Sighting of Possible Large Cephalopod Near Portugal

Mar 31, 2008
A good idea to contact locals but will have to find the means. Izzie has neatly pointed out that there is little more for me to say in terms of description. Please ask any questions as it may trigger a detail I have forgotten or help in some way. I will try and pick up any further investigation i.e talking to Portuguese fisherman, when I have the time. Signing off for now, Tim


Apr 17, 2010

First, thanks for your courage to describe such happening.
So size estimation is 80 feet or more??
How fast it proppeled itself downwards? Around 80 kmh??? How can you estimate this speed?? Did (when it proppeled itself downwards) the ejection of water produced bioluminescent reaction on plankton ( whitish clouds) because of all that water pressure or maybe was the defensive bioluminescent fluid of the «squid»?
The «red glowing mesh» passed through an white glowing ring ( phosphorescent plankton)??? It had red glowing photophores between the lines or only light on those lines? It flashed or it kept all the time on ( though it´s intensity varied)? It was glowing white from both sides on the tentacles area or the white light was spread all over the area?
When that suddenly stopped to glow how did you knew about what it was doing, if as you said, that was a dark moonless night? I´m trying to imagine the light producing 2 bigger tentacles, as for the Watasenia scintillans, but in a much bigger scale.
Do you have longitude and latitude informations of the sighting?
There´s a deep canyon near Nazare ( Nazare Canyon) which can host strange abyssal creatures, there is also uppwelling phenomena which increases the chance of seing luminous deep sea creatures at night as well as the number of species, but your descriptions go well far beyond my comprehension, I´m sorry. I have seen myself really strange things ( passing many nights in remote places doing field research), of course that they were QUITE few, so I respect your report, but is hard to believe that was a giant or colossal squid... It sounds almost like an unknown animal, what did really leaded you to think that was a squid? I have been puzzled with scientific data about bioluminescent marine live beings, with many colors described already ( purple,pink,orange,red,yellow,blue,green, white(?)), some as strange as a shark covered with blue photophores, viperfishes with different colored light organs or a red glowing jelly fish, so I´m opened to accept different things, though your descriptions sound quite hard to understand.
Some scientific references suggest that some colossal squids are bioluminescent and that some unknown animals in the abyss may glow quite readily a LOT, so maybe you can offer more details about your report. I do remember to see a video with firefly squids and their 2 bigger tentacles can be quite brightly luminous and to read some descriptions or stories about very big squids glowing blue or green that approach boats at night , some were said to be HUGE indeed and some are said to have glowing eyes ( backed up by more recent studies about light organs located on their visual organs) which can be a bit scary, but certainly interesting and amazing to see, at the same time.
This lead us to the fact, that some ancient stories have some interesting true on it.

Very interesting the report, at page number 186 on 875 feet dive.

And here one story:

PS: We only know about 1% of the deep sea, having in mind that all the rest is still undiscovered and that 1 % is still producing surprises all the time, that remind us how hard is to understand this subject.
Mar 31, 2008
Reply to Firefly

Hi "Firefly", I have thought long and hard about this. To confirm my estimate of size I have constructed scale diagrams of the yacht including an estimate of defraction which can occurs as light passes from a liquid to a gas. I have also confirmed my size estimates in a marina on a similar sized and proportioned yacht. Lining objects up on the marina pontoons I was able to pase out lengths and these confirmed my estimate of mantle length of between 80 qnd 100 feet in length. The width of the body was between 30 to 40 feet - about a ratio of 3 to one. My estimates of speed are based on an instantaneous impression of rapid acceleration for such a large object and as such are, I admit, rather a guess based on instantaneous impression. The creature/object gave the impression of immense power and size. The initial sighting was of a ring of phosphorescence as it passed through that layer of water at speed.
The red mesh appeared as a very course fishing net with the clearly defined lines widening towards the "nodes" or joints and thinning in between. The creature apperaed "revved up" with the tentacles flailing and waves of varying shades of red travelling backwards and forwards on the "red mesh". The colur changed to violet at the end. The tentacled end when near the surface appeared bathed in a glow of white light as if it had underwater white lights on either side of this "head" area. The lights on the boat were very dim so this white glowing light allowed me to see the tentacles. All the "light show" switched off at the same time and i lost sight of it - back to the slight glow of the yachts navigation lights. I then spotted it hanging vertically off the port bow. It appeared to be vibrating with a, what I guess was phosphoresence swirling about its body ( this was all that made it visible at this point in the encountern - no bioluminscence). It then accelerated vertically downwards and rapidly disapeared - much to my relief.! I could see a faint line that showed a smooth edge to the body of the creature. I saw no sign of any fins on the body. I do not think it made contact with the yacht although the tentacled end appeared close. I do not remember any smell and do not think it broke the surface of the water. The body lay directly under the yacht keeping pace with it (abot 3 to 4 knots) and appered to lie at an angle of say 30 degrees to the surface of the sea. at the time of the sighting I don't think I really new about giant squid at the time. I am a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and an Associate Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. I am trained to be cynical in my job as an airframe structural signatory. I am a qualified RYA Yachtmaster and have quite a few sea miles behind me (I worked for a short while as a pro delivery skipper).
As I have stated before I have absolutely no reason to make this up and I am prepared to repeat my descriptions under oath.

I take this sighting so seriously that I am currently in discussions with other parties to form an expedition to attempt to recreate the encounter.

Although I do not expect conventional scientific wisdom to believe that such an encounter took place I am convinced it is only a matter of time before concrete evidence is found that identifies the creature I saw.

If one looks at the volume of the sea and how much of it we have explored I think we are in for some big surprises in the future.

Thanks for your interest.

:sink: Tim Lipington

Mar 31, 2008
More information I have forgotten to include

I forgot to mention where we were positioned. Unfortunately I only havea copy of the log from La Coruna (Spain) to Plymouth (UK) which I needed for my yachtmaster ocean practical. We were doing coastal hops at the time and were putting into port for the afternoons and sailing at night due to the Portuguese Northerly trades making headway to windward difficult. I think we were say 30 to 40 miles off the coast (maybe more) and somehwere near the Nazare Canyon.
I have since been in touch with the current owner of the yacht in question "Respite" and she is located, cruiser raced and xcruised in Scotland UK
I see I have made some typos in my earlier statement but the meaning is obvious so I will not correct.

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