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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The following news item is found on various sites on the internet, mostly deriving from the site Cryptomundo. It is a newspaper clipping originally submitted by Jerome Clark.

Kingston Daily Freeman
Kingston, New York

June 17, 1922


It Has an Irish Name and Fishermen Insist That Sight of It Is Bad Luck.

This being the time for the annual crop of sea-serpents the public here is being regaled with a new one of Irish nationality.

Its Irish name is “Gorramooloch.” It cannot only swim and lash its tail in orthodox sea-serpent manner, but reports from the west coast of Ireland, where it is alleged to have been seen frequently, credit it with the power of flight.

According to inhabitants of the wilder parts of the coast of Connemara, Mayo and Donegal, the “Gorramooloch” frequently turns up for exhibition stunts, principally at night. It is described as being shaped like a porpoise, 100 feet long, and rushing through the water with the speed of an express train. Occasionally it would leap out of and forward over the water a distance to its own length. When it fell back into the sea again the splash was said to sound like the crack of a three-inch gun.

The fact that these creatures are not seen more often is because, it is explained, they appear principally at night. It is then that they go a-hunting after the gannet, a sort of seagull. When they see one flying near the surface of the ocean, they leap out of the water 40 or 50 feet and gliding, by the aid of their large wing-like fins, guided by their vertically set tail, bring down the bird.

Fishermen, curiously enough, consider the appearance of the “Gorramooloch” to be a sign of bad luck, though it has not yet been reported to be cannibalistic. But there is another brand of sea serpent which they fear more as a sign of ill omen. This one is yclept the “Bo-dree-more.” It is said to be a large whale-like animal, so large and powerful that it chases whales for sport. According to local superstition, the sight of a “Bo-dree-more” means certain ill luck for the men and the craft who spot it.

The identity of the Goramooloch is almost transparently obvious because it is a fairly good description of a humpback whale leaping fully out of the water, as they sometimes do. The size is only somewhat exaggerated since the humpback whale only grows to about 60 feet long; but still a guess of a hundred feet is less that double the actual length and double the actual length in a report of an "Unknown animal" is almost standard. The statement about their leaping after gannets would basically be only a bad guess as to what is going on: similarly the allegation of a vertically-set tail (which is not in the original reports but in the "Explanation" part) would only be another bad guess.

As to the "Bodreemore" (Alternate spelling) I would like to know more because this sounds exactly like the Untersee Crocodile as reported by the German U-boat captains in World War 1.


drshoop said...

The "Bodreemore" description sounds a lot like an Orca or Killer Whale as it were.

Dale Drinnon said...

Markus Hemmler did write to me subsequently that he had found another newspaper article about the Gorramooloch, worded slightly differently.

I told him no thanks, I had been there, done that, but now I was really more interested in the "Bodreemore"-
That latter name might possibly be a misspelling for the Gaelic meaning "The great Sea Dragon", but I cannot be sure of that.