On July 5, 1976, while most Americans were recovering from post-bicentennial hangovers, Canadian angler Eisner Penney was fishing near Cape Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia — not far from the alleged hunting grounds of the famed GLOUCESTER SERPENT — when he spied a mammoth creature slowly rising and diving in the water.
According to an account, which was published in the July 30 edition of the Vancouver Sun, Penney first assumed that this colossal creature must be a whale, but as it approached his boat he realized that this beast was like no whale he had ever encountered in his 30 years as a fisherman:
“It kept coming out of the water. By the time it was near my boat it was a good fourteen-fifteen feet out of the water… As close as I let it, it was coming up to the stern and I opened her wide open. ”
Within hours of this harrowing event, Penney had related his tale to a few friends, but – as is too often the case – instead of gaining a sympathetic ear following his ordeal he became an object of ridicule and the butt of many a joke. Yet the scoffing would cease when, just days later, two of the men who participated in his chiding had a close encounter of their own.
Keith Ross, along with his 24-year old son Rodney, where anchored in foggy waters several miles off Pollock’s Ledge, when Rodney saw something stirring in the water and called his father down from the cud to help identify it. The elder Ross initially thought that it might be a sunfish, but as the creature neared their vessel he realized that this was unlike anything he had ever seen:
“I’ve never seen nothing like it in my life. It was like something out of this world. A very frightful thing. My son Rodney said it was like some kind of monster.”
As the two men stared in awe, the approximately 50-foot creature emerged from the murky depths of the fog and headed straight their boat. Keith described the beast with a vivid eye for detail that can only come when one as a brush with the unknown that is too close for comfort:
“It started coming at the boat and Rodney ran towards the cud. It didn’t hit us, but it came within a couple feet of us… It had eyes as big around as saucers and bright red-looking. I mean, you could see the red in its eyes like they were bloodshot. “
“It had its mouth wide open and there were two big tusks — I call them tusks — that hung down from its upper jaw. It passed astern of us, so close. And we could see its body, about forty or fifty feet long with grayish, snake-like looking skin, full of lumps or bumps and barnacles. And it appeared to us to have a fish’s tail, an up-and-down tail, not flat like a whale’s… I tell you, nothing like that was ever supposed to be in those waters.”
This horrifyingly fantastic description was confirmed by his son:
“I never seen crocodiles other than on television, but its head was sort of like that coming out of the water. Peaked at the top, with a big wide mouth. Its neck was full of things that looked like gigantic barnacles. Its eyes weren’t in sockets, but popped out of the side of its head, and it had two tusks maybe two of three feet long and four inches or so round. It was a frightening thing to see.”
Rodney also claimed that the structure of this creature was akin to a huge sea horse. This aquatic-equine depiction is common to both LAKE-MONSTERS and the various breeds of WATER HORSES found in freshwater bodies throughout the globe, particularly in the British Isles.
The senior Ross, fearing that their terrifying encounter might be one they’d never get a chance to tell, wasted no time in starting the engine and roaring away from the scene. As they peeled off in the opposite direction, Rodney watched as this bizarre — and undeniably frightening — denizen of the deep disappeared into the mist.
It wasn’t long after the event that Keith detected another boat on their shipboard radar. The pair hastily made their way toward the fog enshrouded craft, which was, ironically, piloted by Eisner Penney.
Keith informed him of what he and his son had seen and the trio claimed to have heard a large creature passing by in the dense fog. There is no report as to whether or not Penney (who, understandably traumatized, refused to return to the ocean for days after his first encounter) officially decided to retire after this second bumpwith the beast, though the thought must have occurred to him.
The third and final encounter in this flap occurred a few nights later when fisherman Edgar Nickerson — yet another skeptic — and his 15-year old son Robert, heard the LEVIATHAN splashing in the fog. The pair was pulling up their fishing gear when they heard the thing in the water next to the boat:
“It kept coming up. At first I thought it was a whale and I kept kidding my boy that it was coming after him. I turned on my sounder. That usually scares whales away, but not this thing. It kept coming and coming. It was a horrible thing… I tell you, if there’s a devil that was it.”
The most recent sighting of this creature hails from Sunday, May 4, 1997. According to the account two fishermen, Charles Bungay and C. Clarke, were out fishing in Fortune Bay on the southern coast of Newfoundland when they saw what seemed to be a bunch of floating garbage bags.
In an effort to be environmentally conscious, the duo made their way toward the bags, but when they got to within about 50-feet something unbelievable reared its head. Bungay described the encounter thusly:
“It turned its head and looked right at us. All we could see was a neck six feet long, a head like a horse. He just looked at us and slid under the water and disappeared.”