Just prior to July 23, 2008, four young East Hampton (NY) women, Jenna Hewitt and three friends, happened upon what must have seemed a completely alien scene.
A local news paper, The Independent, ran a story about their experience, citing that the “Hound of Bonacville” had been found, and its lifeless carcass had washed up on the shores of Montauk beach.
What they found that summer day has confounded scientists the nation over.
Identification theories abound, some say this creature is merely a racoon, in an advanced state of decomposition caused by extended exposure to the water. Others claim it to be a dog or other small canine, and others yet claim it to be a rodent of some kind.
Eye witness reports, few as they are, suggest that the creature was approximately the size of a house cat, but seemed like nothing they had ever seen before. Initial photographs of the creature were run by the newspaper in conjunction with the story, but this scoop was soon to find syndication and was quickly being covered by media giants like CNN.
Additional pictures became available soon after and did little to shed more light on the creatures identity, and as a result of the media coverage, experts in zoology, anthropology and veterinary medicine were called in to make an identification of the remains.
Some such efforts concluded (prematurely some might say) and reinforced the idea that the creature was simply an unfortunate racoon. Jeff Corwin of Fox News concluded and maintains (via his blog) the same theory.
Nay Sayers have made their voices heard however, and they declare with confidence that this must be either an extraterrestrial corpse, or the body of some as yet unidentified sea creature. Though most reputable sources attribute a wholly earthly origin and allow little credibility to the missing link theories.
It is interesting to note that the actual remains were never recovered, and this itself is the cause of some speculative conspiracy theorising. One of the women who was thoughtful enough to snap the first pictures of the creature is widely accused of knowing precisely where the remains currently lay, though she denies any involvement in the conspiracy.
Once the media furor began to build, the four women were reported to have returned to the site, though accounts of what they found vary greatly. Some say they found only a badly decomposed skeleton, which would seem fairly logical, but for the amount of time that had passed between initial reports and their supposed date of their return. Other’s suggest that they returned to find the creature as originally reported, but decided to bury the remains in an undisclosed location, in an effort to fuel the controversy for financial gain.
Whatever their motives or actual involvement, the photographs are typically accepted as real (or unaltered), and most people who view the images will attest to the apparent authenticity of the creature, though none so far have been able to positively identify the creature.
To this day, no one has come forward with an explanation, and the case remains officially unsolved.