Sunday, 1 September 2013

Longneck Map and Reconstruction Update

This updates the older map I had which indicated water monsters of North America, out of which the Longnecks were category 12. The upper part of the Mississippi River system has been added and "Pepie" put in as a key representative: actually the Mississippi river had been previously indicated and Lake Pepin is only a broadening of a stretch of the river. This is illustrating the notion that most sightings are Riverine and temporary: the creatures have moved into and out of several lakes over the past 150 years so really the focus should be on their use of the river rather than talking about their being "Lake Monsters". The same situation is what holds for the East Coast and West Coast of North America. Incidentally the occasional giant eels (Megaconger) overlap in much the same range. The Illustration below went with this map in the original work.

Below are some revised composite illustrations for the same two types. These are donations from somebody else and I made only minor changes along with adding the human figures for scale. On the top one I did feel the need to add some black lines for clarity. The perspective is different on the second one because the artist chose to make it parallel to the underwater photos at Loch Ness.

Reconstruction of the average Longneck using Loch Ness Monster data as typical of the series. The reconstruction has a sort of "Fish-eye effect rather tan being mounted directly from the side, and the tail angles away at an indefinite angle. The big hump on the back could alternatively have  been represented as three humps close together (as per Heuvelmans), according to the creator of the model
The situation in the Pacific Norwest is complicated  because a movie company took some liberties with a story about a Sea Serpent which divided its time between Lake Washington and Puget Sound
The problem is that the name and "History" for Willatuk was entirely made up for the one amateur film and that film's time has cone and gone Nonetheless there HAS BEEN historically a Seattle/Puget Sound version of "Cadborosaurus" for some time, There has been a reported "Lake Washington Sea Serpent" for some time, consensus of opinion is that both of them look like a Plesiosaur, and the "Traditions" of the (Made-up) Willatonka tribe can be charitably looked upon as an overly enthusiastic white man's retelling of some Sisiutl stories, or their local equivalent. So all of the "Willatuk" material is made up, BUT it is probably no more misleading than much of the hype told about any other local "Sea Serpent" up to including the Loch Ness Monster.

Promotional materials for the Willatuk movie. These are all made up
scenes for publicity BUT they do correspond to genuine reports and Folklore
in such a way that they can be said to stand in for the genuine traditions.

So if any of the locals takes to calling the Lake Washington Sea Serpent  "Willatuk" instead, they can probably be forgiven, because the made-up Sea serpent is near enough to the real traditions to pass. I do not know if any of it continues to "Stick" locally though. The basic idea that most experts including Heuvelmans have is that ALL Sea-serpent reports off the West Coast of North America, from Alaska to California are local variations on "Cadborosaurus". There is also something to be said for that idea and at the same time also it is an idea that is very misleading. At one point, "Cadborosaurus" was a made-up journalistic category, it was not the name of any longstanding tradition, but it was a convenient label that could be used to cover the whole range of reports which were coming in.
Eberhard lists Lake Washington as one which has "Monster" reports but only indicates that sturgeon were the cause of sightings in that area. Other sources indicate ongoing sightings of a "Reptile"

Here is a photo of the Lake Washington monster Sturgeon. Lake Washington is only a little way in from the sea and could easily have more than one kind of "Monster" in it. This is interestingly enough from a Swedish newspaper that wonders if the monster in lake Stosjon could not also be a similar type of sturgeon.

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