Hoaxes & Pranks: Monster Hunters
Gippsland Times (Vic.)
Date: October 17, 1921
Page Number: 3
[Appearing in this month's "London Magazine":]
A most interesting account of alligator shooting is given by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges. F.R.G.S.

Hoaxes & Pranks
F. A. Mitchell-Hedges

Northern Star (Lismore, NSW)
Date: January 4, 1922
Page Number: 4
The most extraordinary collection of fishing tackle ever taken our of London was in the equipment of Mr. F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, the explorer and big game hunter, when he started recently for the Caribbean Sea. He is going fishing in the Pacific, where he believes sea monsters which trace their ancestry to pre-historic times can he found. He is taking six specially constructed rods capable of playing fish up to 6OO to 800 pounds; specially made reels (with ball bearings) to hold 1400 to 1500 feet of line. He is using specially made lines capable of a breaking strain of 2000lb., and a towing strain of 4000lb. Some of the hooks are over eighteen inches long, and are fitted with steel chains and swivels.
In 1900 Harmsworth's Monthly Pictorial Magazine was renamed the London Magazine by Cecil Harmsworth, proprietor of the Daily Mail at the time.
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Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges (22 October 1882 - June 1959) was an English adventurer, traveller, and writer. His name was almost always seen in print as F. A. Mitchell-Hedges.
Born in 1882 in Buckinghamshire, Mitchell-Hedges was a pretty much an unruly bastard right from the beginning. He hated school, frequently caused trouble, and spent all of his free time reading whatever awesome adventure novels he could get his hands on. Eventually, old Dad had enough. After one particularly rowdy night when Mike and his buddies got arrested for starting a bar fight by throwing a handful of ice cubes down the low-cut shirt of an incredibly large-breasted woman, the 18 year-old Mitchell-Hedges was shipped off to Canada.

Mitchell-Hedges moved to New York and worked for a while as at a soul-sucking corporate stockbrokering job, probably because that was the only marketable trade he really had at this time.

"Hedges was the kind of guy who would rather be hurling primitive wooden spears at ten foot tall scorpions, fistfighting an angry tribe of head-shrinking witch doctors and using a flimsy vine to swing over alligator-infested ponds like some kind of clinically insane Pitfall Harry"   Badass of the Week
F.R.G.S. = Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA)
Date: January 11, 1922
Page Number: 2
Mr. Mitchell-Hedges, the explorer and famous big-game hunter, will very soon be setting out on his expedition to South America, one of the objects of which (as was recently explained in the "Daily Express") will be to cast fresh light on the history of that mysterious race, the Aztecs of Mexico. Their stone idols bear a strange resemblance to those of ancient Egypt, and Mr. Mitchell-Hedges, who will be sending special articles to the "Daily Express" describing his adventures, hopes among other things to solve the problem of their common origin by searching that treasure ground untouched for millions of years, the floor of the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. He may also in the course of his researches throw new light perhaps on that other entrancing subject, the lost continent of Atlantis, which tradition has long held to be the missing link between the two, and which was well-known to Plato writing 500 years before the birth of Christ.
     In this connection the so-called "revealed truths" of the Theosophists are curiously fascinating, although as reliable data of little, if any, material value. They tell us that where the Atlantic flows there was once this continent called "Atlantis," and that under the Pacific there lay an even more ancient continent of "Lemur." The people of Atlantis, they assert, were so clever as to be diabolical. They had conquered the laws of nature, and they had air ships that would put our present ones to shame, in so much as the sailed by natural forces, not by petrol or machinery. They also had magicians, who were remarkable for the art of manufacturing artificial elementals of extreme virulence and power.
     Their animals could speak, and at the time of the destruction of the Atlantis had to be quieted by the offering of blood, lest they should awaken their masters, the magicians, and warn them of their impending destruction. Apart from these strange beasts, they created other artificial entities of power and energy so tremendous that it is darkly hinted that some of them have kept themselves in existence to this day, although it is roughly, some 4,000,000 years since Atlantis was destroyed.
     They name the terrible indian goddess who devotees were compelled to commit in her name the awful crimes of Thuggu. The ghastly ''Kali," worshipped even to this day, with rites too abominable to be described, might well be a relic of a system which had to be swept away, even at the cost of the submerging of a continent and the loss of 65,000,000 lives.
     We are told, too, that the men of Atlantis had but one eye, placed in the centre of the forehead. Strangely enough, it has been but recently discovered by modem medical scientists that there are all the nerves for an eye in that position in our foreheads, indicating that at some remote period there was an eye there.
     The world, they say, is to be destroyed seven times alternately by water and fire. It is easy to see the Bible Flood was utilised here, just as the period of Atlantis is based on the Hindu calculation of the world's history, which was divided up into four periods, as follows :—

