As you may have gathered by the past posts, currently I am under-taking the laborious process of transforming my old Cryptozoology web-page into blog form. This has required a great deal of re-researching, and whilst on a certain subject, I happened to receive a startling communication. Rather than give the details immediately as a more vulgar web-page would, I'll give the current article in a form leading to the discovery. This will make it all the more shocking to you, and hopefully illustrate that this Cryptozoology is not in vain as some have predicted!
Our first piece of datum comes from the coast of Thula, Iceland in the year of 1674. The account, being related in the obscure 1923 booklet Sea-Serpentes and Other Exquisite Corpses by F. H. Pabodie, tells of the capture of a strange creature in a trawl. The appearance of the still-living creature was likely to cause panic amongst the super-stitious townspeople, so it was carted under-blanked to a nearby barn. A local scientist, Yeremi Haarde, examined the specimen under close scrutiny. Here is a sample of his written documentation:
The heade was in the maner of a Cat, but with-out Eares. Teith were num-brous, smalle, and quite Sharpe. The Bodie was the sise of a comon-Dog, but more of the Forme of a sea-Oter. In-lieu of Limbes were Flap-pers, the sise of a hande but with twain the number of fingars. Much in the mannar of an Armor-dilla, the Bodie was cover'd with rouf intar-locking armorous Plates and Skaeles. The taile was in the Forme of a sea-Carpe but turn'ed the opposite mannar...
There was also a rough little sketch that went along with this description, but unfortunately I do not happen to be in possession of a scanner and/or camera at the moment. As such, I will attempt to reproduce the drawing to the best of my abilities.
In the spring of 1795, 50 miles off the coast of Puerto Duttono, Argentina a remarkable sighting occured. On a science vessel called the Alert, biologists including A. Alborg, E. Haeckel, T. H. Huxley and Dr. W. D. Duy observed, under close quarters, a remarkable animal. This account was preserved in the Heuvelmans archives from a London Epitaph article from October 28, 1765. It was seen by every passenger on board for half an hour at a distance of half a mile to only a few dozen meters. Conditions were cloudy, although the animal could be keenly observed. One Sir Thomas P. Ward, having observed the animal through a pair of field spectacles. As such, he was able to give the most detailed account. Here is a portion of his observations:
The animal at first appeared to be a member of the Reptile clan, perhaps the mighty Dinosauruses of Owen, but in other regards appeared to be a Mammal. The head was a simple oval in shape, about the size of a gasket switch, and had a horribly stupid expression upon it. The cow-eyes stared in a dull manner towards the ship, and brown mucous emanated from the hideous prognathous lips. The head was perched awkwardly upon a long neck like that of the local ostrich-rhea. After a half-hour of paying little attention to the ship and periodically dipping down to pick up foolish cuttle-fish, the hitherto unseen body raised up, in preparation of a dive. The coloration was as black as the plumage of a common-Raven with a rugged texture, as opposed to the smooth neck. At this point the animal gave an impression of an enourmous island-tortoise. As the fell beast dived down, it briefly and lowly erected a dorsal fin like that of a Perch, giving the hint of being able to arise it much further...
There are of course many more similar sightings to these two sightings. These merely represented case studies of outstanding and un-deniable credibility.
It is quite unfortunate that sightings have become increasingly infrequent compared to those of the past, but that does not mean that their credibility has been diminished. They are considerably better covered than the historical data and do not need to be covered here in considerable detail. One familiar case involved an animal of this type seen after the destruction of the U-571 by Commander Fields of the British destroyer Emma. There was an extremely detailed and close sighting in the Delaware River near the town of Sandyston, New Jersey by a John Westfall and his girlfriend Marge Kool as recently as 2005. There have been similar, though unfortunately more vague, sightings in locations as diverse as Loch Lochy, Four Lakes Village Quarry, the St. Lawrence Seaway, Brickyard Pond, Lake Baikal and others. Captures of juveniles similar to the Thule specimen have been reported in '68 by W. Hagelund and in '91 by Phyllis Harsh in the San Juan Islands. You can read these sightings in Heuvelmans's In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, and Burns's comparable tome Leviathans. It is unfortunate that more accounts have not made their way online, and perhaps I will document these and earlier reports in future blogs.
Almost equally as fascinating as the story I am about to relate is an currently unpublished journal article by Whitton, Eliot, Nash, et al. It is a recent (2004) discovery from Uhlanga, South Africa in the Lopingian period. Not much can be related before publication, but it is known to be a highly derived aquatic basal Dinocephalian Therapsids. Multiple complete individuals with a distinct larval stage have been documented. The authors mention reports of isolated specimens from as late as the Oligocene. If true, it could provide a ghost lineage that could just as easily extend into the modern day.
It has not been reported to Reuters or AP yet, but a carcass of this species has recently been discovered. It was believed to have washed up some time during the night of March 30, 2007 on the Barrington Town Beach in Barrington, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It was discovered by local researchers Kait MacCorbmaic and Tracy Cuccarulloo on the morning of the 31st. They took very detailed measurements and drawings and preliminarily confirmed the existence of a new species and extreme similarity to the classification matricies established by previous authorities (Champane, Kolman and Hoey, Heuvelmans, Dambriadopra, Burns). It was sent to URI under the care of Dr. Yeremir Halonen who further confirmed the details and began an autopsy.
While preliminary in nature, the autopsy revealed a great deal about this creature. Gross skeletal anatomy confirmed a relict Dinocephalian offshoot with extreme derivations. The spinous processes in the neck allow for great vertical flexibility with enormous ligands supporting the vertical posture (presumably the natural position) of the 8 foot (2.5 m) neck. The neck has oddly thick ribs (neck ribs being odd anyways) for unknown reasons, but perhaps conspecific infighting. It appears that the neck can "fold" in a humped position when not in use to create a more streamlined profile. There is a long barbed tongue present with muscular attachments to grossly enlarged collar bones at the base of the neck. The lips are extremely prognathous and probably used for securing food items. The head is very weakly muscled with most of the skull bones having fused. Vestigial teeth and a sagittal crest suggest juveniles with a far more powerful bite and different feeding habit.
The body is deep and overall torpedo shaped, measuring 15 feet (4.5 m) in length. The ribs exhibit pachystosis and there is a single large lung, perhaps indicating a more elongated phase. Another notable feature is the extremely long small interesting, perhaps measuring over 100 meters. The rest of the internal anatomy has yet to be analyzed, but initial investigations show it to be quite distinct from known reptiles, archosaur, or mammals. There appear to be some quill-like hairs present on the body as well as shorter oily hairs, likely more common on juveniles. This and the internal anatomy seem to indicate a metabolism in between what would be considered endothermic and exothermic. Sub-cutaneous armor is present on this specimen, and it too would likely be considered more common in juveniles, which would be more vulnerable to predators. The erectile supports for the sail-like fin are made out armor instead of bone, representing a rather unique condition. The outstretched tail measures 23 feet (7 m) in length and also has thick ribs, perhaps for combat. Like the neck, it too appears able to "fold" in order to make the animal more streamlined. The bilobate tail is heavily armored and possesses a "teslon" and seems to be able to produce sound.
Some details on the anatomy are likely to change, and pictures will be up soon. You will hear about this on your local news sometime next week, but likely in a warped and/or hyped way. Remember, you heard it hear first on this blog! Finally good for something. Look for numerous followup posts on this subject, this is one of the most remarkable finds, well, ever. So it looks like Cryptozoologists finally got something right. I guess this does change things for the blog, looks like I've got a lot of re-writing to do!