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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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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: A GIANT SEA SNAKE AND SOME OTHER MARINE ODDITIES

Whilst on the way to visit Jon on Tuesday March 27th I visited the Meteorological Office Library in Exeter, U.K after a tough and annoying trail through some back streets and bus stations. But the ordeal was worthwhile. I found the following story from The Marine Observer vol 12 1935 and I also found a log book of Natural History anomalies which I am going to quote from below.

However, first, the “ GIANT WATER SNAKE”.

The following is an extract from the Meteorological Record of S.S Port Bowen, Captain A.H. Brown, Fremantle to Perim, observer Mr R. Bittess 3rd officer.

On March 2nd , 1934, about 12.40pm while on passage from Fremantle to Perim a large water snake was seen from the bridge of this vessel. When first sighted it was about 300 yards away, one point aft side the beam on the starboard side. It was travelling along slowly in a direction approximately south-west or at right angles to the course, vessel steering 318 degrees. The head was held about two feet clear of the water while the rest of the body was lying either along or close underneath the surface of the sea. After a few seconds the head dropped and the whole of the snake was then seen lying along the top of the sea. The body was of a dirty yellowish colour with black markings along the back which were not easily discernable even with the aid of binoculars. The forward motion of the snake through the water was evidently supplied by a continuous wriggling movement from the head to the tail, as no fins of any shape or form were visible. Its speed was estimated to be about 2 knots, as the time taken from when it was first sighted to the position where it disappeared just clear of the vessels wake, was approximately four minutes. The length of the creature was estimated by observers to be about fifty feet, with a diameter of about two feet. The middle of the body was apparently of greater girth than the head or tail. After apparently diving on approaching the vessel`s wake nothing further was seen of it, although a good lookout was kept in case it appeared again. Weather fine and clear with passing clouds. Visibility excellent. Slight sea and S.S.E. swell. Nearest land Danger Island . Chagos Arch., 088 degrees , distant 170 miles. Position of vessel, Latitude 6 degrees 35` S ., Longitude 68 degrees 18` E.[Arabian Sea-R]

I also found 2 or 3 handwritten log books of anomalous natural history phenomenon observed by mariners over about 100 years, some of the observations are reproduced below:

August 23rd 1938: Fish, 50-100 ft long.
c.November 23rd 1990 Log 49105 Ship Liverpool Bay c 37 24 N 10 36 E [just off the coast of N.Tunisia-R] “Mermaid”.
February 9th 1994 Log 9430: Sea Serpent
March 21st 1998 Log 10182: Fish “like a ray. Never saw fish like it.”
August 16th 1998: Sea Serpent

Richard

FOR SALE: It Happened To Me (Fortean Times) vols 1-4 £25 Apply to flyingsnakepress@hotmail.co.uk

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

What you have here is another one of those reports about what Heuvelmans called the Yellow-Belly but did not maintain as a viable category. One of the things he said was that it might be a kind of a large shak like an unusual whale shark, and that just might fit the description too

Best Wishes, Dale D.