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from San Juan Islands
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8/18/02 Point Doughty, Orcas Island WA.
Frank Shepard used to think the tales Islanders told of "Orcy",
the local sea monster were something spun for the tourist trade.
But that was before yesterday afternoon, when he saw a fellow paddler
on a routine paddle trip near Orcas Island engulfed and dragged down
by an unidentified life form. Authorities confirm that a paddler is
missing off Orcas but had no further comment today.
"There were fins all around us, I started taping them. Then
the water just exploded, something big thing came out of
nowhere. A second later there were only bubbles."
Mr. Shepard said he paddled for his life towards the nearby shore.
When he arrived he was shaking so badly that he could hardly stand.
When he looked back out the water was empty. No debris or traces
of the missing kayaker or his gear have been reported.
Some Islanders dismiss tales of Orcy as wishful thinking, but
others insist that old timers corroborate the story. Scientists
at the UW Marine Science Labs in nearby Friday Harbor WA. said
they knew of no "Nessy" type sea-life in Washington's coastal waters.
Shepard pointed out that the steep underwater topography off Pt. Doughty
has created deepwater channels that directly connect to the Pacific Ocean