More Sea Serpents

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 6th, 2006

SeaSerpentWoodcut

The other day I mentioned the modern void of Cassie reports here. I also recommended people revisit “All Things Maine” blogger Christopher Dunham good overview of “The Sea Serpents of Mount Desert Island.”

Today, Chris posted this:

More Sea Serpents of Maine

Loren Coleman was kind enough to mention again my post from a year ago on the Sea Serpents of Mount Desert Island. This inspired me to dig up some serpent testimonials of later date, from locations ranging from Biddeford to Vinalhaven and Rockland.

Chris then shares the text of Sea Serpent articles from:

Daily Kennebec Journal, May 26, 1875
Daily Kennebec Journal, Oct. 11, 1879
Daily Kennebec Journal, June 4, 1896
Daily Kennebec Journal, Sept. 16, 1904

His final one contains specific descriptions of a beached “Sea Serpent.” Here’s Chris’ introduction, followed by the text of the story:

Last comes this report of a sea serpent washed ashore near Old Orchard “where thousands are viewing it.”

To be sure it is dead, but far better a real sea serpent dead on the shore than the unverified yarn of a live one out at sea. It came ashore with the tide near Old Orchard and truly it is a monster such as the oldest sea dog never saw before. If it isn’t the sea serpent it is a nearer approach to it than anything the human gaze has ever been permitted to inspect at close range. It came in on the night tide. The monster has long been dead. Of the body there is only a pulp like form enclosed in a grayish colored hide, covered with long hair as big as grass blades. The flesh had been washed away by the action of the sea until the great skull was bare and the monster vertebrae uncovered so that some of them could be removed. The tail is missing, broken short off, and how long this part of the body was can only be speculated upon. To conceive of anything like symmetry of form this tail must have been from 25 to 30 feet long. Minus the tail it measured 42 feet. The big skull terminated in beak shaped jaws which were of flesh. These two jaw bones measure nine feet. Between the jaws was a rough-shaped bone of about the same length which formed a case for the tongue. The animal, when in good condition, must have been of serpentine shape and the body at the deepest point is not over five feet in diameter. Supply the tail to match the body, terminating at the one end in the long snout and you would have a serpent shaped monster from about 70 to 80 feet long with a circumference in the biggest part of not over 12 or 15 feet. Imagine this monster with its head and long beak erect and lashing the sea with its tail and you reproduce the appearance of the fabled sea serpent. the sea has cast up a good many curiosities along the beach at Old Orchard and along the coast of Maine, but never anything like this. [Daily Kennebec Journal, June 12, 1905]

For more information on Sea Serpents, please see The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep.

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.


9 Responses to “More Sea Serpents”

  1. Maohk Kiaayo responds:

    It seems to me that there are way too many sea serpents. Everyone that has a story describes something different. “Heck Yeah I saw a sea serpent! We’ll it looked like it had a 1965 pink corvette growing out of the top of its middle finger it also looked like it was covered in purple shag carpet that was growing tulips.” How many different sea serpents are there? How many could there really be? Do you think that they would all look some what similar? I dunno.

  2. OKCurious responds:

    It all boils down to the principle of perception for the witness, chronicler, etc. We can all see the same thing at the same time, but our descriptions of it will vary enough that it could seem like we’re all describing a different creature. Our eyes will fool us.

  3. mystery_man responds:

    Well trained scientists and field biologists can make pretty accurate descriptions and I would think that seasoned sailors would be able to tell what they are looking at most of the time. I don’t think we can just discount out of hand human perception and our ability to observe things accurately. However, I do feel that under different circumnstances, the eyes will play tricks from time to time and the human mind has the unfortunate habit of embellishing, especially when emotions are running high. When looking at eyewitness sightings, I feel it is important not to be too quick to embrace nor discount what they claim, but rather carefully examine their emotional state, sighting conditions, etc.

  4. mystery_man responds:

    Also, the basic layman will often jump to conclusions when recounting something they saw that they could not identify especially if they don’t know much about different types of wildlife. Sometimes who saw it and their experience in these things is as important as what they say they saw.

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    And the fact is we know less about the ocean than we do the moon. There are millions of square miles with no boundaries where big things can swim and live without ever coming into contact with people.

    New species are discovered in the oceans every year—last year they discovered a 20+ foot long squid hanging out near oil rigs.

    I have also read that we cover less square miles on the oceans these days because of shipping lanes so that boats, ships, etc are not seeing as much of the oceans these days as in earlier times when people actually explored the oceans. So while sailors and seagoers are often the target of “oh he was just seeing a ___ (insert your favorite fish here)” I do not believe we have discovered even close to everything creeping in the depths of the ocean, and there are some big critters out there whether they are sitting in a museum yet or not.

    Stepping down off the soap box now. Thank you and good niight.

  6. alanborky responds:

    Maohk Kiaayo’s point is particularly well covered by Rumi’s Sufic parable, The Elephant In The Dark, where the various blind, or blinded, (by the dark), wise men each seize upon a particular aspect of the elephant’s anatomy – its trunk, a leg, an ear, the tail, a tusk, the epidermis, etc., and interpret the nature of the beast solely in terms of that aspect, all the time emphatically deriding the idiocy of the opinions of the other wise men.

    Something which I can verify can in fact occur in real life, having witnessed while at university a variety of beetle-o-philes (to fliply coin a phrase) extolling the virtues of a glass case full of these huge hideous horrendously asthmatically wheezing African beetles of some kind, each of the ‘-philes’ so wildly rhapsodic about their favourite piece of beetle anatomy, (the likes of the mandibles, the carapace, the knee joints, or some other such bollocks) that at the time I felt obliged to check they all had their hands out in the open.

  7. Mnynames responds:

    The rationalist in me wants to say that this thing was probably a badly-decomposed Zyphiid (Beaked Whale), but I do find the size thing a bit troubling. One could just as easily say that it must be a Basilosaurus, which would account for the size, but then I would expect some mention of the teeth. Pity nobody took a picture, then at least we’d have some sort of grainy, black & white image to pore over.

  8. crypto_randz responds:

    It might even be a mosaurus or a basilosaurus the way that it is described it sure is a huge sea serpent. There is a possibility these serpents are still out there but out of human contact.

  9. CryptoInformant responds:

    It really could be anything in that size range. Mosasaurs did(do) have long, narrow jaws, and the largest exceeded 60 feet. But, like most of the Squamata, they probably had forked tongues. The missing tail section really screws up identification.




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