August 4, 2008
NEW YORK -- Is it real or is it a hoax? That's what many are asking after the corpse of a bizarre-looking creature with a dinosaur-like beak washed up on a Long Island shore this week. A tipster told Gawker.com that there is "a government animal testing facility very close by" where the creature washed ashore. But government biologists contacted by Hamptons-based Web site Plum said after looking at the pictures that "no such creature exists," according to Gawker. The woman who took the photo of the creature's corpse on the shore, along with two others who claim to have seen the "Montauk Monster," will appear on Plum's Web show to discuss the sighting. While neighboring towns are abuzz with talk of the creature -- is it a sea turtle? a rodent? a dog? -- no one knows for sure. Those who claim to have seen it told Newsday they were "shocked and amazed." And if it were a real animal, one county executive said, it could make some money as an attraction. "If this could be certified as the Suffolk version of the Loch Ness monster, we'd sell tickets and get a lot of revenue," County Executive Steve Levy told Newsday.