Wednesday, 12 February 2020
still living plesiosaurs?
Tales of sea monsters are as old as sea travel itself, from the stories told of mermaids and giant squids to the more modern reports of giant sharks and monstrous reptile like creatures cruising the oceans.
There has been wide gambit of different of species said to lurk in the depths.
The sea would be a good place to hunt for cryptid beasts as the old adage goes
“We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the darkest recesses of the world’s oceans”
From time to time a mysterious blob may wash up on shore but the spotting of living creatures is rare and even rarer are reports of direct interaction.
This brining us to a story I recently stumbled across when a group of boys ran into a animal of nightmares
Let’s take a look.
I will begin by looking at the story of these boys and attempt to find a possible explanation.
The location of this incident is off of the coast of Florida, a wreck of the USS Massachusetts is on the sea floor at Pensacola and is a spot that was and still is popular with scuba divers.
a group of five young men with little in the way of experience thought that it would be a good idea to dive on the wreck.
On March 24, 1962, these young men climbed into a rubber dingy and made their way out to the site of the sunken ship.
They were looking forward to a day of fun and excitement but by the end of the day only one of them would be left alive!
The adventurous lads named Edward McCleary, Warren Salley, Eric Ruyle, Larry Bill and Brad Rice were already tempting fate as they had ignored an earlier storm warning advising those in small vessels to stay ashore but full of bravado the young men set out and soon the little boat was struggling in large storm driven waves.
The rough sea added time to the trip and by the time the boys had arrived at the wreck the sun had begun to set and fog and rain closed in.
In what could only be described as a stupid decision it was in the choppy stormy waters of Pensacola that they thought it would be a great idea to abandon the dingy and swim the final few meters to the location of the USS Massachusetts.
Not only would they have an already angry ocean against them something else from the depths would rise to terrify the group.
Edward McCleary told tale of what unfolded.
First the boys were surprised when they heard a splashing, a splashing of something large swimming in the sea around them. It was then a loud hissing sound and an overpowering smell of rotten fish flesh crept over the surface of the sea.
Then Mc Cleary spotted something that I think no one would expect, breaking the surface of the water was an animal that had long thick neck, a neck the boy likened to a telegraph pole estimated to be ten feet long.
This creature then began its attack, first it grabbed Eric Ruyle dragging him to watery death, then Brad Rice caught the beast’s eye and he too was taken to the depths.
It was at this point McCleary was unsure if this was the work of a single animal or a pair of the strange sea monsters.
Soon after, Warren Salley began screaming and like the others he vanished beneath the frothing surface of the stormy sea.
Edward McCleary began to swim, swimming like his life deepened on it. Which it would seem it most defiantly did.
Arriving at shore and not knowing what happened to Larry Bill he made his way to find help. The body of Brad Rice later washed up on the beach but the three other boys have never been accounted for.
McCleary, and others believe that the young men may have accidently ran into a still living extinct plesiosaur.
The plesiosaur being the most common animal referred to by many when talking real world animals that could offer an explanation to sea monsters and in some cases even lake monsters.
Nessie probably being the most well-known surviving plesiosaur on the planet.
A good to place to start would be verifying the story and we do have some facts which have been confirmed about the attack.
The Massachusetts still sits in only 26 feet of water in the Fort Pickens State Aquatic Preserve, parts of the ship still protrude from the sea and provide an island which attracts a lot of marine life. McCleary is still living in Florida, though he does not speak of the incident since articles on the strange claimed sea monster attack came out.
Documents show that he did report the deaths at the time, and in the past when he had spoken of that terrifying day he said that the authorities and reporters had told him to leave out the sea monster.
There is also the recovery of the body, which in coroners reports was said to be a victim of drowning.
So if this was a Plesiosaur how could it still be living?
Today those that study cryptids say that the majority of sea serpent sightings could be explained by a still living aquatic dinosaur. Plesiosaurs are thought to have gone extinct some 65 million years ago.
Their description matches what is often seen, they have or had long flexible necks, rounded bodies with paddle-shaped limbs often compared to flippers.
There have been a number of reports of remains of these animals found by fisherman and washed up on shore. The most famous case still debated today is that of the Zuiyo-maru.
The Zuiyo-maru was a Japanese fishing vessel that on April 25, 1977 hauled aboard the rotting remains of animal that was said to be the rotting carcass of a dead Plesiosaur.
Those who saw the remains first hand gave the idea that it was possibly a dead whale, a large sea turtle minus its shell but could not be 100% sure.
Others who have seen the photographs taken of the carcass say it was the body of the long thought extinct marine sea creature.
Sadly it could not be analyzed as the smell emitted by the decomposing body was so bad the crew of the ship had to throw back into the ocean and it was lost to the depths.
Other similar remains have been found, recently it was claimed that a juvenile of the species washed up on a Beach in Georgia.
A couple walking on the beech stumbled upon the mystery remains which had the long neck and fins fitting with a plesiosaur. The creature was far smaller measuring in at 1.5 meters.
Footage taken at the time was shared with local news stations, and the couple even reached out to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to get some insight into what they had found.
Answers have still not been found and most likely will never be given, the remains had already been eaten by birds and other sea life and the little that was left had badly decomposed.
Another famous case of alleged Plesiosaur remains is “The Moore's Beach Plesiosaur”
Santa Cruz, California, 1925 an unidentified creature washed up on the beach, photographs were taken at the time and many claimed that this was hard proof that these animals were still alive.
However looking at the pictures it is pretty clear that this animal was obviously not a plesiosaur.
The pictures show something which does closely resemble a Baird's Beaked Whale, maybe it’s an unknown type of whale or dolphin rather than the marine reptile.
Science says that it is impossible for plesiosaurs to live today if they did they would most definitely be seen. The animals would not be spotted by sailors or ocean travelers but by people on land.
The marine dinosaur was a reptile adapted to life in the ocean but like sea turtles it had to come ashore to lay its eggs and this is the flaw in the theory that science points to.
If we take the sea turtle as the closest living relative, we know that they return to the same beaches they hatched from to lay eggs. It is likely that plesiosaurs would do the same and as we don’t have reports of these giants hauling themselves onto beeches there is no way that there is a remaining breeding population.
this being said I still think that the animals could be out there, maybe they nest on isolated islands just because they haven’t been seen doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.
Just remember the ocean hid the coelacanth for millions of years.
As for the story I started with, We must also try to remain grounded and look for more rational answers could what attacked the boys have been sharks?
Florida was deemed “the shark bite capital of the world,” in 2019 and in an already stormy sea the boys the boys thrashing and splashing their way to the wreck would make an enticing target for a shark.
What do think attacked the boys, are plesiosaurs or other marine dinosaurs still alive today?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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