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Montauk Monster Überschwemmte Cryptomundo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 4th, 2008

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There can be little doubt that the Montauk Monster is a media phenomenon this summer, and is even outstripping Obama, Morgan Freeman and Heath Ledger in gaining widespread short term attention. It überschwemmte (swamped, deluged) Cryptomundo and about every other site too.

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While people like Gawker threw around casually the words “demon beast” or “monster,” as the first report surfaced, when I posted early on Tuesday, July 29th, and labeled this thing the “Montauk Monster,” magic happened. It reminds me of how, on a whim, I called the Massachusetts creature seen in April 1977, the “Dover Demon” and then saw it become history.

The Montauk Monster has generated more interest than people could have ever imagined.

Cryptomundo, which averages about 25,000-35,000 regular hits a day, when things are quiet, started showing increased traffic last Wednesday and Thursday, after I propelled the story to a broader audience on Tuesday. Cryptomundo got 1,210,695 hits on Wednesday, July 30th, and 1,519,624 on Thursday, July 31st, probably thanks to so many sites linking to the stories here.

Newsday has now related that their website crashed on Friday, August 1st, due to the interest their Montauk Monster story got on that day. Boing Boing, Rense, C2C, The Anomalist, and all the usual suspect blogs got more hits than expected by such a minor little story about a body on a beach.

It seemed to be the photos that did it. This despite our saying this was probably a raccoon on Wednesday, and pointing out animachina.com’s excellent photo analysis on Friday.

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Looking at the Cryptomundo, I see the site got a whopping 3,390,024 hits on Friday. It seems to have been more than the host server could take, and the site crashed from early A.M. on Saturday until Sunday P.M., when it came back online. Were the almost 3.4 million hits just too much? (The intake capacity has since been increased.)

Did the Montauk Monster take down Cryptomundo? It would seem so.

Meanwhile, some comedians online just can’t get enough of the Montauk Monster jokes.

News Blaze guy Robert Paul Reyes’ “Top 10 Reasons Why Montauk Monster Should Be John McCain’s Vice-President” is, well, sort of funny.

“Only a dead person or a dead monster has less charisma than McCain. The senior senator from Arizona doesn’t have to worry about the monster upstaging him on the stump,” writes Reyes.

To be fair, I tried to upload a story that was headlined “Montauk Monster Fist-Bumps Obama” but it was being too slow and unresponsive, so I bet it’s getting too many hits. Maybe its a dead-link (pun intended).

Fox News summarized some of these happenings on Monday, August 4th, noting, for example, that “Animal Planet” wildlife expert Jeff Corwin proclaimed on FOX News Channel that “we’re all suckers.”

“What you think is a beak is actually the canine teeth,” Corwin told Fox. “What we have is an incredibly rare” — dramatic pause — “raccoon.”

Would there be any DNA tests to show definite results? New York magazine contacted the East Hampton Department of Environmental Analysis, which denied the town’s animal-control unit had disposed of the beast.

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“It’s a raccoon,” DEA’s Margaret Carry-Smyth told the magazine.

Later in the day, the three women who said they’d come across the purplish flotsam a few weeks ago showed off a second snapshot of it on a digital camera.

“It exists,” Rachel Goldberg, Courtney Fruin and Jenna Hewitt asserted on local cable channel Plum TV (see video above), denying suspicions that they’d Photoshopped a picture of a dead dog.

But pressed by interviewer Nick Leighton about where the animal was now, what Fox News described as “the semi-glamorous trio” suddenly got cranky, repeating what they had, in essence, told several media outlets by then.

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“It decomposed in our friend’s back yard,” said Goldberg. “It’s been since removed … by friends of ours.”

“You’re a little shady with the details,” observed Leighton. “You planning to write a book about this?”

Goldberg only shrugged and nodded with a faint smile.

“We’re hoping to have scientists contact us to find out what it is,” she conceded. “It’s in a box.”

