Winged Sea Monster Reported in Levant

Times de New York (USA), 13 août 1922

L'article d'origine
L'article d'origine

Currant Laden Felucca Sunk When Sailor Belts Reptile with Pomegranate.

Has Eyes Like Sidelights

Zooms Aloft Like Airplane—Wrecks Caciques With Figs and Pistachio Nuts.

After a long absence, the sea monster has appeared once more. According to reports just received from Constantinople and Smyrna, the elusive creature is disporting itself in the placid waters of the Mediterranean, terrifying fishermen and crews of the feluccas and other small craft which ply along the shores of the Levant.

The most thrilling story was brought here last week by officers of the Greek Liner Constantinople, who said that motor launches armed with one- pounder quick-firing guns were searching the sea of Marmora for a winged marine monster which had been circling Dog Island at great speed for three of four days.

When it rose from the sea and flew over San Stefano toward the city of Stamboul it was reported to have made a booming sound like the German triplanes that flew over Paris during the war. How the huge marine monster passed through the Dardanelles without causing a big wash along the shore has not yet been discovered.

Officers on the Constantinople said that the flying sea serpent was first reported off the ancient port of Chalcis in the Aegean Sea and so alarmed the sponge divers that an appeal was sent to Athens to send a gunboat to search for the monster and destroy it. When the commander of the fort fired a gun in the direction indicated by the scared sponge divers the serpent rose to an altitude of 5,000 feet and flew away toward the port of Smyrna, Asia Minor, where it was reported next day to have sunk two caciques laden with figs and pistachio nuts.

Zubdee Effendu, a Turkish rug merchant who arrived from Smyrna on the liner, said that he saw the scaly-winged monster quite plainly as he was crossing the bay to his home on one of the islands. When the head rose from the surface of the water, he said, all the natives on board flung themselves on the deck and prayed, while the vessel rocked wildly and the sea was covered with white foam as if it was being violently agitated underneath.

The head of the nautical reptile was fully 10 feet across, with two enormous reddish green eyes butting out on either bow like a ship's sidelights, while its immense flappers looked as if they weighed a ton each. Its beam across the middle of the back, which rose high out of the water, Zubdee Effendi continued, was fifteen feet and the length over all was fully fifty feet.

When the sea serpent turned its head toward the boat the heat on deck became unbearable, said the Turkish rug merchant. He felt that his beard was shriveling up. Finally the monster dived, flung its huge tail into the air with a swish that nearly sent the small schooner over on its beam ends and then disappeared from view.

Within a few days the flying sea serpent, Zubdee Effendi said, was reported off the mouth of the Nile at Damletta, the port of Candia in Crete, and off the island of Mitilene, where it was stated to have rammed and sunk a felucca laden with currants because one of the crew struck the reptile in the eye with a pomegranate. Sponge divers and pearl fishers in the Aegean Sea are reported to be taking a rest until the sea serpent has been destroyed.