Okay, I didn’t actually get to interview Frannie the San Francisco Sea Serpent herself. However, I DID have the pleasure of interviewing Friends of the Blog (FOBs) Bill and Bob Clark, the best-known Frannie witnesses and proprietors of the SF Sea Serpent, which chronicles their 1985 sighting of what the Los Angeles Herald called a “monster of the vasty deep” in an 1882 article. (Sea serpent fans will definitely want to check it out.)
Below is the Q&A about their legendary 1985 encounter. Many thanks to Bill and Bob for their participation!
Q: In addition to being so diligent about writing all the details of your first sighting of Frannie down, you also took the extra step of having your separate accounts notarized. Whose idea was it to take that extra step?
Bill and Bob: Bill thought of it so that we wouldn’t have to remember all the details for future reference and also as proof that we reported the sighting in 1985.
Q: How did the notary react?
Bill and Bob: She didn’t react one way or another. She didn’t read either of the accounts. We verbally told her what they said while she was signing them.
Q: Do you recommend that for anyone documenting their own paranormal sighting or encounter?
Bill and Bob: Yes. *Editor’s Note: I agree with the Clarks; you might get some funny looks from the Notary but I think it would lend credibility to your statement — which in turn would be helpful to organizations like MUFON, etc.
Q: What do you think Frannie is? Surviving relic from prehistoric times or as-yet-undiscovered new species?
Bill and Bob: We believe it’s both an as-yet-undiscovered new class of animal and a surviving relic from prehistoric times.
Q: In regard to Frannie’s appearance and behavior, what aspect did you find most unusual or unexpected? (Not that there’s anything expected about seeing a sea serpent.)
Mixtec-Aztec Breastplate image from SF Sea Serpent blog illustrating the way Frannie was able to fold her upper body behind her head.
Q: How did you feel when marine biologist Forrest Wood (from the International Society of Cryptozoology) described Frannie as “an impossibility” after reading your submitted report? Especially as you gentlemen (and other witnesses dating back to the late 1800s) have seen her on multiple occasions?
Bill and Bob: That didn’t bother us at all because he was only saying based on all of the animal’s characteristics and movements, it was a scientific impossibility for it to be to any known class of animal not that we didn’t see what we saw.
Wood makes it clear that he believes we saw something unknown when he says: “The idea that they made up a story, individually typed accounts several pages long, prepared numerous drawings, and went to the trouble of having their reports notarized, all in order to perpetrate a hoax and gain publicity, strains credulity.”
Q: Are you still working on trying to catch further evidence of Frannie on film or video?
Bill and Bob: Yes and we already have more video evidence.
So if you’re out San Francisco way, and you see something weird and slimy in the bay, be sure to contact Bill and Bob so they can add your sighting to the growing number of reports on their site. And say “Hi” to Frannie for me!
Bill and Bob Clark — who run an excellent blog called SF Sea Serpent — just contacted me to let me know of an exciting new sighting sent to them by a very credible witness. The details of his email are listed below. Thanks to Bill and Bob for sharing this with NFHIFW and stay turned for a long overdue interview with these gentlemen to be posted here soon. And be sure to check out their fascinating blog if you are interested in sea serpents or sea monsters.
Note: The witness’ name has been removed to protect his identity.
From: Name removed
Sent: Oct 30, 2014 9:31 PM
I’ve followed your blog for a while and am aware of your incredible experience. I travel between Sacramento and San Francisco several times a month. On my way back from San Francisco early this afternoon on the Carquinez Bridge, I noticed a curious black object in the water just west of the bridge. I was driving east bound and looking to my left and I could see underneath and slightly west of the west bound bridge when I noticed the object. It was black, not shiny but not dull, either. It was sort of hump shaped. Understand that I only caught sight of this object for several seconds as I was driving away from it, now looking back over my left shoulder. In those several seconds I observed the following:
The object was black, smooth, and hump shaped.
Hard to judge size as there was nothing man made near it but I would estimate the object to be approximately 4’ long and 2-3’ wide..
The object did not seem to be moving.
It slowly sank vertically out of sight in the few seconds I observed it.
I noticed no horizontal movement, no splashing, no wake. I have seen porpoise and whales but never in the Straight and they are typically a grey or dark grey in color. There was no dorsal fin.
The water was fairly calm and there were no ships or boats in the straight. No wake was evident. The day was partly sunny and warm. It was about 1:15 PM.
I am a former Marine Corps pilot and have had extensive experience flying up and down the California coast and I have seen whales, porpoise, sharks, and sea lions from the air. I am fairly certain what I saw was not any sea mammal I am familiar with. I got the impression it was an animate object and not trash or debris in the water. I would think that a large sea lion might be possible but that would not be in keeping with my past observations of those animals. I don’t really know what I saw but it was very strange, especially so close to the bridge.
I have never seen a “sea serpent”. I believe that the vast number of so called sea serpent sightings are cases of mistaken identity or just hoaxes. I have read “The Great New England Sea Serpent” by O’Neill and I think so many sightings could not be groundless and so I try to keep an open mind. I thought you might appreciate my experience.