Then an elusive friend of the trio’s popped up on one of FOX News Channel’s rivals, where reporter Jeanne Moos played a video she’d gotten from a young surfer-dude type who said the carnivorous corpse was in his back yard.

“We’re gonna try to have some experts analyze it,” Davis said as his buddies used a stick to hold up what looked like bones with skin still attached. “It’s a really cool beast.”

Meanwhile, Fox News mentioned, as you know already, the marketing team for a new energy drink called Venom threw up a blog offering a lifetime supply of their product for anyone who captured a live Montauk Monster.

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Fox News today, even points to Cryptomundo to show the angle to prove the dead animal is, or was, quite male. They further mention, as you already have read here, that it is also clear from an examination of the decomposed head that it looks awfully like that of – pause, melodrama builds – a dead raccoon.

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About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


32 Responses to “Montauk Monster Überschwemmte Cryptomundo”

  1. Ceroill responds:

    Aha. So that’s what happened! Well, good to have you back. Interesting update on the Montauk business.

  2. Sordes responds:

    This whole story is interesting for many aspects, especially because it gained so much interest. If you search in the cryptozoological literature you will find a whole lot of cases of unidentified carcasses which are not rarely termed monsters. Most of them come from a time when not everybody had a digital camera and photos of those beasts are therefore rare. But I am quite serious that in nearly all of this cases something similar happened as in the Montauk-Monster-Story.
    If you would only read the articles of the first day when it became public, with all the strange features like a “beak” and hairless skin, and especially without seeing a photo, what would you think? It made a quite good description of a freakish monster. Not all of the articles were that populistic, but how sure can we be if we read an old article which was once published in a newspaper by a journalist who wanted to get attention and not a story about a boring rotting dog or fish (or whatever), that the descriptions are actually true?

  3. lickitung5523 responds:

    That is definitely NOT a beak. It is the skull poking through the decaying flesh from the spot where the animal’s nose used to be. I think Corwin is right, it is probably just a raccoon or dog. Whatever it is, it does not have a beak lol.

  4. lickitung5523 responds:

    It does NOT have a beak! The skull is just poking through the decaying flesh from where the animal’s nose once was. I think Corwin is right, it is just a raccoon or dog. Whatever it is, it does not have a beak!

  5. krvega responds:

    Who knew male raccoons were so majestically male? Strange.

  6. cryptidsrus responds:

    I’m more inclined to think of this as a canine. Even then its not sure. I’m sorry, but I do not buy this a racoon. I may not be an expert on animals, but I know “stuff” from chicken “stuff”, know what I mean? That has go to be the biggest raccon I’ve seen if it is. And I agree, it’s also got to be the most endowed…:):):)

  7. Richard888 responds:

    If the Montauk Monster is one beast then Picture 3 predates Pictures 1 & 2 as you scroll from top to bottom, correct?

    Pictures 2 & 3 show the jaw intact while Picture 1 (with the rhombus shape) shows half of it removed by instrumental incision giving the illusion of a beak.

    My guess is that the DNA testing was done from the jaw then.

  8. KenMD responds:

    I am going to have to go with this critter as being a decomposing Pug Dog.

    Take another look. Add some hair. Imagine it.

    I bet a billion monopoly dollars it comes out to be a Pug.

  9. youcantryreachingme responds:

    You can see the socket for the upper canines in the so-called beak.

