us and ... well, we haven't the time]. He got the girl to give him her father's address and upon reaching England [I think that he was going by his "Yugoslavian Royalty" name at the time --- Michel d'Obrenovic --- and researching the Holy Grail ... yes ... we really haven't the time], he sent a letter to Australia asking for the story. The letter on the left is Mr. Zakharoff's kind reply.

I find the letter a very good one when it comes to credible witness testimony. It is fairly clear and precise and doesn't claim too much. It is humble and signals other support theoretically available/checkable. The "context" of the sighting is "natural". In short, I believe that we can assume that Mr. Zakharoff is reporting what he believes he saw.

As you can read, he believes that he saw "a gargantuan water snake". It held its head out of the water and blew water spray from its nostrils. Its head was "long", and its body as well, having "several big black mounds at intervals along the water". He felt it was "monstrous", and labeled it a "sea serpent".

GHW never did anything with this case to my awareness, and the letter slept in his files. Gary liked it, however, and published the case in an outlet which I had not seen until today, called North American BioFortean Review, which is on the internet. The discussion there leans towards the giant squid as an explanation. .... ummmm .... I have to admit that Gary and his co-author are far smarter than I am on this stuff, but I can't quite get the squid. Zakharoff says that the thing was a monstrous serpent, and blew water spray out of holes near, well, he's GOT to mean its head. He refers to them as "nostrils".

I'm not going for the Squid on this one [in fact I'm eating squid tonight in honor of that decision]. But I can easily be wrong.

The second tidbit has to do with the Santa Clara "Run-into-a-sea-serpent" case. We have many people out there, apparently, who see this case as an oarfish.

It turns out that Gary and his co-author Dwight Smith also wrote about this [in The Anomalist #7]. Using Ivan Sanderson's 1964 article on his interviewing [which we discussed a few posts ago] and doing personal interviews as well, Gary writes that he does not buy the oarfish idea [which now, on this one, I am in complete agreement].

Mangiacopra and Smith begin their article by giving a powerful "credibility argument" for the witnesses in the case just as we did. The Santa Clara incident is a great relief in that it's bona fides are so good as to the witnesses that that side of the anomalistic conundrum can be set aside as non-problematical.

As to the oarfish: our authors state that the longest oarfish measured was 21'x" long. According to the witnesses, the visible part of the body was 35'. Well, maybe this was the "Mother-of-all-Oarfishes" but it at least casts some real doubt on the hypothesis.

AND...I don't see a real good resemblance between an oarfish in the water and what the witnesses described. "Oarfish" is one hypothesis for this thing, but "animal X" is, to me, a better one. {picture to the left is of an oarfish in the water}.

So, we, for the moment sail off into the sunset, guns having blazed away at sea monsters on both starboard and lee, hopefully not making them too angry.

My posting will probably cease for a bit --this @#%&#@ back must relax and stop barking, the heat could cooperate a bit more, but mainly I'll be going back to Michigan soon and that is always a disruptive change. So, God bless and Peace, and happy sailing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ivan's Sea Serpents' Notebook: Summary & Remarks.

Well....this turned out to be more of a project than I'd intended for some mild bloggish amusement. In the end, it's not much more than that qualitatively anyway, as all we were really doing was having some fun with an Old Master's information pile. Although we waded through 115 cases, our actual data was pretty thin, case-to-case, but maybe there are a few tentative things that we can say anyway.

Because we were sorting through an idiosyncratic notebook collected by a researcher in an unplanned [i.e. non-systematic] way, we shouldn't over-rate any "trend" or "pattern" we think we see. HUGE numbers of sea monster cases aren't in here. [like the one pictured above]. And massive amounts of "cultural filtering" of just what sorts of cases came to Ivan was occurring. But, what-the heck, we've gone through a bunch of claims so let's be a little foolish about them.

The obvious thing that I've been doing all through our adventure is roughly mapping the case locations. The final map is alongside. What it shows to me is the overwhelming "coverage" by Ivan's notebook of three English-speaking areas of the planet [PNW coast; New England; and Northern Britain]. The easiest thing in the world would be to write this off as merely the result of where the media sources were published that Ivan and friends were reading. And maybe that's all there is to that.

