"Escape of a Lion and a Tigress, FOUR PERSONS KILLED." Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

A melancholy accident occurred at Wombwell's Menagerie, in consequence of the lion Wallace, and a large tigress, escaping from the caravan at Worksworth, on Tuesday night, on the way to Newhaven fair. It appears the drivers were putting the vans into the yard of the White Lion Inn, when a carriage laden with timber came into contact with the one in which Wallace, who contended with and defeated the dogs at Warwick, and a very large tigress, were kept, and staved in the whole side of the vehicle. Every pains possible were taken to prevent the beasts obtaining their liberty, by repairing the van as well as circumstances would permit, and by closing the gates of the yard; but in the night, the beasts, being by nature restless, by some means removed one of the broken pannels, and succeeded in escaping by the back yard into the fields, where the tigress attacked a number of sheep, and killed three.

The lion, finding himself at liberty, was not idle, but falling in with some cows belonging to Mr. Wilson, killed one, and severely wounded two others. The bleating of the sheep, the lowing of the cows, and the roaring of the lion, aroused the keepers and several of the inhabitants, when instant pursuit was made by the whole body in order to kill, or if possible, to retake them. They first discovered the lion three or four fields distant, feeding on the cow which had fallen a victim to his fury. They immediately fronted him as well as their fears would admit, and several shots were fired, though contrary to the orders of the keeper, by which he was severely wounded.

The infuriated animal rushed upon a man some distance from him and before assistnace could be rendered, killed him. He then dashed into a cow-shed, where, by the well known voices of the keepers, and their able management, he was secured, and lodged in a place of safety, without further mischief. the party then went in pursuit of the tigress, which had taken another direction, and had fallen in with some persons gonig to work at the brickfields.

The animal attacked a woman with a child in her arms, and a boy about eleven years of age, all of whom were killed before assistance arrived. On the party coming up, they were horror struck at the spectacle. Every exertion was made to secure the animal, but it was not before she was so dangerously wounded, as not to be expected to recover, that that object could be effected.

The next day an inquest was held, when, after a patient investigation, a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned; deodand, 10l. on the beasts. Mr. Wombwell, on hearing of the melancholy accident, expressed the utmost concern, ordered the funerals of the sufferers to take place at his expense, and promised to make good all damages arising from the fatal event. - Northampton Herald.

 York Herald, 1st March, 1834.

There was a White Lion Inn in Wirksworth at the time, on Coldwell Street. Newhaven is about ten miles away.

Kangaroos at large: Walworth, Surrey and "Castle Hill"

About seven o'clock on Saturday morning an unexpected and unwished for visitor made his appearance, sans ceremonie, in the gardens at the rear of a private dwelling in Manor-place, Walworth, which excited no little consternation and alarm among the occupants. Upon a female inmate of the house opening the shutters of the kitchen-window, which looks directly into the garden, she was suddenly amazed at beholding a kangaroo staring her full in the face. Terrified at the appearance of this strange animal, she gave the alarm, at the noise of which the kangaroo retreated a few steps, and took his stand upon a strawberry-bed. After gazing at the affrighted girl fro a few seconds, he took a leap over the adjoining gardens, and made his exit. It is supposed that he had effected his escape from the neighbouring Surrey Zoological Gardens.
The Standard, December 1st, 1834.

On the morning of Saturday week an old woman, residing in a house in Castle-hill, was unspeakably surprised, on awakening from her night's rest, to find a strange animal lying at her back, with one of its paws laid over her shoulder. Screaming with affright, she left her bed, and, seizing a towel, she beat it with all her might, when, with one bound, it sprung to the furthest corner of the room, and at length took refuge in another bed which stood in the same apartment. When the poor woman had a little recovered from her alarm, and had dissipated the idea that it was a visitor from the nether regions, she remembered that a collection of wild beasts were exhibiting on the Mound, and began to suspect that her lodger belonged to the number. She immediately went and called upon Mr. WOMBWELL, when it was discovered that one of the kangaroos had made its escape during the night, and, going up to the Castle-hill, had found this poor woman's door open, and, commodated beside her as in its own den in the menagerie, betook itself to rest, which, however, was broken in upon in the morning in the manner we have mentioned. The kangaroo was returned to Mr. WOMBWELL, who handsomely remunerated the woman for its lodging.
Morning Post, February 27th, 1834.

Enormous animal off Lewis

It is reported that an enormous animal has lately been seen off the island of Lewis, floating on the water; and a similar occurrence happened ten years ago at the same place. Several persons had seen it, and for some time few people ventured out upon the coast. It were idle to say that the animal in question was merely a whale, for the people of these islands are sufficiently familiar with whales to know one when it comes their way, and are more acute observers than might be imagined by the learned naturalists. All that can be said on the subject is, that a strange animal, whether of a species known to naturalists or not, has lately visited these islands. Its length was stated to be upwards of eighty feet, and its form attenuated. -- Edinburgh Lit. Gaz.

Morning Chronicle, April 13th, 1830.

"Wonderful and strange animal at Reading, Yorkshire"

A wonderful and strange animal, never before seen in the country, has lately been caught on the premises of a gentleman residing at Reading, Yorkshire. It has a head like a cat, fore feet like a leopard, hind feet like a ferret, purple eyes when seen in the shade, and of a greenish hue when seen in the light. It has three white marks over the right eye, and three black over the left. It is of a whitey-brown colour spotted with red. The tail is a beautiful white, tipped with blue.
- Morning Paper.

Morning Chronicle, January 10th, 1828.

