Sunday 23 January 2022

Fort Sheridan Sea Monster



Fort Sheridan Sea Serpent

Fort Sheridan is a residential neighborhood in  Lake County, Illinois, United States. It was originally an Army post named after Civil War cavalry general Philip Sheridan for  his services to Chicago.

In March 25, 1893 The Chicago Daily Tribune newspaper has a story that  that officers and enlisted men at Fort Sheridan are sure “that a fearful and unknown sea monster is lying in wait for unfortunates off the shore” of the base.  In fact, men are so sure that the creature exists that “Several brave and convinced soldiers have totally reformed and 200 others have signed the pledge to let liquor alone.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 25, 1893] 

Captain H. R. Brinkerhoff, the commander of Company A of the Fifteenth Infantry, was sitting at his second-floor window of his home “reading and now and then scanning the water.”  He spied a “black speck on the waves directly off his house … it grew rapidly in size.  It disappeared beneath a wave and reappeared again, a huge object that gave signs of life.” He summoned a fellow officer Lieutenant W. F. Blauvelt of Company G of the Fifteenth Infantry, and the two headed to the lake and began a search with their binoculars.  Brinkerhoff told the Tribune reporter they saw, a “head was very large, dark above and light coloured underneath … The serpent, or whatever it was, I estimated to be thirty feet long.  I could not describe it, except that it looked like a huge alligator deprived of its legs.”  The two officers reported it to their friends and word spread to the enlisted men .  The chaplain on the base didn’t have “the slightest difficulty in securing the signatures of 200 men to a pledge to abstain from drink.”

The officers were unlikely to be perpetuating  a hoax as the punishment would be severe.There was not any  more information on sightings. So was it a sea serpent, a giant snake or something prehistoric? Maybe someone reading this knows more details,if so please post in comments.


Loch Alsh Sea Serpent


Loch Alsh Monster

Loch Alsh is a sea loch in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. The hilly country around Loch Alsh has rocks from Precambrian Gneiss, some of the oldest in the world, although very  eroded.

In 1893 Dr Farquar was boating on Loch Alsh with his wife and son.They saw something odd .A tall neck like thing was standing out of the water about 200 yards (197 metres approx)away.It appeared to be a gigantic lizard.The skin was brown and shining and it had a sort of ruff where the neck joined the body.Ripples around it seemed to show a huge body under the water. It sank below the waves leaving them concerned and confused.There doesn’t seem to have been other sightings and it would have been dismissed but this loch joins with Loch Duich.

Loch Ness fans will have heard of the Mc Rae film.It is said to show a close up of Nessie and is supposedly held in a secret bank vault somewhere. Few people have seen it. There was also a second Mc Rae film shot at Loch Duich .The creature there is seen in the film moving its head and has a longer neck and a ruff or tufted hair on its neck. However once again few have seen it as it remains with the Loch Ness film in a secret place guarded by a trust.

Could this be a similar creature to the one seen by the Farquar family? It sounds very alike .Until the film is released ,indeed if it even exists , we will never know.


Thursday 13 January 2022

Iberian Vampire Dog


The Dip ( Devil Dog)


Iberia, is a peninsula in south western Europe, principally divided between Spain and Portugal, and a small area of Southern France.It is the home of the Iberian Devil Dog known as the Dip.

The town of Pratdip, Catalonia, Spain, is where the Dip originates. Some say the name of the town translates as Wolf Meadows and it has a wolf like creature on  its coat of arms.

They are described as being like a huge  wolf with red eyes and being lame in one leg and blind in one eye.Being lame in one leg is sign it belongs to the devil or comes from hell according to local legend. They can scent human fear and tend to prey on those who stray from the main paths /roads. Sometimes called vampire dogs because they suck the blood of their victims.

The cattle being attacked is usually the first sign that the Dip is about.Then people may be attacked or go  missing, especially those the worse for drink.The creature is unlikely to be a werewolf because of its vampire like tendencies.

