Sea Serpent Snatching?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 1st, 2007

James Gray

Recently in response to my blog about the San Francisco Bay Sea Serpent, one comment maker wrote in to mention this news item:

By now everyone who is connected by radio, tv, internet or newspaper is aware that James Gray of Microsoft has just disappeared from the face of the earth while expertly sailing his 40ft sailboat on a day cruise under nearly perfect condition, through very well known waters, to the Farallon Islands. Speculation as to his whereabouts is wide-open and even the most serious and likely suggestions underscore just how slight is the ability of our human perceptions to be able to actually see what’s going-on around us. The idea that there can’t be something previously unknown on the order of a large animal living out in waters all around us because if it were there we’d have seen it and photographed it…well, that greatly overestimates our powers of observation, not to mention our ability to photograph stuff.– dogu4

I am in no way endorsing any connection between this California coastal disappearance and any assumed behavior of Pacific Ocean Sea Serpents, but open-minded attention to data is usually a good idea. Here’s more information on the James Gray story from Boing Boing:

Database pioneer James Gray, winner of the 1998 Turing Award and founder of Microsoft’s Bay Area Research Center, is missing off the coast of Northern California. On Sunday [January 28, 2007], he set out alone on his 40-foot sailboat to the Farallon Islands where he intended to scatter his late mother’s ashes. He hasn’t returned. The US Coast Guard is searching for Gray by boat, plane, and helicopter. Gray is known for such groundbreaking projects as the SkyServer and TerraServer. – David Pescovitz

For the Boing Boing post on Gray’s disappearance, click here.

For more on this topic, in general, see:Death by Sea Serpent?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.


10 Responses to “Sea Serpent Snatching?”

  1. stonelk responds:

    There may be a simple answer to what happened. Sunday after noon there was a 3.0 quake at 01:28 pm 40.327 degrees north by 125.138 degrees west. If he was in the area at the time the quake may have caused a disturbance that compromised his vessel. As I am writing this I am researching to find where the islands are he was supposed to visit and find the quake was to far north. However if he kept going north there was an other quake 40.438 degrees north by 125.208 west at 11:04 pm same magnitude.

  2. joppa responds:

    Perhaps it was this poor man’s desire to join his mother. A trip alone, for a very emotional and somber task – a distraught and broken-heart – a recipe for suicide not sea monsters.

  3. ladd responds:

    I’m sure this man is an adept sailor and his vessel has all the latest LORAN and other neccessary gear. I’m sure if he were in any kind of trouble he would have taken the neccessary precautions. But then the sea can be notoriously unpredictable at any time and many a vessel large and small have been overpowered quite unexpectedly even before a “MAYDAY” can be transmitted. My hope is that he did not confront this kind of scenario and he will return or is found safe and sound.

  4. oldbutnotstupid responds:

    The gentleman was not in his most alert state of mind, given the circumstances of the trip. A simple slip on a wet deck and accidents do happen. This was situation where he should not have been alone. To call this disappearance anything else without proof is….

  5. mystery_man responds:

    Strange story. It reminds me of some of the classic strange dissappearances like the Mary Celeste, or the people that lived on Roanoke island although this particular story is not as bizzarre as those cases. At least not yet. It is odd, but these kinds of dissappearances happen from time to time. In this case, there are a whole lot of more mundane possibilities I would look into first. He could have dissappeared for so many different reasons that until any further evidence comes up, it is hard to make any assumptions. But the sea serpent angle does give the imagination a bit of a kick, eh?

  6. Tengu responds:

    Having sailed myself there is a whole load of things that could have happened.

    Sea serpents are pretty low on the list.

  7. MattBille responds:

    Investigate Further:

    Death by Sea Serpent?

  8. Brindle responds:

    By golly, but if you had to die at sea, a sea serpent would be the way to go!

  9. skeptik responds:

    Groups of killer whale have sometimes attacked and sunk quite large sailing boats.

    This was the case of the Robertson family. NGC made a pretty entertaining documentary on that, feat. Robertson Jr.
    No serpents though :p

  10. Tengu responds:

    I read a horrifying account from the Faroes of a farmer who climbed down a cliff to rescue a sheep.

    A killer whale was waiting at the bottom and he had to hide in a crevice while the beast tried to chase him out where it could grab him.

    (I think this was in Tim Severins Brendan Voyage but dont quote me)




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