An unidentified creature in the english channel? visit AMR website for updated news

As you may know one of my favourite subjects as a blogger are stories related to the sea, the weirdest the better. Today however I'm going to set a new personal record with regard to weirdness.

I've been contacted by AMR (Association of Marine Research), an association created in 1901 aimed to promote a better understanding of deep-sea life, and, to make a long story short, they have provided me some incredible footage about a series of sightings that have recently occurred in the English Channel area.

Exceptional video footage of the Boulogne sighting

The first sightings started on 20th April 2009. A passenger departing from the port of Dover took the picture at the top of the post, but probably the best sighting has been made by a couple at the harbour of Boulougne-sur-mer, a nice french city near Calais. Thierry and Sophie, were enjoying a walk filming the boats sailing out of the harbour when Thierry spotted a large shape on the horizon. Being an amateur expert about the sea and marine life, he knew this was not simply the outline of a whale or any similar creature and was convinced that he had sighted some phenomenon as yet unseen by man. He decided to contact the AMR who are pursuing further investigations.

From that moment on AMR has collected a substantial number of testimonials from different areas. The strong similarities between the descriptions seem to confirm the existence of a ‘gigantic’ and extremely ‘fast-moving’ creature off english shores.
I'm sure many people will immediately think about an hoax (have you thought to Nessie.. haven't you?) but AMR has taken the whole thing pretty seriously (The AMR’s success in identifying this marine phenomenon is dependent upon the participation of the general public. As the first report came from Dover they have put in place a multimedia campaign calling for witnesses to come forward. This will include the distribution of flyers, radio, press and online communications.) and have even offered a reward as they stated in this note:
"We are calling for all witnesses of sightings of any strange phenomena in the English Channel to contact the AMR immediately via our website A reward is being offered for evidence leading directly to proof of this creature’s existence."

Visit AMR website for any further info. You'll find also an updated map with the sightings and the first hypothesis that scientists are making!


©Tim Tevebaugh

They are known as Snow Rollers, Snow Bales or Snow Doughnuts and they are just what these names suggest: Self-rolling large snowballs formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape, because they roll just in one direction (while men create snowmen rolling snowballs in many different directions) and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first layers to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can easily be blown away (giving them the donut look):

©Tim Tevebaugh

This is one of the rarest meteorological phenomena because a lot of unusual conditions should occur simultaneously. Therefore people that spotted snow-bales could consider themselves lucky. The ones you can see in the first five pictures were seen and photographed by firefighter Tim Tevebaugh while on his way home from work in the evening. He spotted a field full of them near Craigmont, Idaho. They were two feet high that is more or less the maximum size thay normally reach.

©Tim Tevebaugh

The conditions for the Snow-Rollers to form are these:
  • The ground must be covered by a layer of ice or crusty snow to which snow will not stick.
  • The layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice.
  • The wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them too fast.
  • Alternatively, gravity can move the snow rollers as when a snowball, such as those that will fall from a tree or cliff, lands on steep hill and begins to roll down the hill.

©Tim Tevebaugh

©Tim Tevebaugh

The following images are pictures of other sightings.

Cincinnati (you can see perfectly the central hole):

©Glenn Hartong

©Michael Snyder


©Leigh Huggins


©Olev Mihkelmaa

North Cascades (formed by gravity and not by wind):

©Mike Stanford




Central Illinois:

©Paul White

©Paul White

Let's start from the author: Jim Denevan. Jim is an artist who have chosen not to put boundaries to his art. Basically he makes freehand drawings in the sand but these drawings take up to some square miles... and can appreciated just from a bird's eye view. At low tide on wide beaches Jim searches the shore for a wave tossed stick. After finding a good stick Jim started drawing his colossal works. You could find interesting that his whole art is absolutely transient: when the high tide comes again water moves over and through, leaving nothing of the many hours spent working.

Recently Jim Denevan made the world's largest freehand drawing on a dry lake in Nevada. How big is it? Three miles across. Jim walked for eight days, about 100 miles to draw the pattern...
You can see it in the following amazing pictures:

Absolutely big... isn't it? and it was transient just as the ones on the beaches: it was completely erased in a rainstorm week after he finished the work.

The following images are a selection of some of his works:

Visit JIMDENEVAN.COM for more info
I'm sure that if someone should ask you if you can think to something related to Formula One, Sculpture and Fish at the same time you wouldn't be able to answer!
Yet there is one guy that had put all these things together in a quite amazing way.
Alastair Gibson was lead mechanic for the Benetton F1 team for four years and then race team chief mechanic for BAR Honda Grand Prix Team for ten years. Not exactly the person you would have imagined as an unconventional artist... nevertheless after leaving pit lane he has begun fabricating motorsports-influenced sculptures of fish using parts of real Formula 1 cars!

Each fish has a body in carbon fiber and comes with a spec sheet detailing the specific parts added to it. The brown trout has a tail fin made of floor stays and comes mounted on a plank from the underside of Jensen Button's 2006 Hungarian GP-winning car. The hammerhead shark has eyes from rear wheel tether gearbox side shrouds, and comes mounted on a gearbox pull rod – also from the 2006 Hungarian GP car.