Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sea Monster Roams Waters Near RMS Titanic Wreck

This curious article was published in the The Times Dispatch in Richmond, Va. on October 19, 1913:

Finds Big Sea Monster at Titanic Wreck Scene

Second Officer of the Corinthian Sees Strange Water Giraffe with Neck Twenty Feet Long on His Last Trip from London to Montreal


London. Oct. 18. - Surely it would have been a mistake for tho "silly" season to pass without its sea serpent. Down at the Surrey Docks just now is a man who has not only seen a fearful and wonderful marine monster, but has even sketched it from life.

It is not exactly the sea serpent of hoary tradition, but a sort of sea giraffe - an extraordinary looking amphibious animal which is puzzling the zoologists who have heard of it and seen the drawing.

Some idea of this weird freak of nature may be gathered from this first hand description of it: "Hias bonny blue eyes: cries like a baby; neck twenty feet long: body fifty feet; big head with long ears and snout: three horned fins adorn its bony head; two big flapping fins - skin like a seal; brownish yellow in color, with pretty dark spots."

A plain, commonsense seaman, who tells his story bluntly, without any frills or trimmings, Second Officer G. Bachelor, of the Allan line steamship Corinthian, describing his strange adventure with this sea giraffe, said: "We were bound from London to Montreal, and it was my turn on watch on the bridge in the early morning of August 30. It was a cold morning and the gray dawn was just breaking when, as I was keeping my eye straight ahead on our course, I picked up a queer looking object about a mile ahead. It disappeared and as quickly it shot up again no more than two hundred feet away from the ship.

"I saw it distinctly rise out of the water. First there was a big head, with long ears and long snout, and bulging blue eves that were mild and liquid. Then there was a neck - no end of a neck - and it swayed with the wash of the waves. What it was I couldn't guess for in twenty yours of seagoing, including trips in tropical waters. I've never seen anything like this sea giraffe that was staring right at the Corinthian.

"As the thing seemed to eye me it lashed the water with its big front fins. Then it suddenly dived and disappeared, at the same time giving an odd little wail like a baby's cry. You wouldn't think such a huge animal could have had such a small voice.

"As soon as I went off duty I went below and made a sketch of the monster in india ink. When the Corinthian reached Montreal my sketch was shown to Professor F. E. Lloyd, of McGill University, an expert in zoology. The professor said that whatever it was, it wasn't a serpent, but a sea mammal. It was certainly built on high speed lines, and its fin-like protuberance was well adapted for running things up.

"I located this sea giraffe in latitude 47 deg. 51 min. north, longitude 48 deg. 32 min. west, off the Grand Banks, and not many miles distant from the spot where the Titanic went down. I am inclined to think myself that the wreck of the Titanic has had something to do with the presence of this strange creature in water where nothing of the kind has ever been noticed before. Is it making food of the dead bodies below?"

Mr. Bachelor made the gruesome suggestion in all seriousness. He was greatly impressed with the absolute accuracy of his observations.

Mr. Bachelor, it may be added, is a canny Scot, and his view is that there may still be more survivors of an almost extinct race of sea beasts. Anyway, zoologists are not unacquainted with an "amphibious or aquatic reptile" called the sauropterygia, which curiously resembles the description of what Mr. Bachelor saw. This sea monster had a small head and an exceptionally long neck, but it is generally stated to have been extinct for ages. - The Times Dispatch - (Richmond, Va.) - October 19, 1913

NOTE: This sighting occurred on August 30, 1913...1 year and 4 months after the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Sauropterygia marine reptile is sometimes mentioned as the possible identification of the Loch Ness Monster...though it supposedly went extinct at the end of the Mesozoic period. On another note, I seriously doubt that any of the surviving family of the doomed ocean liner's passengers wanted to read about their loved ones being consumed by a 'sea giraffe.' Lon

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