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May 15, 2009

Montauk Monster IV: Escape From Plum Island

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/montauk_monster_iv_escape_from_plum_island_20090514/

Photo

Less than a year after the original discovery, the Montauk Monster is back!

Montauk-Monster.com has published a photo it claims is a new carcass that washed up on a Long Island shore more than a week ago. After shooting photos and video, site’s owner Nicky Papers says the current whereabouts of the new Montauk beastie is being kept a secret.

Nicky talked with GeekHeeb about what he saw and where things currently stand with the carcass.

On May 5, Nicky said he was contacted by a couple via e-mail who claimed to have found what they thought was a Montauk Monster. Nicky drove an hour to the site in Southhold, Long Island, where he took more than 70 photos of the carcass and shot video:

Reiterating what he wrote in his blog post, Nicky said, “It smelled like low tide and rotten garbage. It smelled like s—-. It was awful. It really was nauseating getting close.”

He said the body—about 3 feet long and 1 to 1 1/2 feet wide—was bloated and looked like it had been floating for a long time. “It really, really reminded me of what washed ashore last year,” he said.

Nicky describes viewing the carcass in terms someone might use for Halley’s Comet or floor seats at a Lakers game. “It was one of those rare and special opportunities that you only get in life one or two times,” he said.

Much like Courtney Fruin and Rachel Goldberg, who were with Jenna Hewitt when she took the original Montauk Monster photos last year, Nicky believes the creature could be from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Distrust of the facility runs deep in the surrounding communities, and some believe the Montauk Monster is an escaped genetic experiment.

“The reason being is just because of its proximity to where these three now-documented beasts have been washed up,” he said.

Since that first discovery at the end of July 2008, two more so-called Montauk Monsters were spotted on beaches – one was a carcass found by Christina Pantalone and another was found in New London, Conn., last October that’s being called the Clapsadle Carcass.

Representatives from Plum Island could not be reached for comment. But last year, Plum Island Director Larry Barrett denied any link between the first Montauk Monster and the Homeland Security-run facility: “I can state categorically that it is not associated with the work performed at Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC). PIADC serves as the Nation’s first line of defense against foreign animal diseases of livestock by identifying such diseases through diagnostic testing and by developing vaccines to protect livestock from those diseases.”

Following the first photos, consensus among experts was that the beaked creature was most likely a dead raccoon. (Despite common misconceptions, raccoons are medium-sized creatures that can grow to 3 feet long and weigh up to 30 pounds.)

After taking photos and shooting the video, Nicky said the couple bagged up Montauk Monster 4.0 and took it to their Southhold home.

“From our last conversation, they said they contacted Plum Island, they’ve contacted local papers, and it was in a cooler full of ice,” he said.

But after going public with the photo and his story last Sunday, Nicky said the couple has stopped returning his phone calls and have cut him out of the Montauk Monster loop.

“I think they got really weird once this hit the media,” he said. “They’re not responding to my calls. Honestly, I think they’re a little nervous at this point because all eyes are on them.”

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