What does this mean? Is it a riddle or a joke? There isn't a Reading in Yorkshire, surely. And what's with the weird marks over the eyes? I am bemused. It's repeated in many papers. In fact, the Hull Packet says: "This beats the American Sea Serpent hollow."

Sea serpent at New Haven, Connecticut

NEWHAVEN (America), Nov. 13. -- SEA-SERPENT AGAIN.

On Tuesday last, the 11th inst., in the fore-noon, while Mr. Jonah Platt, and Mr. William Platt, were on the shore about 7 miles west of Newhaven lighthouse, they saw a strange animal, answering the description heretofore given of the sea-serpent, pass about 20 rods from the shore, going westward, his head about 2 feet above water, his speed far greater than that of any animal they ever saw move in the water; in their opinion he went a mile a minute; his wake was as great as that of a common-sized yawl; the wild fowl appeared much frightened, and flew in every direction as he approached them. The foregoing was given me by one fo the beholders, in whom you may place implicit confidence.

The Times, December 19th, 1817.

Sea serpent near San Diego


The first sea-serpent yarn of the season, and the first for several years, is reported from San Diego, in Southern California. The story is told by two ladies who saw the monster while they were walking on Florence Heights, overlooking the land-locked Bay of San Diego. They saw a large head and long neck rise above the placid waters of the bay and move rapidly across the channel, a distance of nearly half a mile. The foaming wake made by this marine creature indicated that a large body was hidden by the water. The ladies say that the rush across the bay was made in about 10sec. The marvellous speed and curious shape of the monster made them wonder greatly, and they are firmly convinced that what they saw was a genuine sea-serpent. Other people also witnessed the strange sight. Hair seals occasionally come into this bay from their rookeries on Coronado Islands, eight miles off shore. But the ladies are positive that the head and neck seen by them could not have belonged to a seal. The rapidity of motion of the creature was far greater than it is possible for a seal to attain. The ladies who observed the strange sight live in Orange, N.J., and are at San Diego in search of health. Many scientific men believe that sea-serpents exist [hence follows a long discussion of 'the remains of sea serpents' without truly explaining that they're millions of years old]. According to the description of the head and neck of the sea monster the San Diego ladies saw dart across the bay, it resembled in form that of the Hippocamus heptagorus [sic] or sea-horse, which is frequently found along the Atlantic coast [thousands of miles away, and mere centimetres long].

From the Guernsey Star, August 23rd 1894.


Haunted Tower of London

The Haunted Tower.

For some weeks past, a family residing in the Tower of London have been very much anoyed and disturbed by a variety of unpleasant noises, heard in different parts of the house, during the night; and the sentries, on duty at the door of the Royal Regalia, to which this house belongs, have frequently been disturbed by the most violent knocking; and (according to their account) even deep and hollow groans have been heard; and the feeling of superstition having spread very much among the soldiery, with whom the ghost is now a cant phrase, an additional sentry has lately been placed on the rampart immediately over the mysterious spot, and every possible exertion used by the occupier of the house, towards elucidating the cause of the disturbance.

Officers of the garrison have watched for whole nights; nothing but a continuance of the noise was heard, but no visible cause discovered, until late on the night of Thursday the 11th inst. the inhabitants of the Tower were thrown into the greatest possible confusion by the screaming and roaring of the sentry stationed at the door of the Regalia depot, and the turning out of the guard, which, upon repairing to the spot, found the soldier extended on the pavement in a senseless state. He was immediately carried off to the guard-room, and when sufficiently restored to his senses, positively affirmed, that whilst upon duty a small figure crept from under the door at which he was stationed, and gradually made its approach to him, at the same time changing its appearance into that of a human being, and afterwards into that of a dog. These sudden transformations so completely affrighted the soldier, that, after alarming the whole neighbourhood with his bellowing, he fell down senseless.

Nothing was seen by the soldier on the rampart, and the most rational conclusion is, that imbecility of mind has, in this case, been worked upon by the ridiculous and absurd tales of the ghost, with which, most probably, the poor fellow's brains have been crammed; and certainly no rational person can say, that doubling the sentries, for such reasons as in this case, tends much to assure the uneducated mind of such fallacies, as it appears this soldier has fallen a martyr to.

At the same time it is absolutely necessary that proper methods should be resorted to, to clear up the mystery with which it is at present enveloped; although there is very little doubt but that in a building so ancient as the one in question, containing innumerable passages and blocked-up apartments, loop-holes and crevices, Boreas, occasionally gives a concert, in which he is most musically accompanied by all the bats, and consequently many cats of the garrison.

From The Liverpool Mercury, January 26th, 1816.

Sea monster, Alexandria

(From the American Papers.)

Alexandria, Dec. 9. 
The brig Trim, Capt. Cleveland on her passage from Gibraltar to this port, on the 25th of October, in lat.31. long.20. passed a substance in the water, about 25 or 30 feet from the vessel, which from its extraordinary appearance, induced the Captain to tack ship with a view to examine what it was -- the wind being light from the W.S.W. caused the boat to be lowered down, and sent the mate with two men to make discovery.

On their return they gave the following description:--
"When we came in sight of the before-mentioned substance, turned the boat and tacked her stern nearly over him, then about four feet under water lying coiled up with its head on top of the coil -- the head being pointed, and about 12 or 14 inches in length, with upper and lower tushes or teeth, appeared from three to four inches outside, the jaw shut within each other, appeared curvely like the tush of a hog, and extremely white.

