Captain Rostron vindicated Sea serpent was real

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
Those who have read Captain Rostron’s Home From the Sea will recall his account of seeing a large sea serpent while passing Galley Head, near Queenstown/Cobh on Carmania. Many have probably dismissed the story as an old seadog’s tall tale, but remarkable confirmation of his story has just been uncovered.

The Welsh seaman, David William Jones, was born in 1880 in the small fishing village of Llareggub, in South Wales. After working on fishing boats for several years, he obtained work on Cunard steamers, eventually joining Carmania.

Jones’s harrowing experiences in WW I caused him to leave the sea. He migrated to South Australia, where he established a small store in the hamlet of Lochiel. Jones died in 1940, leaving his nautical memorabilia in the care of relatives. Early this year, the collection was presented to the McGuire Maritime Collection in the State Library of South Australia.

Among generally undistinguished material was a small sepia-toned photograph, somewhat spoiled by age. Probably taken with a Kodak Box Brownie, it shows Rostron’s serpent. The back of the photo is inscribed, “Sea serpent seen from Carmania by D.Jones, AB.”￾

The photo has been given to the Marine Science Department of Flinders University for study. A replica will be displayed in the State Library, along with other local rarities, including the only known photograph of the famous Australian poet, Ern Malley.


Inger Sheil

Dec 3, 2000
I'm a big fan of Ern Malley's work, Dave! Delighted to see that a photo of this elusive genius has surfaced at last - all we've had to go on has been Nolan's portrait.


Now I find that once more I have shrunk
To an interloper, robber of dead men’s dream,
I had read in books that art is not easy
But no one warned that the mind repeats
In its ignorance the vision of others. I am still
the black swan of trespass on alien waters.
He didn't happen to have Helen Demidenko's family tree in there as well, did he?

I'd like to think Rostron saw something along the lines of an oarfish...but they don't swim quite like his serpent!​
Apr 22, 2012
That's an amazing find. Many thanks for posting that story and picture, Dave. I'm a fan of cryptozoology, and this just made my night!

Paul Rogers

Nov 30, 2000
West Sussex, UK
Great find, Dave. I'd love to be able to save and enhance that photo, but my Apple Mac has been infected with the "Good Times" virus, and it won't let me. *sigh*

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
Time to come clean!

Never believe anything from a Welsh sailor called Davy Jones. Llareggub is the fictional Welsh village in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, which I hope you all have heard. As Bob said, it's a backward place.

Ern Malley is indeed a famous Australian poet, mostly because he never existed. His works were concocted by two conservative poets to make fun of the modernists.

The sea serpent certainly existed when I photographed it from quite a long distance in 2001. It's the Lochiel Monster, which lives in a shallow lake north of Adelaide, SA. The locals constructed it from scrap wood and an assortment of car and truck tyres.

Next year, I'll produce the scrap log of Californian, which was taken from the stomach of a right whale by Inuit hunters in 1912. It was recently found in an abandoned igloo, which was revealed as the Greenland icecap retreated.

Andrew Williams

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah....Llareggub Dave is a place on Mars, not Mother Earth. LOL!!

Before I buzz off to Peter Pan's 'never, neverland' I got an important attachment to send you Dave.

So an eye on your mail box Dave!


Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
April Fools' Day having come and gone, this thread will now be closed.

Thanks for the chuckles, Dave.

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