I'd suggest, however two further things: 1). The map shows a heckuva lot of activity in three areas, which sounds like more than "smoke" to me; and 2). MAYBE the location of these three areas in somewhat similar oceanic environmental conditions is significant. Of course, both of these suggestions could point to the alternative hypothesis of "Real Entities? Yes; but anomalous critters? No."... that is: people are seeing actual big lifeforms, but misidentifying whales, sea lions, basking sharks et al. "There be Whales there" in all three locales.

As a possible addendum: there could well be another area of concentration around the Cape of Africa if we had more media input. Antarctic whaling waters would be another target for the interesting-but-not-anomalous hypothesis. I, through all that, continue to be impressed by several of the witness claims, however, and do not believe that the Mundane Hypothesis handles them.

Since it was pretty easy to do, and one of the few things that you CAN do with rough data like this, I plotted the years of occurrence. It's decadal --- all ten years of a decade lumped into one number. Only five cases were so vague on this that I couldn't count them, so the graph at left has c.110 cases.

Unsurprisingly, Ivan's book reflects when he was collecting the news, and when it was that there was a lot of media to collect. Thus the mountain rising in the 40s, 50s, 60s. If he had lived longer, it would have been interesting to see if the claims of encounters would have remained high. To find that out we would have to ask a current encyclopedic collector of reports like Gary Mangiacopra, who would know. I see only a couple of things in the graph. The most obvious thing is that the rising mountain owes a lot to Caddy [the cases marked in red]. Caddy apparently exploded into media consciousness in the 50s after some tentative hints earlier. The other "next" thing is the "New England Serpent's" [cases marked blue] dramatic origins in the early 1800s PLUS the fact that it is still lurking about all the way through. Spikes like the one in the 1900s are always intriguing, but our numbers count should warn us not to get too excited.

And lastly as far as graphing is concerned: More than half the cases were of things specifically called "sea serpents" by the witnesses or pretty clearly described in serpentine fashion. Another tenth of the cases were of things of a stubbier or neck plus bulbous body type of thing, which could be interpreted not as a serpentine beast but more of a plesiosaur body plan. These two categories account for almost exactly two-thirds of the reports.

One sixth of the reports are of carcasses/remains. These are pretty uniformly uninteresting to me, but perhaps fascinate others. The last sixth are "everything else", from the Giant Squid to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I like several of these cases but they are mainly "stand-alones".

Can we say anything at all as to the deeper mysteries embodied here? Perhaps we should not. That at least would be the safe "scientific" thing to do. But, hey, it's only a blog---just be careful where you put your feet.

I marvel a bit that the notebook didn't contain more variety, nor more cases of things like squid or octopi. Ivan certainly wasn't rejecting such things in any obvious way. But, ONE Squid and NO Giant Octopus in 115 cases....surprising to me. Methinks that if they exist, tis not in Nessieland, Caddyland, nor Boston. AND, here we go into Out Proctor, on the basis of just the one Giant Squid case, I find myself a fan of there being such critters really lurking about.

Several of the serpent stories are very impressive to me as solid witness testimony --- BUT, I'm not sure about where to go with my guess as to what they represent. A blogger "out there" [might have even been Karl Shuker, whom I respect a great deal] said what is in my mind: although the evidence from beached remains etc consistently disappoints, there is a lot of witness testimony which is quite impressive. THAT is the seeming "fact" in all of this which continues to stick in my mind. We have good testimony to a reality which is seeable, hearable, smellable, and affects the watery environment with physical force, BUT we can never catch it nor hold any of it for the lab. And you folks know what that sort of thing sounds like to me.

It takes a long time reading and working in the fields of anomalies to get to the point where one is willing to entertain the possibility that in some instances we are dealing with things which are not materialistically reducible. I have spent that time. Each anomalistic situation that I read about I go into with a wide-open set of possible endpoints.

People of a cynical nature won't believe a person who is sympathetic to the anomalous fields of study when they are told that the researcher goes into cases looking hard for the Mundane Solution. But for any true explorer that is the only way to be. A true explorer wants to find Truth, not amusement and self-created fantasy. Sloppily BSing around in cases pollutes the databank and the path to Truth is lost. I look for the mundane first. That is why I am not at all impressed with the carcasses. LOTS of the other cases look like excited "wannabees". You have to toss them in the gray basket. Any case which is wildly unique [the creature from the lagoon is; giant squid are not, when you bring in other things you know], must be placed in the gray basket until more come along.