"His body had the appearance in size of about three to three and a half feet in circumference, tapering towards the tail -- and his colour was of the deepest crimson, and reflected through the water some yards. The boat being to leeward of the reptile, the little wind and sea, while they stood viewing him, drifted it off about 30 to 40 feet, the mate then concluded to hook him; the noise of the oars at the first stroke started him, he threw himself out at his length, with his head towards the boat and came very near, raising himself nearly to the surface of the water in an attitude of attack, it was judged best to make for the vessel. His length could not have been less than 30 to 40 feet, and we judge him to be in form and appearance like a sea serpent."

From the Liverpool Mercury, January 26th, 1816.

Sea monster off Australia, the Exmouth Gulf


Mr Alfred Morris writes the following to Nature from Sydney, New South Wales, under date August 4th:-

A friend of mine, Captain W. Hopkins, of the schooner Mary Ogilvie, who has just returned from a voyage all round Australia, has given me the following information, which I forward you for publication, not so much because of its interesting character, but in order that other travellers may throw some light upon the character of the animal, which, if an octopus, must be of much larger dimensions than those usually met with. On June 15, when in S. lat. 21 deg. 37 sec. and E. long. 113 deg. 49 sec., about five miles off the Exmouth Gulf, on the western coast of the continent, he saw an immense creature which he took to be a species of octopus. His attention was drawn to it by a perfect cloud of sea birds, and at first he naturally thought it must be a dead carcase. On approaching it, however, he found it was alive, and sluggishly disporting itself. In shape it was like a violin, but of immense size, with some six feelers about the greater diameters of the violin. It lay almost flat upon the water, was of a dark grey above and lighter grey below, and was continually elevating one of its feelers, apparently twice the thickness of a man's arm, to a height of six to eight feet. It appeared to be vomiting, and as the birds were evidently feeding, that accounted for their presence in such numbers. Its size was so great that, had it grasped the vessel, it could easily have capsized it. The captain, therefore, got out of the way as quickly as possible, and without making definite measurements; but a large whale in the vicinity looked quite diminutive. It is a pity that something more exact as to size is not available, but I think the description is sufficient to convey an idea of the nature of the monster. all along the northern and western shores of the continent vast shoals of pumice, in portions varying in size from ordinary gravel to about a foot in diameter, and completely covered with barnacles, were passed through.

From the Dundee Courier, October 3rd, 1884.

Part of the Exmouth Gulf, by Jon Hansen

Monster in Devil's Lake, Logansport, Indiana


A public meeting was held by the citizens of Logansport (Indiana) on the 11th of August for the purpose of examining the "Devil's Lake," about 26 miles from that place. "The well-known tradition," says the Logansport Telegraph, "respecting the monster in the 'Devil's Lake,' and the many confirmatory statements of credible citizens, have placed the existence of a monstrous creature in the waters of the lake almost beyond a doubt. The length of the nondescript has been variously estimated at from 40 to 70 feet." - a snake story, truly. - Baltimore paper.

 From The Times of 1838, in The Times, October 1st 1938.

Monster in Lake Storsjon, Sweden

Now that winter has put the lid back on Lake Storsjon in central Sweden, the locals around its shores are breathing something of a sigh of relief. For a few months the lake ice will maintain a welcome barrier between water dwellers and land dwellers; specifically, that means a temporary halt will be imposed on impromptu meetings between the people of nearby Ostersund and their monster.

Lake Storsjon is Sweden's fifth largest body of water, but like our own Loch Ness it is particularly deep and has a long tradition of a monster-in-residence. Storsjon's Nessie is called Storsjddjuret (or Storsie for short), and last year was something of a record-breaker in terms of personal appearances, with three good sightings in one week alone.

Around 15 full accounts were logged at the local museum and several muddy photographs published in the local papers, but the museum's Marie Olofson believes that this probaby represents just 20 per cent of the total number who think they saw something over the summer, but who don't dare mention it for fear of ridicule. Elizabeth Richardson from the tourist board is sceptical about Storsie's existence, but even she admits that, "I work with someone who is sure she saw it recently, and she's not the sort of person to make it up."

In the league of monsters, Storsie is hardly a world celebrity. Nessie was sighted five times last year and manages to attract at least 250,000 visitors to the area around Loch Ness, generating an estimated annual income of around £30 million through souvenir shops, boat trips, and the two official visitor centres. Storsie, meanwhile, with many tiems more personal appearances, has a small corner at the Ostersund museum where display highlights include a baby-sized "embryo" in a pickle jar, which looks like a giant yellow newt with horns, and the equipment employed in a 1901 attempt to trap the monster using a live pig as bait.

It seems the phlegmatic Swedes have preferred not to play up their monster attraction without the due science to back it up, even if it means turning down a major marketing opportunity for the lake and its surroundings. The possibility of an official Storsie visitor centre has been discussed and discarded; even if the money were to be found, the various communities around the lake would find it hard to agree where it should be sited. As a compromise they have recently erected monster observation towers at eight key points.

The Storsie tradition goes back to the 16th century when old people used to warn against planting turnips near the water's edge- apparently this was a monster that liked its root vegetables. The first really authenticated sighting was by a local member of parliament in 1863, who spotted something at least 29ft long sunbathing on the lake shore and sent his men for their shotguns. They pursued it in a rowing boat, but never got near enough to open fire.

Since then there have been 200 documented reports by 500 witnesses, generally in the warmer months of the year. Most accounts agree that the monster is snake-like and up to 40 ft long with humps and a small head with ears, or possibly fins, pressed against its neck. Its skin resembles that of a seal, and its colour is usually either grey/black or dark green.

