Wednesday 3 February 2021

Strange Creatures in the Ohio River


Strange Sightings on the Ohio River.

Sightings of The Ohio River monster had been reported in local newspapers in the 1870s

John Davidson, master of the Silver Moon steamboat, was docked, when he saw an amazing apparition. As he wrote to the Cincinnati Enquirer on 10th  January 1878:

“I had no faith in the reports I had read of the river monster, so graphically described in the newspapers, but I am now convinced of the actual existence of the terrible beast. At one time it reared its head high above the surface of the water in the manner of the sea lions of the Zoological Gardens of your city. The long pelican beak, the slimy mane, and the extreme serpentine length of the animal answer exactly to the previous descriptions that have been published.”

The monster dove beneath the surface before Captain Davidson could call his first mate to witness the beast.

11 January 1878, Ben Karrick was driving his horse-drawn wagon over the Roebling Bridge when he saw a sea serpent in the Ohio River below. He reportedly told the Cincinnati Gazette:

“Protruding from the water some twelve or fifteen feet was what seemed to be the head of a huge serpent or animal, that was rushing through the water at a very rapid rate, and occasionally lashing the water with its tail into a perfect foam.Its head and neck seemed to me to be covered by a black glossy substance like hair, and further back from the head, the hide looked like that of an alligator. The head was shaped somewhat similar to that of a sea horse, which we have so often seen in pictures.”

Karrick also told the newspaper that the beast made a noise similar to the deep lowing of a cow, followed with a loud hissing noise. It  headed toward the shore and disappeared from sight.

Later that week a letter on the front page of the gazette  stated  that Mr. Karrick’s monster was the same as the great serpent of Clermont County’s Hartman Mill dam that escaped some years prior. That serpent was reputedly fifteen to twenty feet long and as thick as the body of a man and lived in the pool of a dammed creek upstream from the Little Miami River.

Then it seemed to have vanished.

On August 21, 1955, A Bizarre encounter was reported in the Ohio River between Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville.A  Mrs. Naomi Johnson  encountered  what she claimed was a creature beneath the surface of  the water whilst  swimming  in the Ohio River. A friend and  her children were on the  bank and witnessed the whole thing.Mrs Johnson had swum out to about 15 feet (5 metres) away from the bank.Suddenly Johnson said that she felt something clutched around her  knee from below. It was like a large rubbery claw-like hand. It tried to yank her down and would not let go no matter how much she  struggled to disengage herself .Her companion was on the shore and could only watch in horror as Johnson flapped her arms and gasped for breath in the river.Mrs. Johnson managed to kick her leg free and then headed for the shore, but almost instantly she was seized again, this time her ankle.Grabbing a nearby inner tube she was able to  stay afloat and eventually  whatever it was let go. Mrs. Johnson was treated for bruises and it was discovered that she had a greenish, slimy ,palm-print on her leg which  left a stain for  several days.

So two strange tales of creatures.There have been no recent reports as far as I am aware.Please comment of you know of any.So what were the strange creatures?

Stories of huge catfish lurking in the  Ohio River have been talked about for years and in June 2009 a blue cat caught by Chris Rolph of Williamsburg weighed 96 pounds and measured 54.5 inches (1.38 metres)  long. However neither creature sounds like a cat fish.If one species of  large creature can exist in the river there could have been others.The film The Creature of the Black Lagoon came out in 1954,could that have influenced Mrs Johnson? Maybe it was a large catfish tried to drag her down and the creature was in her mind which influenced what she felt. Whatever it was if you go out on the Ohio River,take care .


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