Some years ago Lindsay S wrote about the San Clemente sea monster. Now a reader called Greg May writes:
"The late Ken Norris, a former curator of Marineland of the Pacific and one of the world's most respected oceanographers may have posthumously solved the mystery of the San Clemente Sea Monster. In his book, 'The Porpoise Watcher' Norris described the hectic pre-opening days of Marineland in 1954 when they were catching specimens in Catalina Channel off the Southern California coast.
Norris described how he and his staff would observe whales 'spyhopping' - a natural behavior where a whale takes a vertical position in the water with its head out of water to take a look at its' surroundings. Gray whales do this during their annual migration from the Bering Sea to Mexico. When viewed from a certain angle, the spyhopping whale takes on a different appearance.
Norris described how the superstitious fishermen called the spyhopping pilot whale 'monaco' - a Sicilian term meaning a priest wearing black robes. This is what the whales looked like to them when viewed from a certain angle. So the Sea Monster is actually spyhopping whales".