Prior to these reports, I had read two other reports on this creature. One was in Pacific waters by Vancouver Island and the other in stormtossed waters in the
Atlantic during thenineteenth century. Here we have twocases by excellent observers who had careers to mind and crews to confirm theirobservations.
These observations are rare. As indicated, the best one occurred becausethe creature was caught napping, an impossibility with the advent of theengine.
As I have posted a lot on thesubject it is worthwhile writing what we actually know.
1 The creature is a sea snake that grows out to enormoussize easily matching the largest in the Amazon or the
were evena hundred foot length is plausible. Recent work has located creatures approaching half that. These two reports give us lengths of 120 feet(plausible) and approaching 200 feet (possible). These are enormous. Congo
2 They sport a crest like comb that serves as an externalgill. This allows them to resideprimarily in the deep at their best operating temperature and to almost neversurface. That they come to surface atall is a surprise and very unusual.
3 Their life cycle includes a trip(s) for the femalesback to their ancestral river in order to set a nest in a convenientswamp. They use deep lakes as part oftheir spawning strategy. Thus we haveLoch Ness and many others were observations of the creature have been made.
4 They quickly take fright at the presence of surface vesselsand swiftly retreat.
5 I expect that they operate in the true deep below thesurface layer of warmer waters we are familiar with and well away from fishinggear and the like.
6 The rarity of sightings is no indicator at all ofactual population size. The sheer sizeof the specimens observed suggests that the population could be largeparticularly if spawning populations use the Amazon and
7 They are also nocturnal in habit and these daytimeobservations are additionally unusual for all that. They appear to have been basking when they weredisturbed.
Apparently more reports areavailable and will be now forthcoming. Perhaps all these records will find their way onto the internet as havethe contents of the Vatican library and the records of the Spanish efforts inthe
New World. They are surely worthy and a testament to good men often long forgottenwho took their responsibilities seriously when confronted with the unusual
The Sea Serpent Files
Monsters of the Sea
By Nick Redfern December 25, 2010
Located just outside of central
is alarge and impressive building known as the National Archive. It serves as arepository for declassified and still-classified files from the British RoyalAir Force, Royal Navy, Army and the British equivalents of the FBI, CIA, Departmentof Defense, and National Security Agency. London, England
As might be expected, the bulk of the records that the BritishGovernment has released into the public domain via its Freedom of InformationAct – and that are now available for scrutiny by the public - focus upon suchmatters as Cold War activities, espionage, the Second World War, and theroutine, day-to-day work of governmental bodies.
As well as the strictly down-to-earth material, however, intriguingfiles have surfaced demonstrating that a whole variety of official bodieswithin the British Government have taken a deep and keen interest in tales ofsea-serpents.
One of the most notable reports of an encounter with such a beast oftruly monstrous proportions, and that attracted the keen attention of elementsof the British Government, can be found within the official archives of theAdmiralty. The documentation at issue details the remarkable encounter with asea-serpent that was seen on May 9, 1830 by the crew of the Rob Roy: aBritish Royal Navy ship that was homeward bound after a lengthy sea-journeyacross the
As the ship sailed by the
, somethingremarkable occurred, as the Rob Roy’s captain, James Stockdale,recorded in his official log: “About five p.m. all at once while I was walkingon the poop my attention was drawn to the water on the port bow by a scufflingnoise. Likewise all the watch on deck were drawn to it. island of St. Helena
“Judge my amazement when what should stare us all in the face as if notknowing whether to come over the deck or to go around the stern – but the greatbig sea snake! Now I have heard of the fellow before – and I have killed snakestwenty-four feet long in the straits of Malaca, but they would go in his mouth.
“I think he must have been asleep for we were going along verysoftly two knots an hour, and he seemed as much alarmed as we were – and alltaken aback for about fifteen seconds. But he soon was underway and, whenfairly off, his head was square with our topsail and his tail was square withthe foremast.”
Captain Stockdale continued:
“My ship is 171 feet long overall – and the foremast is 42 feet fromthe stern which would make the monster about 129 feet long. If I had notseen it I could not have believed it but there was no mistake or doubt ofits length – for the brute was so close I could even smell his nasty fishysmell.
“When underway he carried his head about six feet out of water –with a fin between the shoulders about two feet long. I think he wasswimming about five miles an hour – for I watched him from the topsail yardtill I lost sight of him in about fifty minutes. I hope never to see him more.It is enough to frighten the strong at heart.”
A second report of a sea-monster sighting has been declassified at anofficial level by the British Government and describes an extraordinary December13, 1857 encounter that also occurred in the vicinity of the
.A statement prepared by Commander George Henry Harrington revealed thefacts: island of St. Helena
“While myself and officers were standing on the lee side of the poop –looking toward the island – we were startled by the sight of a huge marineanimal which reared its head out of the water within twenty yards of the ship –when it suddenly disappeared for about half a minute and then made areappearance in the same manner again – showing us its neck and head aboutten or twenty feet out of the water.
“Its head was shaped like a long buoy – and I should suppose thediameter to have been seven or eight feet in the largest part with a kind ofscroll or ruff encircling it about two feet from the top. The water was discolored forseveral hundred feet from the head, so much so that on its first appearance myimpression was that the ship was in broken waters, produced, as I supposed, by somevolcanic agency, since I passed the island before.”
And Captain Harrington had far more to impart: “But the secondappearance completely dispelled those fears and assured us that it was amonster of extraordinary length and appeared to be moving slowly towards theland. The ship was going too fast to enable us to reach the masthead in time toform a correct estimate of this extreme length – but from what we saw from thedeck we conclude that he must have been over two hundred feet long.
“The Boatswain and several of the crew, who observed it from theforecastle, state that it was more than double the length of the ship, in whichcase it must have been five hundred feet. Be that as it may – I am convincedthat it belonged to the serpent tribe.”
How many further reports of sea-serpent-style animals the Britishmilitary have on-file is, of course, a matter for another day and anotherarticle!
Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including Contactees, ScienceFiction Secrets, and On the Trail of the Saucer Spies.