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what is this??

bobwonderbuns

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#1
Hi All!! I would like your thoughts to see if anyone has a view on what this animal is this article is describing. This article was posted from “The Pathfinder” in Washington, D.C., in 1913, entitled “Strange Creature Captured in the Sea.” “From Florida comes the prize fish story of the Season. Capt. C.H. Thompson, a mariner of Miami, in company with two other men, was cruising off the coast when they encountered a sea monster whose like men had never before seen. They gave chase and the fight that ensued was one to gratify the most adventurous. Before the creature was subdued five harpoons and 151 bullets were lodged in its body and after that its life lingered for five days. In the struggle it smashed a boat into 1000 pieces and knocked the rudder off a 31 ton yacht. With a harpoon line connecting it to their boat it towed the men for 39 hours at the rate of 45 miles per hour. Most of the inhabitants of Miami were on hand when the victors brought their prize to the shore. Usually fishermen have to explain that their big fish got away, but these men delivered the goods. Officials of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington were unable to classify it. Its weight was found to be 30,000 lbs;, and it measured 45 feet in length by nearly 24 feet in circumference; its mouth was 38 inches wide and 45 inches deep and its tongue was 40 inches long. Teeth to the number of several thousands and were set into its huge jaws. When cut open an animal weighing 1,500 lbs. was found in is stomach. Its hide which was three inches thick, without scales, resembled that of an elephant.”

Oh, and while we're on the subject, does anyone have a thought on what specific kind of fish lives in the Mediterranian Sea that would be large enough to swallow a man whole? (I'm thinking specifically of the Jonah story in the bible.) What are your thoughts on these sea creatures?
 

Castor

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#3
If you reay want to see something strange and almost unbelieveable, search for the fish coelacanth. There's some pretty interesting stuff to be found.
 

Phil

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#4
What a fascinating account, I've not seen that one before. I'm afraid I have absolutely no answers for you.

Obviously the beast sounds like a whale, but surely that would have recognised by Captain Thompson as such. Also, the Smithsonian was involved, so presumably the story is not entirely fiction (vastly exaggerated?). I think it might be worth transcribing your post onto the Fortean Times website and seeing if any of the cryptozoology experts have any opinions. In addition, you might want to track down some of the books of the late Bernard Heuvelmanns as he used to document these sort of reports.

And I thought the giant Jurassic fish Leedsichthys was extinct!

Very interesting, and thanks for sharing it.
 

Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
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#5
Castor said:
How about this as a possibility. Sounds feasable to me.
Good bet. I like the 39-hour battle growing into 5 days. :roll: Only thing that doesn't match is the 1500lb 'creature' in its stomach - that's some pretty big plankton. :wink:
 

bigGdelta

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#6
What are the odds 2 guys named thompson caught 15 ton fish in Miami the same year? Castor you got it.
 

bobwonderbuns

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#8
The only source I have is that I am a bible student who was looking at the Jonah account and I looked under the notes of a brother John Meggison where he had this account listed. I don't know where he got that news article. This is also why I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts as to what kind of fish lives in the Mediterranian which would be large enough to swallow a man whole (scripture doesn't say it was a whale, it says "big fish.")
 

chrono_war01

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#9
Not to be offensive or anything, but I seriously do not think that a human can survive in a fish stomach (whale or whale shark) for anything more than 1 hour, true, a sperm whale has the throat as thick as a manhole cover, but either God made poeple resistance to somtach acids, I don't think it's possible.

Man catching whale shark, yes. Man living in large fish (or whale) = Almost Impossible.
 

um...

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#10
What about breathing? Three days is an awfully long time to hold one's breath.
 

bobwonderbuns

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#11
I know, many do not believe and that's fine. I do, so just say, for the sake of argument, that it is possible -- what do you think the most likely kind of fish would be to accomplish this, maybe a large sturgeon? I know that in the great lakes there have been reports of giant sturgeons bothering swimmers from time to time (in Lake Huron.)
 

Graeme

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#12
But what about Mr Gepetto!? He lived in a whale's stomach, boat and everything! but that's another story. As for this one... I don't know, again, without a reference to the source... Could it have been an Oarfish, off the top of my head? They pretty big, and I think were tha basis for sea-serpent tales. Failing that I dunno, unless there really IS a "trunko" :lol:

Graeme
 

bobwonderbuns

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#17
I was just looking at this link http://www.papajoesmarina.com/7_fishing_history/hist1.htm and I'm guessing this Capt. Thompson may be the same guy in both accounts. If so, he must have had some bait to have such success with the big fish. I've also submitted my question to cryptozoology.com and as of yet I haven't heard from them. Will keep you posted!! :smile:
 

main_board

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#18
Sturgeon get big, yes, but I don't think ever that big. Also, sturgeon are bottom feeders, so they have more of a "sucker" type mouth at the bottom of the head. Not sure if it would ever be large enough for a person, but even if it were it would be a very awkward operation to get a man inside one of these fish. Can't remember that story in detail, did it mention being consumed into the sea? Or did it mention some form of fresh water environment? That would make a big difference too when thinking of potential fish species.

Regarding the Smithsonian episode, perhaps a megalodon? They're big, lots of teeth, predatory. Didn't check the size reported with estimates for megalodon, but I know that they were big, twice as long as the largest great whites. That'd make them around 50 feet, which fits the story. Being a shark, one wouldn't have to surface for air. Sharks don't have scales, per say, and have relatively tough skin. I vote Carcharodon megalodon !!!! :grin:

It couldn't be a whale shark as they don't have teeth and eat plankton, and the Smithsonian should be able to recognize one of them. Also, one should consider that though "When cut open an animal weighing 1,500 lbs. was found in is stomach." could also mean that it was carrying offspring. Great white sharks (related to megalodons) are viviparous, they give birth to 2-6 fully formed pups which can be up to 1.5m long. So...maybe there are still megalodons roaming the oceans...schweet...

Cheers!
 

bobwonderbuns

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#19
I was looking closer at the story of Jonah itself in the bible, and when the big fish swallowed him, he was en route from Joppa (modern day Tel-Aviv) to Tarshish (somewhere near Spain) which would have put him in the Mediterranean Sea. The scripture says that God had appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights before it vomited him up on dry land. (The fact that "God appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah is among the reasons I feel it was a miracle that he did survive that long.)

I love the idea of the megalodon as a possible explanation for the other article. I am surprised though that the Smithsonian wasn't aware of this animal's identity, particularly if it was a megalodon. I'm glad I posted this thread! Lots of good input here! :smile:
 

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