But we have an absolute PILE of Sea Serpents. AND they are anchored by some pretty good testimony. They ARE, it seems; but WHAT are they? Feeling pushed into a corner by a sufficiency of evidence at one level, and essentially none at all on another, I am left with a [I hope] healthy openness but a preferred hypothesis of the folkloric entities of yore.

Outrageous, I suppose. But my files, begun several years ago in pursuit of better understanding of the types of entity encounters had by us humans, have reached several hundreds of encounter [not folktale stories] incidents of the "Good Folk", "Little People", Denizens of Faerie. The similarity of these encounters between whatever-they-are and both Celtic peoples and Native American peoples astounds me. And right alongside them them are the Water Monsters.

I can't claim much for this hypothesis. I'm walking a path with it right now. We'll see where it leads. Whenever I get back to the blog, I may have more to say, or perhaps still be as stone-ignorant as I am today. God Bless and Peace. Somewhere in that sentiment is where I suspect this answer lies. Panic not; I don't believe that it's demons. If anything almost the opposite....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Peeking at Ivan's SITU files: meaningless reports of sea monsters.Part Ten & Last.

We've finally reached the last page of Ivan's Individual Reports notebook. I could have split this up into two, but I suspect that we're all ready to come to completion on this little project. After I get these last thumbnails of reports down here, I'll take one fling at the bulk of this crude data in a final summary [next time].

Here we go one last time:
Case#102: Foul Bay, BC, "1970". A giant snake was observed, 20' long. Its head was shaped like a cobra's, and was held about a foot out of the water while swimming. It had "fins" on its back.

#103: Cadboro Bay, BC, 1969. Several witnesses observe Caddy from a distance of only 20 feet. No description given.

#104: Santa Cruz, CA, 1924. Carcass. {seems like I did this one before, but OH Well}. 20-25' long. Small seal-like head. Long neck. Bulbous body and flippers. Long stubbly tail. Carcass was roped off and people were selling tickets.

The drawing and pamphlet on the left don't constitute a new entry, but the pamphlet was "new" enough that I thought that I'd slip it in here. As you can read, it speaks of the Gloucester Harbor, MA, 1817 "Lonso Nash" case. The serpent is described as 80-90' long with a dark-colored body the diameter of a "half barrel". It had 8 bunches or humps on its back, and swam at 12-14 mph. Its tongue was shaped like a harpoon and was two foot long. It did not dive, but submerged by "sinking".

#105: West coast of Vancouver Island, BC, 1954. A 40' long "sea monster". It had a horse-like head with large lips. Dark brown body with one hump. Swam by undulating. More than 30 witnesses.

#106: Feather Banks in the Florida Keys, "1930s". Rather vague report which nevertheless intrigued Sanderson. Apparently this thing was only about 6-7" long but swam right by and under witness' boat in clear water. It had a very small head connected by a long neck to a smooth body. It was reddish brown colored. It sounded like the witness was trying to tell Ivan that he saw a miniature sea monster, and Ivan was a bit exasperated that he wasn't clearer about what he saw.

#107: Oregon coast, 1915. "Carcass" [Hide]. A hide washed unto shore. It covered an area about 25'd. It was three feet thick at its center and the skin was 1 3/4" thick. It had gray-colored hair about 3 1/2" long and scattered sparsely. The "tail" was 10" long and hairy. Three bones were still attached associated with a large [14"d] ball joint. The longest bone was 4'. This "hide" was estimated to weigh 4 tons.

#108: Charlotte Harbor, FL, 1963. The illustration at the left shows a part of this carcass. The skull was 2 1/2' wide with "tennis ball-sized" eyes [I suppose they might have meant the size of the eye sockets here]. Had spiked teeth, gills, nostrils like blow-holes, flippers, and dime-sized scales covering the body. Its ribcage was about like a cow's. Article claimed that a marine biologist could not identify it.

