Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

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Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Marozi » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:13 pm

In October 1944 a white "furry beast" more than 20 feet long with enourmous eyes and feet resembling neither whale nor seal washed up in Machrihanish. Tentatively it was believed to be an outsized polar bear or the Great Sea Serpent. But then Dr. A. C. Stephens of the natural history department of the of the Royal Scottish Museum questioned a government official on the spof and decided that it was only a basking shark carcass. Sometimes when sharks tissues decompose the gill apparatus falls away leaving only the vertebrae with the small head. Also the fibres of the muscles break up into whiskers when the skin rots or is eaten away. So this looks like stiff fur varying from dirty white to reddish in colour when drying on shore. This are only examples of the so called pseudo-plesiosaur effect turning an basking shark carcass into an plesiosaur with long neck and small head and four flippers. This happend more than once in Scotland for example in Stronsay, Deepdale Holm, Hunda and Girvan and according to Dr. Stephens also in Machrihanish.

As I'am seriously interested in this case I would like to ask if someone can add more informations or maybe can offer a picture of this interesting piece of history? If so please write me here or contact me with help of my profile. Thank you in advance.
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Iain » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:39 am

Hi Marozi ! Googled the details and found this: http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays ... stery.html

Remember many moons ago there was a similar find on the shores of Loch Marie..., apparently connected to Loch Ness by underwater tunnels. At the time, rumor had it that it was a baby of the monster..., which of course we have all seen! :lol:
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Marozi » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:04 pm

Thank you Ian. This incident caused attention worldwide and so I was able to collect also different newspaper-clips adding more informations - but there remain enough questions. Of course the carcass was identified and I have no reasons to doubt this! But if possible I want to get to the bottom of this case. For example how could it be thought to be an so outsized polar bear? What about the "large feets"? Naturally in view of the basking shark identity I have answers (wrong identification is - sad to say - quite normal in similiar cases and the feets maybe are the decomposed fins or claspers). But to proof all this it would be very exciting to have a picture of this carcass.

This incident happend only one or two generations before. So maybe someones parents or grandparents were eyewitnesses and maybe they take pictures. If so I would be very grateful if someone shares them with me.

Best regards

Markus
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Nomisruption » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:36 pm

My father, stationed at Macrihanish during the war told me the story of the 'sea monster' washed ashore at macrihanish in 1944. It was a great story and one that dad always said was true. (He has many stories). As an eye witness, he can definitely confirm that it had 'fur', distinct humps and was very large, going out into the water. He climbed down the cliffs to go right out to where it was washed up.

Dad would be happy to talk with anyone who was seriously researching this further.

From Australia.
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Iain » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:43 am

Nomisruption wrote:My father, stationed at Macrihanish during the war told me the story of the 'sea monster' washed ashore at macrihanish in 1944. It was a great story and one that dad always said was true. (He has many stories). As an eye witness, he can definitely confirm that it had 'fur', distinct humps and was very large, going out into the water. He climbed down the cliffs to go right out to where it was washed up.

Dad would be happy to talk with anyone who was seriously researching this further.

From Australia.



Wow !

PS Welcome to The Kintyre Forum ! :wink:
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby BobSkinn » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:52 pm

The following account is from the Gloucester Citizen, 5 October 1944, p. 2:
"" MONSTER " IS OUTSIZE POLAR BEAR While villagers of Machrihanish, Mull of Kintyre, still puzzled over the huge " monster" washed up on their shore, zoological experts on Wednesday expressed the opinion that it was an outsize polar bear. The headless carcase, covered with long, white fur, fully 20ft. long, and has the hulk of an elephant. Mr. M. A. C. Hinton, F.R.S., keeper of the zoological department of the British Museum, said: "A polar bear which had been in the water some time would have a bloated appearance, which might give rise to the belief that it was some kind of monster, although I confess I have never heard of bear 20ft. in length."
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Iain » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:35 am

[quote="BobSkinn"]The following account is from the Gloucester Citizen, 5 October 1944, p. 2:
quote]

Hi Bob ! Welcome to The Kintyre Forum. Thanks for that ! :wink:
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Marozi » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:02 pm

I found a reference to a "H Davidson". Anyone knowing a person of this name, which lived and owned a camera in 1944?
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby Nomisruption » Mon May 22, 2017 4:54 am

Its dads (Bernard Spencer) 92 birthday today, and one of his most popular wartime stories is always the true story of 'The Machrihanish monster'. I am here with Dad now, so given he is 92, I thought I would capture a few more notes.

Firstly.. background.

In 1944, Dad was stationed at the Kintyre fleet air arm base, his job was to service the torpedoes that the Barracudas would collect from carriers in the Irish Sea.

In the morning, dad got up had breakfast, the magazine was the opposite side of the airfield, and dad would catch a mini bus/van with Stokers and others to work at the Magazine. When dad got to the Magazine, he was told that something strange had washed up on the rocks about a mile away along the cliffs and once dad finished his shift he went walking to go investigate. He followed the coastline, past the sheep grazing and looking down he could see "three great lumps", "The base was about 12 -15 ft diameter, a dome, and then another and then a third.. "no head".. perhaps underwater.

The cliffs were about 80 ft to climb down and dad climbed down and went rock to rock and felt the first hump with his hand..
It was greyish in color, it rminded dad of what polar bear fur would be.. stringy, hard, not soft, like nylon bristles, across the 3 lumps"

it had no smell at all

>Could it have been a polar bear? "oh god no.. it was massive.... three clear domes, one and then another.. and then a third out in the sea in deep water". Couldnt tell which end would have had the head.

It couldnt have been one polar bear.. there were 3 domes. a flock of huge bears... maybe? [laughing]

"It was only there one night.. the next morning it was washed away again and the people who were coming down from London didnt get to see it"

It washed up a few days later further down the coast and apparently the navy may have blown it up

'I was the only one from the base who came down' and I didnt see any locals

Any barnacles, or moss or anything? - no.. like a balloon.. three huge domes..

'Years later I heard someone say it was a Baleen whale, but that person never saw it in person.. it was hard, like the body of a horse, not fatty' or yeilding.

He thinks it was around September of 44 (which aligns to the dates others have given)

> Happy birthday dad.
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Re: Furry beast of Machrihanish 1944

Postby gray_marian » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:56 pm

#9, Many thanks for the update Nomisruption and belated Birthday Wishes to your father Bernard. Off now to bend the ear of a salty dog to ask if he's seen anything similar. :)
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