SEA MONSTER THEORIES FLOOD IN
MANS fascination with the natural world is as strong as ever judging by the dozens of letters and calls The Whitehaven News received after a strange
sea creature was washed ashore at Parton.
Whitehaven man Robert Beattie said he saw a similar creature a few weeks ago on the beach at Braystones.
He said: It had quite big ribs and a backbone and I knew it could not be a fish, I thought it was an alligator, maybe a pet that had been thrown into
He said the one he saw was slightly smaller than the one pictured in last weeks The Whitehaven News but was much the same.
BNFL were swift to light-heartedly emphasise: Its nothing to do with Sellafield!
Dr Brian McCusker, of Newcastle University, rang to say when he has been fishing off the St Bees and Seascale coast he has noticed weird inbred
beasts. He said some of them are like something from the Alien film about four or five feet long.
A civil servant from Carlisle, who did not wish to be named, said: It is a species of penguin, I am sure it is an old penguin that has lost all its
Charles Harvin, an American now living in Bulgaria, said: Mystery monster?
I wish it were a mini-Nessie but its a seal pup in a fairly badly decomposed condition.
Gases in the body have bloated it out of proportion and the fur and skin in the small areas (flippers) have been scavenged or slipped off.
Ive seen many that look the same on the North Coast of California. First time I saw one I was also sure it was something new. Any marine biologist
should be able to tell quickly from the teeth.
Marine biologist Chris Frid said: Pictures show a decomposing and hence very bloated young harbour porpoise.
These are moderately common around the UK but are more difficult to see at sea than dolphins, they tend to stay underwater more and only show the
blow hole when breathing.
Nick Jeffrey, from Dent View, Egremont, said: I think it is a baby porpoise that has inflated with decay gases.
An anonymous caller said: Unable to resist, I rang the Centre of Fortean Zoology and got through to someone called CFZ who became audibly excited. I
gave him the web link which he typed in as we spoke.
This is unbelievable, he said. I need you to get down there now, it doesnt matter whos around, just put it in a bin bag and Fed Ex it down
well reimburse your costs.
But later we had this message: Sirs, I am a representative of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, based in Northants, England. We study unknown and
out-of-place animals (www.cfz.org.uk).
My attention was drawn to your story of the mini Loch Ness Monster.
I have consulted a number of experts, and have come to the conclusion that the photo is actually of a foetal porpoise with desiccation of the
pectoral and ventral fins which make them look like claws.
No mystery here Im afraid but maybe next time.