Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cryptozoology: Giant Snake of the Genesee River!

The Buffalo Morning Express

Wednesday, May 16, 1860

Page 2, Column 3


A Snake Story


The Rochester Union tells the toughest kind

of snake story -- hardly inferior in tenacious

qualities to the yarns of the “Sea Serpent.”

The scene is laid near the “peaceful village” of

Charlotte, the Ostia of Rochester, at the mouth

of the Genesee River. The story runs thus:

A man named Thomas Higby, who has resided

for many years at Charlotte, and who has

made hunting and fishing a pastime, was in the

pine woods beside the river, a mile or more

above the village, on Sunday week, when he

discovered this giant of the ophidian race. His

attention was attracted by a noise to the upturned

root of a large pine which had fallen before the

wind. He crawled carefully along beside the

prostrate tree till he got so near the source of

the noise that he could have a view of what was

transpiring on the other side by looking over,

expecting to see a woodchuck or some animal of

that sort. His surprise may be imagined when

he beheld a large snake in the act of finishing a

woodchuck then lying upon the ground. The

snake was put a few feet distant from where

Higby stood, and they were in full view of each

other. He says the snake raised its head nearly

three feet from the ground and looked steadily

at him for a few seconds; it then seized the

quivering woodchuck in it s ponderous jaws and

moved off toward a place in the woods where the

foliage was dense, and so disappeared from sight.

Higby had no weapon, but immediately set out

for his house more than a mile distant, procured

his gun and retuned to the place where he had

seen the snake, intending to invite him to combat

if he appeared. He found the ground bloody

where the woodchuck had been slain, and traced

the snake by the blood where it had writhed

along the ground and through the underbrush,

until he came to a place where it was impossible

to follow.

The Union says that Higby is a quite man,

and one who is not given to falsehood or to

joking. “He spoke of what he had seen to one or

two of his neighbors, and lest he might be

charged with exaggeration or overestimating in

fright, he at first gave the size of the snake

under what actually appeared to him at first sight.

He compared it in his mind with a tree or sapling,

and stated that he believed the snake was

eighteen feet in length and six inches in diameter

in its largest part. In color the reptile resembled

the bark of the young soft maple tree.”

It adds: “Whatever notion people may

entertain of the story told, one thing is certain:

The neighbor of the man who tells of seeing the

monster -- those who know him best --- will not

believe that he tells a falsehood. They say he is

incapable of practicing any such deception.”

Original story from microfilm records at,

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203

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