Brookline Gator Sighted

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 24th, 2008

The following account signals that spring is finally here in North America.

In Mysterious America, I noted that out-of-place alligators should to be tracked to keep such reports separate from Lake Monster reports. Over thirty years ago, reports of crocs could often indicate an extension of the reptile’s range or an escaped or released pet. But some few sightings hinted at breeding populations of alligators, such as near Decatur, Illinois, or Oakland, Michigan. (Yes, department of wildlife officials, they do “winter over.”)

Very rarely, some “alligator” observations are indications of a cryptid in the area.

Heightened awareness makes recording such finds more commonplace, and thus, once again, as the trees begin to bud and the birds are singing their mating songs in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ll carry such appearances here at Cryptomundo, from readers and news reports.

A Brookline (New Hamsphire, USA) fisherman is claiming he caught something unexpected at Melendy Pond on Tuesday night (April 22, 2005) — a 5-foot alligator.

Fisherman Says He Caught Alligator, But No Sign Of Animal Found

The man said the alligator lunged at him and tried to bite him before swimming into the pond.

“He was over here on the other side fishing, and he was jumping up and down yelling at me,” resident Tom Hodgson said. He was yelling something about catching something out here.”

Police said the fisherman said he had it on his line, waiting for officers to arrive, but the line snapped and the animal went back into the pond.

Fish and Game Department officials investigated on Wednesday (April 23, 2005). They said they didn’t have a chance to speak to the fisherman directly, but they got the story through the police department.

“I don’t know how close it was to him,” Fish and Game Officer Todd Szewczyk said. “A lot of times when we get reports like this, it’s a snapping turtle, not an alligator. I don’t know how close it was when it was seen. When the police officer arrived from Brookline, the line was broken off, and he
didn’t get a chance to see it.”

Szewczyk checked the pond’s shoreline. He said an alligator could not have survived the winter and could only recently have been dumped in the water.

“The water temperatures are 50 degrees, and if it were here, it would be on shore, and we have not been able to find it yet today,” Szewczyk said.

Fish and Game officials said they can’t say conclusively that there is no alligator, but they couldn’t find one or any evidence of one when they searched.

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.

6 Responses to “Brookline Gator Sighted”

  1. PhotoExpert responds:

    Sounds to me like he hooked a big fish. It could have been a fish he never had seen before. And since he did not land the fish, it is unlikely he did not take note of any fins or if it were an alligator, any legs. Which leads me to suspect that is was most likely a fish.

    Which fish could it be? It could have been a musky, a pike, a very large pickeral or even an alligator gar. All of these fish, to the inexperienced fisherman, look reptilian–especially if you only see the head. And with the exception of the chain pickeral, four to five feet in length is not out of the question. With the water temperatures being in the ’50s, this is when these fish begin to get active and cruise the shorelines in search of food, mostly minnows and other fish.

    Given the description, geographic location, water temperature, etc., I would say this guy hooked a pretty nice fish.

    I only wish he would have told someone what kind of bait he was using and I would be sure to use that on my next fishing expedition for pike.

    I agree with the authorities on this one. It was probably not an alligator but an inexperienced fisherman hooking a fish that he never caught before. And since they do resemble alligators, at least if you see the head of one of these trophies when landing them, most people would identify the fish with an alligator. That is not even stretching the truth. That alligator description is given to many of the fish in this family by inexperienced fisherman.

    One more thing, he must have been a true fisherman because from the excitement of hooking the fish, the fight that probably ensued, and the tendency of most fisherman to embellish the size of their catch, it went from three to four feet in length to about 5 feet in length. At least he got that part of the fish tale correct. LOL

    Seriously though, this alligator was most likely a nice sized fish in the pike family. If he had landed it, he would have his picture taken, a citation awarded by the state, and he could add it to his scrap book as many fisherman do. It is common to for experienced fisherman to catch musky of this size routinely. Except they know it is not an alligator.

    Where was that place again? I might give that fishing hole a try on my next fishing trip.

  2. Rappy responds:

    I was pretty sure that alligators denned in for the winter, even surviving freezing conditions. It isn’t an unlikely time to see them, even for out of place individuals. The mothers here in Louisiana are beginning to get their hatchlings out into the world, and the bulls are enjoying the spring weather. Who’s to say some transplanted or aberrant New Hampshire gator isn’t having the same enjoyment?

  3. cryptidsrus responds:

    One never knows, so I tend to agree with you, RAPPY. I’m sure an experienced fisherman knows when what he has caught is an alligator or not.

  4. Point Radix responds:

    2005…and nobody happened to have a digital camera (or any other kind) on them?

  5. CryptoMafia responds:

    Well, I believe there were fishing in a Pond.
    I think the pickerel is the only fish that can survive in a pond of the aforementioned fish.

    I am from Tennessee, sometimes we have very cold winters.
    I live near Dale Hallow Lake, an extremely large man-made lake.
    For years there have been rumors of catfish that could swallow a VW whole,
    and of alligators all in the lake. They were taken as just that, rumors……until
    someone caught a small sized alligator there a few years ago.

    It was not a very large one of course, still very young and small.
    However, people claimed to have seen them for years, and one was actually caught.

  6. Alligator responds:

    Alligators are native to both the southeastern US and central China. Both areas are subject to freezing. Following are some three facts on gators and cold from Dr. Adam Britton’s excellent crocodilian website

    # American alligators hibernate during the winter in burrows (or “dens”) that they construct, but may occasionally emerge during brief spells of warmer weather.

    # Alligators do not feed during the cooler months. Studies in captivity have shown that alligators generally begin to lose their appetite below 27°C (80°F), and stop feeding altogether below 23°C (73°F). They can easily last the winter on their energy reserves.

    # Adult alligators can survive freezing conditions if they are in water. They submerge their body but keep their nostrils projecting above the water surface, so that when the surface freezes they can still breathe (called the “icing response”). Essentially their upper body becomes trapped in the ice. However, occasionally alligators may be trapped completely below ice, and have been known to survive for over 8 hours without taking a breath, because the freezing water slows their metabolic rate down to very low levels. Yet another example of their amazing ability to survive.

    I would point out that an alligator whose body temp is at 73 degrees or starts getting sluggish. The more the temp drops, the slower it moves and less responsive it is. What is the temperature of the water in New Hampshire? If it’s like Missouri, then its still in the low 50s which would mean that an alligator would be practically torpid. A caiman or a crocodile would be dead within hours. Also note in the article that alligators can survive “limited freezes”. Doesn’t NH have pretty hard winters? Highly, highly unlikely a Gator would make it through the winter up there (Betty White’s pet giant saltwater crocodile notwithstanding). Now, in the middle of July or August it would do fine if someone had just dumped it in the local pond.

    A Northern Snakehead – that might be a possibility. They are turning up everywhere, unfortunately, thanks to the pet industry and Asian food markets. They are pretty toothy and snappy when they get pulled to the surface. I’d be inclined to think it was that before I’d think of a gator. BTW – there is a reason I have this name 🙂

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