Thursday, February 5, 2009

Old Issue of "Sea Monster" Magazine

Someone sent me this old issue of "Sea Monster" magazine. As you can see our creature made the cover. The date on this is mid 70s. Pretty cool.

Been awhile since I've had a chance to add any new info. to the blog. Between my "real" job and all of the preparations for the Spring rutting season I haven't had time to do much of anything. I'm running here or there... welding this or that... unloading the Honey Baked Hams®, checking traps, etc. I will give a full report on the latest developments very soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just a Blur

Mr. Ketchum,

While skiing this past summer my boyfriend and I had a strange encounter. After an uneventful morning of him pulling me all over the Reservoir, we stopped and I let him have a go at it. After I toweled off I decided to turn around and snap a quick photo. Just then something jumped over the tow line and landed with a great splash. We assumed it was a very large fish. But that night we noticed that I caught something on film. Could this be your monster? Maybe a young one?

- Confused in Ranking Co.

What I think is that you captured an image of an infant Ressie. It was probably just curious about your boat and checking you out. I shudder to think what was swimming around under your boyfriend while this was going on. Personally I don't ski on that Reservoir... or swim in it. If we stop to eat lunch while we are out checking traps I even sit way up on the bank away from the water. Just saying. Thanks for the sighting.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Madison Cave Art Discovery

Mr. Ketchum,

I am pretty excited about a discovery that my husband and I made over the holidays. I'll keep this short and sweet. Typically on any given Saturday my husband and I make a point of going to the cinema. On this particular day we wanted to do something out of the norm so we got into the attic and pulled all of our caving gear down. We bought all of that stuff specifically to spelunk the Great Madison Caves, but we've actually only gone down three times. Anyway we drove out to "Found Rabbit" to the main cave entrance. This is the one that borders the Reservoir. The decent was unremarkable. We went in about two miles and shot some photos of the formations, walked down to the mammoth bone chamber, ate lunch and then decided it was time to climb out. While making our way out of the final shaft I noticed a small cave etching on the wall. It was pretty faint so I made a tracing from the photo so you can see it more clearly. I may be wrong but it looks as if a prehistoric peoples are attempting to keep a dinosaur like animal away from a boar. We are very good friends with the Dean of Archeology at Holmes Jr. College in Ridgeland. When he returns from his dig in Mexico I am going to present these photos to him so he can date this find for me. Until then let's keep this between us.

Happy hunting.

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Windworthy

Wow. I am speechless. Please let us know what the Professor has to say about this as soon as you get some input!

Why Honey Baked Hams™?

Just wanted to drop in for a quick minute and post some trap updates and answer a question I am asked constantly. So to put it to rest so we can move forward, here is the question I am asked most frequently.

Why do you only use Honey Baked Ham(s)™ as bait for your Ressie traps?

This is really simple. As far back as anyone can remember the Ressie creature has been fond of taking pigs. Way back when the area was first settled both the natives and the settlers often referred to this animal as "The Hog Eater." We assume that since the animal eats mostly fish, fowl and whatever other aquatic life it manages to capture, giant catfish, alligators and possibly the odd skier, that pork is considered a treat to the creature. So we use hams as trap bait. We could have gone the cheaper, generic canned ham route, but we wanted to do this right. So we decided to use Honey Baked Ham™ exclusively. Also we are hoping that at some point the company will sponsor some of our research.

We have had some more sightings recently. A lot of people are reporting that they have seen the creature while driving across the spillway. Typically early morning or late evening. One of our traps is missing. One of the big ones. We think that the creature got hung up in the door and drug it into deeper water, or meth heads pulled it out and cut it up for scrap metal. We hope its the former. Other than that it has been pretty uneventful. As the weather warms up we are sure the action will pick up.

Monday, January 5, 2009

First Sighting of 2009

R.E.S.S.I.E. Team,

I snapped this photo on Jan. 2nd about 4 p.m. in the evening. I was driving across the spillway leaving Rankin, headed toward Ridgeland. I had just left my brothers house and was lucky enough to have my digital camera sitting on the front seat out of its case. I just saw this thing in the distance and then I saw that it was moving. The "creature" began to submerge itself as I snapped the photos. This was the best of the bunch. Hope this is helpful.

