18 February 2010

encounter at sea

After a military engagement with the British steamer Iberian in the North Atlantic - an encounter which resulted in the steamer's destruction via German torpedo - the captain and officers of the U-28 Schmidt, bore witness to a spectacle which none of them could have anticipated. The Captain of the submarine, Commander Freiherr Georg Gunther von Forstner, described the encounter thusly:

"On July 30, 1915, our U-28 torpedoed the British steamer Iberian, which was carrying a rich cargo across the North Atlantic. The steamer sank so swiftly that its bow stuck up almost vertically into the air. Moments later the hull of the Iberian disappeared. The wreckage remained beneath the water for approximately twenty-five seconds, at a depth that was clearly impossible to assess, when suddenly there was a violent explosion, which shot pieces of debris - among them a gigantic aquatic animal - out of the water to a height of approximately 80-feet.

"At that moment I had with me in the conning tower six of my officers of the watch, including the chief engineer, the navigator, and the helmsman. Simultaneously we all drew one another's attention to this wonder of the seas, which was writhing and struggling among the debris. We were unable to identify the creature, but all of us agreed that it resembled an aquatic crocodile, which was about 60-feet long, with four limbs resembling large webbed feet, a long, pointed tail and a head which also tapered to a point. Unfortunately we were not able to take a photograph, for the animal sank out of sight after ten or fifteen seconds."

The most intriguing aspect of this account is the "dry" manner in which it was reported. Submarine captains - a breed, it should be noted, who are not prone to exaggeration - would detail such an anomalous encounter for the log as matter-of-factly as they would an encounter with an enemy vessel, and that's just how this report feels. Also there would seem to be no apparent reason for a U-boat captain and his crew to concoct a story as strange as this, for (as we have seen many times in the past) encounters with the unexplained tend to lead at best to ridicule and at worst to societal expulsion.

Interestingly this report - as well as many others from the notoriously monster populated North Atlantic - match significantly the fossilized traits of the purportedly extinct pliosaurs and mosasaurs, who are thought to have resembled crocodiles with gigantic flippers. The fossil record also shows that the spines of these creatures were incredibly flexible, indicating that these animals probably swam using a snake-like motion. This could account for the many serpentine descriptions which have emanated from this area.

On September 2, of that same year, the U-28 was damaged beyond repair in the North Cape after being hit by debris from the munitions ship, Olive Branch, which exploded after being torpedoed by U-28. The truth of this tale, along with the remains of the Iberian, may forever be lost on the ocean floor.

(from americanmonster.com)

1 comment:

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