Morgawr (cryptid)

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Morgawr
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Sea serpent
First reported 1896
Last reported 1999
Country United Kingdom
Region Falmouth Bay, Cornwall

Morgawr (meaning sea giant in Cornish), is a plesiosaur-like cryptid purported to live in the sea near Falmouth Bay, Cornwall. It has been photographed and even caught on tape.[citation needed]

First sighted in 1906,[1] various theories have been proposed for as to the identity of this sea serpent, ranging from a hoax or mistaken identity, to the suggestion that the creature is a surviving species of Plesiosaur or that it is a previously undiscovered species of long necked seal. In the absence of a carcass or a living specimen, identity explanations depend only on eyewitness accounts and low-quality photographs.

Chronology/timeline[edit]

  • 1876: A sea serpent is allegedly captured by fishers at Gerran's Bay.[2]
  • Pendennis Point, September 1975. Two witnesses claim to have seen a humped figure with 'stumpy horns' and bristles on its long neck, catching a conger eel in its mouth.[3]
  • Rosemullion Head, Falmouth, February 1976. 'Mary F' sent two photographs, apparently of Morgawr, to the Falmouth Packet, along with a covering letter. She said "it looked like an elephant waving its trunk, but the trunk was a long neck with a small head at the end, like a snake's head. It had humps on its back which moved in a funny way... the animal frightened me. I would not like to see it any closer. I do not like the way it moved when swimming." Neither Mary F or the negatives have ever been traced. Noted mystery writers and photographers Janet and Colin Bord[4] have examined first-generation copy prints, and "feel that these photographs could well be genuine."[5] It has been suggested that the photographs are hoaxes and that "Mary F" is a pseudonym of Tony 'Doc' Shiels, who claimed to have his own sighting in 1976. His 1977 photograph allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster has also been met by skepticism.
  • 25 miles south of Lizard Point, July 1976. Fishers John Cock and George Vinnicombe claim to sight a creature whose neck "reared 4 feet up in the water". They estimated the animal's length at 22 feet.[5]
  • Parson's Beach, Mawnan, November 1976. Tony 'Doc' Shiels claims to photograph the creature lying low in the water. He mentions "little stumpy horns" on its head, and he describes the body of the animal as 15 feet long.[6] (For more mysterious happenings at Mawnan in 1976, see Owlman).
  • Gerran's Bay, August 1985. Christopher and Susan Waldron of King's Stanley, Gloucestershire report on having seen the creature whilst on holiday. It was noted that Mrs Waldron was watching her husband swimming in the sea, when she noticed a large silhouette under the surface behind him. The shape was described to be that of a large, long necked creature.[citation needed]
  • Devil's Point, off Plymouth, 1987. An experienced diver sees a dog-like head on a neck rising 1 metre out of the sea. He notes that it is in a spot favoured by conger eels.[7]
  • Gerran's Bay, 1999. John Holmes videotapes what is claimed to be an unidentified creature in the sea.[8]

Hoax tape[edit]

In 1991 Strange magazine published transcripts from a series of tapes made by Shiels, in which he discusses the possibility of hoaxing the people of Falmouth with a sea-serpent story.[9] The article reports him saying:

  • "I am a born hoaxer" (30 January 1976)
  • "I think that I mentioned that I am hoping to hoax the people of Falmouth, and thereabouts, here in Cornwall, into thinking that there is a Cornish sea monster on the loose." (30 January 1976)
  • "They have to be bad photographs in order to seem authentic." (4 February 1976)
  • "Of course we are going to have our hoaxing session here with the Cornish sea monster..." (19 February 1976)
  • "[There is] a great revival in public interest in things that are strange and mysterious, and we may as well ride the crest of this wave as long as we possibly can..." (19 February 1976)
  • "A fisherman friend of mine... he is a good man to start a little bit of a rumor going down here concerning the famous Cornish sea monster as will be, heh-heh. We hope to build the thing up during the next three or four weeks. Paul has agreed to see something strange within the next few days when he is fishing." (19 February 1976) (note, however, that this fisher is not one of the two fishers listed as witness above).

Mentions in other Literature[edit]

The Morgawr is the name of a powerful demon in the Shannara Series by Terry Brooks. Other than the name, there is no connection between the two.

The Morgow Rises! is the title of a horror novel by Peter Tremayne, set in the fictional Cornish village of Bosbradoe.

The main villain in A Warlock in Whitby by Robin Jarvis is an ancient serpent god named Morgawrus, and who appears to be based on the Biblical Leviathan.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heuvelmans, B. In the Wakes of the Sea Serpents (Rupert Hart-Davis 1968), p.358. cited by Bord, J. & C. "Modern Mysteries of Britain" (Guild Publishing 1987), p 123
  2. ^ Morgawr – sea serpent
  3. ^ Bord, J. & C. "Alien Animals" (Granada 1980), p 27
  4. ^ as stated in their A Guide to Ancient Sites in Britain (Paladin 1979), p.1
  5. ^ a b Bord, J. & C. "Alien Animals" (Granada 1980), p 28
  6. ^ Bord, J. & C. "Alien Animals" (Granada 1980), p 31
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Ooparts & Ancient High Technology-Evidence of Noah's Flood? 20th Century Dinosaurs
  9. ^ Shiels Tapes