Monday 6 November 2023

A Serpent in Eel River


Eel River Serpent

The Eel River is a major river that runs through north Western California. It is  about 196 miles (315 km) long.

In the 1870’s there were reports of a strange creature being seen in the Phillipsville area of the river


About three months ago as I was on my way to Garberville, not far below what is know as Phillip’s Flat I saw what I thought was a foot log coming down the South Fork [of the Eel] river, and was not a little surprised to see such a thing adrift at that season of the year.

I was on a cliff of rocks, about 50 feet above the river, and stopped to watch the curious looking object, when I saw to my surprise it was a large serpent. The monster was at least 20 feet long in the water, and its head was raised about 3 feet above the surface of the stream, and was about as large as a dog’s head. It saw me, but did not seem to be alarmed, for it headed for the last cliff on which I was standing.

It was one of those hot days that we are accustomed on the South Fork, and the monster seemed to be hunting shade. It was about a foot in diameter; its color a dark brown, with large light and yellow spots. I watched him until he came under the cliff where the rocks hid him from view. It was seen twice more at the same place and once again further up the river. It seems to go to the woods for food, as there can be no other inducement.

West Coast Signal August 19, 1877

Three other people wrote to the newspaper to say they had seen it too.

The local native Americans believe such a creature exists  and is called Kamoss. It has been seen in the  river and is a monster serpent that is capable of swallowing a child .The legend is that it has done so.

Some say it is a sturgeon fish but sturgeon have bony plates which would be obvious.Also unlikely it would swim with its head above water.

Since then there have been no reports unless someone reading this knows of any more recent sightings.

Have we lost our way?



What is happening to Cryptozoology?

Its over 50 years since I started my interest in cryptozoology. It started as a teenager with a visit to Loch Ness.Then as an adult and becoming an academic I tried where ever possible to apply scientific research methods to my study of unknown animals.

It was hoped that cryptozoology would be accepted as a discipline such as psychology or zoology. To that end scientific enquiry methods were essential. However I find myself and fellow academically qualified crypto enthusiasts have become disillusioned.

We have wobbly webcams at Loch Ness being cited in the media every weeks as photos of Nessie,only for them to be a swimmer ,canoeist or birds.Photos said to be taken years before and just now discovered that have not been submitted for professional analysis so cannot be proved or disproved to be an animate creature.

Big cat photos that are domestic cats or obviously fakes  appearing in the media as true .IF you believe you shouldn’t need to make up proof ,instead you go out and try and find it.

Cryptozoology is becoming a laughing stock,a media circus. What is the point of these hoaxes? They only serve to put off the genuine witnesses from coming forward for fear of ridicule and destroy any chance of proper scientific study.

What do readers of this blog think? Comments can take 24 hours to appear so don’t be put off. Has cryptozoology lost its way ?