Aug 3, 2008

UPDATE: Monstrous Creature of No Known Breed Washes Ashore Near Long Island: Faux or Foe? New Photo & Video

The image above was apparently taken of a mysterious creature that washed ashore recently in Montauk, Long Island (now alliteratively dubbed the "Montauk Monster"). My first thought was, Oh, that’s a Photoshopped faux-rat. The only references I can find of it online are some blogs, replete with jokes, others are suggesting it's viral marketing for a site called So I have no evidence of whether this is dubious or ominous.

From time to time, unusual and unidentifiable creatures do wash up on an occasional shore, as documented here.

Look closely at the photo, though. Are those things arms/Or is they legs? Is that a beak on the snout and a long, plump, rodent-like body? Aren’t rats often the subjects of animal testing? Or what about a skinned raccoon (as shown in the photo below).

What all makes the story less curious and more frightening is that there does happen to be a “Bio-Safety Level 4 (BSL-4) research facility on nearby Plum Island. The BSL-4 conducts secretive testing on, you guessed it, animals who did not say “No thanks, I gave at the office.”

Apparently, Plum Island is,

"specifically engaged in the study of zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, like West Nile, like Lyme disease. Like Ebola."
Plum Island has a long and less-than-storied history of questionable research. For more info on the research facility, see the book, Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory. To add to the insult of viral testing on animals—that might be justifiable by imagining human lives saved—is germ warfare research and

development. That’s right. Killer attack germs. And not to mention, Plum Island would make a sweet target for terrorist attack.

If that rodent-like creature that reputedly washed up near Long Island were infected with some horrendous virus, then any other creature feeding on the carrion might carry the virus. And on and on.

Of course, the bloated rat-dragon thingee may still be a bogus image and the makings of an urban legend. But sadly, Plum Island and the germ warfare R & D that goes on there are not.

More info on the Montauk Monster here. And now there's the video here. And it makes it all the way to CNN.

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