~ Anonymous

Hey we really appreciate you sharing your photo. This is classic Ressie behavior. Late afternoon foraging. That day was a bit on the warm side. The creature had probably left its underwater cavern to hunt. I wouldn't have expected a sighting of this quality this early in the year. Hopefully this means we will have a successful capture in 2009 (fingers crossed). All of the new traps are in place and ready for the spring rut.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Six of One, Half Dozen of The Other

Dear Mr. Ketchum,

I am a fourth grade teacher at a local middle school, and many of my students have become quite taken with Ressie since your appearance last month on public access television. Although I do not believe in the creature myself, I've used Ressie to focus their interest on dinosaurs. We've been making dinosaurs out of clay, writing reports on them and even constructing a giant dinosaur out of papier mache. Well, here's where the problem comes in. One of my students, Chandler, told me he wanted to make an ichthyosaurus like Ressie. The rest of the class agreed, so I dutifully searched for a picture of the creature on the Google. What I found bears no resemblance at all to the dinosaur you feature on the logo of your website. As a matter of fact, that creature bears more than a passing resemblance to a plesiosaur. I couldn't hide the image from my students, and I wouldn't want to. I used this discrepancy between your logo and the creature that you say haunts our mighty Ross Barnett Reservoir as an opportunity to discuss the scientific method and how dangerous pseudosciences like cryptozoology can be to the pursuit of real knowledge. Most of the children are now convinced that Ressie is a fake and that you're a fraud. However, Chandler insists that I contact you directly and ask for an explanation. He said there's got to be a reason for the discrepancy. So, Mr. Ketchum, I hope that you've got a good explanation for all of this. You've broken the hearts of an entire room full of fourth graders. I await your response.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Donovan

An ichthyosaurus and a plesiosaur are indeed two different creatures. The ichthyosaurus is more dolphin like in appearance where the plesiosaur is more in line with the creature(s) that have been sighted in The Ross Barnett. Mainly due to length of neck. However not all sightings have the creature possessing an extremely long neck. Sometimes the witnesses say the neck had some length, but was not extremely long. There are few reasons we use the word ichthyosaurus rather than plesiosaur. 1) Both are aquatic reptiles that were/are more or less similar in habit. 2) The very fact that a nest or nesting sight has never been found points to the fact that this animal(s) give birth to live young. This is a trait shared by the ichthyosaurus. 3) That word works better in our organization's acronym. If you can find a clever way to work the word plesiosaur into the R.E.S.S.I.E. acronym be my guest. We'll change it if you can pull that one off. Hopefully this will help the kids make sense of the perceived discrepancy. Hey tell Chandler he can visit headquarters and go on a trap re-baiting with us. Tell him those Honey Baked Hams™ don't drive themselves to the trap locations and jump into the bait baskets on their own. *Wink*

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ressie Traps Vary In Size

People ask me all the time how big are the traps that we set both on the Pearl River and in The Ross Barnett Reservoir and I always have to explain that our traps are constructed in three sizes. Small, medium and large. Our smallest trap is a circular unit and it is placed in shallow waters. In the photo one of our volunteer team members, Colton Barnheart, stands next to it for a scale reference. This is designed to catch young Ressies. Our medium trap is rectangular and it is typically set along banks. It will accommodate a medium sized lake monster. Finally our largest trap is a deep water unit. In the photo you can see that Harv is putting the finishing touches on the most recent one that we constructed. We are planning on setting out 4 of the newly constructed large traps as soon as the weather starts getting warmer. One will be place at the spillway. It is here that we believe Ressies often feed on giant catfish when the fish stocks are skimpy. We also plan to place one in the middle of the Reservoir, one at the mouth of the Pearl River and the fourth will be placed off of the Natchez Trace in Ridgeland. Keep an eye out for them if you are in the area.

Ressie Drops Kid at the Pool

This "adorable" illustration with the following message showed up recently.

Mr. Ketchum and the R.E.S.S.I.E. Team,

I am seven years old. I drew this picture for you. It is of a baby Ressie. My Daddy said it was the kid that Ressie dropped off at the pool. I think he was right. The baby is diving into the Ross Barnett Reservoir. I hope you like it. Good luck with your hunting.

Marcus Stevens

Wow Marcus! That is a great drawing. I'll be sure to put it on the refrigerator at R.E.S.S.I.E. headquarters. I think your Dad was right. Looks like Ressie dropped his kid off at the pool alright. Thanks again.