Last year's Storsie-spotters included two boys on a school trip who thought what they saw was a submarine, and a family sitting down for coffee on their terrace who saw three moving humps. Tina and Patrik Happes were convinced of what they saw but their son, Rasmus, seemed more doubtful. "It probably was the monster, but it may also have been a fish."

Another sighting came from Karin Egebjer, who noticed a small shimmering green "island" from her bedroom window, in a place where there'd never been an island before. It was still there, unmoving, when she went to bed, but in the morning it was gone.

All of this renewed interest has attracted the attention of Swedish journalist and website impressario Jan-Ove Sundberg and his pseudo-scientific Global Underwater Survey Team (GUST). Jan-Ove believes Storsie is a sea serpent and says that the sounds he recorded on a high-powered underwater hydrophone at Lake Storsjon last summer directly relate it to both Nessie and Selma, another much-seen monster which supposedly inhabits Norway's Lake Seljordsvatnet.

Jan-Ove is well known in lake monster circles, and turned up on Loch Ness in 2000 with his specially designed monster net. It caught nothing, but it did earn him a warning from officials that interfering with the wildlife would get him arrested.

He might just find himself in a similar position when he returns to Lake Storsjon in the coming season. Storsie was officially protected by law in 1986, but Jan-Ove's view is that no animal that has never been finally proven to exist can be protected. "Anyway, this particular 'law' is only a local regulation," he says dismissively.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, Ostersund's marketing bodies are not unwilling to co-operate with the monster hunter. They know that, as far as the local economy is concerned, a bit of monster controversy and a few colourful characters (especially with film crews in tow) are not such a terrible thing.

Andrew Eames in The Times, January 12th, 2002.

Lake monster in Patenggang lake, West Java

Jakarta, Febrary 1.
A six yard long prehistoric monster looking like a huge fish or a turtle is reported to be alive in Patenggang lake, 7,200ft above sea level, in West Java. Local fishermen burn opium to keep the monster in good humour. - Agence France-Presse.

In The Times, February 2nd, 1977.

Lake monster in Lake Kok-Kol, Kazakhstan

Russians to hunt for snake-like monster in lake.
Moscow, Feb 1.
Plans are being made for a student expedition to investigate the reported sighting of a huge, snake-like monster in the remote Lake Kok-Kol in Soviet Kazakhstan.
Interest in the possibility that the Loch Ness monster could have a Soviet cousin was aroused at the weekend by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, which printed a letter from Mr Anatoly Pechersky, a geographer, who said he and his son had seen it in the summer of 1975.
The creature had a body 50ft long and head over 6ft in length, he said. = Reuter.

From The Times, February 2nd, 1977.

Soviet lake is just mud.
Moscow - A team of experts from the prestigious Soviet Academy of Sciences claims to have scientifically disproved the existence of a mysterious marine beast in the depths of Lake Kol-Kol.
For many years there have been reports from witnesses of sightings of "a dinosaur-like" creature about 20 yards in length and emitting loud trumpeting sounds appearing above the surface.
Reporting from the town of Alma Ata, Tass, has disclosed that an expedition mounted by members of the academy's Institute of Evolutionary Morphology and Ecology of Animals has discovered a natural explanation.
According to the researchers, the deep lake is connected with underground cavities by mud-covered cracks. When the mud is washed away and water rushes down, large whirlpools appear. And if air is sucked in as well, the lake starts "singing."

From The Times, January 18th 1986.

Creatures in Lake Kanasi, Western China

Legendary lake 'monster' is captured on camera - Jane Macartney

China's Loch Ness monster has been sighted - or so Chinese state-run television says. More than a dozen huge creatures can be seen churning across Lake Kanasi in remote western China.
A rare video, filmed by a tourist at the lake in the Heavenly Mountains of Xinjiang, has reignited debate over the existence of an underwater creature that can compete with the Loch Ness monster in both mass and mystery.
The grainy film shows about 15 objects moving at high speed just beneath the surface of the lake. Chinese Central Television described the footage as the clearest yet seen of a legendary beast that has been rumoured for centuries to live in the depths of the lake. Local inhabitants have long believed that the animals have dragged sheep, cows and even horses into the deep to devour them.
Yuan Guoying, of the Xinjiang Institute of Environmental Protection, told The Times that the video provided important proof. "Only fish could make waves in this formation. I think the video is real," Mr Yuan, who has conducted research at the lake for more than two decades, said.
The television commentator described the sighting as the first for two years, when two black creatures that measured more than 10 metres (33ft) in length appeared on the surface, swimming at speed from the shore to the centre of the lake. State television made no attempt to identify the animals, saying only: "This time a large number of unidentified creatures emerged, bringing more mystery to Lake Kanasi."
Chinese researchers in the 1980s said that the "monster" was likely to be a huge member of the salmon family - one of eight species of fish living in the lake. Mr Yuan believes that a lot more research is needed, although it would be impossible to catch a fish of this size. "This fish will have tremendous strength, " he said.

From The Times,  July 18th, 2007.

Lake Lucerne monster, Brunnen, Switzerland

'Monster' hunt in Lake Lucerne.
Geneva, Aug 30.
An underwater search for a "monster" in Lake Lucerne is to be carried out by a Swiss diver using an electronic camera.
Crowds of sightseers lined the lake shore yesterday near Brunnen where about 60 people on Friday saw what they believed to be a long-necked creature moving through the water.
Photographs show a close similarity to some of those taken at Loch Ness over the past two decades. Its length was estimated at about 20ft to 25ft.