  10. Lightning Orb responds:

    Strange how this thing keeps being thrown around in the media after it has already been shown to be not so strange… Or maybe not. Although this particular creature is almost certainly nothing that unknown, it is a clear picture – and bizarre. Even if you know it’s not a monster, it makes you think outside the box. Perhaps even those that have heard the reasons for it being a dead raccoon or dog have been forced more than usual to really think about the unexplained-ness of the world around them; I’ll admit I was perplexed before the beak was pointed out as a bone. Those first moments of glimpsing the thing may be a sudden portal to a stranger world for some – to those to which this world has always been normal and monsterless; this is, undoubtedly, realer than your everyday youtube show of monkey suits. Perhaps the celebrational aspect of this is not so much this entity as an individual, but its symbolic stand for all things unexplained. For once, something strange is out in the open… And even if this one just so happens to be a raccoon, what about other, similar things? It highly suggests not every alleged encounter with the otherworldly is just an outright hoax or superstition

  11. Drosselmeyer responds:

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    Anyway, I thought it looked most like a pig, but that’s most likely because of the bloated and hairless body, which must’ve looked much different before it was washed away.

    I thought the feet were the most peculiar aspect of the photos, as the “beak” was debunked at once. The feet/paws do look just like a raccoon’s, and while I don’t think the head looks elongated enough to be a raccoon, that is probably the most likely candidate.

  12. Rogutaan responds:

    I read somewhere that it might be a water rat, but I still think racoon fits better.

  13. lonewolfnan responds:

    So it is in a box? I hope they keep it in the same freezer in Georgia with our “caught specimen”. Maybe it is the big guy’s pet? Can’t wait until Sept 1 to see them both together.

  14. Cryptidlover888 responds:

    Personally, I think that it’s a dead dog that washed up. Funny, though, the skin color changes between the original and new pictures.

  15. bigcathunter24 responds:

    looks like somebody’s dog died and they dumped it and it washed up

  16. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    Interesting info from the girls who took the photo. I’m relieved to know that the corpse is accounted for and hopefully they will give it up to someone who can put this to rest through DNA. Enjoyable update and as always through this looking forward to more until the mystery is solved!

    (glad to see the manbearpig video up hereas well :) )

  17. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    I just realized something, the three girls each gave reasons as to why the creature is not a turtle, dog, or a raccoon, reasons given by scientists I think they said?

    Well I just remembered I’m pretty sure that all of their reasons have been offered up in past posts/comments here on Cryptomundo.

    Example one, as to why it is not a turtle, the girl says turtles now a days do not have teeth, Loren pointed this out on the first post.

    Example two, as to why it is not a dog, myself and at least one other person pointed out that in the original (but not first photo taken) the toes on the front feet do not appear like a dog’s, one of the girl uses this as the reason the carcass is not from a dog.

    Example three, as to why it is not a raccoon, one of the girl says the proportions are not right, I know that there was some talk in the comments here as to whether or not the proportions fit suggested known animals.

    So are the girls using actual scientists opinions or just following Cryptomundo? Just something I found interesting

    Still hoping for conclusive answers :)

  18. nzcryptozoologist responds:

    I believe Darren at Tetrapod Zoology seems to have it fairly well pinned down and wrapped up as a decomposing Racoon.

  19. Sordes responds:

    As Darren Naish already noted the Montauk-“Monster” is surely not a dog. Not only because the fingers of dogs are much shorter and stumpier than the long and mobile fingers seen in raccoons, but also because of the shape of the skull. Nearly all dogs, the Pug dog included (KenMD would lost its billion monopoly dollars by no means), have a remarkable incisur between front and snout in the region of the eyes. But the carcass has not such a front, what makes it together with the finger extremely unlikely to be a dead dog.
    The proportions are another thing. First of all not all members of a species have the same proportions, just walk along a street and look at different humans. Among animals you will also find specimens which are fat or slim, short-legged or long-legger. The carcass could also be bloated as a result of internal decomposition.
    But the main reason I think is the lack of hair. Many animals look completely different without hairs, especially such animals with a comparably long fur. They look often much more skinnier and more long-legged than with fur. The normal raccoon has longer hair than the crab-eating raccoon and looks much stockier and more short-legged. But in fact they have nearly the same proportions, only the fur (and to a distinct degree the fat layer under the skin) is different. The raccoon looks more like a badger or even a small bear, but the crab-eating raccoon nearly as slim as a fox.
    This simple thing can fool people very easyly when they are confronted with a normal dog, kojote, fox or for example like here a raccoon when the animal or carcass has lost its hair.