Monday, December 22, 2008

E-Mail from Frat Boy

I am going to paste the e-mail in uncorrected as it was sent to me.

What's up, bro?
I read your website all the time and it cracks my shit up.
Nobody really believes in this RIZZY creature, and your like a big joke here.
Me and my fraternity brothers think your probably on drugs.
Why ddont you get a life? You've probably never even been with a woman.
Walton Addleton


Hey I appreciate your interest in our project. Even skeptics are welcome. What isn't appreciated is the sarcastic and mocking tone of your e-mail. Drugs? That would be none of your business. Where women are concerned I am engaged... not that is any of your business either, but since you seem to be interested in my availability I just wanted to make it clear that I prefer women to the fellas there Walton. Let me tell you something kid. While you are down in the fraternity house basement doing keg stands and playing grab ass with your fraternity brothers, I'm working a full time job and pursuing something I believe in. What have you done lately except stick your hand out to your parents for your weekly allowance check?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ressie a Product of Black Magic?

I get the damndest e-mails. There are all sorts of 'crazies' out there with all sorts of ideas about what Ressie is and how it ended up in the Reservoir. Check this out. This it nuts (literally).

Dear Sir,

I am aware of the entity that you call "Ressie", and I contact you today to strongly urge you to discontinue your field research. Although one might be tempted to classify this creature as a harmless local myth along the lines of Ogopogo or the Loch Ness Monster, it is real - terrifyingly real - and should you move forward in your present actions I fear your very soul may be forfeit.

You see, the beast you so charmingly refer to as "Ressie" is in fact what the Eastern Mystics call a "Tulpa", a psychic thought-form given a flesh-and-blood existence in our fragile world. And how do I know this? With great shame, I confess that it was my own hubris that gave it entry to our realm.

It was during Walpurgisnacht of 1963 that Austrian occultist Werner Krohn and I, along with my drunken she-devil of a wife Leticia, gathered at our home in the exclusive gated community of Annandale to enact the Sacred Rite of the Jörmungandr. During the following three hours of High Magick -skyclad, fueled by cocaine and debaucheries of a most tender nature - we raised forth the Great Serpent of the Waters. I tell you that what follows was not my fault. I beg of you to believe me, sir.

Krohn was convinced that he could force the Serpent to reveal the location of Grubby's Gold, thus was the reason for our summoning - surely, as a captain of our fair reservoir you know the legend of this sailor who sank along with a rumored great deal of treasure to the bottom of waters, never to be seen again, yes?

During the Thelemic Rite the creature proved to be too powerful for Krohn and myself. It was a terrible sight: the creature's twisting, undulating coils writhing in the moonlight, its mass expanding and contracting with its might breaths. We lost our stomach for the entire affair and tried to send it back to the Elder Realms, only to find our carefully drawn pentacle smashed and the creature enveloping the mass of my back yard.

I called for Krohn and Leticia to retreat, and grabbed my trusty shotgun, but it was too late. The gleam of Grubby's Gold had distracted Krohn. Driven him mad. He and Leticia both. The creature swallowed both of them in a gruesome fashion and disappeared with a flash of eldritch purple light. I buried my fears and hastily constructed a story for the neighbors: Krohn and Leticia had run away together to Prague. The relationship shared between our houseguest and ourselves was already much the subject of rumor, and none of the other members of our community wished to pry any further.

I considered myself lucky to have survived. Then the nightmares started.

I would dream that I was on the bottom of a great body of water, strangled in seaweed. Looking to my left and my right, I would see the ghastly, fish-pale corpses of Leticia and Krohn, and then, god help me, they would smile. I would awaken then, drenched in sweat, visions of a primordial reptile plumbing the darkened depths of our own Ross Barnett Reservoir still fresh in my head.

If only I knew the worst was yet to come.

Stories started to spread among the poor fishermen of our town. Stories only too familiar! They whispered about a lake monster - a serpent - a hungry beast that ate honey-baked hams with a vengeance, and rivaled the length of several Nascars put bumper to bumper. Then the disappearances started. I could no longer sleep at night, plagued with images of the beast that our file Rite had let forth into this world.

I have spent the following decades in and out of nervous hospitals, I am shamed to say. My wealth dwindled. My sanity rendered into tatters. Now, even now, I hear wet, sloshing foot steps that haunt me wherever I go. I am afraid I can no longer take it.