Lake 'monster' was made for TV show.
Brunnen, Aug 31.
The myth of the "monster" which appeared in Lake Lucerne, off Brunnen, on Saturday was deflated today.
Switzerland's "Loch Ness Monster", which drew crowds and tourist dollars to the lake area, turned out to be a 50ft inflatable "animal", complete with floats and flippers for realistic diving and surfacing, specially made for a television broadcast.
The Swiss press reported the monster's appearance in the lake with photographs showing two dark patches on the surface of the water. - Agence France-Presse.

From The Times, September 1st, 1976.

Interesting here that the size of the monster was underestimated by quite some margin.

Lake monster in Bear Creek, Utah.

A mysterious monster has long been supposed to haunt the waters of Bear Creek, Ride County, Utah, and a full description by an eye witness is given in the following letter, which, "by courtesy of President Brigham Young," is published in the Salt Lake City News: -
"To President Brigham Young. - Paris, Oneida County, Idaho, May 18th, 1874.
Dear Brother,
- Last Friday morning, May 15th, on our return from conference, William Broomhead, Milando Pratt, and myself, were in a light waggon, travelling northward by the lake shore, when our attention was attracted to an object in the water about a hundred yards ahead of us, and about twenty-five yards from the shore. At first sight, we thought it might be a very large duck, as we distinctly saw ducks nearer the shore; but as we got near we saw it was an animal, the head and a portion of the back about a foot from the head being visible, leaving also about the space of a foot between the back where the animal was not visible, the invisible part no doubt being the neck. When we were within about seventy yards the animal dived under the water, andf rom its action we judged it was not more than five or six feet long; still we did not see its length.

When it went down we stopped our waggon and waited, hoping it would come up again, which it did in perhaps about a minute, a little behind us, and probably twenty-five yards from shore and not more than thirty-five yards from us. Its face and part of its head were distinctly seen covered with fur or short hair of a light snuff colour. The face of the animal was apparently flat, very wide between the eyes and tapering to the nose, with very full large eyes and prominent ears resembling those of a horse, but scarcely as long. The whole face in shape was like that of a fox, but so large that the space between the eyes equalled that of the distance between, the eyes of a common cow. It did not look ferocious, and was in no hurry to go, but kept moving slowly; then, diving again, came up and moved off into the lake as fast as a man could walk. As there has been considerable interest excited in regard to the 'Bear Lake Monster,' I submit a description of what we have seen, thinking it might be acceptable to you --
Very respectfully, William Budge."

It seems a pity this monster cannot be secured for the Brighton Aquarium.

From the York Herald, June 26th, 1874.

Monster in Thompson Lake, Illinois


"Does Thompson's Lake boast of a sea serpent?" This is a question which the people of Havaanah (Illinois) have been asking themselves, and apparently, it has been answered affirmatively on the excellent testimony of the Rev. A. K. Tullis. Thompson's Lake is a neighbouring fishing and hunting resort, and a huge monster has been seen there repeatedly, according to popular report. It was said that a party of fishermen, young men and ladies, had seen this monster several months ago, and that the party thought at first that some huge tree had fallen into one of the lagoons tributary to the lake. The existence of some huge river serpent in Thompson's Lake is now established beyond all cavil or question, and by the best authority.

This reptile was seen one day by the Rev. A.K. Tullis, pastor of the Methodist Church, of Lewistown, and his son, Harry, who were boating on the lake. In company with his son, the Rev. Mr. Tullis was fishing. Their skiff was anchored about a half-mile south east of the boat landing, near the Prickett houses. At a distance of less than 200ft, amont the flags and lilies, Mr. Tullis first caught sight of the hideous creature's head as it rose high in the air. The head was flat, with a sort of whiskers or fin-like appendages on either side, and the eyes were large. From a cruel-looking mouth a forked tongue shot out, and hisses could be distinctly heard. Mr. Tullis says he cannot adequately describe the monster, but is satisfied that its neck was as large around as his arm, or larger, and he has no means of knowing how long the reptile is.

The creature seemed to be tangled in a mass of moss at the time, for it threshed the water into a foam for a 100ft around, and, as it did so, exposed portions of its body, which gave the impression that it must be several feet in circumfernce, although at the neck it was not much larger than a good-sized man's fleshy arm. During this time Harry Tullis fell out of the boat, and, in rescuing him so much commontion was made in the water that the reptile became quiet, or moved to another part of the lake. It was seen again, however, before the party returned to shore.

The Rev. Mr. Tullis does not pretend to give a sensational description of the monster. He says that htere can be no doubt that it is a huge reptile of some sort, and is not certain but it is a reptile something on the order of the prehistoric animals whose huge remains are occasionally found in some of the older deposits in river valleys. This creature has been seen before this by others fishing in Thompson's Lake. Little attention was paid to the stories told of the hideous thing until the Rev. Mr. Tullis verified them. One farmer saw the snake tearing through his cornfield recently, leaving a swath dozens of feet wide. Some fields of grain have been ruined by the monster. A party of cool and determined men is being organised to capture the animal and ascertain to what order of reptile it belongs. There is little doubt that a much-mooted question has finally been settled.

From The Western Mail, July 23rd, 1894.

