A nearly-complete encyclopedia of underwater cryptozoological knowledge


The Long Beach Sea Serpent

18 miles off Long Beach
Los Angeles, California, United States

Feb. 19, 1909: 5 fishermen on the launch Rita saw something at the Grouper Banks, 18 miles offshore from Long Beach, LA County.

Guy Griffith told reporters: "The monster was about 40 feet long and about 15 feet back from the head it had a big dorsal fin.  The head was as big as a barrel and brown with eyes as big as my fist and it moved from side to side.  The tail was like that of a porpoise.  We first sighted the thing 100 feet away.  The head was then out of the water and I started to shoot at it, but feared it might become angry and wreck us, so I told one of the boys to start the engine and we glided away but the monster came after us.  We gave the engine all she could stand and got away from the creature."

However, a Los Angeles Herald article tells the story a bit differently, even placing it two days before the Indiana article's account:

Los Angeles Herald
February 18, 1909
Monster is Forty Feet Long, with Head Like Barrel and Eyes Big as a Man’s Fist
[Special to The Herald.]
LONG BEACH, Feb. 17. – A sea serpent forty feet long, with a brown head as big around as a small barrel and eyes as large as a man’s fist, was the frightening object sighted eighteen miles off the coast yesterday by Guy
Griffith, James Harvey and three other fishermen in the launch Reta. The serpent is said to have moved its head from side to side as a snake does and had a big dorsal fin fifteen feet back of the head.
The fishermen say the same monster has been reported within the last few months near the Philippines and along the northern coast of this country.
They furthermore aver that a heavy sinker, which one of the five threw at the sea serpent as the boat was pulling away from the unsafe neighborhood, was caught in the creature’s mouth and spit back with such force as to make a deep dent in the fish box on deck.
“Never saw such a spitter,” said one of the men. “Just like a young cannon.” Long Beach is a “dry” [alcohol sales illegal] town.

Strange California Monsters by Michael Newton. p 24