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NEWSFILE: LAKE & SEA MONSTERS

SLIME DRENCHED TENDRILS

A deep frozen giant squid, was flown from New Zealand to Kennedy International Airport and then trucked to the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West. Museum scientists watched anxiously as the creature was slowly revealed in its glory, its tentacles and body curled up in a cramped packing case, its huge eyes hidden from sight. "It's tremendously exciting," said Dr. Neil Landman, curator of invertebrates at the museum."'To have a look at a actual giant squid is a dream I've always had. It's gorgeous." The museum's squid, though a baby, is 25 feet long. Caught in December by fishermen in New Zealand, it is in an excellent state of preservation, and is possibly the best giant squid specimen in existence. Museum scientists plan to inject it with preservatives as soon as it is sufficiently thawed.The 25-foot baby joins the museum's 46-foot model of an adult giant squid,which is featured in the new biodiversity hall. The museum plans to study the squid carefully, and perhaps eventually to put it on public display,which will depend partly on how well it survives the rigors of thawing. Though the animal is immature the scientists say they should be able to determine its sex. Dr. Landman added that the giants were so poorly understood that the age ofthe 25 foot specimen was a total mystery."Is it 2 years old? Five years old? One hundred years old? Nobody knows. And nobody knows the depth that these animals live at. I'm involved in a project trying to answer these questions.

The museum's beast almost got away. In Los Angeles, after the flight from New Zealand, the squid and its packing case proved too heavy for the aircraft that was scheduled to take it the rest of the way. So it had to wait. As a result, the squid landed late at Kennedy, in the afternoonrather than the morning. "We're really pleased that it got onto the next flight," said Dr. Landman,the curator. "There were a lot of pins and needles." Among the uncertainties was what might happen if the giant squid started to thaw oremit a strong odor while passing through Customs. As it turned out, the squid had to go through Customs twice, in both LosAngeles and New York, delaying its arrival still further.Steve O'Shea, a marine scientist at the National Institute of Water andAtmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand, (See A&M16) who accompanied the squidon its flight, said the giant had been captured commercial fishermen andfrozen immediately. The baby, he added, was one of several recent catches. Mr. O'Shea said the squid was a gift from the New Zealand agency to the museum, which paid about $10,000 for its transportation.

Modern scientists have repeatedly tried to catch the beast and observe it in its deep lair, using nets on long lines, submersibles equipped withbright lights and lately, robots tied to long tethers, always to no avail.. All that began to change in the last decade off New Zealand. Fishermen and scientists there worked to develop a series of deep commercial fisheries, going after exotic fish for the consumer market. As the pace picked up, the fishermen began occasionally hauling up giant squids that were apparently feeding on dense schools of fish at depths of nearly a mile. A system of reporting was initiated so that Government scientists in Wellington learned of the catches and often received body parts or whole carcasses to study. Recently, the run of landings has picked up and thrown the field into a high state of excitement.

Mr O'Shea, who is in charge of collecting giant squid data throughout New Zealand waters, from both Government and commercial vessels, said yesterday that the new specimens were in beautiful shape, most especially the oneacquired by the museum.In the past, he said, dead animals have often been a shambles, hacked intopieces by fishermen or so bruised and abraded that parts wereunrecognizable."It's the best specimen that we've had," Mr. O'Shea said of the museum's acquisition. "It's not the largest, but it's the best." New York Times, 11 June 1998

RICHARD'S COMMENT: The stars are right, and the spawn of Great Cthulu are rising heralding his glorious awakening from his aeon long sleep in the drowned corpse city so he can raven and slay amongst the world of men again.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Shut up, Richard!

BALLEEN THERE DONE THAT

Saturday, June 27, 1998 A Galway angling enthusiast received the shock of his life on Thursday night when he reeled in a 20 ft whale at the promenade in Salthill. Mr Malachy Linnane (32) could scarcely believe his eyes when he reeled in his catch', only to discover that he had hooked a dead whale which had been drifting in Galway Bay. "I was fishing for dogfish off the prom at the back of Seapoint and the whale snagged my line," he said. "I hooked him and it took me about half an hour to reel him in. Then I cut my line and the tide took him down towards Grattan Road beach. I followed him down and with some help from passers by we pulled him ashore and turned him over. He was dead, which was lucky for me because if he wasn't, there would have been two skid marks on the beach and I would have been gone! I figured out early on what it was, but I still couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it on the beach." Mr Linnane, who is a deputy head chef in the Corrib Great Southern Hotel in Galway, said that he was told by marine experts that it was a "collegian whale", which does not eat fish but feeds off plankton and has a feeder filter instead of teeth. It is not known what caused the death of the whale, which was left on Grattan Beach overnight, attracting considerable interest from onlookers. The mammal was carried by the tide back to sea yesterday before again being retrieved and removed from the water's edge, this time by corporation employees using a forklift.

LAKE ILIAMNA MONSTER

From the January 1988 issue of ALASKA magazine, page 17:

The Lake Iliamna monster once again has reared its legendary head. On July 27, several, reportedly sober, eyewitnesses say they saw a 10-foot, black "fish" leaping and splashing in the lake, about five miles northwest of Pedro Bay village. Verna Kolyaha was fishing from a skiff with her mother and sister when they saw the creature. Kolyaha approached to within 100 feet of the creature, which she said was shaped like a whale, with a white strip along the fin on its back. "It made an almost complete circle around us," Kolyaha told the Bristol Bay Times. Back at the village, Rainbow Bay resort owner Jerry Pippen and pilot Jerry Blandford were airborne within 30 minutes of the sighting, but saw nothing but a large ripple in the lake. The next day, however, Pippen reported seeing "a really huge seal. This seal was squirting water six to eight feet in the air." Pippen said the animal was cream coloured, with lighter markings. Sightings of a huge creature that lives in the depths of Alaska's largest lake are so persistent that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game keeps an open file labelled, "Lake Iliamna Monster." In 1963, a department biologist was flying his small plane over the lake and for 10 minutes watched a creature that appeared to be about 25 to 30 feet long swimming below the surface. It never came up for air. The biologist estimated the beast's length by comparing it to the aeroplane's shadow on the water. A number of times in recent years, sport fishermen near the villages of Iliamna and Pedro Bay have reported a big, peculiar, snake-like form moving along at the water's surface. Explanations for the creatures that have been observed range from a lost whale that strayed in from the ocean to a huge sturgeon to a species of freshwater seal. The Native people say the creature is a monster that doesn't like people and upsets boats that stray too far from shore, but there's no scientific evidence to prove any theory."