Creature in Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala), Gwynedd

I am from Bala in North Wales, and there has been lots of talk about sightings on the lake - people have seen peculiar things. But what I saw was: I was sitting in the office in the morning, having a cup of coffee, and I looked out onto the lake and there was this massive thing, swimming along the surface. It was at least eight feet long, and it was making its way towards the bank. I went in the car and came over the fence onto the lake foreshore, but it had disappeared. Some time after that, I was out on the lake one day, and I saw what turned out to be a dead sheep, a massive thing. I put a piece of rope around one of its legs and pulled it onto the foreshore and dragged it behind some trees and left it there. The following morning I went with one of my staff to bury this sheep, and when we arrived at the spot, it was nowhere to be seen. And I often ask people, who goes round pinching dead sheep? As to where it could have gone will remain a mystery, but as to my mind there was only one way it could have gone, and that would be back into the lake.

Tale by Dewi Bowen, Retired Lake Warden, for 'Strange Days'.

Sea creature at Gerran's Bay, Cornwall

An account from Sheila Bird, in 'Strange Days'.

"One fine summer's evening, I was walking along the shores of Gerran's Bay, with my brother (who is a high flown scientist, not given to flights of fancy), when he suddenly drew my attention to something in the water. "What on earth's that?!" he cried, and to my astonishment I saw an enormous sea creature - sea monster - just off shore, about 300 metres from the shore. And we were looking down from a height, at an oblique angle, and it had a long neck, an enormous hump, two smaller humps (and they were muscular, and you could see the muscles rippling as it was propelling itself rapidly along). And then we realised it had a long tail which was just below the surface, and which was as long as the trunk part. And surprisingly, the monster had this long neck, and for the size of the animal, a very small head. And in a way it looked rather endearing, because it had its head at a pert angle, and its nose in the air. And it was moving very rapidly, and very smoothly - it was gliding very fast. And it was quite surprising, in view of the size of the animal, that it was making very little disturbance on the glassy still surface of the water. We watched for about five minutes. Then all of a sudden it submerged. And it didn't, as one might expect, put its head down for a dive, it just went down like a submarine. First of all the hump disappeared, and then there was the neck, and the little head, and the last we saw of it was the little head and the nose disappearing below the surface of the water, with scarcely a ripple.

Genuine Big Cat, Wigan, 1847

District Intelligence.

On Monday last, as Mr. Edwin Huddlestone, bootmaker, London-road, was on his way from Upholland to Wigan, he was attacked by a panther, from whose claws he had a very providential escape. It appears that Mr. Huddlestone was on his way to Wigan about noon onthe day in question, when he saw a strange-looking animal, about the size of a half grown sheep, coming across a field. As it came nearer, the animal, which appeared to be a panther, leaped over the hedge and jumped up at the back of the whitechapel on which he was riding, with his little girl by his side. He struck the wild animal with the butt end of his whip, and thus made it relinquish its hold two or three times. It then tried to jump at the side of the vehicle, but in doing so the wheel appeared to have crushed one of its fee as it fell down, and then ran off upon three legs, howling most dismally.

From the Liverpool Mercury, October 12th, 1847.

Ok. Maybe not that big. But still a 'panther'.

Strange animal at Coulsdon, Surrey

Some excitement has been raised in the little quiet village of Coulsdon, in Surrey, in consequence of an animal of strange and unnatural appearance having taken up its abode in the neighbouring woods. It has been seen by a great many persons, but the several descriptions are much at variance with each other. All decllare that it is something of the dog or wolf species, but all agree that they never saw the like before. It is thought by the more rational part, who are willing to assign a natural cause for the visit of this animal, that it has escaped from some menagery; but the superstitious are inclined to the belief that it is a supernatural being, come to terrify the wicked for their sins. It, however, appears to be subject to the natural wants that flesh is heir to, as two sheep have already been destroyed and partly devoured by this ferocious vissitant. A party, consisting of the gentry of the neighbourhood, with some hounds from the Surrey pack, went in pursuit of the animal on Tuesday morning, but they met with no success.

From The Times, May 3rd, 1833.

Worcestershire surprise animal

Two gentlemen were out in the Woods at Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire, a few days ago, when they caught sight of a strange-looking animal, which they shot. It proved to be a female racoon, and the only theory as to its presence in an English county is that it may have escaped from some travelling menagerie.

From the Dundee Courier, May 28th, 1878.

The Loch Ness Monster



From a correspondent

The four weeks' search for the Loch Ness monster, organized by Sir Edward Mountain, chairman of the Eagle, Star and British Dominions Insurance Company, Limited, came to an end last night. During the four weeks the creature was observed by the watchers on 21 occasions.

Photographing a marine creature proved extremely difficult, but photographs which clearly prove that there is some strange animal in the loch were secured and were made public last night. Since visibility and weather were generally bad during the last fortnight of the organized search, Sir Edward Mountain has decided to continue it for one more week, and has now put two much more powerful cameras in the most likely places.

Great precautions were taken, in organizing the search, to make certain that there would be no tampering with the films. Arrangements were made with Kodak, Limited, who supplied the cameras, that all films should be sealed and developed by the company's chief chemist. The 20 watchers and their supervisor, Captain James Fraser, were also equipped with powerful field glasses. The search has gone on under conditions of almost military precision, with a careful distribution of watchers at places most likely to yield satisfactory photographs.


in the main the accounts given by the watchers agree that when on the surface the monster displays a very small head relative to the size of its body, and moves along the water in such a way as to show either two or three humps. All accounts agree that when on the surface the creature moves with remarkable speed, which greatly complicates attempts to photograph it. On the other hand, it creates a tremendous wash, which can clearly be seen in one of the pictures reproduced.

