A holidaymaker is appealing for a middle-aged couple to come forward to verify his story about “something like the Loch Ness Monster” which he claims to have seen at Chapel St Leonards [near Skegness] .Mr George Ashton of Miles Road Sheffield was strolling near the beach recently with his wife, May, when they were ‘mystified’ by the sight less than 100 yards offshore. “It had a head like a serpent and six or seven pointed humps trailing behind”, he said. Mr Ashton, a 49 year old shot-blaster at Sheffield casting works, has a caravan at the seaside village just north of Skegness. He also has a motor boat and said “When I have been out at sea I have seen seals and sea snakes swimming about and what I saw was neither of these. “At first I thought it was a log but it was travelling at about 8 miles per hour and going parallel with the shore. We watched it for some time coming from the direction of Chapel Point until it disappeared out of sight towards Ingoldmells. “I just didn’t believe in these things and tried to convince myself it was a flight of birds just above the water. But it was leaving a wake in the water. I even thought of a miniature submarine but after watching it for some time I knew it couldn’t be. “There was no noise, it just skimmed through the water.” About a 100 yards from them was a middle-aged couple who were also looking out to sea. “They disappeared onto a caravan site nearby”. said Mr Ashton.
“There was no one else about and I want them to prove to my friends that I’m not joking. I have always been the first to laugh at the Loch Ness Monster and such things as flying saucers – things that cannot be explained – but not anymore. “I will swear on oath about what I saw”. Said Mrs Ashton, “It really was an incredible sight and a complete mystery”. Mr Jack Hawkes, licensee of the Smugglers Inn at Chapel St Leonards, just opposite the site where Mr Ashton keeps his caravan, said “He seem to be the only person to have seen it, but the way he described his experience convinced me he saw something!”. Said a Coastguard official, “I haven’t seen any monsters. We get sharks sometime, but not of this description”.
Source: Skegness Standard 19th October 1966
This was not the first time something had been sighted off the coast in that area:
- ON 7th August 1960 5 witnesses saw a fast-moving creature offshore in the sea described as black, long and whale-like.
- On August 14th 1960 Mr Len Booth reported that he saw a strange whale-like creature, also witnessed by Mr John Dutton. This was in the same area
- The following day, August 15th, Mrs Joan Betts and Rosina Stubbs saw a long black thing, dark and curved, about 800 yards (265 metres) offshore, going fast through the sea.
- Then earlier in 1966 (exact date unknown) Mr John Hayes saw a huge dark shape 500 yards (165 metres) from shore moving at about 20 mph .
(More details of these sightings can be found in Sea Serpents and Lake monsters of the British Isles by Paul Harrison, 2001, Robert Hale ltd, London).
So what was it? Well, some of the sightings could have been a whale or a basking shark but the sighting in the newspaper article was different. Mr Ashton said he knew what seals etc. looked like and it was nothing he had seen before. Any suggestions as to what he saw?