  20. roarkLAUGHED responds:

    I have to go with raccoon. On the first photo, there is still some pretty distinctive bushy, patterned grey hair under the neck area. Pugs don’t get hair that long (though it could be some other small dog breed – pomeranian?)

    The other photos look different because the thing has been layng in the sun, drying out one side while the sand keeps the other grey and mushy. It’s not photosho[[ed or a different animal, they just flipped the carcass over.

    The last point for raccon is that – in the newer photos – it very obviously has two of something but is missing one of somehing else. Raccoons have an odd physiology, in that the penis retracts completely or extends via a special bone. Dogs genitalia retracts also, but not completely. That being said, the bloating and decomp here may make this observation totally irrelivant.

    Interesting how a well-coined moniker can turn just about anything into big news… even a good ol’ dead animal (though it is a rather interesting and slightly creepifying dead animal.)

  21. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, Darren Naish caught up with the massive wave of interest, and on August 4th posted that he thought the Montauk Monster was a raccoon.

    Of course, we all have been saying this since July 29th, and I appreciate Darren for acknowledging all of the comments from here. He wrote:

    “I’m pretty sure that I know what it is, and I’m pleased to see that many other people have come to the same conclusions, as demonstrated by the many informed comments that appeared at Cryptomundo and elsewhere last week. “

  22. Adrienne responds:

    I first heard about this creature was when I saw the picture on my AOL welcome screen news. I clicked on the picture which was linked to the site that had the story. This was the first day they posted it on AOL. The site is http://www.asylum.com I believe. There they had a short story about the find. I more than anyone would love for this to be some unknown cryptid but evidence seems to be pointing in a different direction. However I read some astounding things about the surroundings of where this creature was found. Off shore there is an island called Plum island. It is an animal testing facility comprised of various labs.The Foriegn Animal Disease Diagnostic lab also known as FADDL is a full time diagnostic facility recieving samples from all over the world. Plum Island Animal Disease Center or
    PIADC studies exotic diseases of animals. The center was designated to a biolevel 5 facility, now mandated by Congress which enabled Plum Island to study and research vaccines for diseases that would not be allowed in the Continental US. The reason for allowing the biolevel 5 designation is because it is an island.
    There have also been statements from people who live near this area of terrible and strange experiments. One women said they”bread rats the size of german shepards and it is scary to think she lives so close to a place that does experiments like in a horror movie”. She stated she never drank the tap water and many kids from all over were getting tounge and throat cancer. The facility denied having any connections to this however her son’s friends father worked there and was convinced it was the cause of the cancer. On the same site a man stated he had skinned many raccoons and none ever looked like this.
    I posted a reply on the site and told people they could find alot of info on the subject on Cryptomundo. I hope this isn’t why your site crashed and I’m sorry if so but many people were gratefull. One more thing, dosn’t this creature look way to big to be a raccoon.

  23. hamforkam responds:

    Was that female news reporter being sarcastic, or was she just not listening to Jeff Corwin saying that it’s NOT A BEAK? XD I thought it was like a pitbull or something, but the raccoon thing makes more sense. That’s disappointing though. ):

  24. mystery_man responds:

    Based on evidence that I have seen, as well as informed analysis by Mr. Naish, others here who have experience with animal carcasses, my own follow up research on the morphology of the pictured creature, very good photo layovers presented by some commenters, as well as the opinions of some esteemed colleagues of mine (biologists mind you), I have to say that what we are looking at is almost definitely a raccoon.

    Since we only have the photos to go on, decomposition can do strange things to the appearance of bodies, and we do not have the DNA results yet, this is not 100%. However, it is extremely likely in my opinion. Contrary to what I thought at first, I am certain it is not a dog.

