Saturday, August 2, 2008

Montauk Monster -- publicity stunt? real monster? government project gone bad?

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Ahhhhhh!!! Everyone's talking about the Montauk Monster this week. It's taken over the Internet! This creature washed up on the beach of Montauk, NY (also know as rich people's haven) and the photo taken by a local resident immediately became viral. It was up on and within minutes was picked up by news stations and online media within minutes. I checked the stats yesterday and it has been viewed on Gawker by over 11 billion people with comments being posted every ten minutes. That's incredible! It was even reported by CNN's Wolf Blitzer and rampantly spread all over the blogosphere (that's why I'm obviously blogging about it). Can you believe it even has its own Wikipedia page? I'm sure once we get to the bottom of this, the Wikipedia entry will hopefully dispell all these theories and myths.

My first instinct is that this "monster" is probably a publicity stunt for some movie coming out. If this is the case, BRAVO to the geniuses behind this stunt.

Other speculators say it's a government project gone wrong from nearby Plum Island Animal Testing Facility. Another great theory. Here's a quote from a Plum Island rep:

The validity of the picture has been further established by the numerous eyewitnesses who saw the animal on the beach in front of Montauk's Surfside Inn. Theories abound as to what the animal is and where it came from. Marci Caplis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noted that rare and unknown sea animals did surface after the Asian tsunami, and although the recent East Coast storms are not of comparable magnitude, the animal did wash up on a particularly stormy day in the Hamptons. Others have speculated that the animal escaped from Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

Some actually believe the darn thing is a REAL monster! Ah those funny Lochness monster-Chupacabra-Bigfoot-believing-folks. Monsters are not real! Oh and fyi, I'd hate to break it to you, but Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy don't exist either.

Some say its just a decomposed racoon or dog or maybe even a sea turtle without its shell.

Here are some tidbits that may make you think it's all a publicity stunt:

* Photo came from a woman that freelances for a viral marketing company.

* The creature is no where to be found. They say an old man removed it and threw it in his yard (or something like that). Oh c'mon! That's the best they can think of?

* Cartoon Network is coming out with a new show called Cryptids are Real. Surprisingly enough, the show is about scientifically undocumented animals. Huh --- coincidence?

So decide for yourself. Gotta love this stuff, right? Makes life a little more interesting.

I also wanted to give a proper shout out to Rachel, a dear colleague of mine at Quinn & Co. Public Relations, for forwarding this story to me. She advises not to stare at the photo too long --- it might give you nightmares.

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