A Sea Serpent in Holmes Harbor?
This is one of the more unusual articles we have come across concerning South Whidbey. This article was found in the Chilliwack Progress newspaper in British Columbia dated Aug. 13, 1891 and also in the Montana newspaper, The Anaconda Standard, dated Aug. 4, 1891.
A MONSTER OF THE DEEP
Sea Serpent Captured in Holmes Harbor by Indian
“Johnnie Sams, an Indian well-known in this vicinity, has just returned with the account of a thrilling adventure which befell him at Holmes Harbor, on Whidby Island, Saturday last.
Johnnie, who had been hunting deer to supply fresh meat for one of the logging camps in the vicinity, was returning on flood tide, and when close to shire was terror-stricken at the sight of a marine monster which came up from the bottom, and, biting the side of his boat, tore off a piece of plank five inches wide and four feet long.
Rising again, it bit a mouthful, ribs and all, out of a deer which lay in the bottom of the boat.
Placing the muzzle of his Remington rifle close to the monster’s head, the Indian fired three shots, and the hooking it, dragged it ashore, the boat meanwhile nearly filing with water. Here it required twelve blows upon the back with a double bit axe to dispatch this animal.
The animal is described as being 13 feet 9 inches in length, with a body about a foot in diameter. The head and face resembles that of a monkey, as did also the long hairy tail which curved over the back. The feet were webbed, the fore feet having five fingers or toes, each 12 inches long, and the hind feet 12 each.
The animal was dark colored and covered upon the back with coarse long black hair, shading to gray of a finer quality upon the belly. The animal weighed about 240 pounds.
Two projections, 12 inches long, were on the head, though these were not of a horny structure.
Such was Johnnie’s terror after his encounter that for three days and nights he was tied to his bed and refused food of any kind. Even at the present time when questioned, his face lights with strange excitement.
The animal has since been seen by many loggers, as also by the captain of the tug Cyrus Walker.
The existence of such an animal in Holmes’ Harbor has been believed by Indians and white settlers for some time past, as shown by the fact that a boat had previously been destroyed by it, and that no Indian could be persuaded to fish there.
Johnnie refused to skin the animal on account of a current report among the Indians that a dreadful death would surely result. He returns on Monday to carry away enough of the carcass to convince his doubting friends that his strange tale is not pure fiction.”
We have not been able as yet to find a follow-up to the story. Any marine biologists out there with a plausible explanation?