I regret to say, sir, that by the time you receive this electronic missive I shall be no more. I finally have the courage to do what I should have done in the beginning: take my own life. At dawn, I will walk into the reservoir's powerful tide. There I shall meet the beast, with only the cold embrace of the dead for solace. I urge you, sir, to leave this creature be. Do not follow in my footsteps.

Most sincerely,

Ambrose E. Waite, Esq.

If there's one thing I know it's this. Rich, white people who live in gated communities, with too much free time on their hands at some point will inevitably dabble in that old black magic. But something tells me that this guy is pulling my leg. I think that Ressie is a flesh and blood creature. A living fossil from our prehistoric past. But who knows. Thanks for the e-mail Gandolf.

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

Just wanted to take a moment to share a recent e-mail that I received from Jonah Barton who is the president of the "The Gluckstadt Giant Foundation". R.E.S.S.I.E. and T.G.G.F. aren't enemies or anything... we just try to stay out of each others way. We let them do their research and we do ours and we try not to overlap when possible. About the only time we do get together socially is when we kick their asses at softball. LOL! Jonah owns a U-Haul franchise in Madison off of Hwy. 51. His business also serves as the headquarters for their operation. Anyway he recently sent me the following:


Long time no see compadre. You guys having any luck with the new traps? Probably not since "Ressie" doesn't exist... hahahaha. You guys should give up and come over to the T.G.G.F. and join forces with us. If we pooled resources we could all become famous within a year. The Giants have really been active in the past month. I'm feeling really good about the upcoming year. This could be the one! We just added three new team members and just bought a fully loaded 4X4 truck. Not to mention the new night vision goggles and a sweet sponsorship from Unilever Foods North America. You know damn well we only use their Ragu™ pasta sauce products to bait our traps. We wouldn't ever use anything else and they  are going to start sending us as many cases as we need. So the next time we kick your asses at softball I'll bring you a few jars to take home to your Mom. Hey check it out. I hired a guy from Memphis to carve this Giant for us to put in front of the headquarter offices. Pretty sweet huh. Well I better wrap it up. Getting ready to go make the afternoon trap run. See you soon.

~ Jonah

My response back to Mr. Barton was friendly, but firm. I simply told him that he was indeed wrong about who was chasing things that don't exist. That would be him. And I also told him that even though we didn't (yet) have a fancy sponsorship deal with Honey Baked Hams™, or all the fancy, expensive equipment that we would be just fine. And no we don't intend on abandoning all the hard work  we've put into our project. I let him know who was getting their asses kicked at the next softball game too. I also told him that he could keep his Ragu™ sauce for his stupid traps. My mother has been dead for 7 years and he damn well knew that. That guy is a passive aggressive dick sometimes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It has been an uphill battle trying to get any of the cities around the Reservoir, or the state or federal wildlife & park management entities to recognize The R.E.S.S.I.E. Program. Our goal is to bring awareness to the public about Ressie. We also feel that Ressie could bring tourist dollars to the area. With that in mind Harv and I fabricated a few "WELCOME TO RESSIE COUNTRY" signs and went out a few nights ago and mounted them up guerilla style. We only made three, but if we get some positive feedback we hope to "legally" put more up throughout Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties. We figured it would be easier to ask forgiveness than permission since when we call for permission we usually get hung up on. Anyway out of the three the highway sign was the most tough to install. It took three people and a boom truck. The other two weren't that hard. When we put some more up "legally" or otherwise I'll post some more photos.

Ressie Traps Under Construction

Due to a flurry of new sightings I had to call Harv in to get started on the construction of 4 new traps. As you can see our trap manufacturing facility is large enough to accommodate the simultaneous production of up to fourteen traps. Once construction is done and the traps have been inspected, they will be loaded onto our flatbed semi and hauled out to the trap locations. Once the traps are unloaded and anchored a fresh Honey Baked Ham™ will be unceremoniously dropped into the bait basket and then the bicycle bell will be set. If a Ressie takes the bait this bell will ring alerting any team member in the area that we have a possible capture. The next four traps will be positioned in the reservoir and in two remote swamps up river. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ressie T-Shirts Now Available!

