Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fishermen Declare Merman Again Seen (1937)

Here's one that looks fit for the pages of the Fortean Times or The Codologist's Quarterly at the very least. It was printed in Adelaide's The Mail on Saturday, August 27, 1937.

The Connemara merman is reported to have reappeared. Two Irish fishermen declare that they saw him swimming. They gave him a mackerel, but later when he re-approached, fearing that their little boat might be upset, one of them hit him with an oar. Then the merman gave a whine and disappeared.

Thus is the cause of science damaged by the ignorant! Had the fishermen given the merman another mackerel instead of that crack with the oar they might have won his confidence and opened a new chapter in marine biology. An interesting feature of the case is that the merman reappeared in almost the same locality in which he was seen by two other fishermen last year. More over, the description of the various witnesses tally in important respects. The merman's first appearance — described in a special article in 'T'he Mail' of August 7 — was near the little village of Renvyle on the promontory north of Ballynakill Harbor, on the Connemara coast. Now he has been seen in the mouth of Ballynakill Bay itself. Thomas O'Toole and Michael Warde saw him. He came swimming toward their curragh, using the breast-stroke described by the previous witnesses, Regan and Heanue.

Thinking that he was coming aboard, O'Toole and Warde pulled away, outdistancing the merman, who, however, followed. When they stopped rowing, he came within a few yards of the boat, and Warde threw him a mackerel. He snatched it eagerly with both hands and disappeared. There was no sign of the fish when, a few minutes later, the merman reappeared alongside the curragh. Fearing that he would upset the boat, O'Toole then struck Myn with an oar. The merman moaned and vanished. The fishermen describe their visitor as having straw-like, shaggy hair, a beard, very red lips, and bushy eyebrows. His skin was fair in front but blue at the back. He swam with his head and shoulders above the surface. This tallies in the main with the description of the previous witnesses- who, however, added that the merman wore a blue petticoat like a woman's apron.

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