Hours apart on Jan. 16, the remains of two animals were discovered on the South Fork that elicited the memory of the infamous "Montauk Monster."
In July 2008, a creature washed up on the shore at , according to reports. The animal looked like a turtle without its shell, though it was also said to be a racoon. It became known as the "Montauk Monster," with some believing it was an experiment gone-wrong from Plum Island. The "mystery" was never quite put to rest.
Last week in Montauk, Jane Bimson and Eileen Murphy came upon another strange-looking, decomposing body that left some wondering, "Not again?"
The friends made the discovery as they were walking their dogs on the beach at . They had gone west onto the ocean beach toward Surfside Avenue, when Murphy’s dog noticed skeletal remains, at the foot of the staircase closest to Shadmoor. “It was odd because there was a body, but no head,” Bimson said on Monday. Neither women could recognize it.
So Bimson e-mailed a picture to the . From the photograph Kim Durham, a biologist, identified it as a dolphin carcass. She could not say the exact species because it washed away before they could do an analysis on it, but she said there was no doubt it was a dolphin.
Arthur Beckenstein stumbled upon animal remains on the beach as well on Jan. 16, according to an e-mail he sent Larry Penny at the . He was “walking along the shoreline of the Three Mile Harbor, north of Hamptons Waters” when he came upon “a sizable skeleton of what [he] first guessed might be a large dog, a deer or seal.”
“It was a very creepy sight to walk along the beach and see this skeleton," Beckenstein said over the phone on Monday. “I thought, ‘Is that a human?,’ but it was too long and curved to be human remains.”
“It sort of had this big mouth and eyes set back far. It could have been a deer.” He guessed that the rib cage was 24 to 30 inches wide. Eventually, he thought it must be a porpoise. It was much longer than the "Montauk Monster," he said.
He could not actually identify the animal from his decided distance and did not want to get any closer due to his prediction that he could sink into the marshland.
Penny said he has not gone to the location to identify the creature and said it is probably buried under the snow at this point.
One marine life mystery solved. At least, two go unanswered.