Amazing & Wacky Things, Conspiracies, Strange Happenings

Montauk Monster: Plum Island Conspiracy?

October 16, 2010
Montauk Monster

The Montauk Monster was a bloated, leathery animal corpse that was found on Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk, New York in 2008 — only it was like no animal anyone had seen before. A stout, hairless creature with a beak, claws, and the almond-shaped eyes familiar from renderings of space aliens, it looked, in short, like a monster. Hence the headline: “Dead Monster Washes Ashore in Montauk.”

The story surrounding the Montauk Monster began with an article in the local newspaper The Independent in 2008. Chief Britton, 20, of Bay Shore, and three friends said they found the creature on July 12 at Ditch Plains beach, two miles east of the district. “We were looking for a place to run when we saw some people looking at something… We didn’t know what it was… We joked that maybe it was something from Plum Island,” Britton stated.

In the widely-distributed image, the Montauk Monster appears to be mostly hairless, with a body type which vaguely resembles that of a dog, complete with four legs and a tail. However, the creature’s brow ridge also appears unusually prominent, and it seems to have a beak, rather than the more conventional jaw. One of its front paws is also elongated, and a scrap of leather or fabric is wrapped around the front leg.

Montauk Monster

The article wondered that the thing may be a turtle or some malformed test from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The Director of the East Hampton Natural Resources had said that the Montauk Monster actually was a raccoon with its upper jaw absent.

Most of the mundane explanations for the Montauk Monster focus on the fact that it was badly decomposed when it washed up, rendering it hard to identify. From the available evidence, the creature might be a dog, raccoon, or large rat. It may also be a mysteriously shell-less sea turtle.

Another photo of the "monster"

The  Montauk monster story had shocked millions of Americans who were convinced that it was a creature from the seas. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo first coined the name “Montauk Monster” July 29, 2008 since it was found in the business district of Montauk, New York. The nickname spread globally on the Internet.

William Wise, director of marine living resources of Stony Brook University, interpreted the photo along with a colleague, in their view, being a fake, the result of “who got very creative with latex.” He highlighted the following features:

* Raccoon (legs appear too long in proportion to the body.)

* Sea Turtle (Sea turtles have no teeth)

* Rodents (Rodents have two huge, curved incisor teeth in front of the mouth)

* Dogs or other dogs, such as the coyote. (Prominent ridge eyes and feet do not match)

* Sheep (sheep, two-toed hoof, rather than multiple-toed paws)

* Sloth (fur fell after his deathbut sloths do not have tails).

The Montauk Monster  may also be part of a viral marketing campaign. Several of the people involved in the discovery of the creature have worked for viral marketing firms, and several films and television series could certainly benefit from the extra exposure. One film, Splinterheads, even claimed to have created the Montauk Monster, but it later withdrew the claim.

Conspiracy fans suggested that the Montauk Monster was an escapee from the neighboring Plum Island Animal Disease Center, a United States Department of Agriculture facility. Plum Island Animal Disease Center stressed that it had an impeccable safety record, and it clearly did not appreciate such speculation in the press.

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