#109: Western tip of Sicily, 1968. Carcass. [we had a lot of these in this first half, but this is the last one]. Witnesses observed bones sticking out of the sand. {i.e. no one knows how long the thing had been buried there}. The animal was more than 23' long. It had 33 vertebrae, and a flat "duck-shaped" head. Another case where the local scientist couldn't identify it.

#110: Hong Kong, China, 1969. Pretty hard to easily swallow this one. A bunch of teenagers were partying on the beach when one of the girls started screaming about a monster. She and one boy were alerted to look in that direction by a "crying" sound. The thing that was making the sound was slowly coming ashore in their direction. It was 20-30' long, all black body, and a big head. The worst part of it were those "Green Eyes". The hysterical teenagers began to run, and were relieved to see the thing shuffle back into the water.

#111: Bradda Head, Isle of Man, 1937.
Now this is the kind of case that I like. It comes to Ivan, not as a newspaper clipping, but as a personal letter. [illustration at the left]. It is simple, straight-forward. And its description is buttressed by a neat sketch done by the observer. All this needs to elevate it to the status of a good UFO-style case is a researcher interview and investigation. But this we don't often have in sea monster data, so I'll gratefully take this.

As you can read, the witness had a clear but brief view of the total animal, and it was shaped like a plesiosaur. Others might wish for more, but this one rings very real to me.

#112: Aleutian Islands, 1969. An elongated animal with an undulating swimming motion. A head like a dog's with whiskers and close-set eyes. Long red-yellow [amber?] colored hair. No length was given. Witness swears was not a pinniped.

#113: North of Nova Scotia, 1956. A 45' long white-spotted sea turtle with 15' long flippers plowing through the sea. [one wonders if the witnesses had seen hump-backed whales before].

#114: Howe Sound, Georgian Straits, BC, "1960s." Witnesses on shore see two creatures coming parallel to shoreline. Both heads out of water 5'. Camel-shaped heads 20' long. Gulls flocking around at height. Brownish-yellow body with 14"d necks. Water consistently disturbed 30' behind, leaving witnesses to guess at body length of such dimension. One animal dove and came up with large octopus in mouth, which it ate gulpingly like a dog. Scraps flew about, which the gulls raced for. Other animal stood patiently by, then both swam off together, stopping again further up coast.

That's the last of the notebook's cases. One thing however remains.

We saw a couple of posts back that there was a claim that in Barnstable Harbor, MA [it turns out in 1963], there were several fishermen who saw a sea serpent, and the one who had taken his movie camera in hopes of filming some whales took some film [about which we got no info]. Well, here at the very end of the notebook, one of Ivan's friends wrote him to say that he had tracked the guy down, and he was quite friendly and showed him the film. It was about 5 minutes of shooting and pretty bad workmanship, but good enough in the eyes of Ivan's friend. The long snake-like body was clearly distinguishable, though never above water all at once, and the blowhole was clearly seen in action. He said that most striking were the amber-colered tufts of hair running down the back of the head. He said that the thing looked like one animal and suggested that the film should be seriously looked at [and that the owner was willing]. He made a drawing of what he saw during the showing, and I've included that above.

This might be, at face value anyway, the most remarkable thing in this whole notebook. There seems no question that such a film existed and that the owner was willing to have it looked at under the right circumstances. It seems obvious that the content of the film was at least interesting upon casual viewing. Did anything ever happen? Have we got some cryptozoological Holy Grail sitting out there somewhere unanalyzed?? Hard to believe......

Below, Im leave you with my own version of the Mystery of Barnstable Harbor. [a bit redder haired than optimal, due to the vagaries of my scanner].... well, in cryptozoology, you can't have everything.

I'll put up the final map, and try some summary comments next time. Blessings till then.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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

This cluster of "Ivan cases" is a little different from the ones we've been looking at. They consist of a small stack of clippings etc all about claims of observations of the British Columbian critter "Caddy". We had heard of a few of those in the previous 80+ sightings, but these were all laid out together in one place in the notebook. So, let's see what they say.

As a preamble, I'm not going to try to make sense out of the whole Caddy crypto-issue. That's not only impractical, but persons far smarter than I am have already given it a serious go. Whether one chooses to buy into their hypothesis or not [pleisiosaurs], anyone interested in Caddy should begin by surveying LeBlond and Bousfield's book for the best overview.

