Pinky Expedition: St. Johns River, Part 2

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 12th, 2008

My search for Pinky continues. But I am becoming convinced from my exploration of the central St. Johns River area that Pinky reports are a probable event of the recent past, and mostly a foggy memory, at best. No current knowledge of these animals or cryptids is contemporarily apparent.

The draft of the river in this area of central Florida is not supportive of ocean life such as dolphins, and other than the manatees that need to find warm springs in the cold season, it seems hard to imagine marine Sea Serpents or alleged living dinosaurs visiting “American’s Nile.”

Reports of bipedal dinosaurs are intriguing, but the sightings from 1950s-1970s feel more and more out-of-character for the area. Still, I am left with the question, why living dinosaur reports here? Why the witness descriptions, one of which compared the animal with a “dragon”?

I have been able to observe, as noted previously, close-up encounters (less than two feet away) with manatees, and one young specimen of raccoon. (By the way, one inquiry of mine regarding the other cryptid hereabouts, the Skunk Ape, was greeted with, “You can find out about them on the Internet.” LOL.)

Long-nose gar are all around too, as well as the “alligator buffets” lining the tree trunks out into the water (the local name for a group of turtles sunning themselves).

Alligators are very visible early in the day, and I’ve seen males and females, with the latter sometimes with a dozen 2007 yearlings. Also, the theory that females chase off their young from previous years is incorrect based on observations of two separate female alligators and their “families.” Both still were guarding hatchlings from 2007, 2006, and 2005. Reptile textbooks have to be revised regarding that common myth.

I saw one great blue heron killing and struggling with a large black snake, although it was difficult to identify what snake species it was, due to the backlighting. One other big snake seen near the boat, with broad red bands that were a little smaller than the areas of black on the body will have to wait for me to look at my snake field guides upon my return to Maine. I heard it called a “broad-banded snake” but that was too general a name for me to link it to a known species.

Birds that I have seen and identified (with second/third/fourth confirmations from my human and field guides) include brown pelican, anhinga, American bittern, great blue heron, great (or common) egret, snowy egret, little blue heron, turkey, tricolored heron (formerly called the Louisiana heron), green heron, yellow-crowned heron, limpkin, pileated woodpecker (no sightings of ivory-billed woodpecker), downy woodpecker, white ibis, wood stock, wood duck, black vulture, turkey vulture, osprey, red-tailed hawk, red-shoulder hawk, American coot, purple gallinule, common moorhen, and boat-tailed grackle. I was lucky enough to also see my first sandhill cranes in the wild (often said to be the source of the Mothman reports) but they have not been at the St. Johns River, but seen feeding along canals and smaller waterways.

I guess all my visuals of dinosaurs on this journey will have to be recalled as ones of the feathered kind.

Still, this quest is enlightening.

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 “Pinky Expedition: St. Johns River, Part 2”

  1. kittenz responds:

    “I guess all my visuals of dinosaurs on this journey will have to be recalled as ones of the feathered kind.”

    OH _ That reminds me!

    Tiny feathers, dating from the Mesozoic, have been found in amber! The feathers have rather primitive features, and they might actually be feathers from a dinosaur!

    This is the link:

  2. mystery_man responds:

    I think from everything I’ve read here, that your quest was a major success, if not in its original purpose of finding out what Pinky could be. It seems like there was a lot of knowledge to be gained by making your way up this river where I will probably never have the opportunity to go, and I thoroughly enjoy reading your insights on the matter. It just shows what I’ve always suspected, that one can learn new things along the roads of the search towards discovery regardless of whether they ever reach their destination.

  3. Hollyhcks3 responds:

    Really enjoying the notes from Florida though as the snow falls here again I’m choking with envy- wild sandhill cranes, too! Have you heard any comments about possible climate change in the past 50 years in that area of Florida? I don’t know if we can blame global warming for everything, but the Everglades have been steadily drained for most or all of that time and as I understand it, their watershed area extends past Orlando. Another possibility is loss of nesting habitat as first orange groves, then gated communties took over the landscape- and Pinky, whatever it is or was, moved on.

  4. vance responds:

    The snake you found has been called simply the “Banded Water snake” by many here. For Skunk ape, go from the River where I believe you are about 3 miles east, make a left on an obscure road called “Satellite Blvd” and see if you can spot some locals to question about such things – with out being shot. There are a couple of estuaries hidden back there that go for miles and miles. If you are there for this weekend, I bet you find a few willing guides to take ya’ back there to find sign.


  5. sschaper responds:

    Sandhill Cranes and Blue Herons in Florida! Who woulda thunk it?!

    In recent years, they seem to be expanding out from Nebraska, but I was clueless that they were covering that much territory. Wouldn’t that be a different migratory path than you’d expect from Nebraska?

  6. Maine Crypto responds:

    Loren, it seems like you are getting lots of observations done! Do the Great Blue Herons remind you of home? Thats probably all the reminder you want right now as it is SNOWING! and has been all day.
    Best of luck to you on the rest of your expedition, we can’t wait to hear more.

  7. Saint Vitus responds:

    The banded snake you mentioned was most likely a Southern Banded Water Snake, (Nerodia fasciata), a species i am very familiar with. The ones in that area belong to the Florida subspecies, not the broad-banded subspecies which is found in Louisiana and Mississippi. You also mentioned the ivory-bill-(or the abscense of them)-I do believe these exist in Florida, but probably only in the Panhandle, in the Apalachicola River and Choctawhatchee areas. Still, any Pileated that you see in an old growth cypress stand might be worth a second look. Good luck on your Pinky search, and even if you don’t find him, at least you got to see Sandhill Cranes and Limpkins.

  8. cryptidsrus responds:

    I also am green with envy, Loren!!!

    Keep posting!!!

    Sand Hill Cranes and Blue Herons in Florida IS strange.

    What is going on here?

    Good thing nevertheless.

  9. kingofaquaria responds:

    I grew up in Florida. When I was in high school – it was 1974 – a friend of mine told me about the time he and his family were boating on the St. John’s River and they saw something quite strange. He described a long neck that came out of the water, looked around, then submerged. I guffawed at his story. Only recently did I become interested in cryptozoology and began reading about ‘Pinky’. Now, I have seen YouTube videos about river monsters in Florida and they are manatees. The story that really intrigues me, however, is the one about the creature actually walking up on shore to graze. Marineland of Florida used to have a captive hippopotamus. If that thing had gotten loose it would be at home in Florida.

  10. kingofaquaria responds:

    YouTube and MonsterQuest have posted numerous videos of Florida river monsters and they are nothing more than manatees. During the winter months in Florida, large numbers of manatees congregate at springs i.e. Blue Springs to take advantage of the 72 degree water since manatees are succeptible to cold water. They also congregate at power stations to take advantage of the warm-water discharge. Many a boater and fisherman have come upon ‘sea cow orgies’ at these locations where bull manatees are pleasuring themselves with their harems. The pink, erect penis of a male manatee can be three feet long and is often visible when these mammals barrel-roll at the surface while mating. Could this be the cause of the ‘Pinky’ myth?

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