The watchers were enthusiastic about their work, and some stayed on duty longer hours than they were asked to do in the hope of getting better photographs. The search has convinced most of the sceptics in the neighbourhood of the loch, and it has provided approximately 110 weeks of work for unemployed men in Inverness.

From The Times, August 9th, 1934.

Swedish lake monster


From our own correspondent

According to an informant of the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, a cousin or other relative of the Loch Ness "monster" seems to have found its way into a Swedish inland lake in the Province of Ostergotland.

For some years during the summer months "a strange animal has been swimming about in the lake." Last summer this observer saw it at a distance of only 350ft. "Its head was raised above the surface of the water and had something horsy about it." The creature "might have been about 35ft. long, but was apparently very shy, as it hurriedly disappeared." The observer adds that other people in the district have seen the "monster," and have been much scared by it.

Its appearance during the winter months has not been reported, and as the Swedish lake is then presumably frozen over its presence in it is evidently a seasonal affair. It has not been overlooked here that a correspondent to The Times put forward the suggestion that the Scottish "monster" has obviously taken the lake for the season.

From The Times, January 4th, 1934.

Inverness-shire sea serpent


A gentleman, says the Inverness Courier, on whose intelligent observation and accuracy we have perfect reliance, sends the following account of a strange animal now to be seen about the west coast of Inverness-shire, and which, if not the veritable or traditional sea-serpent, must be the object so often represented under that appellation:--

"On Tuesday last I went on a trip to Lochourn in my small sailing boat. I was accompanied by my friend and your acquaintance, the Rev. Mr --, of Kent, my two daughters, a young man, my grandson, and a servant lad. While we were proceeding along the Sound of Sleat it fell calm, and we were rowing the boat when we observed behind us a row of dark masses, which we took, at the first glance for a shoal of porpoises; but a second look showed that these masses formed one and the same creature, for it moved slowly across our wake, about 200 yards off, and disappeared.

Soon afterwards what seemed to be its head re-appeared, followed by the bumps or undulations of its body, which rose in succession till we counted eight of them. It approached now within about a hundred yards or less, and with the help of binoculars, of which there happened to be three on board, we could see it pretty distinctly. We did not see its eyes, nor observe any scales; but two of the party believed that they saw what they took to be a small fin moving above the water. It then slowly sunk, and moved away just under the surface of the water, for we could trace its course till it rose again, by the large waves raised above it to the distance of a mile and upwards.

We had no means of measuring its size with any accuracy; but taking the distance from the centre of one bump or undulation of its body to that of another at six feet (and it could not be less), the length of the portion visible above the water would be about fift feet; and there may have been twenty or thirty feet more of its length which we did not see. Its head seemed blunt, and looked about eighteen inches in diameter, and the bumps were rather larger than the head. When in rapid motion, the bumps disappeared, and only the head and neck could be seen partly above the surface of the water. It continued to rush about in the same manner as long as we remained in sight of the place, but did not again come so near us that day.

On the afternoon of the next day, as we were returning home, we encountered our strange acquaintance again within the entrance of Lochourn, and saw him careering swiftly along the surface of the water, which was now slightly rippled with a light air of wind. It passed once abeam of us, at the distance of about 150 yards, with its head half out of the water, and we distinctly heard the whizzing noise it made as it rushed through the water. There were no organs of motion to be seen, and its progress was equable and smomoth, like that of a log towed rapidly. It passed on towards Kylerhea, alternately sinking and rising, till the advancing twilight rendered it no longer visible to us."

From the Glasgow Herald, August 31st 1872.

The Sound of Sleat (by Nigel Brown)

Boys 'saw Exmoor Beast'

From The Times, May 31st 1983.

Two schoolboys believe they have had a face-to-face encounter with the so-called "Beast of Exmoor," which has killed more than eighty sheep and is being hunted by the Royal Marines.

Wayne Admas, aged 13, of North Molton, Devon, and Marcus White, aged 12, of Exwick, Exeter, were staying on an isolated farm in the heart of Exmoor when they saw a strange animal prowling near a flock of sheep on a common.

Wayne Adams said yesterday: "I looked over a gate and saw the animal about 10 yards away. It stared straight at me with bulging greeny eyes, just like a lion.
"It was jet black, apart from white markings down its chest, and had a head like an alsatian dog, but it was much too big to be a dog. It was over four foot high, and about 15 inches wide across the back.
"I was scared, and did not know what to do. I stayed on top of the gate and said to Marcus, 'There's the thing everyone is looking for', and it lolloped away. It moved like a cat, but I don't think it was a puma. We later found its footprints and claw mark."

Marcus White said: "It sort of pranced away. I did not see it for as long as Wayne, and I was not so frightened."

Mr[s] Mary Adams, Wayne's aunt, of Willingford Farm, Exford, where the boys were staying, said: "Whatever it was really frightened Wayne".

Police at Taunton, Somerset, said: "We are investigating a very large, alsatian-type dog which the boys saw about five miles away from the last attack on sheep".

Remarkable Animal, Oxford

A Gentleman (Mr. J. O. HYDE) direct from Oxford, called on us last Saturday, and informed that two brothers, one about 18, the other only 12 years of age, went into the woods, about five miles below Oxford on Thursday, the 12th ult., with two rifles, and discovered a strange animal about thirty yards distant from them. The oldest boy fired - and wounded him in the breast and shoulder. He turned, and made furiously towards the one who shot him. The oldest then called for his brother's rifle, who was about six rods distant. The younger brother started with his rifle towards him, but finding the animal would be too quick for him, had levelled his rifle himself, and brought him to the ground with a ball through his head. He was brought in and measured, when he was found to be eight feet in length from the end of the nose to the root of his tail, which was five feet long, making 13 feet in the whole. He was three feet four inches high when standing, his body about the size of a man's; he was of a red dun colour, had a face like a monkey, body like a panther, feet like a deer, and tail like a wolf. Mr. HYDE saw the animal himself. -- (Boston Palladium).

