Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Stuff: “Scaled, forked-tongued Lizarde Men from the Deepe” and other hazards of life in the Royal Navy.
This is one of the most disappointing stories ever, but I share it here because I think there's a nifty idea behind it. Apparently, there was a long-standing rumor that the Royal Navy's archive of ship's logs contained a special collection of logs detailing the Royal Navy's various encounters with sea monsters. Sadly, this turned out to be BS. Here' the entire article from The Military Times's "Scoop Deck" blog:
Do the archives of the Royal Navy include volume after gilt-edged volume detailing secret encounters between Her Majesty’s warships and horrifying sea creatures? Do archivists in catacombs deep below Whitehall maintain stacks of leather-bound books with reports about ships battling giant squid, or sea dragons, or the dreaded kraken? Are there pages upon pages of hand-drawn sketches or official — but censored — woodcuts depicting men ‘o war being pulled under the waves by enormous tentacles?
In one of the lamest and most disappointing answers in history: No.
The Ministry of Defence says it has no centralized records of ships’ reports about sea monsters or other unusual maritime creatures. Officials acknowledge there may be interesting details in individual ships’ logs, but there is no immense room with immense, floor-to-ceiling shelves full of 18th Century-era reports like the one about the frigate HMS Sabre, which was lost off the Seychelles after the ship was overrun by what its surviving crew members called “Scaled, forked-tongued Lizarde Men from the Deepe.”
That said, what a cool idea for a novel series. Creative types, I give you the freebie, now scribble fast and get first to market.