Someone sent the image above to Gawker, warning that there is "a government animal testing facility very close by in Long Island”. But being a good blog, Gawker sure as hell knew that it probably wasn’t what it looked like. The “Montauk Monster” must have been yet another viral marketing ploy.
A good suspect emerged: “Cryptids are Real”, from Cartoon Network, which by the way is a very interesting site with good fictional depictions of unusual encounters with giant flying jellyfishes and the like. The Montauk Monster looks like a griffin, with its puzzling beak, even though the wings and claws do not fit:
Even seasoned cryptozoologists such as Loren Coleman were puzzled, asking, like all of us, “what is this animal?”.
Truth quickly emerged in the very comments of Gawker, oh Internet be praised.
The monster is simply “a decomposing and bloated dog, possibly a bulldog, boxer or other breed with similar facial structure (compact muzzle)”. Without fur, everything fits, from tail to… near the nose.
Which looks like a beak, but is in fact the frontal part of the dog’s skull, minus the muzzle.
Instead of yet another viral marketing hoax, this is simply yet another poor dead dog mistaken for a monster. Other examples include the Maine-Chupacabras, the Chupacabras of Florianopolis or the Elmendorf Beast.
UPDATE: Loren Coleman posts a note from a local newspaper. It seems someone sent the photo to the paper first, which on July 23 had already quoted officials who said the thing must have been a raccoon. Not a dog.
A closer look does suggest a raccoon is also similar to what we are seeing. A raccoon skull, or specifically, jaw, fits nicely what we see. Then we have the paws. A raccoon has longer fingers, like those in the “Montauk Monster”.
Finally, we have the experts, including Town Natural Resources Director Larry Penny and Bandit Trappings and Pest Control Doug Johnston, quoted by the paper, who both considered it “a raccoon with its upper jaw missing”.
A search for “skinned raccoons” on Google is very unpleasant, and it seems raccoons are not that fat. But again, this could be a bloated, decomposing raccoon. The area around its bowels seems very stuffed, which may help give the impression of a dog.
Either way, not a “Monster”.
UPDATE: Hello to all the folks coming from Coast2Coast! In another twist of opinion, by looking at this new photo published just now on Newsday, by Christina Pampalone, it definitely looks like… not a raccoon:
Reports also finally give it a size: from 2 and a half to three feet. Joye Brown suggests an otter, though I think the head of the "Monster" is too big. I’m back to the original guess of a dog, probably an unfortunate pug.
Hopefully this new photo will help experts identify the animal, as they also flipped their statements saying they couldn’t identify it from the original photo alone. And he will rest in peace, wherever he is now.
If you have more photos or reports on this poor animal, feel free to send them here.
UPDATE: Loren Coleman has two more photos. Dog, dog, dog. Poor Dog.
UPDATE: I moved the comments as to whether it was a pug or a raccoon to a new post.Posted in Criptozoology, Fortean |