Last week it was UFOlogy in a Field. This week it’s UFOlogy in a pond.
No, I’m not talking about the ‘submarine saucer’ (Nessie), but a subject I’ve mentioned elsewhere in my blog on ‘Sea Monster Files.‘ Two years ago one S. Darby, who described himself as a marine biologist, made a Freedom of Information request to the MoD that asked if there were ‘any abnormally large or dangerous sea monsters hundreds of metres under the sea that haven’t been revealed to the public.’
Naturally, he was concerned that if such information was held by the Royal Navy it should be released as ‘our lives could be at risk.’
In their 2010 response, the Navy denied it was hiding any secret evidence of sea monsters or unidentified submarine objects (USOs). Any ‘unusual sightings’, it explained, would be recorded in the logs of submarines and surface ships but these could not be unearthed without a costly search of hundreds of paper files.
After a short flurry of Press interest, Mr Darby disappeared back into the subterranean depths. At the time I wondered if he really was a marine biologist. Could he be a vexatious leg (or flipper)-puller of the type who want to know if Liverpool has an emergency plan to deal with ‘alien invasion’ (Liverpool Echo, August 2011)?
But this week Mr Darby was back, posting on the What Do They Know? website that aggregates information gathered by those who make FOI requests. In his follow-up request Mr Darby asked:
‘Following the recent discovery of a ‘supergiant crustacean‘, reaching a staggering 34cm in length and found 7 km under the ocean, my concerns have been reinvigorated. Hence I again pose the question, are there any abormally large or dangerous sea monsters in the deep sea?’
The swift reply from the Navy Command says ‘MoD invites people to report sightings of marine mammals (which could include unusual sightings), via the Marine Mammal reporting form on the UK Hydrographic Office website.’ In other words, there’s a form for everything! Much like MoD used to invite people to report sightings of ‘flying saucers’ by filling in a form helpfully provided by its ‘UFO desk.’ A word of warning to the Hydrographic Office: The UFO desk was closed in 2009 after a tabloid silly season campaign persuaded some readers that formations of Chinese lanterns in the night sky were an ‘alien invasion fleet’ that required urgent MoD action.
Who knows, maybe there are ‘worryingly big sea monsters’ that pose a menace to marine biologists.
But I suspect this story should be placed in the same category as the one about ‘alien big cats’ on the loose in the British countryside, or frozen alien cadavers hidden away in a remote air force hangar in New Mexico. All sound like contemporary legends to me.
Worryingly big sea monsters?: UFOlogy in a Pond.