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Cryptotourism has been in play for ages, especially highlighted by such sites as Loch Ness, which boasts of Nessie. Smaller examples of monsters and places, such as the Lizard Man of South Carolina or Tessie of Lake Tahoe, dot the maps of the world.But a new trend is the recognition of cryptids, history, and places in various locations, often further overlooked. Glacier Island’s monster is one case that even turned up in the old Books of Charles Fort.
According to these accounts the carcass of a colossal, fur bearing, reptilian-featured animal had been discovered on Alaska’s barren Glacier Island. The creature was described as being as being 42-feet in length, with a 6-foot head, a 20-foot body, and a 16-foot tail.
It was also reported that the carcass was in excellent condition. This was credited to its preservation in this arctic environment. For those who first encountered the cadaver, the consensus was almost unanimous; lying before them, embedded in a block of ice, lay a monster from another age. As quoted from the November 26, New York Times article:
“The theory has been advanced, that the carcass is that of a prehistoric animal or reptile that has been preserved in the upper reaches of the Columbia glacier.”
Most Alaskans – as well as many other individuals worldwide – were understandably skeptical regarding these reports. Their skepticism soon dissipated though, when the supervisor of the Chugach National Forest – one W. J. McDonald – assembled a six man team to mount an expedition for the purpose of finding and identifying the carcass.
Upon their arrival at Glacier Island, McDonald was as shocked as anyone to find a a large mystery corpse, which he described as a being shaped unlike any other creature known to have existed anywhere in the region. McDonald described the carcass:
“The (creature) had a long tail and tapering head, much like a dinosaur.”
Measurements taken by the McDonald expedition were much more thorough then those previously reported. According to McDonald the head – which he described as being, much like that of an elephant – was just over 59-inches long. The snout, from the center of the forehead to the tip, was 39-inches in length and the width of the trunk-like appendage was 11-inches at midsection, with a 29-inch circumference.
The widest part of the beast’s carcass was 38-inches and the bizarre animal’s length was 24 feet, with a 14-foot tail that started at the rib section. McDonald estimated the corpse’s weight to be approximately 1,000 pounds and described its flesh has being horse-like.
The description of the creature’s trunk-like appendage, fur covered flesh and elephantine skull, have led many scholars to believe that the animal which McDonald’s team so thoroughly examined was probably the badly decomposed carcass of a Woolly Mammoth.
There are other accounts, however, which emphatically state that the cadaver found on Glacier Island was completely reptilian and still others which asserted that it had no discernible head at all, just a trunk-like appendage jutting out where the head might ordinarily have been.
This account, along with the reports of the beast’s hair covered torso, seem amazingly similar to the descriptions of the so-called Natal carcass — more commonly referred to as Trunko— as well as the mysterious cases of Hoade's Monster and the Queensland Carcass. These animals represent a bizarre form of trunk bearing marine creature, which may be associated with legends of Sea Elephants or ancient Hindu myths of the Makara.
These observations, along with the creature’s purportedly “dinosaur-like” tail would seem to rule out the theory espoused by so many modern scholars that the animal was nothing more than a preserved mastodon. It was McDonald’s belief that the creature was not indigenous to Glacier Island, but that the animal had become encased in the Columbia glacier and carried off to sea, at which point it was deposited on the Alaskan Island.
Whatever this creature was, it washed back out to sea soon after its discovery, and all scientific interest – much to the shame of zoologists worldwide – vanished along with the carcass.