‘Sea Monster’ Kills Four Teens in Florida
In March of 1962 five teens from Fort Walton Beach, Florida set out on a raft to explore the semi-submerged shipwreck of the USS Massachusetts. Of the five teens that set out on the mission only one returned alive. The 16 year old survivor was named Brian McCleary and his account of what happened to him and his friends that day is bizarre and truly disturbing.
Brian retold his account of the events to Fate Magazine in 1965. Brian was joined on the trip by his friends Eric Ruyle, 16, Bradford Rice, 14, Warren Felley, 16, and Larry Stuart Bill, 17. He says he checked the weather report before embarking on their journey and the weather was supposed to be clear. They drove from Fort Walton to Fort Pickens State Park, where they entered the waters of Pensacola Bay. The boys had a “seven-foot Air Force life raft,” outfitted with “a drift anchor, pockets for provisions, and oars.” The water was ice cold.
The boys took turns paddling to help save energy for exploring the shipwreck, but on the trip out, a storm rolled in. The wind and waves were pushing the raft out to sea. Eric, Warren, and Brian jumped into the water to try to push the raft from behind, but were unable to make any progress towards shore so they climbed back into the boat. The waves were getting higher and higher and the boys had to hold on tight to the sides of the boat.
The sky began to grow dark and other boats out at sea began to heading in to shore. They attempted to wave down help from other vessels but they just waved back oblivious to the trouble the boys were in. After a while, the storm lets up but a thick fog rolls in limiting their visibility to 25 feet. The water around them suddenly becomes unseasonably warm and the smell of rotting fish fills the air. Out of nowhere what looked like a telephone pole with a bulb on top appeared near the boys, bent in the middle and then dove under the water making a high pitched whine.
The boys began to panic and jumped into the water. Patches of brown, crusty slime lay all over it’s surface. The boys tried to swim for the shipwreck but they were all tired and cramping up. After they have been swimming for about 30 seconds Warren cries out, “Hey! Help me! Help me! It’s got Brad…” before he, too, vanishes beneath the surface. Brian, Larry and Eric keep swimming but have lost sight of Warren and Brad.
Next Larry suddenly vanishes. Eric and Brian frantically search for him but it has become so dark they can’t see him. Eric becomes overcome with fatigue and holds on to Brian’ to stay afloat. After what felt like a couple of hours, lightning flashes and Brian is able to make out the wreck of the USS Massachusetts. He frantically swims toward it. Eric and Brian are separated by a wave but they both continue to swim towards the wreckage.
Suddenly the the long telephone pole like figure emerged from the water once more and dove on top of eric, dragging him under the water. Brian screams and swims past the ship. He can’t remember anything after this until he wakes up on the shore and is found by some bystanders.
Brian was taken to hospital and he reported his story to the local police. They told him to keep quiet about the sea monster from his story as no good would come of it. They didn’t believe him to be guilty of any wrongdoing so let him be. Brian had a mental breakdown after the incident but was able to resume his life after 3 months of recovery. He was honest about what happened to him, telling people about the sea monster but suffered greatly for the rest of his life as few people believed his story about the sea monster.
Skeptics claim the boys were simply hallucinating from exhaustion and drowned. Others claimed they saw a whale which caused them to panic and then drown. In the end Brian stopped talking about what happened and passed away in 2016.
A Florida Teen Said A ‘Sea Monster’ Killed Four Of His Friends
Nandi Bear: A Ferocious African Cryptid
An artist’s interpretation of the Nandi Bear. Photo: Cryptid Archives.
The Nandi Bear is a ferocious cryptid spotted in the highlands of Kenya during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Description of the Nandi Bear
A footprint of a Nandibear
The Nandi Bear is also known as the Chemosit, Kerit, Koddoelo, Ngoloko, or Duba. It has been described as as a carnivorous animal with a formidable build, possessing long legs exceeding a height of four feet, and a back that slopes downward. It is described as being highly aggressive in nature.
Nandi Bear Sightings
A drawing of a Nandi Bear encounter by A. McWilliams
A number of early 20th century authors mention the Nandi Bear in their work.
Richard Meinertzhagen claimed in 1905 that he was told by the Nandi people that the Nandi bear was once widespread when they first settled in the highlands of present-day Kenya, around the early 17th century.
The Nandi people believed that the rinderpest epidemic towards the end of the 19th century pushed the Nandi bear to the brink of extinction. Although the Nandi bear was never numerous, it was not uncommon prior to the epidemic.
Unfortunately, the population never fully recovered from the impact of the outbreak. During the colonial era, the Nandi bear was held responsible for the deaths of numerous native people, whose skulls were found crushed every year.
While the Nandi Bear was widely feared by the native population, it does not appear to have been known to Europeans or colonial officials until the beginning of the 20th century.
Prior to 1912, the Nandi reportedly killed a Nandi Bear after it climbed onto the roof of a hut, broke through, and killed everyone inside. Subsequently, the village inhabitants burned down the hut with the animal still inside. Geoffrey Williams had heard of a similar animal’s preserved skin in Kabras, but was unsuccessful in obtaining it.
