Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Another look at the classic Florida monster attack

When I wrote the Florida River Monster blog I mentioned this attack and I thought it may be an urban myth.

Always ready to be proved wrong, I investigated further and in Tim Dinsdale's book The Leviathans" (1976 ed Futura London Paperback), I found the following, which I have scanned in (attached). You should be able to click on it and make it bigger to read comfortably.

It is a letter Tim Dinsdale received from the surviving diver, which tells the story of what happened. What they encountered could
have been a large seal of some kind; possibly a leopard seal.

Leopard seals are aggressive and one pulled a young researcher under the ice a few years ago and she perished. What it would have been doing in that area I have no idea. Some will say the survivor was hallucinating or traumatised because of the loss of his friends and so made the story up, not consciously but as an explanation to ease his pain. I don't know; all I can say is read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions. If it is true, it is a frightening episode.


Dale Drinnon said...

If we are considering JUST the head shape, the resemblance of the Florida monster's to a leopard seal's head is actually quite close. I can do you a paste-up comparison if you like.

I had always considered the report problematical because the witness' drawing doesn't make sense either as a Plesiosaur or as a Giant eel for many purely anatomical considerations.

And yes f course I have a copy of the book, too. I got it as soon as the American edition showed up at the bookstores.

Tabitca said...

That would be good for everyone to see Dale. thank you.My first thought when I saw the drawing was Leopard seal and they do look like dinosaurs in the water.

Richard Freeman said...

Edward Brian McLeary, the only boy to survive the attack, said the head reminded him of a turtle but longer. It seems to me he was describing a reptiles of sorts. This need not be a long necked animal, it could just as easily be an elongate, serpentine beast, with it's front portion held out of the water.