The Tarpon Springs water monster or "Tarpie" still has a website going for it but disturbingly there are more suggestions that the whole thing could be a put-on while nearly all of the "Factual" supporting evidence of witnesses' descriptions and possible tracks have now been removed. This does not inspire any more confidence in the allegations.
So while there is a chance for "Small dinosaur" reports from the Lake Tarpon region and along the lines of the Reptillian "Chupacabras" otherwise reported, we actually cannot even say that much for certain.
Another location said to harbour small-dinosaur reports is from the St. John River area where a series of fairly recent reports were categorised by Mark A. Hall as "Pinky" and said to be evidence of a surviving small-dinosaur Thescolosaurus (More or less equivalent to the "Camptosaurus" seen in Sounth America)
Read more: http://www.meta-religion.com/Paranormale/Cryptozoology/lake_monsters/floridas_sea_serpents.htm#ixzz1fsBsCDM1
|Thescolosaurus neglectus reconstruction|
Another site gives a different identity for "Pinky":
EARLY 1800S: SCIPPO CREEK, OHIO
The first report of what may be a giant mudpuppy comes from Scippo Creek in Ohio (a tributary of the Scioto River). In the early 1800s, settlers there saw a number of animals, measuring between 6 and 7 feet in length, that were pink in color. These pink, water-dwelling lizards had moose-like horns [alleged once only-DD]. Sometime around 1820, a drought struck the area, drying up numerous streams and creating brush fires which destroyed the local ecology even further. It is generally believed that the animals, whatever they were, were wiped out in these two disasters.
1928: GOOSE CREEK LAGOON, SOUTH CAROLINA
In 1928, author Herbert Sass was boating in the Goose Creek Lagoon north of Charleston, South Carolina. Seeing something moving under the water, he used an oar to fish it out - and found a thick-bodied creature which was a pinkish-red color, with a smooth tail and two [four?]short legs. The creature dove back into the water.
1960S: ST. JOHNS RIVER, FLORIDA
In a 1968 article in Argosy, Ivan T. Sanderson reported how he received a letter from a young woman named Mary Lou Richardson, who said that while hunting with her father she had seen some sort of pinkish animal. The creature had a flattened head and a smaller neck.
1970S: PAULINS KILL, NEW JERSEY
A similarly-colored animal was seen in the 1970s by Ivan Sanderson in a swamp near his home in Warren County, New Jersey. The animal was described as worm-like, and was some two feet long - even though only a portion of the creature was seen.
1975: ST. JOHNS RIVER, FLORIDA
A strange creature has been seen in this river since the 1950s. Mary Lou Richardson might have seen the same creature. 1975 gave us the most detailed sighting of the creature. On May 10, five people set out on a fishing trip. One of the five, Brenda Langley, saw a strange thing in the water, something with a long neck, horns, a downturned mouth, and "flaps" hanging from the sides of its head. The creature was also a pinkish, "boiled shrimp" color. Popular theories held that the creature was a sturgeon, a manatee, or even a tree stump.
In discussing the animals, Dr. Karl Shuker states that many species of animal have actually decreased in average size since the advent of man, which hunted certain species; therefore he suggests that the American giant hellbenders may be scientifically identical to Cryptobranchus alleganiensis. The hellbender's skin has a high number of blood vessels; this, combined with the transparent skin of an albinistic specimen, would create a noticably pink or even reddish skin color. The length traditionally attributed to the cryptic hellbenders is within the realm of possibility, given the size of the related Megalobatrachus species.
One attribute that does not tally with the simple hellbender explanation is the "horns" of some of the animals. Although these horns could be easily explained as external gill structures, the hellbender has no such structures - it loses its external gills when it reaches adulthood. Shuker speculates that these animals may still be identified as hellbenders which are existing in a neotenous state. Probably the most famous neotene is the Mexican axolotl. Normally, the salamander matures into the Mexican tiger salamander. However, if it is in a low-iodine environment, its maturation is halted and the animal retains its gill structures. If these proposed giant hellbenders exist in low-iodine environments, possibly they could become neotenic, retaining their gills?
But rather than speculate that these creatures are hellbenders retaining neotenic characteristics throughout their life, would it not be easier to identify these animals as extremely large specimens of mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)? The mudpuppy, after all, is a full neotene and retains the gill structures throughout its life. Admittedly, the average mudpuppy is smaller than the average hellbender - an average specimen measures only about a foot long, as opposed to the two-foot length of the hellbender.
Certain peculiarities of the animals in question tally more readily with a mudpuppy explanation, for example the prominent horns of the Scippo Creek animals. In warm, slow-moving or stagnant water, the gills of the mudpuppy expand and become much more noticeable. In addition, the largest mudpuppies have been recorded from the southern United States, specifically North and South Carolina - the same general area which has given us several reports of these creatures. The possibility of the existence of such large mudpuppies is an enticing one, although in my opinion, these giant salamanders will probably turn out to be extremely large specimens of N. maculosus, rather than a completely new species.
1991 Natural Mysteries: Monster Lizards, English Dragons, and Other Puzzling Animals (2nd ed.). Minneapolis: Privately Published.
1992a Pinky, the Forgotten Dinosaur. Wonders 1:4 (December).
1992b Sobering Sights of Pink Unknowns. Wonders 1:4 (December).
1995 In Search of Prehistoric Survivors: Do Giant "Extinct" Creatures Still Exist?. London: Blandford.
Below, Thescolosaurus neglectus [Mark Hall's candidate for "Pinky"] to scale with a human being according to the Wikipedia entry.
