Mysterious Disappearance of Patanela

On November 1988, Patanela, a 19-metre steel schooner was vanished without trace while approaching Sydney Harbour. She disappeared on a calm November night, within sight of the lights of Botany Bay. There was no mayday call, no distress flares sighted, no debris, and no bodies as evidence of her sinking. Nearly 20 years later, a ghostly 'message in a bottle' from Patanela's crew has been found on a beach in the Great Australian Bight by a beachcomber.

The 'message in a bottle' is written by John Blissett as he and three others sailed Patanela from Fremantle across the great Australian Bight on October 26, 1988. In faded blue handwriting inside a Bacardi bottle, it was found on a secluded beach near Eucla on the southern coast of Western Australia, by Esperance woman Sheryl Waideman on New Year’s Eve.

The note in a bottle offers a sailing holiday to the lucky finder.

"Hi there - out here in the lonely Southern Ocean and thought we would give away a free holiday in the Whitsunday Islands in north Queensland, Australia,'' John wrote.

"Our ship is travelling from Fremantle, Western Aust, to Queensland to work as a charter vessel.''

"See ya soon"
, it ends, signed John.

The note invites the finder to call one of a pair of phone numbers to claim the prize.

It gives Patanela's position as 34 degrees, 26 minutes, 20 seconds south, 129 degrees, 18 minutes, 54 seconds east in the Great Australia Bight.

That's south of Eucla - raising the possibility that the bottle drifted ashore and has sat undiscovered since.

Aboard Patanela, was John Blissett and his friend Michael Calvin, both from Taree, plus the skipper, Perth businessman Ken Jones and his wife Noreen. None have been sighted since Patanela departed Portland, Victoria, in early November.

An inquest which started in 1992 concluded that Patanela foundered in the early hours of November 8, 1988 some time after a final radio contact with Sydney Harbour. Nothing remained to explain the vessel’s fate.

The disappearance sparked wide speculation and a variety of conspiracy theories including claims of piracy and drug running. There is no evidence to either substantiate or disprove any such claims.

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Maumee River Monster

Maumee River Monster is a river monster also known as river dragon. First reported in Napoleon, Ohio. On September 13, 1902, many persons have seen the animal, and its appearance is accurately described. In form the creature is said to be somewhat like a river lizard, although considerably larger. It has been seen on the banks of the Maumee River and appears to move as easily on the land as in the water. The principal feature about the animals’ body is a huge tail, covered with minute scales like a fish. It also has two small, web-shaped feet, possibly six inches in length. Its eyes are very small, set far apart, and are of a peculiar greenish color. The whole body of the creature seems covered with a coarse, heavy hide of a dull brown color.

It is almost impossible to give anything like the exact measurements of the animal, but it is estimated that the creature is nine or ten feet long, and would measure anywhere from 24 to 30 inches in height, while its body would measure perhaps 14 inches across. Some one who has seen it has remarked, “if there is such a thing as a cross between an alligator, a lizard and a snake, I believe our river ‘haunt’ would exactly fill the bill.”

Illustration of the Maumee River Monster

Parts of the body of the animal are ill proportioned, giving it a squatty appearance when seen at its full length. Characteristics of both the water and land are mingled at times very noticeably together, and it is impossible to classify the creature with any accuracy. The name it has come to bear along the river if the “river Dragon,” although who first suggested the mystic creature of superstition as its namesake, it would be impossible to say. The home of the animal is on Savage’s Island, about 12 miles below here. At that point there is a series of rapids in the Maumee River, and it is supposed that the animal was washed into the river from Lake Erie, into which the stream empties, a short distance below. In parts the island is covered by a thick shrubbery, reaching to the water’s edge, but although the ground has been carefully explored, no trace of the lurking place of the animal could be found. It is now believed that the creature inhabits a cave in the island, entrance to which is effected from the river, the water concealing all trace of it. The theory of the pioneer of this section was that there is a vast honeycomb of caverns in this vicinity, many of which are below the bed of the river, and it is believed by many that the animal makes its home among these passages.

At that time, party of fishermen were rowing home about dusk from their day’s sport, when suddenly in the vicinity of Savage’s Island one of them uttered a low exclamation of terror and dropped his oars. The attention of the others was attracted by his actions, and the course of the boat was stopped. Directly on a jutting point of the island, hardly 40 feet away, lay an animal, the sight of which could well inspire fear. In the gathering gloom the weirdness of the creature’s appearance was intensified. “It reminded me more of a huge snake than anything else,” one of the party afterward said. Its head was turned toward the occupants of the boat, and suddenly it raised itself, giving the startled watchers a vivid idea of its size, and plunged into the water with a tremendous splash. This move was enough, and the men bent to their oars heartily. But the creature evidently had no idea of attacking them, for that was the last seen of it that night.

The story the party told of their encounter with the strange creature of the river aroused wide interest, but although a close watch was kept on that section of the river, nothing further was seen of the animal until nearly a month afterward. On this occasion the view was obtained in much the same manner was before, and the creature dived into the water almost instantly on being sighted, but the previous story was corroborated, and that the Maumee River contained a strange sea animal was no longer doubted.

No signs of other animals of the same kind have been seen in the vicinity, and it is the common supposition that the creature is alone, although what became of the former “dragon” and how this one succeeded in effecting an entrance to the river unseen, are questions it seems impossible to answer. There, however, seems to be several of the creatures in existence somewhere, as the two experiences here can hardly have been with the same one. [Bay City [MI] Times 14 June 1903: p. 18]

In the 1970's, the man who reported it was Sam McConnish, who claimed he saw the river monster and a Thunderbird. It usually is said to look like Nessie or a giant catfish, though it's stated to be a serpent more often than a giant catfish. In 2009 a man who was by the mouth of the Maumee River reported a large sea serpent like monster and it had quickly disappeared into the water.


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15 Year Old Boy Discovers Lost Mayan City Hidden In The Mexican Jungle

William Gadoury, a 15-year-old school student from Quebec, Canada, has found something that’s been hidden from archaeologists for centuries - a lost city of the Maya civilisation, buried deep in the Yucatan jungle of southeastern Mexico. He didn’t do it by hiring a bunch of expensive equipment, hopping on a plane, and slaving away on an excavation site - he discovered the incredible ruins from the comfort of his own home, by figuring out that the ancient cities were built in alignment with the stars above. To investigate further he used satellite images provided by the Canadian Space Agency and then mapped on to Google Earth, he discovered the city where the third star of the constellation suggested it would be.

The photographs revealed linear features that ‘stuck out,’ Daniel De Lisle, from the Canadian Space Agency told The Independent.

‘There are linear features that would suggest there is something underneath that big canopy,’ he said.

"I did not understand why the Maya built their cities away from rivers, on marginal lands and in the mountains," Gadoury told French-Canadian magazine, Journal de Montréal. "They had to have another reason, and as they worshiped the stars, the idea came to me to verify my hypothesis. I was really surprised and excited when I realised that the most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Maya cities."

Gadoury had been studying 22 Maya constellations for years before releasing that he could line up the positions of 117 Maya cities on the ground with maps of stars and constellations above - something that no one had pieced together before.

With this in mind, he located a 23rd constellation, which included just three stars. According to his sky map, he could only link up two cities with the three stars, so suspected that a third city remained undetected in that spot.

Unfortunately, the location on the ground that matched up with the third star wasn’t exactly somewhere that Gadoury could just go visit - it’s right in the heart of the jungle, in the inaccessible and remote region of Mexico’s southern Yucatán Peninsula.


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