Friday, 30 October 2009

Claims of killing a river monster from the 1950's



http://www.examiner.com/x-19101-Kittson-County-Top-News-Examiner~y2009m10d28-Drunks-in-northern-Minnesota-claim-they-killed-a-river-monster

Drunks in northern Minnesota claim they killed a river monster

The Red River of the North makes the border between Minnesota and North Dakota, and flows north into Canada, where it empties into Lake Winnipeg. When early settlers first traversed this wide, muddy river, they reported sightings of gigantic catfish bigger than their boats -- fish as big as logs drifting in the river.But, occasionally, there have also been reports of a large, black, snakelike creature in the Red, a creature that resembled descriptions of the famous Ocopogo sea monster often sighted in British Columbia.

Well, here is a story told to me by an elderly gentleman who lives in northwest Minnesota. He claims that he and four friends not only got a first hand look at one of these mysterious giant water serpents -- but they actually killed it! The events described here happened in the late 1950s. Please note: All names have been changed in this story at the request of the interview subject. So, without further delay, the story of the Red River Snake Monster awaits your read!

An extract: Then Wayne came up with an atrocious idea for a group of men who had just polished off 20 gallons of corncob wine: He suggested they grab a couple of shotguns, some flashlights, take a boat out on the Red River of the North to see if they could blast catfish out of the shallows.The technical name for this sport is shotgun fishin'.
Forty-five minutes later, the five men were boating on the muddy Red in Roy's 18-footer. Howard and Forrest held powerful flashlights. They played the beams across the inky water.Suddenly, a flashlight beam revealed a floating log which Roy mistook for a gigantic catfish. He let go a blast of his 12-gauge. The rotten log exploded into splinters. River water and bits of wood rained down upon the men. This caused them all to whoop and yell. The boat rocked back and forth and water splashed into the bottom of the boat.
Minutes later Howard's beam glimpsed something shiny and Roy swung quickly around, only to bang the barrel of his shotgun against Wally's forehead. Wally fell back and almost went into the water, but the boys caught hold of him before he could go over the side. Everyone thought it was pretty funny, except for Wally. Wally's fun was over for the night, but not his part in the adventure. Yes, Wally would play a central role in the fantastic events that were about to happen. Dazed and barely conscious, Wally leaned back in the boat and let his right forearm dangle into the water. A minute later, he felt a strong pressure squeezing his arm. Wally jerked his hand out of the water and let loose a savage yell. All four of the others turned at once to look at him. The two flashlight beams held by Howard and Forrest revealed an amazing thing-some kind of thick, black, long snake-like creature had attached itself to Wally's arm! Screaming, Wally lifted his arm straight up into the air. The serpent creature curled around the length of his arm, wrapping it like a barber pole. Here is how one of the men described the creature: "My best description would be that it looked like an electric eel, the kind you see in them undersea adventure TV shows… it had a flat head, shiny black skin, slimy, and I think we saw smooth fins on the thing. It must have been six, seven feet long." Of course, it was difficult to see well because it was dark, there was so much pandemonium, and the men were considerably hazed by the fermented beverage coursing through their veins.
"Everybody was screaming and yelling at once," Wayne said. "We were going crazy when we saw that thing on Wally's arm! It was dark and flashlights were dancing around like crazy… we were rocking the boat so bad just about all of us were swamped into the river… it was nuts!" Wally began to shout: "Get this ---- thing off my arm! O-o-o-w-w-w-w! Get this #@%^$% thing off my arm!" Roy grabbed his shotgun by the barrel, wound up to take a hard swing at the monster, lost his balance instead and fell backward into the river. In all the commotion his pals hardly noticed.Wayne slipped out his pocket knife and made a vicious thrust at the giant river snake, but missed and plunged his knife deep into Wally's arm. Wally howled in anguish. He thought the monster had bit him. He started to flail his arm around, and whacked Howard square in the face. Howard, face covered with slime, was hurled backward and only Wayne's quick catch prevented him from going over.Wally began slamming his arm against the side of the boat, but the snake only squeezed tighter. Wally was in full panic. He kept screaming: "Get this ---- thing off me! Get this ---- thing off me!" In desperation, Wayne recovered Roy's shotgun from the floor of the boat. In a lucky glimpse afforded by a chance pass of a wild flashlight beam, Wayne noticed that some three feet of the snake's body was dangling below Wally's arm.
He pointed the shotgun in that general direction, pulled the trigger and unleashed a roaring discharge. The kickback of the 12-gauge knocked Wayne backward and out into the drink. He dropped the shotgun and it sunk to the silty bottom of the river. Luckily, he was able to grab onto the side of the boat and haul himself back in."I got real lucky," he said, "cuz I blew the whole bottom part of that snake monster clean off." The truncated end of the creature's body jerked wildly around like a loose high-pressure hose. Fetid black blood and slime spurted in all directions, spattering the men with rank gore. But the blow was enough to cause the creature to go limp. Wally heaved it from his arm and heard it splash down somewhere in the black water where it sunk to its death.

Apart from the whole comical aspect and stupidity of the whole episode, it sounds like they did come across a large eel. I don’t know If eels are native to the area ,perhaps someone else can post a comment if they know?

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