Scores of sightings of giant sea serpent lurking off Yorkshire coast

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In the 1920s and 1930s the North Sea and Humber were the locations for a spate of ‘sea serpent’ sightings.

Trawlermen out in the estuary or off the East Yorkshire coast reported seeing an enormous, unidentified creature in the water.

Descriptions of the beast vary wildly but they were consistent about its size.

Read more stories about Yorkshire’s weird and fascinating history here.

The first of the sightings was in August 1922 when a steam trawler from Grimsby called Chandos encountered something bizarre 35 miles off the coast at Spurn Point, 29 miles east of Hull.

The crew thought they had seen two brown sails from two fishing boats inshore.

As they approached the ‘boats’ they realised the ‘sails’ were in fact, the dorsal fins of two large sea creatures.

The creatures, estimated at 15m (50ft) in length, swam off leaving the crew baffled.

The boat’s skipper told media at the time: “They were neither sharks nor whales.”

Reported sightings of large, unidentified sea creatures from Spurn Point to Whitby, continued through the 1920s and 1930s.

The Withernsea squid

In 1925, a creature described as a ‘giant octopus’ (in fact, a squid) was washed up on Withernsea beach and found by fishermen.

It was 2m from tip to tail with a round, fleshy, dark red body, two long feelers and eight tentacles full of suckers.

The Hornsea serpent

In July 1929, Mr and Mrs Johnson were walking along the seafront at Hornsea when they saw a sea serpent moving at a terrific speed.

The creature was about a mile out to sea and the couple claimed it was not a porpoise but something unexplained.

The Filey beast

In March 1934, Wilkinson Herbert, a coastguard at Filey, was walking along when he heard a growling noise “like a dozen dogs”.

But as he approached the noise he turned on his torch and came face to face with a long neck, about 8ft high and the head of a sea serpent.

The eyes were described as being “like saucers” and the creature’s mouth was said to have been a foot wide.

Mr Herbert threw stones at the creature, which beat a hasty retreat. As it moved away Wilkinson described the body as being black, with two great humps, and four legs. When it moved across the rocks to the sea it moved side to side.

The Humber monster

In 1934, Thomas Atkinson, of Hull, had been walking with his wife and children by the Humber when they saw something black swimming in the water.

As they watched intrigued, the creature turned towards them and stared back at them with eyes ‘the size of portholes’. The Atkinson family fled in terror.

The Scarborough squid

In February 1935, Yorkshire newspapers reported an enormous sea monster at Scarborough.

It transpired that the creature was a giant squid.

The Bridlington black fish

In summer 1937, a Mr Barkley, of Cliff Cafe at Sewerby, and a customer saw a large black creature, like a black fish, in the sea near Bridlington.

The creature, which was travelling at ’90mph’, was seen by others along the cliff tops.

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