Friday, 8 November 2019
The bizarre case of the St. Johns River monster
The bizarre case of the St. Johns River monster
Loch ness has Nessie, Lake Okanagan has Ogopogo, and then there is champ of Lake Champlain. These cryptid water dwellers have for many years sparked heated debates between believers and non-believers. Fortunes have been spent searching for the animals, those who go looking hoping that a world changing discovery will bring them fame and fortune.
With the years of research that has occurred and a lack of any definitive proof found maybe we should turn to some of the lesser known lake cryptids to find answers.
One such beast described as a lumbering, grey skinned creature “like a dinosaur” seen in the lake Monroe and the adjoining St. Johns River near Jacksonville in the northeast U.S.
So what has been seen who has seen it and what answer could it give us
Let’s start the story in May of 1975, near Jacksonville Florida, a small boat that was carrying five people down the St. Johns River came upon an unknown animal a cryptid creature that left the people in the boat confused.
What these people saw was described as being like a dragon, having a long neck which it raised up out of the water this allowing a clear look at the animals head. Just as quickly as the cryptid appeared it then disappeared. The five witnesses clearly saw the creature from a distance of around 20ft away and they were left shocked by what they had spotted, however this was not the first sighting of the creature.
There have been reports of a strange beast living in the river going as far back as the 1950’s, since then the St. Johns River Monster has been giving locals, fisherman and tourists a surprise by periodically popping up and giving people something to talk about.
Since the reports of sightings through the 50s, and well into the 1960s, the strange lake monster chose to show itself more and more. A surge in sightings of the river monster during the 60s raised public concerns that a dangerous animal maybe living in the waters of St John.
One sighting that had locals on edge was when a man at the riverside saw a large lumbering, grey skinned creature “like a dinosaur” in some reeds and mud, claiming that it had seemed to be feeding on the vegetation there.
The man went onto to say how the massive monster went crashing back through the foliage and back into the river, it left a path of broken and crushed plants and shrubs behind it.
This sighting was then flowed by a local woman named Mary Lou Richardson who spotted the beast.
The woman was with her father bow hunting when they saw a bizarre looking animal swimming along they said that it had a large flat reptilian-looking head at the end of a longish neck.
They said that the animal resembled a dinosaur.
The day these people saw the river monster was exceptional as a further four witnesses reported seeing a strange animal swimming in the river, all gave matching description for a dragon like creature.
They must have been witnessing the same animal or possibly there is more than one, which would make sense any animal has to be part of a breeding population no matter how mysterious and unknown it is.
The area between Astor Park and Lake Monroe has become a good location to try and spot the cryptids.
A physical interaction took place at this spot when two fishermen out on the St. Johns River were sitting in their boat when the water began to froth and ripple a great bubbling rising up from water beneath the boat. Suddenly, the bubbles changed into force which nearly flipped the men’s boat.
Shocked and scared the fishermen quickly made their way towards the shore.
So what is it that is causing all these strange events?
Witnesses gave an incredibly detailed description of what was seen, saying:
We saw it had a neck about 3 feet long. It had two little horns on top of the head like a snail. It was about three or four feet out of the water and about the color – a pinkish color – like boiled shrimp. It had a real ugly looking face on it. It had snail like horns, and it had this little jagged thing going down its back. The head turned on it. It just turned and looked around at us. Then it came closer. It was checking us out. It was really curious what we were and it wasn’t scared of us! The horrible thing disappeared, then came back up about 20 feet away. It was so ugly-looking, like pictures you see of dragons. It had a large head with horns like a snail, fins along the back of its long neck and a mouth that turned down at the corners.
We can tell that these people saw the same creature as the descriptions all mention the same details of the creature’s appearance.
other witnesses mentioned a long neck, visible gills on the creature, which were covered by hanging flaps of skin, as well as a large, downturned mouth and black, slanted eyes. This particular creature was dubbed “Pinky,” and made a splash in the media at the time. That same year, on December 15, 1975, two witnesses named Bobby Holt and Larry Atkinson were out for a relaxing day of fishing at the Fuller Warren Bridge when they had an encounter which left them utterly baffled, describing the creature they saw as having humps and being around 20 feet in length. The monster would be described thusly:
I’ve been fishing out there a lot of years and I’ve never seen anything like it. It was black and shiny and slippery-looking. This was one particular object and it wasn’t a sea cow because they’re bulky and usually stay closer to shore. The thing I saw was out in the middle of the channel under the bridge and as it swam, its humps came completely out of the water. It looked like a sea serpent. We were both baffled.
I have no earthly idea what it was. It was round like a big snake, but it wasn’t a snake. I saw a head, a round head like you see in pictures of those prehistoric dinosaurs or like a giant eel of some kind. It wasn’t an otter, wasn’t sea cows and it wasn’t a snake. Snakes swim sideways and this thing, whatever it was, had humps and it was moving in an up-and-down motion. Snakes don’t do that.
Moving on, and to today, there have been fewer and fewer sightings of the St Johns River monster. It seems that as the years have rolled on sightings have diminished sadly eventually stopped all together.
This has led many that are familiar with river and its legends to believe the rivers cryptid creature has died.
That being said it is a common trait for these lake and river cryptids to disappear for prolonged periods, maybe they have a migratory path that only brings them to specific areas at specific intervals?
Lately though there has been a number of sporadic sightings and although these sightings make no mention of the creatures pink skin something unknown is in the water.
The modern reports of the river monsters talk about what appears to be large serpent like creatures that resemble giant eels or snakes.
Eels the animal that was recently given as an explanation to Scotland’s most famous resident Nessie.
If not eels then what could the monster known as Pinky be?
Some cryptozoologists today believe that the St. Johns River Monster could have been a new species of giant salamander, they reference The Japanese giant salamander which can grow to a length of 5ft and is not the largest there is a Chinese giant salamander can grow to a length of 6ft.
Both species can also have a pink skin color due to their diet. It is not unbelievable that a North American sub-species could grow larger than this. Others claim that Pinky could have been a large albino manatee, alligator, or pink dolphin.
Still others believe that the monster was a surviving species of Thescelosaurus neglectus (a dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period in North America). These dinosaurs could grow to be 11ft long and were related to Iguanodons.
Long surviving dinosaurs are reported globally and anyone with just a passing cryptid interest knows that there is a wealth of evidence that supports dinosaurs are continuing to live on the planet long after the asteroid impact that was said to have wiped them out.
And maybe coincidently or not the Granby idol depicts living dinosaurs and it was said to have originated not that far from St Johns River.
At 310 miles long, the St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida. The mouth of the river begins at the Atlantic Ocean, so this opens up the possibility that Pinky is originally from the open ocean and every once in a while, swam up the river where witnesses were able to lay eyes upon it. Eventually, the creature could have made its way back out to the ocean and simply chose never to return.
Whatever Pinky was, it is affectionately associated with being one of the most unique fresh water beasts to have been reported to date. Its pink skin and skeletal appearance making it unlike other water cryptids spotted around the world.
What do you think this cryptid could be, is it a misidentified animal possibly an albino eel or an as of yet known to science species of aquatic reptile?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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