A view of cryptozoology that might be a bit different.
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Bobo ,The Monterey Bay Monster
From 2007 The MontereyCountyWeekly
The tale of Bobo, MontereyBay’s sea creature, resurfaces. By Staff
It was a clear fall day, and the Pacific Ocean was as flat and clear as a giant mirror. From Captain Sal Colletto’s small salmon fishing boat, 10 miles off Moss Landing, the indentation of the MontereyBay on the shore looked like a giant’s thumbprint as he headed back towards Point Pinos. After a day of luckless fishing in the waters of Santa Cruz, the Monterey fisherman was looking forward to getting home. Suddenly, Colletto noticed something floating in the sea about a half-mile farther out. Thinking it might be a man bobbing in the ocean, he gunned the engine and headed out towards the object. When the captain got within 100 feet of the thing, he saw a creature with a head the size of a 50-gallon barrel. It was tapered to where a duck-like bill protruded from the massive bulging forehead. Colletto started to think about how a pair of fishermen had disappeared recently without a trace. Maybe this sea monster had devoured them. Not wanting to join their ranks, he pushed his boat’s throttle all the way down and headed back towards the MontereyPeninsula. He decided that he would not tell anyone about what he had seen. Sixteen years later, Colletto was traveling towards the fishing grounds off HalfMoonBay on his 45-foot boat, the Dante Alighieri. While the crew ate lunch in the galley below, Colletto and his brother-in-law swapped fishing stories as the craft headed northward. Eventually, his brother-in-law started talking about a strange sea creature he had spotted a few times at the edge of the deep Monterey submarine canyon. Colletto got the chills as his brother-in-law described how other fishermen had said the beast would only surface on calm, sunny days 24 hours before a strong northwest wind started to blow. It was a windless day, and the water was smooth and silver as liquid mercury. As Colletto gazed towards the Santa CruzMountains, he observed something bobbing in the sea and his heart fluttered like a dying fish’s gills. He realized immediately that it was that strange creature. “All hands on deck,” Colletto yelled to the crew. They poured out of the galley and stood on the bow of the boat, wondering what the commotion was all about. “I want all you guys to see this,” he said as he slowly brought the boat closer to the beast. The captain then cut the motor, and the boat drifted within 50 feet of the object. The creature’s eyes were closed and it floated on the surface as if it were sunbathing or sleeping. “It has the face of a monkey,” his cook squealed. “Let’s leave. This is a bad omen.” “No, its face looks like that of an old man,” Colletto’s brother-in-law said. The noise must have awakened the monster, and it slowly opened its eyes, which were as big and pink as grapefruits. The creature’s body was brown and almost as long as the boat. Its skin was wrinkled and sagged from its frame like ill-fitting clothing. Colletto thought to himself that this was a very old animal. While the crew argued about what the animal looked like, the monster quietly slid underwater like an elderly man easing into a bath. Following the sighting, several other fishermen saw the creature, and eventually the people of Monterey started to refer to the animal as “Bobo, the old man of the sea.” From then on, Colletto kept a camera on his vessel hoping to once again spot “Bobo” and get photographic evidence of its existence. He never saw it again. A few years later, in 1925, a strange sea creature washed ashore on a beach two miles north of Santa Cruz. Though the dead body was decomposed, scientists including E.L. Wallace, a former president of the Natural History Society of British Columbia, did not think the carcass was that of a whale or shark. Wallace even suggested that the animal might be a plesiosaurus, a large marine reptile held over from the Jurassic period. Whatever it was, a creature resembling Bobo was never spotted again in the waters of MontereyBay. Source: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/archives/2007/2007-Oct-25/Article.831_mini/1/@@index
This account by Mr. E.J. Lear was published by the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 1925 a few days before the body washed up on shore.:
"I was driving a team toward Capitola, when suddenly I was attracted by some young sea lions not far out. They were lined up and several large lions were swimming back and forth in front of them. Much farther out I saw the water being churned to foam and thrown high up in the air. It was shiny and I took it for a big fish. A dozen or more lions were battling it, and every once in a while all would raise out of the water. It looked to me as though all the sea lions were attacking it beneath as the monster came out of the water several times. In telling of the battle of that night I estimated its length at 30 feet.
"The battle continued as long as I could see it from the road. I was driving toward Capitola with a load of sand. I have not seen the monster on the beach, but it may have been that which I saw."
A few days later the body of a strange creature was discovered by Charles Moore on the shore in the very same area that Mr. Lear saw the battle. The body was examined by a naturalist, E. L. Wallace who said "My examination of the monster was quite thorough. I felt in its mouth and found it had no teeth. Its head is large and its neck fully twenty feet long. The body is weak and the tail is only three feet in length from the end of the backbone. These facts do away with the whale theory, as the backbone of a whale is far larger than any bone in this animal. Again, its tail is too weak for an animal of the deep and does away with that last version. With a bill like it possesses, it must have lived on herbage . . . I would call it a type of plesiosaurus."" Later, Mr. Wallace offered the theory that the monster may have been preserved in a glacier for millions of years, finally being released by the gradual melting of ice, eventually ending up cast upon the shore in MontereyBay."
A book on the subject but may now be out of print: The Old Man of Monterey Bay and Mysterious Sea Monsters of California's CentralCoast by Randall A. Reinstedt Ghost Town Pubns (June 1975)
The carcass that was found was thought to be a beaked whale (as does the first Colletto sighting) but that doesn’t explain the second Colletto sighting. The wrinkled skin may have been large squid but you would have thought fishermen would have recognised that.
New book on kindle- myths, murder, monsters and magic in modern day Loch Ness
New Cryptofiction book out
mysterious creatures roam the countryside,what is the secret of the horror tunnel and what are the modern day witches up to with the fifth reich? our Friends from the book Dark Ness once again meet cryptids and danger . s
Mother, author, cat lover, amateur cryptozoologist, cook and bottle washer, some times lover, single parent,middle aged,a mad woman without an attic, red wine and chocolate lover.Now housebound due to ill health so an armchair researcher.Too wheezy to sit in a hide and watch for cryptids anymore lol.Have now taken up crafting when I feel able.I now have a Fiction book out on amazon Kindle Dark Ness by Tabitca Cope set in, you guessed it, Loch Ness with monsters , murder , myth and magic.
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