Also, there have been claims of over 300 reported sightings of something which might be Caddy. I'd be crazy to try to summarize that. So, let's be satisfied with what we've been doing, and just see what Ivan would have seen in his own file if he'd looked there in 1960.

The first thing that he might have noticed is that people weren't agreeing as to when the sightings began. One person was claiming 1933 [without giving the details], while another letter claimed a sighting in 1905. For me, I've put the beginnings of this phenomenon as "prehistoric", meaning before written history and records. This is because of the role that a Caddy-like thing plays in PNW coast Amerindian lore, and the several rock carvings which seem to picture it. None of Ivan's clipping resources speak of this, however.

Caddy case #1[ whole case#85]: Georgian Gulf, BC, 1905. "James Murray" witness. This sighting is merely mentioned without details, but in the context of Caddy as a 30-40' long horse-headed critter; a later clip says that Murray's sighting was of a horse or camel-shaped head on a lengthy neck, and a serpentine body swimming with a sidewinder motion. He asserted that he was thoroughly familiar with seal-like animals and this was not that;

CC#2 [#86]: Pender Island,BC, 1934. "Cyril Andrews" case. Witness was confronted with monster only 10' away. It was 40' long.

The case illustrated at the left was not in this set of Sanderson notes. It is an alleged potential mini-Caddy found in the belly of a sperm whale in 1937. Quite an elaborate brouhaha was stirred up by this thing and its display, and it seems to have been taken seriously by scientists pro and con. A very good analysis of this incident/carcass is on the internet [right here on Blogspot], by Darrin Naish, entitled Tetrapod Zoology, September 9, 2006. Naish views the carcass as still unsolved.

I mention the above because it may have had something to do with a wave of interest in Caddy in the late 1930s. In 1939 there was some sort of documentary [mainly interviews] made about the phenomenon, wherein the script mentioned two cases briefly, along with the statement that there were already "several hundred witnesses" to the beast.

CC#3 [#87], Cadboro Bay, BC, just pre-1939. Submarine cable layers disturbed the beast at depth.
" His total length was about 40 feet. The head was as big as that of a horse and shaped the same, though it had no ears. It was chestnut brown in colour, with hair on the head and body. No fins or tail as far as we could see. When it opened its mouth its teeth were two inches long. It was accompanied by a smaller one. Junior was the same, but half size."

CC#4 [#88]: exact location unspecified, just pre-1939. Chief Justice James Brown [Saskatchewan]:
" 35 to 40 feet long, like a monstrous snake. His head was like a snake's and came out of the water four or five feet and straight up. Six or seven feet from the head, one of his coils showed clearly, six or seven feet long, fully a foot thick, perfectly round and dark in colour, swimming very fast".

CC#5 [#89]: Point Estevan, BC, 1942. Clip merely says that Caddy was sighted.

CC#6 [#90]: Vancouver Island, BC, 1943. Small boat rammed and sunk by monster.

CC#7 [#91]: Vernon Bay/Effingham, BC, 1947. Carcass as pictured to the left. This carcass was measured at 45' long. It had a skull 12" across and was said to resemble a horse or a camel. It counted 145 vertebrae. It apparently was transported around on display.

CC#8 [#92]: Coast of Vancouver, BC, 1951. This might be a case or merely a summary of claims [difficult to be sure]. Body like snake, smooth back rather than finned. Horse mane. Coiled appearance. Head like a camel, and body c.2 1/2' in diameter. Shy behavior. Claims say that the creature also inhabits some interior lakes.

CC#9 [#93]: This is part of the confusing Qualicum Bay business of 1953. There were three separate news stories associated with what may or may not have been the same instance. The stories do not agree. In my judgement, these are referring to at least two different incidents, one in February and one in April. [The clippings are very faded and hard to read].
The disputed February incident: On the 13th or 14th, ten witnesses went on record as having seen a 50' long animal with a head like a seal, and having three humps on its back, "cavorting about" the bay for more than an hour. The thing was watched by some through binoculars, who stated that it was definitely one animal and not some line of several seals.

As I read the next article closely [much to the distress of my over-worked eyeballs], it seems clear that the next case is separate from this, as it is stated to have happened on a date which requires it to be a week later. Here 25 witnesses thought they saw Caddy at a distance of 300 yards. Description: humps and fins. Five men rowed out to meet the monster armed with a camera. The beast resolved to be two gamboling sea lions.