Just another reminder that you can purchase your very own Ressie T-Shirt by clicking HERE, or clicking the shop banner to your right. As stated in a previous post, the mark up on these shirts is very minimal. Any money made from the sale of official Ressie merchandise goes right back into the Ressie project. It isn't cheap to keep all the trucks supplied with snake bite kits, rations, water purifiers and the other gear that help us survive in the field. Also the price of steel has gone up drastically and just one Ressie trap uses approximately 2 tons of I beam and assorted scrap to fabricate. On top of that we have bait to buy, this blog to administrate, the other miscellaneous expenditures. Your support is appreciated.

Dumpster Dive

What Ressie eats is a up for debate. We know it enjoys Honey Baked Hams™. We can't keep those things in the traps. We also have accounts where people have seen Ressie eating giant catfish, alligators, stray dogs, a raccoon and 'supposedly' a guy that was puking over the rail at "The Dock" in the late 80s. That leads me to this recent e-mail.


I'm not sure if this was Ressie or not. Several years ago I worked at Penn's Fish House on the Rankin County side of the Reservoir. I was the last person there that night and I was taking the last of the garbage to the dumpster. When I flipped the lid back I got the surprise of my life. Something large and wet came sliding out and all I was thinking was "snake" so I ran back inside. I stuck my head back out and saw this animal, that was about the size of Komodo dragon lurching up and down in the direction of the lake. It was moving real strange. It looked like it wasn't used to being on the land that much. Anyway it could have been anything. I don't know. I'm not exactly Brian Fellows.

Good luck with your project.

- James J.

Thanks for the e-mail James. that could have in fact been a young Ressie. It sounds like it had grown too old and its parents had forced it out of their territory, thereby forcing it to dumpster dive to feed itself. If these things like Honey Baked Hams™ it wouldn't be a huge stretch to think they might have a taste for chicken grease and fried catfish bones. I think they are omnivorous and will eat just about anything they can hook their razor sharp teeth into.

So How Big Is Ressie?

A lot of people ask me, "Hugh... just how big is Ressie anyway?" And I proceed to explain to them that since we have yet to capture a live specimen we can only guess. Old accounts of the creature, like a famous sighting in 1837, described the thing as being, "The length of two barns with a girth of a live oak." While more modern sightings paint a picture that suggests it may be as small as a large sea lion. By compiling all of the data it would appear that a 'best case scenario' Ressie could grow to a fairly large size. If it wasn't stressed, had plenty of giant catfish to feed on and minimal human exposer, it might well become gigantic. A full grown bull Ressie could grow to a length of five NASCARs. That's more than 30 Honey Baked Hams™! As far as it's weight, depending on the time of year, it may grow as large as 17 cows. To put that in perspective that's a whopping 10 average sized WalMart shoppers. We are talking huge here! No matter how large or small a typical Ressie is, at the end of the day, it's still a mystery that we hope to solve very soon.

Sunday Fishing Trip Interrupted

My in-box is starting to fill up. Here's the most recent one from an anonymous eyewitness.

To whom it may concern,

You know I like to take that bass boat of mine up into the weeds when the big boys aint biting too good. If you get that stink bait they sell down at the Totes-Em you can catch you a string of catfish. Well that's what I had in mind a few weeks back. It was Sunday when I motored up into the marsh, just me a six pack of PBR and a whole day of fishing. Well, things were going real well until I felt a bump underneath my boat and then I heard a slurping, sloshing sound like a toilet backing up. I had my beer in my hand, and I almost dropped it. You might think I'm crazy because of what I am about to tell you, but I stood up to look over the edge to see what was making all the ruckus and I saw something that about turned my hair all white. Looked like a snake, or maybe an alligator with a real long neck, but the thing was huge and ugly. I was so scared that I jumped back and near about tipped over the boat. That thing, and now that I think about it, it looked like some kind of something out of Jurassic Park, reared up and swallowed all of my catfish in one gulp. Then it disappeared underneath the water. I motored on back to the shore as fast as I could, praying all the while that if the good Lord lets me make it home safe to my kids I'd never fish on Sunday again. Well, as you might could figure I made it back in one piece, but I don't think the Lord's going to mind if I take a bass now and again on his day, so I'm going to be out there again next Sunday, and this time I'm bringing a camera.

