Resident Monsters A recent survey of the +quot;bizarro+quot; press turned up a couple of e

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Resident Monsters A recent survey of the "bizarro" press turned up a couple of encounters with some very strange, very destructive creatures who have made their presence known to the local inhabitants. In Indianapolis, Rev. Tinsley Rector and his wife returned from a trip to Florida only to find that they'd had a rather unfriendly guest. "It had tried to eat my metal shed," he later told a reporter. "Tore pieces of the sheeting back. Dragged lumber out of my lumber pile and left great big teeth marks in it. Some kind of animal, for certain. A big one." Whatever it was chewed through parts of the shed's wooden floor, took garden tools from outside the shed, and ate some fertilizer. Rector, who lives in a wooded, semirural area, was awakened one night not long after the creature's initial visit. He didn't actually see the monster then, but traps he laid out were all mysteriously tripped the following morning. "It's smart, whatever it is," he said. In February, the creature returned. This time, it destroyed the shed completely, tearing the door off, bending tall sheets of metal, and even pulling out screws. Again no one saw the beast, although it did leave tracks that were later described as "catlike." For a time, suspicions rested on the neighbor's Great Dane puppy, but according to Rector, the dog couldn't "do that kind of damage." Conservation officers investigating the scene also ruled out the possibility that Rector's visitor was a bear. Reporter Dan Luzadder, who broke the original story in the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, is as mystified as Rector and his neighbors, but he suspects it might be "some Loch-Nessian monster come from the depths of Grassy Creek ... or someone with a very strange sense of humor." From land-locked monsters to deep-sea ones: Bermudian fisherman John "Sean" Ingham, involved in an extensive, expensive shrimp and crab fishing enterprise, frequently lowers specially-designed traps to between 6000 and 12,000 feet. On several occasions, his traps have come up mysteriously damaged, and Ingham has actually lost 2 of the traps -- worth thousands of dollars -- to some unknown but very powerful sea animal. These large traps have contained as much as 5000 pounds of crabs when they were snatched away. In one case his rope was pulled away at nearly 30 mph. Although no one has actually seen the creature, some biologists suggest that the most likely candidate is a giant octopus. Others express doubt that such an animal exists. The National Geographic Society was hoping to take underwater pictures of Ingham's traps being attacked, but Ingham, fearing financial disaster, moved his fishing operation to Belize, where he hopes there are no giant octopi -- or whatever.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank