Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 17th, 2010
This article has nothing, really, to do with “Sea Serpents,” which only goes to show that media headlines over 50 years ago, as often happens today, had little connection to content either. Loren
Sandusky Register Star News
September 26, 1946
Sea Serpents Products Of Imagination
CHICAGO, Sept. 26 (UP) – “Varmints and sea sarpints” still roam, but chiefly in lively imaginations, Talbott Denmead of the fish and wildlife service said today.
Denmead, chief of the permits and importations section of the federal agency, was commenting on recent reports of “monsters” in Illinois and Indiana.
The 2,500 residents of Momence, Ill., are keeping doors and windows locked against a mysterious animal described as about seven feet long and two feet tall which “laughs like a monkey” and “screams like a woman.”
Across the state, 150 of the 800 citizens of Oquawka went out with shotguns, hounds and three airplanes last Sunday [September 22] but failed to track down a remarkably similar monster in the heavily timbered Mississippi river bottoms.
Last month Lebanon, Ind., was terrified by a sort of land-going sea serpent that ate cows and wept instead of laughed while it worked.
Denmead, a spry gentleman of 70 who was a game law enforcement officer for years, enjoys these stories but is inclined to believe that the “varmint” in each case was a large dog.
“Of course,” he said, “lacking capture of the animal, the best way to tell is by its tracks. Any woodsman can tell if they show a member of the cat family, a dog or a wolf.”
The beast at Lebanon, Ind., after working up a good fright among nearby residents, was reported shot and killed early this month in a swamp, but its body was not recovered.
Let’s see here: a reporter who does no actual reporting, an explainer who does no actual investigating. The stuff of great journalism, all right. — Jerome Clark
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