Something Pulled The Boat Along
"My dad and I are fishing off the Florida Keys. We have our anchor out and had been fishing for about an hour. 15 minutes later the boat gets bumped and we rock a little bit, my dad jokingly saying "Looks like jaws is after us better stay away from the edges." 10 seconds after him saying that the boat begins moving backwards: we are being towed by our anchor line that's in the water. Whatever has it is now dragging the boat backwards slowly getting faster and our boat is getting pulled under too. Next thing I hear is "No f*cking way" as my dad drops his pole runs from the front to the back grabs a knife and cuts the anchor line.
"After that we decided that fishing was not in the cards that day."
Three Stories of Monstrous Catfish
"Live by a dam on the Mississippi river in Iowa... The divers that have to go down and check the concrete always only go down once, after that there done. Just nope the fuck out. One guy I know did 2 tours in Iraq he said it was nothing like that... Just freely be swimming along and all of a sudden 3 foot mouth of a cat fish just sitting there, waiting for something to swim by and into its hell hole. Water is always so murkey that you can't see from end to end of it. I remember when I was a kid, you could snag for carp down there. My dad hit a 7 foot cat that weighed in at around 85 lbs, but we couldn't keep them so we had to throw them back...
"Grandfather said similar things. He worked at a power plant right along the river and they had divers who would routinely need to go under and patch things up for the power plant under water. Said majority of them when down once and never again after seeing the size of some of the catfish below which they claimed could probably eat them."One of my art teachers in high school was also a diver and often did dives in one of the lakes in Arkansas. He regaled us with tales of catfish the size of small cars. He also had photos of the towns and settlements that got abandoned and flooded when they made the lake. Cool stuff."
Monster After the Storm
"On a 41 foot sailboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, with about 7 other men, doing a shake-down/test cruise, planned to be out for about 12 hours. Mid 1980's, not as reliable weather prediction resources. We get caught in a tropical storm, winds gusting into the 50 mph range, just this short of a weak hurricane. We had just barely rigged storm hawsers and storm sails because the one fellow onboard who was the best sailor sensed the storm was almost on us, otherwise we would have died. During the storm itself, I expected to die at any time. In fact we made a "Securite, securite...." call on the radio (if you have time at sea you know what I'm talking about, if not, it's not that important). For what seemed like 15 minutes, we were in a maelstrom, no visibility, but then it passed. We would live!
"This was at about 3pm, and although there was cloud cover of course, the ambient light was such that you could see 2 miles or so in any direction.
"If you're familiar with the sea, you know that such storms, particularly in shallower depths near land masses, dredge a lot of things of the sea floor.
"We're all on deck, working lines, checking damage, etc. and the bay around us is choppy and churning and foaming. Old timey sailors often used the saying 'the sea is confused.' I look about 15 feet of the starboard side and something swims to the surface, breaks the surface, looks at us, then submerges again.
"It was like a thin man, with humanoid shape, arms articulated like a man, a human head, but its skin was covered in scales like a snake. It looked at us, blinked its weird, heavy-lidded eyes, then dove back under.
"So maybe you need to know a few things about me at that moment. No drugs, no alcohol, no injuries. I was elated because I was glad to be alive, but my senses in that situation were sharpened, not dulled. I had, at that time, about 6 years experience on ships and fishing boats, and had seen squid, octopi, flying fish, sharks, skates, etc. all around the world. I was not the type of guy to see a patch of seaweed and call it a sea monster.
"I made an instant decision that I was not going to say anything. What could I say? 'I just saw a strange creature, take my word for it!' The men on this boat were all mechanics and engineers and professionals. Why get a reputation as a flake? At the time it was important for each of us to get 'D' skipper or OOD qualifications, and saying something like that would be frowned upon.
"And as I stood there in my life vest, soaking wet, hooked onto the steel lifeline, glad to be alive, one of the other sailors, a USN Captain J_______ S________, with over 30 years experience in the surface navy, piped up and said,"'I just saw a brown thing pop up on the surface! It looked like a lizard man, with a scaley face. It blinked at us with these big eyes and then went back under!'
"'Yeah, I saw it too,' I said. No one else said that they had seen it.
"Then we sailed back to the pier later that day and didn't speak of it again."
Possessions Following a Tsunami
"I was en route to northern Japan after the terrible tsunami happened for disaster relief (Marines). Anyway, I had stepped outside to a catwalk for a smoke after not seeing the sun for a few days. Turns out that it was extremely foggy and snowing, which I had never thought about. The ship was basically reduced to a crawl, it was all very silent and quite peaceful. After chain smoking for 10-15 minutes I started to hear things hitting the ship. Had trouble seeing at first but once I saw the roof of a house and a crib float by, I realized where we were. Ran back to my living area to grab some friends. We all get back out there and silently observed people's lives floating by us. Not super crazy or bizarre, but it's something I'll never forget. Spent the next week and a half dealing with crazy weather shifts doing my part in the clean up effort."