Another Guess On Mystery Fish Photo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 13th, 2007

Mystery Fish Enhanced

Everyone has his or her own idea as to what the Mystery Fish Photo postcard shows. Here’s the latest from an individual who is so confident he knows what it is that his statements are declarative, and even has thrown in some speculation as to the marriage of one of the men pictured!

Ted Roever, once a member of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and currently a part-time Instructor at Columbus State University, emails this into Cryptomundo:

This photo was taken in the Southeastern USA, there is a Sabal palm (cabbage palm) behind the screened shack. Out beyond the shack you can see the cord grass/ needle rush community that is typical of southeastern salt marsh estuaries. The fish would be a slightly desiccated Tiger shark (ironic, since the other mystery fish is a tiger fish) and the size compared to the humans would not be unheard of. If I had to speculate; Parris Island, SC – that Marine’s Asian wife has already cooked the fins, that’s why they are missing. The odd looking head is the result of someone’s handiwork with a knife, you know a shark of that size can kiss its dentition goodbye! Tigers of 14 feet or more were caught regularly along the southeast coast of the US prior to the overcrowded conditions that now exist in the area.

Mystery Fish Enhanced

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.

17 Responses to “Another Guess On Mystery Fish Photo”

  1. Lee Murphy responds:

    Makes sense. I’m impressed 🙂

  2. Quacker1 responds:

    Still no. Tiger sharks don’t have those kinds of markings along the sides of their bodies. No dice.

  3. Alligator responds:

    Don’t be too hasty there Quacker1. It is an old picture and it has the look of hand done “editing” to highlight features of the fish. So the stripes may not be right.

  4. shovethenos responds:

    With all due respect I disagree.

    There’s no gill slits and if you’re claiming it was skinned you should still be able to see the underlying gill structure. Then there are problems with the shape and configuration of the eye and nostril. Tiger sharks have pretty round eyes, those on the mystery animal (I’m pretty convinced that if it’s authentic it’s not a fish) are elongated ovals. Also if the fins were cut off for shark fin soup you should be able to see some scars and stubs, at least where the front side fin facing the camera used to be.

  5. Quacker1 responds:

    Exactly. It has SOME similarities with a tiger shark, such as its flat head and its length, (actually, it seems somewhat short for an adult), and it would of had to have taken some serious editing to remove all of a tiger sharks vertical stripes with one large horizontal line. Also, tiger sharks have larger eyes in relation to their bodies than this thing does. Tiger’s eyes are also further up on their heads than this thing does. Good theory, but still, no. I still say it’s either:

    a.) an undiscovered species

    b.) a discovered species that was fabricated into a fake animal for this specific picture.

  6. Ceroill responds:

    My general tendency on this one is to think it’s B- a fake cobbled from something real.

  7. mantis responds:

    Obviously a man in a tiger shark costume.

  8. skeptik responds:

    Obviously it’s not one, but several otters in a formation giving the impression that it’s an unidentified species.

  9. rackliff responds:

    It’s clearly otters swimming in a row 🙂

  10. Sunny responds:

    Thanks to Mr. Roever — I’m no expert by any stretch, but I’ve traveled extensively through the coastal regions of the Southeastern US, and had guessed that this was taken somewhere in that area. Nice to know that I wasn’t loopy, and that an expert sees the same things I did.

    Not really sure I jump on the Asian wife theory, but it holds as much water as the rest of the ideas floated!

  11. Bob Michaels responds:

    The major unanswered question, How was the post card obtained? Was it found in an antique shop? Has to be a story somewhere on the internet.

  12. Bob Michaels responds:

    My guess is a Shovel nosed Sturgeon, with a little surgery on the specimen.

  13. mystery_man responds:

    I tend to agree with what Ceroill said earlier about this being a possible known species with a little work done on it. A known animal that has been butchered, altered, or made into some sort of gaffe would be hard to recognize for what it truly is and we all know how a decomposed mundane animal can become a fantastic creature. Considering that we have no concrete information on what was done to this creature after it’s capture or any solid facts about this photo, and don’t have the benefit of multiple viewpoints, I think it is important to at least keep in mind that this is a possibility. I am personally hesitant to base too many presumptions on this one old photograph, and believe that a mundane explanation should not be ruled out at this point.

  14. U.T. Raptor responds:
    That’s still what I see when looking at the head. Also, I still think the “eye” and “mouth” look fake, like they were painted on or added to the picture later.

    My opinion? Either a clever prop or a mutilated known animal (probably a shark)…

  15. purrlcat responds:

    Bob Michaels – I obtained this card some time back and can’t remember exactly where, but I am thinking I bought it on Ebay. I know I did not get it in an antique shop. If I had known at the time what a mystery this thing would be, I would have asked questions when I bought it. Oh, well.

  16. Bob Michaels responds:


    Thanks for the info, too bad e-bay didn’t have the specimen. It’s a real puzzle.

  17. fly-chucker responds:

    Had to comment on something. What strikes me as odd is that the creature is laying in what looks to be sand, yet there are no drag marks, or signs of struggle to get the animal into the position that it was photographed in. In other words, wouldn’t the service men’s feet dig into the sand near the head to pull it up from what looks to be the shore to where it is now?

    One other thing is that the spot which appears to be an eye looks fake. If it were a dead sea creature of any kind, the eye would have dried out and sunk into the skull. That eye is “illustrated” as a bulging shiny black sphere. The reflection in the eye seems faked as well.

    One of the most striking errors in the photo is the shadow on the shack that isn’t on the “fish”. Granted, the shadow is from the person who is out of frame who’s hand is visible at the top right, and the shadow would only fall across the tail of the animal. The shadow just doesn’t match.

    The other issue is what at first glance looks to be blood splatter or some sort of injury behind the “mouth line” really looks like a plant upon closer examination. That plant is in front of the critter and is somehow undisturbed by dragging the several hundred pound animal to it’s resting place.

    More to reinforce the “lack of dragging” concept is the shadow line under the animal. It looks like it was placed there or dropped there and the mass of the animal doesn’t match the way it’s laying on the ground.

    Everything about this photo says it’s staged, faked or has been re-touched to look like it currently does.

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