Satya Yuga
Treta Yuga
Dwapara Yuga
Kali Yuga

And the Kali Yuga began about B.C. 3094 according to the Hindu belief. They also tell us, among other probable and interesting things, that the Pyramids are built of material that is only found in South America. How came it transported to Egypt?
      We know that ths floor under the Atlantic is like a tableland, and perhaps we are now on the verge of unimaginable discoveries through this expedition that is setting out to try to solve some of the hidden mysteries of the old world, which Columbus called the new.
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International Sea Serpent
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Their stone idols bear a strange resemblance to those of ancient Egypt -
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Ancient Egyptian
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Note the mish-mash of "Indian" cultures:

Kali is a Hindu (Asian) goddess not Aztec (American).
Strangely enough, it has been but recently discovered by modem medical scientists that there are all the nerves for an eye in that position in our foreheads, indicating that at some remote period there was an eye there.
The pineal gland (also called the pineal body, epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis, conarium or the "third eye") is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions.
Mitchell-Hedges spent some years alternating between Central America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some sources say he was a mercenary, others thought he was a British government spy, and others that he was independently wealthy and traveling for diversion. Some of his "expeditions" to Central America were financed by well-to-do British socialites. For a time he was sponsored by the Daily Mail.
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They also tell us, among other probable and interesting things, that the Pyramids are built of material that is only found in South America. How came it transported to Egypt?
The Great Pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million limestone blocks with most believed to have been transported from nearby quarries. The Tura limestone used for the casing was quarried across the river. The largest granite stones in the pyramid, found in the "King's" chamber, weigh 25 to 80 tonnes and were transported from Aswan, more than 800 kilometres away.
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Lemuria is the name of a hypothetical "lost land" variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The concept's 19th century origins lie in attempts to account for discontinuities in biogeography; however, the concept of Lemuria has been rendered obsolete by modern theories of plate tectonics. Although sunken continents do exist – like Zealandia in the Pacific as well as Mauritia and the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean – there is no known geological formation under the Indian or Pacific Oceans that corresponds to the hypothetical Lemuria.
Though Lemuria is no longer considered a valid scientific hypothesis, it has been adopted by writers involved in the occult, as well as some Tamil writers of India. Accounts of Lemuria differ, but all share a common belief that a continent existed in ancient times and sank beneath the ocean as a result of a geological, often cataclysmic, change, such as pole shift.

The Daily News (Perth, WA)
Date: March 22, 1922
Page Number: 1
It seems amazing, that when fish produce so many eggs and young as they do, all over the world authorities are getting concerned about the continuance of the fishing industry through fear of a lack of fish.
     Mr. F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, a great authority on British fisheries, says there is not a single locality in this country where, owing to the short-sighted policy of indiscriminate trawling in the nurseries, the depletion of flat fish is not so severe as to become a menace.

Salmon Going.

     "It will be only a very few years," he says, "before the excellent living previously enjoyed by a number of fishermen will cease altogether, not only with disastrous consequences to themselves, but with huge loss to the nation from the lack of supply of fish."

F. A. Mitchell-Hedges - a great authority on British fisheries?

1921: F decides to return to Central America to catch record-breaking fish. Meets at Waterloo Station an ‘old friend’, the self-styled explorer and angler Lady Lilian Mabel Alice Richmond Brown (née Roussel). R B largely finances future excursions.     SOURCE

Frederick A. Mitchell-Hedges spent a good deal of his life as a deep-sea fisherman. He wrote at least two books and numerous articles about fishing. Stories about fish that got away are legendary, but Mitchell-Hedges took even fish stories to a new level. He usually referred to this hobby as “deep sea research,” and apparently supplemented his income by selling tales of giant fish, sea monsters, and man-eating sharks to the Hearst newspaper chain.
Battles With Giant Fish (1923) by Mitchell-Hedges
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Lilian Alice Mabel Roussel was born in 1885. She was the daughter of Robert Roussel. She married Sir Melville Richmond Brown, 3rd Bt., son of Sir William Richmond Brown, 2nd Bt. and Emily Mountsteven, on 27 February 1906. She and Sir Melville Richmond Brown, 3rd Bt. were divorced in 1931. She died on 4 October 1946.
      Her married name became Richmond Brown. She was invested as a Fellow, Zoological Society (F.Z.S.). She was invested as a Fellow, Linnean Society (F.L.S.). She was invested as a Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (F.R.G.S.). From 27 February 1906, her married name became Brown. She was invested as a Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (F.R.A.I.) in 1923.