There were rumors that a Boer had shot a Nandi bear, but was unable to retrieve the carcass. C. W. Hobley wrote of this story.
Similarly, a farmer from Uganda named K. R. Williams supposedly unintentionally poisoned a young Nandi bear while setting out bait for hyenas.
Williams described the animal as being much larger than a spotted hyena, with the same yellowish fur, and a head similar to that of a bear. However, when he returned to his camp to retrieve a knife for skinning the carcass, actual hyenas had dragged the Nandi bear’s body away.
In 1905, while on the Nandi Expedition to the Uasin Gishu in western British East Africa, Geoffrey Williams wrote of his experiences with the Nandi Bear.
He observed an animal of around 5 feet in height sitting upright like a zoo bear, with small pointed ears and a long head, about 30 yards away.
The creature then ran away with a sideways canter towards the Sirgoit Rock. Williams quickly took a snapshot of the animal with his rifle, but missed it.
He claimed the Nandi bear was larger than a typical zoo bear and heavily built, with thick fur covering its forequarters and all four legs. The hindquarters were relatively smooth, and the color was dark.
Williams could not recall much about the ears, but mentioned that they were small, and the tail, if any, was tiny and barely noticeable.
Engineer Dennis Burnett and his wife Marlene reported the most recent documented sighting of the Nandi bear in February 1998.
While driving along the Koru-Kisumu road near the base of the Nandi Escarpment during a rainy evening, they saw a large animal crossing the road.
Upon reversing their car, the couple observed the animal for about fifteen seconds. Although they initially thought it was a bear, they soon realized that it was “an enormous, shaggy hyena – resembling a Striped Hyena but significantly larger.”
Theories about the Nandi Bear
Bob Gymlan of Bigfoot hunting fame has posted a detailed video telling the history of the Nandi Bear.
In 1923, Charles William Andrews proposed that the Nandi bear might be a surviving species of the extinct Chalicothere. Louis Leakey later suggested in the 1930s that the Nandi Bear’s descriptions matched those of the Chalicothere, despite chalicotheres being herbivores.
The Chalicothere hypothesis was eventually abandoned. In 2000, paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs stated that if Chalicotheres still existed, they would have been discovered, much like the giant forest hog. Jacobs concluded that if there was any truth to the Nandi bear story, it could be a description of gorillas passed down orally across the continent.
Zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock argued that the Nandi bear sightings were actually misidentified spotted hyenas. The British Natural History Museum also stated in 1932 that many reports of the Nandi bear were nothing more than spotted hyenas.
Paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson claimed that the Nandi bear turned out to be honey badgers, which zoologists had been aware of since 1776.
Have you ever seen a Nandi Bear? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Nandi Bear you might also be interested in the J’Ba Fofi: A Giant Congolese Spider Cryptid or the Tikoloshe, a South African Cryptid.
Squonk: The Saddest Cryptid
The Squonk as featured in Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods by William Cox. Photo: Wikipedia
The Squonk is said to be the ugliest creature in the world. It is so ashamed of its appearance that it will hide from anyone who approaches and, if caught, it will dissolve into a puddle of tears.
The Legend of the Squonk
The rock band Genesis wrote a popular song about the Squonk
The first mention of the squonk in written history is in William Cox’s 1910 book “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts.”
Cox describes the as the ugliest animal in the world and claims it is aware of its unfortunate appearance.
Cox claims that the squonk used to have a wide distribution and preferred habitats with plenty of desert vegetation on high plains. As these areas changed into swampy, lake-dotted regions, the squonk was forced to adapt to the water.
Due to its low intelligence, the squonk constantly searched for food by swimming in the marshes, and over time developed webbing between its toes, but only on its left feet that were submerged in water. As a result, it could only swim in circles and could never return to shore, leading to thousands of squonks dying from starvation, as evidenced by fossil bones found in the lake bottoms.
Cox also claimed that the squonk can only be found in the hemlock forests of Pennsylvania. It is said to be shy and reclusive, and can be seen mostly during twilight hours.
It is covered in a loose and warty skin that doesn’t fit properly. The squonk is known to be perpetually unhappy and often weeps due to its distressing appearance, leaving a trail of tears that can be followed.
The best time to search for a squonk is during moonlit nights, as it tends to stay hidden in its hemlock dwelling, afraid to catch a glimpse of itself in a reflective pool.
Sometimes, the sound of a softly weeping squonk can be heard, which sounds like a mournful call resembling that of the cross-feathered snee.
A Mr. J.P. Wentling had a disappointing experience with a squonk near Mont Alto. He captured the squonk by mimicking its crying sounds and tricking it into hopping into a sack. As he carried it home the sack suddenly became much lighter. Wentling unslung the sack and looked in. He found that the squonk had dissolved into tears and bubbles.
A variation of the squonk meme that has become popular in recent times.
The squonk has become a meme in recent times, with many internet users feeling like they can relate to the poor little creature. The squonk has even featured in one of our paranormal meme dumps.
Have you ever seen a poor little squonk in the wild? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in the story of the kushtaka or the Central American Whintosser.
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