September 21, 2023
Around 8:00 AM. Arthur
Fielding, a research oceanologist, is flying his Cessna alone twenty miles at sea near Monterrey California. It's a sunny
day with deep blue sky. He sees something very strange ahead. Apparently a sand bar, but in deep water where there cannot
be a sand bar.
As he approaches he notices motion and then the shape. "Oh my God, it isn't
possible!" he exclaims out loud. "It's a shark! Three hundred feet long! Must be a plastic movie prop or some promo thing.
But nobody around."
He turns the plane and comes back a hundred feet above the water. It is
a shark. The fish looks up, sees the plane, and opens it's mouth. Aurthur sees the cold dead eyes. The head is thirty
feet wide and the teeth three feet long. Suddenly the shark moves quickly, threshing it's tail, and disappears to deeper water.
The way it moves is real, not mechanical.
Aurthur heads home dazed. He's thinking that no one will believe him.
He gets online and searches. How could it be a shark? Blue whales only reach one hundred and ten feet and are the biggest
creatures ever to inhabit this planet. He knows about creatures being able to grow infinitely large in the sea and watches
a segment about it on the Internet:
"The growth process of living things is a function of the ability to produce healthy
new cells. Aging occurs because the growth process is stopped by enzymes.
One function of this evolutionary adaptation is to limit the size of animals to
accommodate increasing numbers and dwindling food supplies. Many species have gotten gradually smaller since prehistoric times.
Some life forms in the sea lack this adaptation. They can slowly grow larger because water buoys them up and permits
tremendous increase in weight. Barring fatal predation or environmental cataclysm, such creatures can live an extremely long
Death itself also has a useful function. Among species on land, if the growth process
were to continue indefinitely, creatures would become so large that their weight would break their own bones. When animals came out of the sea onto the land, the physical death of individuals actually
served as a mechanism insuring survival for the species. Death in this instance is thus ironically an adaptation having
Aurthur contemplates the fact that two million years ago the giant shark
Megalodon often reached sixty five feet. If one of them somehow survived... The creature might avoid predation or cataclysm
as a statistical anomaly, but there just isn't enough food in the oceans today to support a creature so large. Some place
with huge concentrations of plankton or krill? For two million years? No! Besides, the shark isn't set up to feed that
way. It just isn't possible.
"God dammit. I saw what I saw. I'm going to call that journalist Valdison"
says Aurthur out loud.
Garrett is enjoying a fine dinner of Maine Lobster, artichoke hearts, and
little spuds all in melted butter when the phone rings.
After hearing the tale, Garrett ventures "Aurthur, let's go fishin' tomorrow.
I'll drive up early. Can we take your boat to the exact spot where you saw this prehistoric giant?"
"Yes. Within a few hundred feet, but he won't still be there."
"He or she might. Especially if there is some reason why he or she
was there in the first place, like food. Let's call him he for now."
"That's what I've been doing. Suppose he decides we are food?" asks Fielding.
"Mix a little shark repellent with your cologne."
Next Day at 5:00 AM
Garrett and Arthur head out and cruise around the area for about three hours.
Suddenly Fielding, looking through his binoculars, says "Oh boy, Pirates!"
and heads below to get his rifle.
What looks like a Coast Guard boat, but without the markings, comes speeding
up and Garrett sees a masked figure on the deck. As Aurthur comes up from below, the man raises the gun at his side and shoots.
Aurthur slumps over.
Garrett looks horrified. The mask comes off and Garrett sees that it's Clifton
"Don't worry, Garrett. It was only a dart. He'll wake up very grumpy in
an hour or so. When I saw it was you, I grabbed the stunner so I wouldn't have to kill him. Wouldn't want to alienate my favorite
journalist. We all loved your peace on the diorama and luncheon theater, by the way."
"Nice to see you too, Clifton, but why out here?"
"We saw your buddy here in the plane yesterday, so I realize that you know
about the shark. How do you think we dispose of all the dead bodies?"
"Wow, resourceful as ever. You really don't fool around when it comes to
scale, do you? How does the shark live? All of the dead bodies together are just a snack for this big fella?"
True, but a very tasty snack. He loves eating people. We link them all together
like sausages so he won't miss any, and we stuff some of them with vitamins and other concentrates. I don't really understand
how he survives, but somehow he has and does."
"How did you find out about him?"
"We talk to everybody about everything. Pacific tribal chiefs have known
about this guy for hundreds, probably thousands, of years."
Suddenly something breaks the surface of the water and Garrett can't believe
what he sees. The giant shark's gray head glistening in the sunlight comes gliding silently up out of the water forty
feet into the air only three hundred feet away. They are to the leeward and when the shark opens his mouth, the breath is
like the garbage pails in Chinatown, Boston when the city hasn't picked it up the trash for a week, only ten thousand
times more intense.
"Why that's enough to bowl you right over. We better get that shark to a dentist pronto" says
Replies Clifton "I think we better get out of here. I'd like to ask you
to keep this quiet for awhile. When the time is right you'll get the exclusive story like before. You'll have to keep Fielding
quiet too. We traced his plane and know who he is. Agreed?"
"Okay. I think you're right about leaving. Here he comes full throttle."
The two boats speed away in different directions.