International Sea Serpent Reports

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)
Date: August 16, 1900
Page Number: 6
Perth, August 15.
     A remarkable story was told at Fremantle to-day by Captain Campbell and members of the crew of the steamer Perth, which arrived from Geraldton. The captain states that at 8 o'clock this morning, when about 30 miles from Fremantle, a huge sea serpent was seen. The first officer on the Perth was the first person to observe the monster, and he called Captain Campbell. The weather was quite clear, and as the vessel passed within 100 yards of the serpent all on board had a perfectly clear view of it. No definite estimate could be formed of its length, as the whole of it was not seen. The captain says fully 20 ft. of the monster stood straight up out of the water. The head and portion of the body seen resembled a serpent, but when a side view of the body was obtained it appeared to be somewhat flat, and 6 ft. wide. It had a black back and white belly. The creature appeared to be attacking a small whale, which could be seen snouting. The serpent lashed the water with its body, and whenever the whale stopped blowing and went down into the sea the strange monster also disappeared. Neither remained long out of water. The whale and serpent were travelling a southerly direction, and were visible for fully an hour from the steamer, but they apparently took no notice of the vessel.
Strange Animals
International Sea Serpent
Western Australia 1900

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)
Date: October 12, 1900
Page Number: 6
Captain Thompson, of the steamer Nemesis which is now on the way to the eastern colonies reported to the harbor-master at Bunbury Captain Abrahams, that on his way from the eastern colonies to Freemantle, and when between Vasse and Cape Naturaliste, he saw a sea serpent which he describes as resembling a huge snake about 200ft. long. It had a fin about 30ft. long, with which it lashed the water to and fro. The fin seemed to be very flexible. The monster moved along the surface of the sea like a snake on land. Captain Thompson says he did not get a very clear view of the serpent. It was making in the direction of Cape Naturaliste and travelling fairly fast. Captain Thompson had an interview with Captain Campbell, of the steamer Perth, who saw the serpent some time ago. Captain Campbell was interviewed to-day, and said he and captain Thompson had compared notes, and he concludes that the serpent was the same one he saw near Freemantle, which was then going in a southerly direction.

Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW)
Date: October 18, 1900
Page Number: 2
A wire from Adelaide says:- Captain Thompson, of the steamer Nemesis, says, with regard to the sea serpent which he was reported to have seen between Vasse and Cape Naturaliste, that what he saw was not a sea serpent, but a kind of huge fish which has not yet been catalogued. He saw the monster about three miles from Vesse jetty. It had a fin about 30ft in length, which appeared very flexible, and was capable of being bent in a circle. The monster corresponded to a nicety with that seen by Captain Campbell, of the steamer Perth, near Freemantle.
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The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)
Date: August 29, 1900
Page Number: 3
A few days ago, it will be remembered, a report, telegraphed from Western Australia, was published in these columns, describing a phenomenal sight which the captain and his officers and several of the passengers on board the steamer Perth declared that they had seen during the trip between Geraldton and Fremantle. It was nothing less than the world-famous and still little believed in sea serpent, the many marvellous stories about which have provoked so much mystery and scepticism during the past 30 years. The steamer Perth is now lying at the Australian Wharf, and is to leave to-day for Western Australian ports. Her captain, Mr. Angus Campbell, a sober minded Scotchman, who has apparently none of the characteristics which made De Rougemont notorious, a man of sincerity, and one who is not at all likely to allow his imagination to play pranks with him, was on Monday interviewed by a representative of the "Age."
     "I have no reason for expecting that I shall again have the good luck to see such an ocean monster," was the reply given by Captain Campbell to a remark made by the reporter.
     Asked whether he had seen anything like the creature previously, the captain remarked: "No; it's the first time in my life and I've been a good many years at sea—that such an extraordinary thing has come under my notice. You must understand that I wasn't the first man aboard to observe the 'serpent.' The steamer was returning from Geraldton to Fremantle on 15th inst., and we were having a nice fair weather run. At about 8 a.m., when we were between Cape Leschenault and Wreck Island, about 12 miles off land and 35 miles north of Rottnest Island, the chief officer (Mr. Neale), who was on the bridge, saw the giraffe-like object upreared vertically from the surface of the ocean, and immediately he rushed to me and reported that there was some unseemly monster disporting itself about 100 yards away from the vessel. Eager to see what the creature was, I at once ran up to the bridge, and after waiting a couple of minutes, saw the uncanny creature raise its head and body 20 feet out of the water. It would remain in that position or about a minute, and then disappear. The pastime it indulged in most regularly for a long time. A small whale, too, occasionally made its appearance, and appeared to be at war with the other monster. I noticed that the whale never appeared above water during the time the sea serpent was visible. They seemed to take turn about in coming above and going under the water. I watched their manoeuvres for fully a quarter of an hour, and then went down to breakfast, but several of my crew and some of the passengers who were on deck watched the serpent and the whale for a full hour. A good view of them was to be obtained from the boat skids. As far as I could judge with the aid of my binocular, the monster appeared to be 6 feet in breadth, with a flattish body, and the head and scales seemed to be similar to those of a snake. The head was black and small, and like that of the ordinary reptile—falling away at the neck and widening at the body, which was white. During the time the monster's head and body were visible, it lashed the water into foam. With the temporary disappearance of the serpent the whale would come up smiling again, as it were, and 'blow' in rare form. Both of them were travelling in a southerly direction, and I only wish," added Captain Campbell, "I had had a snapshot camera, so that I could have photographed the whale and its companion or adversary, whichever it may have been."
     The captain, in closing the interview, significantly remarked, as if anticipating what a certain class of sceptics would say on reading of his wonderful experience: "You may set down the fact that I am a total abstainer, and in regard to the others who witnessed the remarkable sight, it may be as well to add that there is no bar on board this vessel."
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Louis De Rougemont
(12 November 1847 – 9 June 1921) was a would-be explorer who claimed to have had adventures in Australasia.

The Daily News (Perth, WA)
Date: November 2, 1900
Page Number: 2
Captain Thompson, noted for his frequent visions of the mighty sea-serpent, has been severely reprimanded for carelessly navigating the Nemesis, and was cautioned to be more careful in the future ! Is Nemesis after her own ? As the brave captain is said to be a total abstainer, how else account for the phantasmagoria educed from the briny sea ?
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: October 31, 1900
Page Number: 7
Two years ago, Captain Thompson and the crew of the Nemesis were given a banquet by their shipping employer The Huddart Parker Line:
Moreover, the week after being severely reprimanded for grounding the Nemesis the previous year Captain L. Thompson was promoted to captain the company's new ship:
South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA)
Date: November 7, 1900
Page Number: 7
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"... several of my crew and some of the passengers who were on deck watched the serpent and the whale for a full hour."
Why were none interviewed?