Monster-hunter hearts were aflutter this week after strange, and appropriately inconclusive, footage appeared online of what many believe could be Alaska’s version of ‘Nessie’.
The October 18 video, shot by Alaskan Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public affairs specialist Craig McCaa, shows a creepy figure winding through the waters of the icy Chena River.
Since Mr McCaa posted the video, entitled “Chena River Ice Monster”, to the Bureau of Land Management Facebook page on Friday, it has been viewed more than 328,000 times.
“It never fully revealed itself,” Mr McCaa told Alaska Dispatch News in a phone interview.
What is it?! Watch below:
#WildWednesday Our Fairbanks employees captured this strange "thing" swimming in the Chena River in Fairbanks, #Alaska. 🎥 by Craig McCaa and Ryan Delaney (BLM)
Posted by Bureau of Land Management – Alaska on 2016年10月26日
He said he watched the object – which he said was between 3.5 and 4.5 meters long – swirl back and forth in the current for several minutes, somehow remaining stationary.
Speculation has run rampant on what the creepy object – or creature – swaying in the water might be.
Mr McCaa, who has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska since 1994, said he has yet to show it to BLM biologists to get their opinion.
“I initially thought, and several people thought, it could be some rope that snagged on the bottom of the river with chunks of ice,” he said.
“Other people have mentioned everything from sea monster to giant sturgeon.”
But experts have said no giant sturgeon have every been spotted in the Chena River.
Mr McCaa said while there were some minor alterations to the video – it was slightly sped up and some minor sound effects added – the movement of “whatever is in the water” is not enhanced.
No cause for alarm
Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Klaus Wuttig believes he has the answer to the Chena River Monster – and not everyone will be happy with his explanation.
Mr Wuttig said while the video looks “really cool”, the reality is “not that exciting”.
He told Alaska Dispatch News the ‘monster’ is probably just rope stuck to a bridge pier.
“It looks like it’s swimming but it’s actually stationary and just wading in the current,” Mr Wuttig said after watching the video, adding the ice looks segmented because of the current of the river.
“It looks like like it’s swimming upstream,” he said. “But it’s not organic.”