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Sunday, 13 July 2014

San Francisco Sea Serpent

Jay Cooney and I were having a discussion about this sighting at the Zombie Plesiosaur Society and he indicated the witness drawing at top. I cut out just the black part showing above the surface and said "Looks like the two humped conformation with flippers tilted up on the far side" and Jay's reply was "Yes, I was actually just looking at that myself. Would support the idea of its [the prolonged "body" at the rear] being an illusion of the water with an unknown animal present." and I am pretty sure that was only the wake.
an excerpt describing this sighting posted by Tabitca for the CFZ included this information:

in 1985 two brothers Robert and William Clark were sitting in a car near the sea wall. This is their story of their experiences and there is a link to their site at the end of the blog post where you can see stills of the film they took etc :

We have had 8 sightings of a sea serpent in San Francisco Bay during the period 1985-87. The first and closest sighting was only 20 yards away. We were parked in our car at 7:45 a.m. looking north at San Francisco Bay just east of the Golden Gate Bridge and west of Alcatraz Island. The water was dead calm and we saw some sea lions playing about 150 yards from us. We saw what we thought was another sea lion swimming towards them from the west. When it was a few yards away the head and neck raised out of the water at least 10 feet straight up. It then lunged forward and attacked the sea lions. The sea lions fled towards where we were parked with the creature following right behind them. We could see the creature create vertical undulations in its neck as it swam through the water. Then it went underwater. The sea lions swam right in front of us leaping in and out of the water in an attempt to escape the creature. We didn't know it until the next day when we examined the area at low tide but the sea lions swam over a ledge with rocks on it that protruded 20 yards into the bay. The water went from 40 feet deep to only 3 feet deep above the ledge. Suddenly, 20 yards in front of us we saw what looked like half a truck tire break the surface with a long neck and head just under the surface of the water in front of it. A second arch broke the surface of the water behind the first and then we watched what we thought was a huge black snake swim by but when we expected it to end it got wider. Then there was a splash and a crashing sound as it stopped dead in the water. Immediately, we saw it lift its neck quickly out of the water and it pulled itself backwards to get off the rocks. It splashed back into the water and disappeared. instantaneously, the rest of the neck came out of the water in a corkscrewing manner as it tried to pull itself off the rocks and into the deeper water. As it corkscrewed it exposed the midsection and the underbelly above the water and we got an excellent view. the midsection had hexagonal scales that did not overlap but were connected to each with a common side. They varied in size from the size of a dime to the size of a silver dollar.. We had 7 more sightings in the next 2 years and were able to get 6 photos.

In view of the scepticism they received , they issued the following challenge:
We (Bill and Bob Clark) have had several sightings of sea serpents in San Francisco Bay since 1985. On February 5, 1985 we saw a sea serpent beach itself only 20 yards from where we were parked in our car and we saw the entire animal expect the tail. On January 26, 2004 we took a 3 1/2 minute video which we claim contains images of several sea serpents swimming in SF Bay. We had 2 independent analyses of the video done. One was done by BSM Associates (expert image analyst Clifford Paiva and physicist Dr. Harold Slusher) and the second was done by marine biologist Bruce Champagne. Both analyses concluded that our video contains images of several large unknown serpentine marine animals swimming in SF Bay. We invite all skeptics to provide us with the expert of their choice who is willing to do an in-depth analysis of our video and we will send them a free copy. We only request that they agree not to post any portion of the video on the internet or anywhere else without our permission and if the conclusion of their analysis disagrees with the Paiva/Slusher analysis and the Champagne analysis that they provide us with their supporting documentation. We can be reached at our email address
My comment was that the part of the sighting actually seen above the water was consistent with a Longneck and its behavior toward the sea lions was also consistent with other reports made previously in other places, including off Vancouver Island. And I suspected already then that the very long extended body was only the appearance caused by the disturbed water in the wake, and any appearance of humps in that disturbed water was only caused by waves in the water..

I was not convinced the sections of skin as mentioned actually represented scales as opposed to regular creases in the skin, something which has been reported in other cases especially at the joints around the flippers, and here the creases are often said to resemble an elephant's hide. The way the neck moved, the size of the neck, and the way that it curved over and struck at the sea lions, are all consistent with Longnecked Sea Serpent reports otherwise.

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