By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Dozens of terrified tourists scrambled to shore as vigilant beachcomber Glenn McGahee alerted them to his shocking discovery: hundreds of mysterious sea monsters!
"It was horrible!" exclaims the 37-year-old Miami Beach bartender, who adds that he wasn't sampling his own wares at the time of the troubling encounter. "Some of these creatures were bigger than I am, with razor-sharp teeth to match! I freaked!"
Trembling with fear, McGahee, who made his gruesome find while surveying hurricane damage near his Miami Beach home on 67th Street the day after Andrew blasted the area, had enough of his wits about him to snap photographs of two of the bizarre sea creatures as they lay dead on the shore. New Times exclusively obtained this baffling evidence of terror from the deep, along with a letter penned by the still-shaken McGahee.
"I couldn't help but call the swimmers' attention to these aliens from the underworld -- as large and menacing as my souped-up mountain bike!" wrote the mixed-up mixologist. "They were dolphin babies born before their time. They were the largest eels anyone ever saw. They were f---ing scary as s--t!"
The corpses of the appalling animals clearly had been dredged up by the awesome powers of the hurricane, tossed lifelessly along the popular bathing and tanning spot near Indian Creek Road in Miami Beach. Measuring six feet in length, the creepy creatures snarled through elongated snouts and rows of knife-blade teeth. The mouths were bloodied from the battle for life, the bodies swollen by the bacteria of death.
This was not the first time villainous varmints have been spied by people. For centuries man has been mystified by inexplicable critters from the briny depths. From the Loch Ness monster to the eerie Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, which is as big as a boat and floats on its side in open waters, there are a million mysteries in the deep blue sea.
Unlike other sightings, however, this one was carefully documented by the earnest McGahee. And usually claims of ocean oddities concern living sea life, not landlocked remains. "And, boy, the stink!" exclaims McGahee.
With McGahee's firsthand account and two color snapshots in hand, New Times sought to identify the bothersome brutes. At first marine biologist Tom Jackson fumbled with feasible explanations -- guessing that the scaly monsters might be wolf herring. Jackson led newsmen through the laboratories of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine Biology, where thousands of unusual specimens are stored in jars (and where startling articles culled from the pages of the Weekly World News are posted on the walls). He pulled some from their containers for examination, and he pointed out models of the crest fish, a long and colorful beast often mistaken for a sea monster, as well as the Mola mola and others.
Jackson, who once witnessed "30 miles of dead fish" on a Texas beach poisoned by "red tide," and who studied deadly crocodiles in the Dominican Republic three or four kilometers from Haiti, warns, "There are so many things out there, that if people saw them, no one would ever go in the water!"
After sizing up the pictures taken by McGahee, scientist Jackson confirmed that the ugly creatures were moray eels, a reef-dwelling species with powerful jaw muscles and three rows of scalpel-sharp teeth, capable of snapping off a human arm without effort!
"Although I live right on the beach," reveals a recovering Glenn McGahee, "I haven't been back there in the three-and-a-half months since the big storm. Some day I will gather the courage and return!