In 1969, an Alaskan shrimp boat fitted with state of the art sonar surveillance equipment encountered a creature, which — due to its enormity — the men on board could only speculate must be a “dinosaur.”
First brought to international attention by esteemed author, adventurer and paranormal investigator, Ivan T. Sanderson, the facts surrounding this case offer some of the most intriguing “proof” of the existence of a heretofore unknown species of colossal aquatic fauna.
Sanderson — who was informed about the event by a seafaring friend, Captain Stanley Lee, who sent him a clipping from a story published in the April 30th edition of the Kodiak Mirror — was so intrigued by this tale that he immediately set about gathering all of the available evidence he could lay his hands on.
On April 15, 1969, a 65-foot fishing vessel known as the M.V. Mylark was dragging for shrimp off the coast of Raspberry Island in the Shelikoff Strait near Kodiak Island, Alaska. The Mylark was fitted with a top of the line sonar detection device known as a Simrad EH2A, which was used by commercial fishing vessels to locate and track schools of fish.
Although the last thing the crew of the Mylar anticipated was that they were going to encounter a living LEVIATHAN, the Simrad was left “on” as a matter of procedure. That was when one of the operators noticed an anomalous, almost 200-foot object swimming below them at a depth of approximately 55 fathoms.
Although the men assigned to this task realized that their mission was to catch marine life not chronicle it, they understood the significance of this sighting and managed to get an image — one which has since been tragically lost — of a very large, obviously animate, dinosaur-like beast.
While skeptics have been quick to point out that this creature was most likely nothing more than a whale. The Simrad operators insisted in their testimony that creature in question in no way, shape or form resembled any species of whale — or any other indigenous, aquatic fauna — which were known to inhabit those waters.
According to Sanderson’s “Alaska’s Sea Monster” report, the sonar “hit” — while the size of a whale — clearly delineated features not typically seen on cetaceans. In Sanderson’s own words:
“Imagine the sonar operator’s surprise when the machine suddenly presented him with a clear silhouette of an enormous ‘creature,’ between 150 and 180 feet long, with two pairs of flippers, an extended tapering tail, and a long, slender neck capped by a rather snub-nosed head!”
Sanderson managed to get a copy of the (now apparently missing) original strip of graph paper that came from the Mylark’s Simrad. The echogram showed a large silhouette that seemed to capture all of the dinosaur-like features reported by the sonar operators.
Delighted by this find, but maintaining the skeptical eye of a true man of science, Sanderson decided that he had to take this evidence to the manufacturers of the Simrad device for confirmation. The representatives of Supervisors Incorporated (the U.S. subsidiary of the Norwegian Simrad company) were reluctant to confirm the accuracy of the read-out, stating that:
“You certainly got hold of a very exciting echogram there, but I’m afraid that I will have to disappoint you as to the credibility of what you see on it. It has a couple of defects which make its genuineness questionable.”
Simrad’s proxy went on to indicated myriad factors, including boat speed and image modification by a disreputable crew member, which could — though not necessarily would — change the interpretation of the read-out.
That having been said, not all of the info to come out of this evaluation was anti-monster, as there was confirmation that the “creature” was 15-feet across at its widest point and, where Sanderson surmised the neck was, it measured 3 to 4-feet wide.
Still, even with the long neck clearly indicated on the echogram, there are some who believe that this creature is not a marine reptile at all, but may have been a relic species of marine mammal, such as the basilosaurus.
Sanderson, not one to take Simrad’s insinuations lying down, managed to counter argue all of the dubious points made by Supervisor Incorporated, particularly that of a hoax prone Simrad operator; stating the the strip of paper was still lodged in the machine when the Captain came to retrieve it immediately following the hit!
To further confirm the veracity of this evidence, Sanderson enlisted the help of no less than 14 experts (in the fields of law, Naval operations, oceanography, geography and biology) all of whom agreed that the read-out had not been tampered with.
In the end, Sanderson felt that Simrad had chosen to focus on the remote possibility of faulty equipment or operators in an effort to deny the fact that their sonar had detected the first definitive proof of a long necked SEA-MONSTER:
“Why do the manufacturers of Simrad seem bent upon discrediting our Alaskan long neck echogram? Perhaps they are simply trying to protect the good name of their product; after all, since science says that sea monsters do not exist, scientists might accuse the instrument that detects one of being faulty.”
Legendary scientist, LOCH NESS MONSTER investigator and cryptozoologist, Dr. Roy P. Mackal — who just happens to be a staunch supporter of the theory that there are still pods of ancient cetaceans swimming off the Pacific coastline — has suggested in the past that these creatures may well be responsible for sightings of both CADDY and OGOPOGO, although there are many who believe that the species in question are entirely different — not only from each other, but from the obviously long necked Kodiak creature.
Mackal, while entertaining the possibility that the Raspberry Strait sonar strike could be a flaw in the radar, is open to the possibility that it might be something more:
“There were often skeptics who claimed sonar readings in Loch Ness were the result of the sounds waves bouncing back from the loch sides. Not all readings can be attributed to this but some possibly could. Could the same thing have occurred here but with the waves bouncing back from the ocean floor? I am no sonar expert, so I don’t know if it is possible. The other explanation is that it was a huge, strange, unknown creature, which is always a possibility.”
Sanderson, who passed away in 1973, remained steadfast in his conviction that the evidence gathered that fateful night on the Mylark was proof positive that large, aquatic reptiles still dwelt in the dusky depths of the Pacific Ocean:
“Well, I for one am convinced that (1) Simrad is not faulty (2) the echogram is perfectly authentic and (3) somewhere in the icy waters of the southern coast of Alaska there’s at least one monstrous marine long neck swimming around — and who knows how many more?”
Although there are no actual “eyewitness” accounts of the Kodiak Dinosaur, it bears mentioning that the waters in and around Alaska have been known to harbor other large, unknown, aquatic beasts like the ILIAMNA LAKE MONSTERS and the infamous GLACIER ISLAND CARCASS just to name a few.