Web-Feeted Oregonians?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 16th, 2010

This curious news item appears to hint at many cryptid stories circulating at the time of its publication. What the cryptids described could be are anyone’s guesses.

Daily Alta California, Volume 26, Number 8883, July 28, 1874 p. 2.

The yearly season for cultivating sea and land monsters opens with flattering prospects.

First comes a most wonderful animal said to have been seen in the wilds along the route of the proposed New York and Canada Railroad. Its body was six feet long, and covered with flesh-colored fur; it was armed with a tail ten feet long, which terminated in two prongs, each a foot long; its eyes stuck out on the side of its head like a lobster’s, and between them was a horn — dimensions not given; then it had four legs, the feet of which were webbed, which leads us to suppose it is a native of
Oregon; last, though by no means least, it had two arms, each fifteen feet long, and terminating in a series of lesser arms, each fifteen inches in length; it wailed like an infant suffering with the colic, and when pursued to its mountain cave it captured a dog and a coat from one of its pursuers.

We turn reluctantly from contemplating this monster to a devil-fish, the body of which was half as big as a ship, and which was armed with legs one hundred feet long and as big as a saw-log. It attacked a schooner in the Indian Ocean, and sunk it, with two of the seven men on board — the others were picked up by a passing vessel.

Will some one give us now the annual sea-serpent and wild man of the woods, which are a little behind hand this year?

My thanks to researcher Chuck Flood for sharing this, and informing me that Californians often do not have nice things to say about people and creatures from Oregon.

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 “Web-Feeted Oregonians?”

  1. coelacanth1938 responds:

    This is just too strange to take seriously. It must be filler for an otherwise slow news day.

  2. graybear responds:

    It might be appropriate to remember that at this time both heroin and opium based products were available as over the counter medications.

  3. cryptidsrus responds:

    Mutant Merman??? 🙂

  4. RandyS responds:

    What I find most curious is the numbering of the Daily Alta: “Volume 26, Number 8883.” At first I assumed that a “volume” equaled a year’s worth of publication, and the “number” referred to number of daily editions that had been published. But, 8883 divided by 365 gives us only approximately 24.33 years…

    I’d pursue this further, but I have to get after that mysterious, cave-dwelling, giant, web-footed, furry lobster-squid unicorn!

  5. shumway10973 responds:

    I love the fact that because it had webbed feet it must be native to Oregon. Almost sounds like a giant sloth, almost. Although the description was a little too perfect for something of a mystery.

    The other one just said it had legs and was very long. That could be just about any of the sea monsters we have been investigating.

  6. Alison at Department of Occult Investigation responds:

    It should be remembered that American newspapers in the 19th Century were notorious for simply making up stories of strange creatures and events. At the time, the hoax story was seen by many journalists almost as an art form.

  7. coelacanth1938 responds:

    I wonder if maybe made-up stories about weird creatures might’ve inspired H. P. Lovecraft? My first thought when reading this was that this was a Mi-Go of some kind.

  8. springheeledjack responds:

    My first thought too, was Lovecraftian…too weird for words…

  9. archer1945 responds:

    Just a little bit too far-fetched to even think it might be legit.

  10. JMonkey responds:

    so far out there, but if the creature was, lets say from Utah, then I would find it easier to believe. LOL.

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