Go Back Report # 1203



8 April 1813, Atlantic Ocean

Shell-shaped floating monster


As the ship Niagara was about latitude 43 north, longitude 65 west, a large hump was seen on the southern horizon, “bearing N.W. distance 6 or 8 miles ahead, which we supposed the hull of a large ship bottom up. When within a gunshot of it, we discovered that it had motion.”

       On nearer approach the sailors thought the object must be a giant fish, “apparently 200 feet in length, about 30 feet broad, and from 17 to 18 feet high in the centre.” Whatever it was, the floating object was covered with a shell. “Near the head on the right side was a large hole or archway, covered occasionally with a fin1 which was at times 8 or 10 feet out of the water.” The crew intended to send a boat to make further discoveries “but was deterred from the dreadful appearance of the monster.”


Reference for the above text is: Wonders in the Sky, by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck, pp. 292-293, © 2009.

Original reference: Log Book of the ship Niagara, Captain Merry, traveling from Lisbon to New York, cited in the Plattsburgh [New York] Republican, 14 May 1813.


Note 1: A hatch cover perhaps?




Atlantic Ocean

The coordinates given in the text would place the ship in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly south of Nova Scotia, Canada, and east of Boston, Massachusetts. (CF)



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