Thursday, May 14, 2009

Now we're seeing (Montauk) monsters in Southold

It's no secret that the Hampton set has "discovered" the North Fork.

But this month, the migration of the Hampton scene to our bucolic surroundings has perhaps gone a bit too far.

The Montauk Monster has arrived in Southold.

No kidding. A blogger who writes under the pseudonym Nicky Papers and publishes says he laid eyes on a bloated animal corpse on the beach at Founders Landing Park in Southold last week. It bore an eerie resemblance to the now-infamous "monster" of Hamptons fame, which washed ashore in Montauk last July.

Mr. Papers (yes, I can't help giggling at his chosen nom de plume) says he was contacted by a Southold couple who made the grisly discovery at Founders Landing Park while out for an evening stroll last Wednesday.

The couple, who, Mr. Papers said, want to remain anonymous, e-mailed him through his Web site at about 8 p.m. that evening. He beat feet to Southold and by 9:30 he was snapping pictures and recording a video of the latest "monster" to wash up on a Long Island area beach. (There was the one in Montauk, one on a New London, Conn., beach and one in Rocky Point. Mr. Papers said he believes the Rocky Point carcass was a "copycat scam.") One of his pictures is reprinted here.

Mr. Papers told me yesterday the Southold couple put the carcass in a plastic bag and took it home with them. He hasn't heard from them since.

What to make of all this?

We've had a bull running loose and even some mysterious "mountain lion" sightings around here, but a monster like this is definitely something new.

Mr. Papers is pretty convinced that these carcasses have something to do with Plum Island. There may be good security on the island, which is now managed by the Department of Homeland Security. "But everyone should keep in mind that security is never 100 percent foolproof," Mr. Papers said.

That's true enough, I'll admit. But what could the explanation be? Lab animals running amok, getting into the water and drowning? Animals lost in shipment? Stolen from the lab?

Homeland Security adamantly denied the Montauk Monster has anything to do with Plum Island.

There are all kinds of theories about the monster, ranging from the aforementioned Plum Island connection to a so-called viral marketing publicity stunt for a movie to an outright fraud. Both the New London and Montauk carcasses disappeared. Maybe the Southold beast will also never be seen again. Until it turns up on the cover of some supermarket tabloid.

Poking around on the Internet for "monsters" reveals some interesting stuff for sure. There are the famous ones, such as Sasquatch and Loch Ness. Then there are the lesser-known creatures, like the New Jersey Devil and, believe it or not, the Bayview Beast. That's the name given to the big cat some people reported seeing in the Bayview section of Southold last fall. Imagine my surprise when, scrolling through Nicky Papers' site, I came across my own name (in connection with my reporting on the big-cat sightings here last year). At first, I thought I was seeing things -- possibly a side effect of the anesthesia last week. But no, there I was.

People get pretty crazy about monsters and such. So I've got to give Mr. Papers credit for trying to debunk some of these tales.

The new monster sighting right in our own backyard will whip the crazies into a lather. The media will encourage the frenzy, of course. I predict we'll soon be seeing a caravan of satellite trucks on Main Road, heading to the beach at Founders Landing. Now we have to pretend to be in the Hamptons, and act like we don't notice or don't care.


Anonymous said...

This was the best you could come up with for the week? Guess we gotta cut you some slack as you're recovering from surgery.

No editorial or blog on the double standard in our schools where they toss the child pornster, but keep the DWI? No worry that the problem could be closer than the trailer, but right in the building with the students. What about how poorly it was handled from a communication standpoint with the school family, and community at large by the district big wigs?

Anonymous said...

Oh and a ps. Leave the sea monsters to be reported on by Dan Rattiner ;)

Denise Civiletti said...

Hello, "Anonymous." I've got to admit, I'm not a good blogger. I don't pay enough attention to this blog, and basically end up just posting my column every week. That's not how it's supposed to be, and not how I want it to be. But I really have no time to do more. I wish I did.

This post, in which you were so disappointed, was actually my column from this week's Suffolk Times. I alternate weeks, writing a column for The Riverhead News-Review one week and a column for The Suffolk Times the next. I post both to this blog.

I've got to tell you, I'm as concerned as anyone about what's going on in our schools — and the community at large. I have a vested interest in student safety, scholastic opportunity, etc. I have two kids in the high school.

I'm curious why you think communication with the school family was handled poorly. District officials are limited by law in what they can say about employees to the public. But I'd like to hear what you think they should or could have done differently.

As for "the DWI"-- I voiced my opinion on that situation last year, when it occurred. However, I think Zimbler would have done himself and the students a great service if he had spoken more candidly with them about what happened and apologized to the kids for making the mistake he made. If nothing else, he wasted a teachable moment.

But a lot of people have trouble admitting to mistakes and taking responsibility for them. It's a hard thing to do and something we all have to struggle with.

Compassion is good, and I'm glad you're willing to cut me some slack on account of my surgery. Actually it was a much easier recovery than I had imagined. And for that, I am very grateful.

Anonymous said...

I have a hunch and feel compelled to share it with your blog. I feel this monster is nothing more than a decomposed bloated pig with or in the case of the first one something elses head "screwed" onto it (and a bit of seaweed for that added extra special effect). I think it is something created by the owner of this website..which I will not mention here as it will only create another "link" to it...which the owner will love, as links increase the sites rankings on the internet..not that he needs my help. Doesn't anyone else find it funny that this mysterious Southold couple, when finding some strange monster on the beach, doesn't call the police...or the local game warden, etc. but of course calls some obscure website owner in Montauk...(is his number even listed to call? I mean..comon! It's like he is saying hes Ghostbusters or something) then the monster along with the couple mysteriously disappears? Jeez, thats the first place I would call...NOT. Two weeks ago..when this story first broke, I went to to check this guys website rankings... which were pretty low. I then checked the rankings afterwards, and they had jumped to ... well see for yourselves here:

It is now ranked in 92,000th place and has gotten probably 10's of thousands of hits this past few weeks. The owner of this site has many affiliate links and ads on this site..all of which I am sure he earns money from. Every few months when his traffic starts to die down..he creates another "monster". The only reason I suspect the Rocky Point one is not real is that it is not from HIM..and he is calling it a copy cat monster because he is not earning money from its publicity..someone else is. He is using the proximity to Plum Island to create further traffic and get all the wahoos from across the country and world with these conspiracy theories about the lab to come out of the woodwork and create further traffic..and I find it amazing that Newsday, the Suffolk Times and the wires would pick this up and even carry all they are doing is falling for this guys prank and making him richer in the process. (Hmm..actually I have to hand it to him..pretty damn shrewd idea. Nice job!)


Highly skeptical in Orient

PS - There's a werewolf in my backyard... go to my website to find out more