Did Sea Monsters Attack Two German U-boats Off the Coast of Ireland During WWI?
Welcome back Misfits, we have a strange one for you this week. After doing some digging for a previous episode, I came across two strange accounts of sea monsters attacking German U-boats during WWI. You all know I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to cryptids and aliens, but sea monsters, that's a different story. Even if the Kraken doesn't actually exist, we sure as hell actually have Giant Squids, which frankly are sea monsters. Also according to NOAA.gov, more than 80% of the Ocean has yet to be mapped or explored so it’s not out of the question that there are giant sea monsters that we don’t even know about. Heck we didn’t even have a photo of a Giant squid until 2004.
If you would like to hear our full discussion about these sea monsters and our interview with Pittsburgh Pirates Catcher Micheal McKenry, check out the Misfits and Mysteries on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and all other Podcast Platforms.
July 30, 1915
The first sea monster sighting occurred on July 30, 1915 off the waters of Fastnet Rock, which is 60 miles off of the coast of Ireland. According to German U-boat captain, Freiherr George G von Forster, his U-23 Schmidt was prowling the waters off Fastnet Rock when they came across the Iberian, a British Cargo Steamer, which was carrying trucks and jeeps for the allied war effort.
The German sub fired a torpedo at the cargo ship, creating an immense hole in her bow, sending all 61 crew members and vehicles to a watery grave. About 25 seconds after the Iberian sank, there was a massive underwater explosion caused by the hundreds of gallons of gasoline onboard igniting. The explosion set off a massive water plume sending wreckage in all directions and badly damaging the German U-boat.
Aside from sending wreckage everywhere, the explosion allegedly sent some sort of giant sea monster 80 feet into the air. According to the submarine crew, the creature was described as a 60 foot long aquatic reptile similar to a crocodile with a head that tapered to a point, a long pointed tail, and 4 webbed feet. Unfortunately the entire crew is dead now so we will never know for sure what they saw or if they actually saw a sea monster.
Based on their description though, they killed a Mosasaurus, an aquatic reptile that went extinct 66 million years ago. Although I’m less skeptical about sea monsters than cryptids, I do find it hard to believe that something that went extinct that long ago could possibly still be around today. Even if a handful of Mosasarurus managed to survive the K-T extinction, I find it really hard to believe that an apex predator this large and voracious would go undetected for so long. Also it seems hard to believe that it wouldn’t be outcompeted to the point of extinction by more mobile and efficient hunters like sharks or the Mosasarus’s predecessor (not evolutionarily) the Megalodon.
April 30, 1918
Three years later, on April 30, 1918 a British patrol boat off the coast of Ireland, spotted a German U-boat, and fired a torpedo, but did not receive any returning fire. The Brits were surprised because they were expecting a battle to ensue and we’re further shocked by how willing the German’s were to surrender.
According to German U-boat commander, Captain Gunther Krech, the previous night, the crew surfaced to recharge the subs batteries, but as they floated up, a massive sea monster crawled up the side of the vessel. The creature apparently had giant eyes, devilish horns, and rows of knife-like teeth. According to the crew, the creature attacked the forward mounted gun, latching on with its mouth in an attempt to tear apart the ship. The terrified crew fired their guns but it barely deterred the creature. The monster twisted the sub upside down and moments away from sinking, the soldiers unloaded their guns on it in a last ditch effort, and managed to dislodge the creature. The sub was so badly damaged that the Germans couldn't submerge below the waves before the British arrived.
I have no idea what the hell they encountered. I want to say giant squid because of the latching on but it doesn’t have horns or knife like teeth, just a horrific beak.
Critics like to point out that there is no evidence that either of these events actually happened. Well I guess it is a fact that the Iberian was sunk by Captain Freiherr George G von Forster’s U-boat and Captain Gunther Krech was actually captured by the British with no fight, but there is no evidence of sea monsters. And sure we can nitpick it all we want but it’s not like everyone had smartphones with HD cameras in the 1910s. These German crew’s probably didn’t see or kill a sea monster, but they definitely could have seen something they couldn’t explain.