Well that really is a spectacular encounter. I would encourage everyone who ventures out onto the Ross Barnett Reservoir to bring a camera with them "just in case". Always better to be prepared. I would also strongly encourage anyone going out on the water to leave all pets, small children and pork products back on shore. Might want to leave the PBR back at home too. Those B.W.I.s can be very expensive.

RESSIE T-Shirts Now Available

You can visit the new "Ressie Spread Shirt Shop" if you would like to purchase a T-shirt and show your support for the R.E.S.S.I.E. program. Our goal is to raise awareness of the existence of this creature. We are also actively trying to photograph and possibly even capture this animal to prove to the world once and for all that Ressie is indeed a living, breathing creature. If we can prove that Ressie is alive, then we can hopefully have the entire Ross Barnett Reservoir set aside as protected habitat for this animal. The markup on these shirts is very minimal. All money collected from the sale of these garments will go toward buying gas for our research vehicles, maintaining our supplies of Deep Woods Off® and most importantly purchasing Honey Baked Hams™ to bait our traps which as of this writing are 65 strong. We appreciate your support.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Doubtful in Madison

Mr. H. Ketchum,

I am a Madison, Mississippi native and grew up on The Ross Barnett Reservoir. Not only is there no such thing as "Ressie". I've never heard one person ever, ever utter that name. Sure I have heard of "The Gluckstadt Giant". Every kid I know heard those campfire stories about the apelike creature that roams Gluckstadt and Canton, but Ressie? Never. It's nut jobs like you that give real Monster Hunters a bad name. Why don't you do something productive with your time and go put in a few hours at the soup kitchen or something.

Brenda Duninghill

Brenda. I take my research seriously. The part about my chosen career that I hate the most is I often, through the information I impart, destroy many people's fragile world view. Nobody likes having their reality ripped asunder... I understand your pain. I'll leave it like this. Brenda you can believe in Ressie or not believe in Ressie... just promise me one thing. Promise me that you will never, ever climb into a boat that has a golden retriever or a Honey Baked Ham™ onboard... or a small child that has recently eaten a Honey Baked Ham™ sandwhich. That could be trouble too.

Chicken Scare

We appreciate you sharing your Ressie stories with us. Frank Helms writes in with his story.

Dear Mr. Ketchum,

I think it's great that someone has finally found the courage to give Ressie witnesses a place to come forth without being ridiculed. For far too long "The Man" has sat in his ivory tower overlooking the spillway, keeping our stories from getting coverage. I think that they are scared of the truth, because if people learn the truth, then all the tourists will stop flocking to the banks of the Ross Barnett Reservoir for their summer vacations. They are simply scared of losing all of that money. People need to know that Ressie really is out there. I'm just happy that we now have the Internet. They should rename it the "truth-a-net"... or  the, well something that lets you know that the Internet is where you go for the truth and the facts. Sorry for getting all worked up. Here's my story. I'll make it quick. About two years ago I was pole fishing in my little two man boat up the river. I was in a slough off to the side right below Ratliff Ferry. It was just me and my pet chicken Reggie that morning just doing a little perch fishing. Nothing out of the ordinary for me. It was a workday so I was about the only person on the water that day. Anyway I was just sitting there and all the sudden Reggie started running in circles around the boat. Just started acting peculiar. I grabbed him up and held him and the look on his face was sheer terror. He must have smelt it before I saw it. Just then that thing raised up out of the water about twenty feet from me, it was dark green and had algae growing on it in patches. the head was moving pretty fast, so I didn't get a real good look at it, but it sort of looked like it had a horse's head, but no fur. Almost like a giraffe head even with the neck and all. Anyway as fast as it rose up it crashed back down and was gone. I haven't ever paddled so fast in my life. To this day you can't get Reggie near that boat.

Thanks again and good luck to you.

Frank Helms

Frank I appreciate your story. If more people would take a brave step forward then maybe, one day, we could figure out what is causing this phenomena. Is it a prehistoric animal? Is it an unknown creature? Is it a mutant? Or is it something else entirely? Your story has one element that ties it in with many other sightings. A companion animal. Ressie seems attracted and is possibly curious about other animals in its territory. Another thing it has shown interest in is people who bring food onto the water. Particularly those who have taken Honey baked Hams™ out with them. I know it sounds strange, but every other eye witness has either had a pet or Honey Baked Ham™ in their boat at the time of their sighting.