CC#10 [#94]: I'm calling this a separate case. Qualicum Bay, BC, 1953. The April case consisted of witnesses in a boat approaching something that initially looked like it had three heads. Closing in, they were astonished to note that the thing was indeed one creature but having separate heads all shaped like a seal's but swearing that it was not three seals. The animal allegedly reared up, showing itself to be one thing. Well, ummmmm .....

CC#11 [#95]: undated clipping of c. the early 1950s, Esquimalt, BC. Carcass. Eight foot long. Head like a horse. Mixed attempts by scientists to identify [ex. White Sturgeon; Ribbonfish];

CC#12 [#96]: undated clipping of c. early 1950s, Brentwood Bay, BC. sighting of animal with camel-shaped head and long hairy neck; accompanying illustration is a very nice thing done by David John;

CC#13 [#97]: undated clipping of c.early 1950s, West coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Carcass. Native American fishermen bring carcass ashore at Ucluetet. Fourteen foot long. Head like an elephant. Body eel-shaped, and coiled;

CC#14 [#98]: Patricia Bay, BC, another undated clipping of the same era. Thirty foot long animal with head like a goat, two short horns, and a bristly beard below. Small bright eyes. Three black coils exhibited by body when it swum with "snake-like glide";

CC#15 [#99]: Sidney, BC, undated clipping of probably 1959 era. 40-50' long creature with pointed head and long slender neck. Brownish body with three prominent humps. Neck 10-12" in diameter. Swam in undulatory manner;

CC#16 [#100]: Race Rocks, BC, undated c.1959. Serpentine creature seen. Head reared up. 8-10' of body seeable behind head while swimming. Serrated fins down mid-back. Very fast swimmer with lots of wake;

CC#17 [#101]: Oak Bay, BC, undated c. 1959. Snake-like creature moving at very high speed. Surfaced making huge amounts of bubbles. Definitely not seals.

All of that is quite an array for one location. It was that plus the native Amerindian legends of the Wasgo/Sisiutl/Sea-Wolf that interested me in this beast in the first place long ago. I've put my own [feeble] study of it on the blog [as some of you will know], deep in the past posts. I believe that there is a VERY lot there to recommend that an anomalous creature of some nature is "about" in the Georgian Straits and has been from folkloric times. Whether we are dealing with flesh [which Ivan would want], or with paranormal agencies [which he would not], there seems something to this one.

And how profound a part of the Life Mystery is it?? How does one go back to ancient Pompei and find Caddy waiting for us in the mosaics of that destroyed city?? What are we dealing with here?? Whatever it is, with our noisy skeptical minds, and our noisy irritating civilization, we are on the verge of losing it. A great shame, methinks.

Caddy, what or whoever you are, maybe you can continue to manifest now and then and save us from our dead-minded little selves.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

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

Markus has sent us the internet site for an explanation of the Deepholm carcass as mentioned in Ivan's last set. [go to the comments on the last blog post if you want to go to the orkneycommunity site yourself; there are a few more follow-up comments there]. He is obviously an expert researcher on such things. I have provided his photo below, as well as the comment about the case from the expert researcher at orkneycommunityimages site. Hopefully they will not mind sharing the information with you.

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.

SITU Board Members

Dear folks: I came across this image while unpacking a box. As usual, no labeling, except a date. It is of some interest to me [and possibly others] who these people are. If you can help, please do.

The picture could easily be some form of Board meeting. Hans Stefan Santesson is at left [#1]. Ivan is #4. Librarian Marion Fawcett is #5. The others I don't know.

Other board members in 1968 were Oliver Swan [President]; Edgar Schoenenberger [Deputy Director]; Peter Kamitchis [Assistant Director]; Jack Ullrich [Field investigator]; Walter McGraw [Radio/Films/TV]; William Peck [Science & Technology] ... [and Alma Sanderson and Edna Currie who are obviously not in the picture].

The five "unknown" guys could be from that six person list, but, not knowing what we're looking at, not necessarily. If you can help ID any of these folks, please do. We should try to make life as easy [and clear] as possible for anyone studying SITU in the future. Thanks.


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