Not sure why the Boston Palladium would be interested in something from Oxford. Also, it was going so well until the monkey-face. It seems over-egging the pudding. I'm interested to check out other imaginative stories from the Morning Post. Maybe this is one of their specialities.

From the Morning Post, September 10th, 1825.

"Loch Ness Monster" In Manitoba Lake

From our Correspondent.
WINNIPEG, Man., July 29

The professor of zoology at the University of Manitoba, Dr. J. A. McLeod, is leaving for Lake Winnipegosis, in northern Manitoba, to investigate the appearance there of Manitoba's own version of the Loch Ness monster. Last weekend some 20 persons reported sighting a strange animal swimming in the lake. It was described as being about 10ft. long with humps on its back every two or three feet, black on top with white underside, and moving at a speed of about 15 miles an hour.

Dr. McLeod, although sceptical about the reports, did not rule out the possibility of a prehistoric animal surviving in Manitoba's north. He recalled that the Coelacanth and other animals considered long extinct had been caught in recent years.

Residents living around Lake Winnipegosis have claimed for many years that a strange animal which they call the "Manipogo" was living in the lake. The story first cropped up in the thirties, but various attempts at capturing or at least photographing the "Manipogo" have hitherto proved fruitless.

From The Times, July 30th, 1960.

From our correspondent

The Winnipeg Free Press today published on its front page a photograph of an object which looks like the Manipogo monster, a creature believed to have haunted Lake Manitoba for half a century. The picture was taken by two men on a fishing trip at a spot about 180 miles north of Winnipeg. It shows an elongated, snake-like object with a hump in the middle which, the fishermen said, moved through the water like an eel for 15 minutes before submerging. The photograph was taken from a distance of between 50 and 75 yards.

One of the men said it was black in colour, and no head was visible. Although the boat was equipped equipped with a 10 h.p. motor the men were unable to overtake the object before it vanished beneath the surface.

The two men said they first saw the object when it was about 300 yards away. They swung the boat in its direction and observed that it was swimming with a rippling action. It swam steadily forward as the boat approached and crossed in front of the bow.

In 1960 Professor James McLeod, head of the Zoology department at the University of Manitoba, carried out an unsuccessful search for the lake monster.

From The Times, August 16th, 1962.

You what now

A wonderful and strange animal, never before seen in this country, has lately been caught on the premises of a gentleman residing at Reading, Yorkshire. It has a head like a cat, fore feet like a leopard, hind feet like a ferret, purple eyes when seen in the shade, and of a greenish hue when seen in the light. It has three white marks over the right eye, and three black over the left. It is of a whitey-brown colour, spotted with red. The tale is a beautiful white, tipped with blue. --- Morning Paper.

From 'The Age', January 13th, 1828.

Is this an in-joke? Or a proto-big cat? Or just a mad bit of newspaper column filler? I feel confused.

a slightly confused ferret

"Strange Animal" of Himalayas

Report by Italian
From our Correspondent

The Nepalese Foreign Ministry stated to-day that an Italian, Signor Godwin Ciani, who carried out a month's scientific exploration in a region north of Katmandu, had mentioned in his report to the Government an incident apparently connected with the question of the existence of the Snowman.

Signor Ciani said that on the night of November 28 he saw a strange animal, 5ft. high, just outside the cave in which the members of his expedition were camping. He had first heard the sound of the animal walking outside. When he went out he saw it staring at him. It was gone when he made a further investigation with his colleagues.

Next morning, the statement added, he found footprints like those of a man.

From The Times, January 2nd, 1959.

A photo by Asterix99

Curious animal in Wolverhampton

From The Times, January 18th, 1934.

From our correspondent.

Wolverhampton, Jan. 17.

The identity of a curious animal which was killed by a 17-year-old youth while it was running after a baby is perplexing people at Wolverhampton.

The body of the animal, which is now in a corporation yard, was found by a corporation workman in a gutter in Peel Street. The creature has an overall length of about 38in., and a head something like that of a small wild boar, with an upturned snout and a body about the size of a full-grown cat. It has a thick brush-like tail which measures about 16in.

George Goodhead, of Raglan Street, Wolverhampton, who killed the animal, said that it was running after a baby on some waste land near Peel Street, where a number of slum dwellings have recently been demolished and the area cleared. The baby ran, and the animal crouched and sprang at him. He (Goodhead) had a brick end in his hand, and he hit the creature on the head with it. It dropped to the ground, and, when he kicked it with his foot, made a croaking sort of noise.

A suggestion has been made that the animal is either one of a pair of mongoose lost over 30 years ago, or the offspring of a mongoose which has mated with a rat. It has been suggested also that the animal may have been living beneath the old houses which have recently been demolished.

a mongoose
 Not really much like a mongoose from the sound of it, where's his piggy face? I like the 'threat to babies' idea. And also the rather non-biological suggestion that it was half mongoose half rat. Not to mention the idea that it was from mysteriously released mongooses lost some time ago (rather like the modern Big Cat). My guess is a Tasmanian devil. Sounds more like the description. But not very likely I fear. Still, might have been lost 30 years before.