Frontiers of Zoology yahoo group. message 3954 of 7445, April 2009
As far as the New World Big Lizard reports go, from the SW of the USA to
N Argentina and Chile we consistently get three types of reports:
1) A large lizard, frequently described as a small dinosaur, which can stand and
run erect and which is easily identifiable as an iguanid (horns on the head are
alleged but not consistently reported. A spiky back crest is reported but not
usually so dramatically as in the corresponding Chupacabras descriptions)
2) An even larger lizard ordinarily reported as standing solidly on all four
legs. It is also clearly an iguanid but as large as a crocodile or a Komodo
dragon; it is not so heavy as a croc or the dragon since it has a much longer
tail for the length. This is reported from Mexico to Brazil and is regularly
represented in PreColumbian art over all of that area.
3) A type of Water Monster reported with an exaggerated row of spines which
stick up out of the water and which also might be a large iguana. There is once
again the suggestion that it has horns on its head but it is uncertain whether
the trait properly belongs with this category or with a similar reported unknown
Alligator category. There are clear reports of this in the Ozarks, Texas,
California, Arizona and Mexico, with less clear reports from South America.
All three of these MIGHT be one species. Emphasis on the MIGHT, there are enough
contradictions to cause some doubt. And although it is tempting to include
Puerto Rico in the range of the reports, so far all reports of all three types
are confined to the continents of North and South America, and to the warmer
parts of them. Reports from Florida and Puerto Rico definitely include common iguanas.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
EtymologyThe creature is colorfully referred to as Elsie, a play on Nessie, and occasionally "Hamlet" because of the name of the lake.
DescriptionElsie is always noted as looking like a cross between a creature from the age of the dinosaurs, and a serpent.
SightingsIn 1934, a C. B. Greenstreet along with his wife and children reported seeing it. He described it as 100 feet long [wave]with a thirty foot tail. He also stated that waves as high as light posts washed on the shore in its wake1. 1967 saw a family boating on the lake capturing a view of the monster. It supposedly rolled by them making dark high humps in the water. In 1970, Bonnie Play, a local resident reported seeing the creature twice. It was described as being roughly 12 feet long and about 3 feet wide. It had a series of humps and a long dinosaur like head.
After the 1970 sighting, 3 state park officals reported seeing the creature surface about 50 feet from their boat. [12 feet long, 3 feet thick and 3-4 low humps with spines on back would be the "Classic" description]
PlaceLake Elsinore [California] was named after the Danish city, Elsinore, in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Besides a lake monster, Lake Elsinore is rumored to also have ghosts, UFO's, satanists, vampire cults, and even a group of ten citizens who claim to all have known each other in past lives and have all been mass reincarnated.
[The creature's description is very like those given in several other lakes in Southern California and Arizona]
- The entire lake went completely dry in 1954, and no serpent was discovered or seen at this time. Those who argue Elsie's existence, claim the [amphibious] creature wandered into a nearby cave in the hills and resided there until the lake was refilled.
- Some people believe that a rupture in the suplphur springs on the north shore of the lake produced a big enough black bulge of mud in the water that it was mistaken for a lake monster. [Greenstreet's 100-foot wave does sound more like an outgassing from such a rupture than a living creature]
|Illustration of Lake Powell Monster,|
Obviously too much modelled after "Caddy"
Skin Fin: The sea monster of Lake Powell
So when all is said and done, there are a few reports from Florida (and possibly even also South Carolina) which sound as if they might be in the same general unknown-iguanid series as the ones reported further to the West. It remains a marginal possibility but even less confirmed than the rest of the category. We DO seem to have a good confirmation of at least one species of outsized iguanid lizard that starts out as relatively small and active, including hiding up in trees, snooping around henhouses and the occasional animal corpse but most often seen dashing across roads or running away from people, and which ends up as huge sluggish vegetarians that spend most of the day in water but come out occasionally to graze, but which are still amphibious and retreat to caves when their ponds dry up. The smaller ones could have a higher proportion of animal matter in their diet (I expect eggs mostly, and also possibly carrion or stomach contents of dead sheep and goats along with some internal organs, both of which go swiftly through their systems and come out with a horrible smelly gas) and the males have red eyes. All of these things would be consistent with lizards in general and iguanas in specific, and they would also be a close enough analogue to Komodo dragons, their closest ecological parallels (although the Komodo dragons are more carnivorous) and none of these statements would be really unlikely from a zoological point of view. I would also estimate that the outlying populations furthest to the North and South (Western USA and Northern Chile& Argentina) are usually smaller on the average than the ones in the core area of the jungles in Cetral America, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. On the one hand the jungle habitat is different enough from the drier lands to argue for two distinct species, but the parallels of the creatures in size and shape in extreme North and South probably argues for the continuity of one species throughout the area in between.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
NOTE: The "Cuban's" report associated with the 3-Toes affair is cited as being printed in the newspaper Clearwater Sun in late March 1948, in James Sweeny's A Pictoral History of Sea monsters And Other Dangrerous Marine Life (Crown Publishers 1972) on page 117.The "Critters" were supposed to live in the swamps adjacent to Moro Castle and Havannah harbour, were hairy, 15 feet tall when standing on their hind legs and at a weight of 2-3 tons. He said the head was like a crocodile but with a shorter jaw, and he specifically described them as being "[Ground] Slothlike." This was later assumed to have been part of one grand overall hoaxing scheme but it really sounds like some outsider had confused the case with another separate Cryptid. Ivan Sanderson heard of Groundsloths in Belize (British Honduras) called "Cave cows", being about the size as cows but hairy and living in caves: Eberhart's Mysterious Creatures does indicate Belize as another possible location of Groundsloth survival into modern times.