    For some reason, many have zeroed in on the size of the thing as an indicator of this being a dog (rather than the differing morphology, namely those fingers.) A lot of people think the size discounts this as a raccoon without realizing that some raccoons can get fairly large, larger than some might think. The carcass looks to me to be within the size range of a large raccoon.

    I see many indicators of this being a dead, decomposing raccoon.

  25. serpent_seeker responds:

    It is not a raccoon or a dog in the interview the ladies stated that a SCIENTIST SAID IT WAS NEITHER A RACCON OR A DOG pay attention in listening to the interview please.

  26. Loren Coleman responds:

    Since when, at Cryptomundo, are we to take the secondhand word of an alleged “scientist from Stony Brook” who reportedly says it isn’t a raccoon?

    It is to the benefit of these women, for their extended 15 minutes of fame, to keep this carcass as a mystery, even though it is not.

    If a friend has it in a box, next thing you know, the Montauk Monster will be on eBay, with a starting bid of $15,000 (the asking price for the carcass of the Maine Mutant).

  27. rdelariva909 responds:

    It looks to me like a Capybara, or in that family…

  28. Adrienne responds:

    As I said before in my post, there is an island called Plum Island that contains a biolevel 5 facility for animal testing. They test vaccines for diseases and other dangerous testing. This facility isn’t even normaly legal on US soil however it was approved by the government due to the fact that it is on an island. There have been horror stories about this place long before this thing washed up on the beach. I believe this alone warrants further investigation with or without that carcass being washed ashore. If you come anywhere near this island with a boat armed personal come out and warn that if you don’t leave they will shoot. Obviously there is something there that is being kept from the public at all cost. I think this little mishap with the creature on shore just added unwanted attention to this facility and I have a hunch they are not happy about it. It could have come from this place who knows. An overgrown raccoon they mabey created? Perhaps an employee of this facility did not agree with what was going on there and threw it in the water on purpose so someone would find it. I know I am stretching here but they are simply theories. The fact is there is a facility on Plum Island that people do not know much about. A secret government facility.

  29. elf123 responds:

    I’m saying immature sloth bear; the mix of hair colors, the claws, the canines, the skull, the tail, they all fit. Also no one else has said that yet.
    Seriously though, if it’s 2 1/2 to 3 ft without the tail, it is too big to be a raccoon. A raccoon’s tail can make up 42% to 52% of its body length (23.74 to 37.4 in).

    http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Procyon_lotor.html

    While you’re there you can look up the sloth bear, too. ;)

  30. camp hero responds:

    maybe this creature came from not to far away camp hero theres ben rumors that it still is operational rumors that transdimensional beings have come through what people call the
    “portal” anybody ever watch the “Mist” same idea just about the same except only 1 got out

  31. wdsasquatch responds:

    First time poster

    Maybe its the legendary Dobhar-chu:
    Dobhar-chu is roughly translated into “water hound.” It resembles both a dog and an otter though sometimes is described as a half dog half fish. It lives in water and has fur with protective properties.

  32. wushen responds:

    I’m not making any claims here, I’m just offering some directions in thought on the racoon theory. It seems to me that this is a hunter/scavenger look at the canine teeth and “serrated molars…this thing rips flesh, also notice how clean the teeth are, (slightly pink…hmmm) I’d guess this is a young animal. the “racoon theory” seems feasable, the fur color fits, the teeth fit. however the brow looks rather broad and pronounced, (Immediately above the “beak”) and it’s overall size conflicts with the youth theory…something to keep in mind also…this thing was found in july, seems like alot of body fat for july (even if bloated) check out those pecks, this thing has been bashing against rocks in the shallows before washing up and I cant find any noticable post mortem cuts/scratches other than the hip and face, A racoon’s fur would protect it quite a bit, but is its skin strong enough to endure a repeated thrashing (which de-furred it?) I’m kinda leaning towards the coon theory, however I would like some clarification on these ideas



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