The Alvin Submersible’s Encounter with a Plesiosaur in 1965

In 1965, two explorers aboard the Alvin submersible descended over a mile into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. There, they encountered a living creature resembling a plesiosaur in appearance.

The Encounter Of Alvin Submersible With Plesiosaur

The Alvin Submersible’s Encounter with a Plesiosaur in 1965

Near the Bahamas in 1965, two men aboard the Alvin submersible, Marvin McKames, and Bill Rainney, descended over a mile into the Atlantic Ocean on their first dive. In a deep depression between the islands of Andros and New Providence called the “Language of the Ocean,” they encountered a long-necked creature resembling a plesiosaur.

One of the pilots described it as a reptile with a very long neck. Some researchers believe it could be the legendary sea serpent, while eyewitness descriptions point more towards a sea lizard from the plesiosaur order that has survived to this day. This remains an unsolved cryptozoological mystery.

The Alvin Submersible’s Encounter with a Plesiosaur in 1965

The initial message about this observation was iconic:

“When I saw this monster, or whatever it was, I turned around sharply and it was gone. It shocked me a little. It was clearly a living thing. I saw at least forty or fifty feet of its length (12-15 meters)” McKames said.

But later, in an interview with cryptozoologist Charles Berlitz, he described this meeting in much more detail:

“We went down about 5000 feet (1.5 km), and then I went down into the crevasse about 300 feet deeper under a small ledge. And there I saw THIS. 

The first thing I noticed was some movement. I thought that we were moving along the cable and checked if it was drifting, but found that our apparatus was stationary and that it was some other moving object. 

It then occurred to me that it might have been the auxiliary cable, due to its thick shape. I turned the bathyscaphe in an arc to get a better view of this cable or whatever it was, but then we were both surprised to see a thick body with fins and a long neck, a snake-like head with two eyes looking directly at us. 

He looked like a big lizard with fins – he had two pairs of them. The creature then swam upwards, turning its back before we could adjust our cameras. They were set to shoot 15 to 25 feet in front of the submarine, and the creature had moved out of the camera’s field of view by then but was still close to us. 

I didn’t like the way things were going, so I decided to pop up. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but I didn’t want to stay close to this creature.”

McKames immediately recorded the observation in the submersible’s log but later discovered that the fragment had been removed, leaving them with no evidence other than their own words. Initially, they did not dare to tell anyone what they had seen.

However, when McKames later told cryptozoologist Berlitz about the encounter, Berlitz’s colleague, artist J. Manson, drew a picture of a plesiosaur for him. Upon seeing the drawing, McKames confirmed that it was the creature he had seen.

In the decades following the encounter, cryptozoologists and zoologists debated what McKames and his colleague could have seen. Some believed it was a rare long-necked seal, while others were convinced it was a plesiosaur that had survived to modern times.

Modern cryptozoologist Karl Shuker considers the Alvin observation extremely valuable for two reasons. Firstly, both eyewitnesses were highly qualified engineers, not fame-seeking charlatans. Secondly, they saw the alleged “sea serpent” or plesiosaur in its natural element, deep underwater, rather than on the surface as in most observations.

Shuker is among those who believe that a real plesiosaur was seen from the Alvin and considers this case one of the strongest pieces of evidence that such marine cryptids are real.

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