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA)
Date: June 14, 1922
Page Number: 1
Do the less-frequented seas contain prehistoric monsters of whose existence the world of science knows nothing? Mr. Mitchell-Hedges, who is engaged in an important expedition on behalf of the "Daily Express," believes that the Dinosaurus of the seas will yet be found.
     He gives his reasons for his belief in the article below, which was written before his departure for a tiny coral reef, where he will spend weeks in research.

     The earliest animals known to science are the corals and the sponges, and they have remained corals and sponges for a period of over 25,000,000 years, and in the tropical waters, in varying forms, they exist in profusion.
     Sea anemones, medusae, or jelly-fish, also existed in much the same state during this dawn-life Palaezoic period as they are to-day.
     Monsters of fearful aspect and gigantic size, seen neither before nor since, swarmed on the earth. Their skeletons, which are stiill found, include those of Diplodocus. These, when full grown, were 80 ft. long (one is at the South Kensington Museum), and, from bones discovered, some of the Dinosaurs measured 150 ft. to 180 ft. in length.
     But the sea swarmed with still more amazing colossi, and within its depths were horrors beside which the most hideous of nightmares pale into insignificance.
     Rays or sea bats, up to a ton or more in weight, sharks, some of them over thirty feet in length, today swarm in tropical waters. Here you have the living evidence that at least the true fishes of the Jurassic epoch still exist, although the great land mammals and land reptiles have entirely disappeared. In my research work in the Caribbean and Pacific, I have discovered the following living witnesses of an age ten million years ago.
     Sea scorpions awaiting their morning prey in holes within coral foundations, half an inch to nine inches in length.
     Sea centipedes, lovely creatures to look at, their bodies a delicate shade of salmon pink, fringed on either side with dozens of legs of purest white.
     Loathsome sea cucumbers and sea slugs, sea squirts, sea eggs, sea spiders, and huge sea fleas some two inches in length.
     These collectively afford actual evidence that certainly in the depths of the ocean the urassic age has continued.
     I will now proceed to strengthen the case for the existence of a marine Dinosaurus.
     Among marine mammals in the tropical waters of the Caribbean and Pacific and so forth, you find the manatee, or sea cows, great beasts, in some instances larger than the well-known domestic cow. Here frequently you may see male, female, and young peacefully browsing on the sea grasses in six to ten feet of water, their heads periodically appearing above the surface to breathe or blow.
     In January of this year a huge whale entered the harbour of Cristobal, Panama, and, being unable to find its way out, began an investigation of its own by endeavouring to pass up the river towards Gatun. Here it became an actual menace to shipping, and, arriving in shallow waters, it was despatched with machine-guns. It measured no less than 98[?] feet in length.
     It is necessary that one should bear in mind that this colossus was not a fish, but a mammoth, so here you have the definite evidence of creatures ninety-eight feet in length and weighing many tons still roaming the seas. For years I had suspected that, apart from the whale and manatee, gigantic life still remained in the depths, and my experience off Manzanillo, in the Central American waters of the Pacific, in 1920, confirmed this.
     I was fishing with a very large hook attached to a steel chain, which in turn was connected to a thick manilla hemp rope. Something seized the bait and proceeded seaward, comparatively slowly, but with overwhelming strength, and burst the rope when the end was reached. It was then that I knew there were monsters beneath the waters of the world's great seas of which man knew nothing.
     I fully expected that this story would be received with scepticism by certain, people who are justly considered great authorities on fish life. I was surprised to find that their views coincided with my own. The great public, however, I knew perfectly well, would only smile and reiterate tales about the sea serpent, but all scepticism and incredulity are swept aside when we have the actual fact that last November, off Cape May, a great beast was washed ashore. This mammal, whose weight was estimated at fifteen tons (almost as large as five full-grown elephants), was visited by many scientists, who were unable to place it, and who positively stated that nothing yet known to science could in any way compare with it. The photographs, which were published in many papers, show that this marine leviathan somewhat resembled the elephant. In fact, it could best be described as a gigantic sea elephant.
     Water beasts of prey beyond the imagination are awaiting discovery and investigation, and I feel convinced it is beneath the surface of the mighty oceans that startling discoveries will be made—to the great enrichment and advance of science.
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Sea Anenomes
Sea Scorpion
Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are an extinct group of arthropods related to arachnids which include the largest known arthropods that ever lived.
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Sea Centipede
Sea Cucumber
Sea Slug
Sea Squirt
Sea Spider
Sea Flea
Cervical Vertebrae of a Gigantic Blue Whale from Panama
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