 It is so ingrained in local minds that they now produce a red wine in the area called the Dip.

The label depicts the ears / top of a wolf’s head and red with staring eyes on a black label. I have no idea what it tastes like but the sight of the bottle on a shop shelf may be startling. I will buy a bottle if I see it and give it a try....lets hope its wine and not blood!

Friday 7 January 2022

Sea monsters of the coasts of Iceland


Sea monsters of the Westfjords of Iceland

The Shore Laddie, or Fjorulalli , is a creature reportedly residing   along the Westfjords of Iceland. The Fjorulalli has brownish-grey fur adorned with mussels and barnacles which make a noise as  it moves. Some say it has hooves ,others webbed feet.

There are some stories reported:

 “One early winter evening in Bjarnarhöfn by Breidafjordur, six men went out to see whether missing sheep had returned to the farm. They observed something moving by the shed and rushed to grab hold of the sheep and take it inside. When they came closer they realised that this was no sheep. They formed a circle around the creature which then took off towards the sea, pursued by the men, including my narrator. It ran as quickly as a dog and escaped into the ocean. It had a short, round head but otherwise resembled a dog rather than sheep. It had a hump on its back and jumped frequently as it ran.”

There is a story  from Selárdalur: "A man named Árni went from Selárdalur to hunt foxes at a cliff called Gammur. While he was waiting for the fox to appear a creature appeared from the sea, as tall as a man, but with thick legs with claws. It moved slowly towards Árni. Árni got frightened and shot at the creature, which hurried back into the sea and disappeared"

(from Skrímslasetrið - Sea Monster Museum Iceland )

The Shell monster

 Is a bear-like animal with blue scales.  Described as often having seaweed and shell on its .It has long claws which it uses to hold onto rocks at the bottom of the sea.  In the 18th and 19th  centuries, many sightings were reported .

Gísli konráðsson 1787-1877:wrote that in Grímsey a man named Gísli Brandsson and his brother Jón Brandsson the Yztabæ, were walking by the sea, intending to go fishing when they saw the monster .It was as large as a horse with huge legs. They tried to capture it but it was too strong and got away.

Hallgrímur the Strong lived at Vík in Flateyjardalur in the early 1800s. Grímur was his son. One moonlit winter night, Grímur was lying in wait by the sea, hunting for foxes, when he saw a large and unfamiliar creature come on land. Its body gleamed like the skin of a whale and made a rustling sound like seashells rattling. The creature headed straight towards Grímur. When it had almost reached him, Grímur aimed the gun at its head and fired. Blood poured from the wound and the creature retreated back into the sea, never to be seen again. Gísli Jónasson of Svínarnes recounted this event, as told to him by Grímur himself. Gísli maintained that Grímur was a truthful and honest man.

Símon jóh 1904-1976 : “I was raised in a remote province, Reykjarfjörður on the southern coast, where heavy ancient lore reigned ... Various cryptids, freak-of-nature creations, remained in the lakes and the sea. All throughout my lifetime, the shell monster could've been spotted in the fjords in autumn. The belief in such creatures has been big there, even Jón calls the fjord "the monster fjord".

An English trawler in early 1900s stole it's way into one of the Icelandic fjords and caught the creature, the crew was terrified and wanted to get rid of the unwanted catch.Some claim that the creature caught in the net spit poison on the men, which burned them.It escaped back into the sea.

Most weapons are useless against the creature. Its blood being toxic ,wounding it would kill the hunter.To harm one , you must shoot silver buttons, grey willow catkins, or lamb droppings from a gun the stories state.

I wonder if some of the sightings  of the creatures could be walruses covered in barnacles coming on land? The belief in the creatures still exists however so maybe there is some truth in the tales.

Most of these reports can be found in:

Hlidberg, J. B. and Aegisson, S.; McQueen, F. J. M. and Kjartansson, R., trans. (2011) Meeting with Monsters. JPV utgafa, Reykjavik.


There are also lake monsters in Iceland,read about them here :