Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 4th, 2008
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There can be little doubt that the Montauk Monster is a media phenomenon this summer, and is even outstripping Obama, Morgan Freeman and Heath Ledger in gaining widespread short term attention. It überschwemmte (swamped, deluged) Cryptomundo and about every other site too.
While people like Gawker threw around casually the words “demon beast” or “monster,” as the first report surfaced, when I posted early on Tuesday, July 29th, and labeled this thing the “Montauk Monster,” magic happened. It reminds me of how, on a whim, I called the Massachusetts creature seen in April 1977, the “Dover Demon” and then saw it become history.
The Montauk Monster has generated more interest than people could have ever imagined.
Cryptomundo, which averages about 25,000-35,000 regular hits a day, when things are quiet, started showing increased traffic last Wednesday and Thursday, after I propelled the story to a broader audience on Tuesday. Cryptomundo got 1,210,695 hits on Wednesday, July 30th, and 1,519,624 on Thursday, July 31st, probably thanks to so many sites linking to the stories here.
Newsday has now related that their website crashed on Friday, August 1st, due to the interest their Montauk Monster story got on that day. Boing Boing, Rense, C2C, The Anomalist, and all the usual suspect blogs got more hits than expected by such a minor little story about a body on a beach.
It seemed to be the photos that did it. This despite our saying this was probably a raccoon on Wednesday, and pointing out animachina.com’s excellent photo analysis on Friday.
Looking at the Cryptomundo, I see the site got a whopping 3,390,024 hits on Friday. It seems to have been more than the host server could take, and the site crashed from early A.M. on Saturday until Sunday P.M., when it came back online. Were the almost 3.4 million hits just too much? (The intake capacity has since been increased.)
Did the Montauk Monster take down Cryptomundo? It would seem so.
Meanwhile, some comedians online just can’t get enough of the Montauk Monster jokes.
News Blaze guy Robert Paul Reyes’ “Top 10 Reasons Why Montauk Monster Should Be John McCain’s Vice-President” is, well, sort of funny.
“Only a dead person or a dead monster has less charisma than McCain. The senior senator from Arizona doesn’t have to worry about the monster upstaging him on the stump,” writes Reyes.
To be fair, I tried to upload a story that was headlined “Montauk Monster Fist-Bumps Obama” but it was being too slow and unresponsive, so I bet it’s getting too many hits. Maybe its a dead-link (pun intended).
Fox News summarized some of these happenings on Monday, August 4th, noting, for example, that “Animal Planet” wildlife expert Jeff Corwin proclaimed on FOX News Channel that “we’re all suckers.”
“What you think is a beak is actually the canine teeth,” Corwin told Fox. “What we have is an incredibly rare” — dramatic pause — “raccoon.”
Would there be any DNA tests to show definite results? New York magazine contacted the East Hampton Department of Environmental Analysis, which denied the town’s animal-control unit had disposed of the beast.
“It’s a raccoon,” DEA’s Margaret Carry-Smyth told the magazine.
Later in the day, the three women who said they’d come across the purplish flotsam a few weeks ago showed off a second snapshot of it on a digital camera.
“It exists,” Rachel Goldberg, Courtney Fruin and Jenna Hewitt asserted on local cable channel Plum TV (see video above), denying suspicions that they’d Photoshopped a picture of a dead dog.
But pressed by interviewer Nick Leighton about where the animal was now, what Fox News described as “the semi-glamorous trio” suddenly got cranky, repeating what they had, in essence, told several media outlets by then.
“It decomposed in our friend’s back yard,” said Goldberg. “It’s been since removed … by friends of ours.”
“You’re a little shady with the details,” observed Leighton. “You planning to write a book about this?”
Goldberg only shrugged and nodded with a faint smile.
“We’re hoping to have scientists contact us to find out what it is,” she conceded. “It’s in a box.”
Then an elusive friend of the trio’s popped up on one of FOX News Channel’s rivals, where reporter Jeanne Moos played a video she’d gotten from a young surfer-dude type who said the carnivorous corpse was in his back yard.
“We’re gonna try to have some experts analyze it,” Davis said as his buddies used a stick to hold up what looked like bones with skin still attached. “It’s a really cool beast.”
Meanwhile, Fox News mentioned, as you know already, the marketing team for a new energy drink called Venom threw up a blog offering a lifetime supply of their product for anyone who captured a live Montauk Monster.
Fox News today, even points to Cryptomundo to show the angle to prove the dead animal is, or was, quite male. They further mention, as you already have read here, that it is also clear from an examination of the decomposed head that it looks awfully like that of – pause, melodrama builds – a dead raccoon.
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