CADDY TO A T?

Wednesday 8th June marked a year since the sea monster known as Cadborosaurus was last seen in British Columbian coastal waters, but this could just be a cycle when the numbers of the monster areon the decline, said Ed Bousfield, a research associate with the Royal Ontario Museum, and co-author of the controversial paper which first gave a scientific description to the elusive creature. "El Nino affects the food," he said, "but I think the bigger factor is thenoise pollution in the straits. There is so much marine traffic there now, it is driving it away." Bousfield caused more controversy, when he presented a scientific paper on his link between Caddy and the mysterious monster of the Okanagan to a recent symposium of cryptozoologists in Kelowna. Bousfield has submitted his paper to two scientific journals for peer review and possible publication. Caddy was a regular visitor around Vancouver Island in the past four years, with more than 20 documented sightings but no photographs. "There have been 300 sightings in the last century alone," he said. "It has also been seen in nine different lakes in B.C. The connection with Ogopogo is that where you find these sightings, you find sea-run salmon. If there are not as many sightings now it could be that it is going into a low-ebb cycle, the same as the salmon are."

In his paper, Bousfield said the areas where Ogopogo has been seen were all linked to the Pacific, but are now cut off by dams. He said 10,000 years ago Caddy probably followed salmon up streams intolakes in the Columbia and Fraser drainage basins and became landlocked. The similarity of the two creatures with a snakelike body, humps or coils,horselike head, flippers and split tail indicates they are related, hesaid. "Glacial and post-glacial evidence suggests that Okanagan's Ogopogo isprobably a freshwater form or variant of the reptilian species "Cadborosaurus willsi". Victoria (British Columbia) Times-ColonistTuesday, 7 July 1998.

THE BEASTS OF THE OLD BRIGADE

Monster-spotters are flocking to Lough Eske, three miles from Donegal Town, for a glimpse of a monster nicknamed `Eskie`. Seamus Caldwell of Harvey's Point Hotel is one of those who believes he "saw something" in the icy waters. "It was 2:30pm on Sunday when a load of the guests starting moving down to the pier to the lake," he said. "They said they had seen something and when I looked out, I saw something moving up and down at about 300m out. The banqueting manager played down suggestions that his eyes might have been affected by a slack holiday season. "We're in the business of selling food, not monsters," he told The Star. Local Ard na Mana B&B boss Annabel Clarke also believes in the monster, despite seeing nothing herself so far. "The monster was probably up around Harvey's looking for scraps - he's probably quite hungry and lonely." But her husband Kieran thinks there maybe a real link between the region and Lough Ness. "Some lakes in Donegal are said to be connected by current to Scotland," he said. "These creatures can't live forever, they have to find ways to perpetuate themselves so there must be more than one - ours could be a cousin of Nessie. " (The Star, Friday July 3rd 1998)

A FISHY FATWA?

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A game fish from distant California, a marlin, has been caught by an Iranian fisherman in the Gulf, Iran's Fisheries Research Centre said Tuesday. A tag on its fin indicated the 178 cm (70 inches) long, 35 kg (77 pound) big game fish, caught off the Gulf coast port of Bushehr, had swum thousands of miles from California, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported. Perhaps this is some bizarre piscine attempt at revenge for the Iranian victory over the US in the football World Cup?

SWAMP THING

The Asian swamp eel, a non-native fish, has been found in canals, ditches,streams and ponds near Tampa and Miami, Fla. The species is spreading andhas the capability of invading and harming freshwater ecosystems throughout he Southeast, including the already-besieged Everglades system, according o the U.S. Geological Survey scientists who found the species in Florida. The exotic creature is a highly adaptable predator, able to breathe air andto live easily in even a few inches of water, especially in warm climates. "This species exhibits unusual behavior, appearance and adaptations," said Dr. Leo Nico, a biologist with the USGS Florida Caribbean Science Center inGainesville, Fla. "It has the potential to spread into freshwaterecosystems throughout the Southeast where it could compete with or prey upon native fishes. Imagine a creature with all the attributes necessaryto successfully invade and colonize the Everglades and other southeasternwetlands. Well, the swamp eel may be that creature."

The lakes, streams, canals and swamps of Florida and the Southeast areideal habitats for these eels, said Nico, who discovered the species whileconducting scientific samples of fish species in a Tampa Bay drainage.Scientists say they suspect the swamp eel may have escaped from a tropical fish farm or have been a pet released from an aquarium. The species, they believe, is already firmly established in Florida. CZ OneList.

OH THE SHARK DEAR.........(1)

On the night of February 20, 1998, three fishermen in Macajalar Bay, Cagayan de Oro, caught a fish they couldn't identify. A local radio station reported the find the following morning. The fish was later hacked into pieces and consumed that day. Subsequent reports, quoting government sources, said the strange fish was a whale shark. But research conducted by this writer using the Internet revealed that it was a megamouth, an extremely rare species with previously only 10 sightings worldwide. (CZ OneList)