Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 13th, 2010
Alton [Iowa] Review
October 31, 1884
A Wonderful Inhabitant of St. Vrain
Friday evening[,] says the Boulder [Colorado] News, William Galatin and
Dennis McCloy, a couple of railroad graders, arrived from a fishing and
hunting trip in the country northeast. On their way home, while stopping on
the St. Vrain stream a short distance from the mouth of the canyon, they
relate having seen some species of water monster, similar to an immense
serpent, in the above stream. At the point where it was observed the water
was still and rather deep. The first thing that attracted their attention
was a sound emanating from the stream, resembling the sissing [sic] of a
snake; the next was a heavy splash as though a board had been thrown into
the water. When looking in the direction from which the sound came they
noticed that the surface of the water was considerably disturbed, and the
tail of some object just passing from sight. Being excited at the sight
they stood in wonderment, awaiting a reappearance of the mysterious object.
In a few moments a dark colored object cautiously arose to the surface. At
first it was thought that an otter had been discovered, but when it had
stretched its full length upon the water, this thought quickly vanished.
The body was fully five inches in diameter, and from ten to twelve feet in
length, of a glossy dark brown color, and apparently as smooth as an
ordinary eel. The head was neatly shaped, the eyes very large and piercing,
resembling those of a seal. The sight was truly grand, and to use their own
expression when asked why they did not shoot it, said “It was so beautiful,
so striking, that we never thought of harming it, but we stood there
perfectly charmed, if there be such a thing. At the expiration of about
half a minute one of us spoke to the other, when it suddenly disappeared
from sight and did not reappear, though we remained upon the bank until
after dusk of evening.” In describing it more minutely, Mr. Galatin said
that the mouth seemed to be kept under water, and he could not tell whether
any tusks or teeth were therein, but just at water edge seemed to be
nostrils, as he could see the flesh move, caused by breathing. The tail was
about two inches wide, and laid flat upon the water. In the spring of 1864,
while crossing the Platte river at Kearney [Nebraska], Mr. G. says he saw a
similar object in the water, which has haunted him ever since, and he
accounts for the appearance of this monster in the St. Vrain as coming from
the Platte river during high water in this mountain stream. Will our
scientists tell us what this strange visitor is?
Loren Coleman – has written 5489 posts on this site.
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