News of monster sightings are common in some famously monster-inhabited areas such as Loch Ness or the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia, home to the Mothman. Now, police in the small rural town of Westbrook, Maine fear they might have a new monster on their hands.
A monster snake, that is. According to Maine Public Broadcasting, Westbrook Police were notified of a large snakeskin found near the Presumpscot River area of the local Riverbank Park. The snakeskin was 12 feet long (3.6m), much larger than any of the indigenous snake species in the area. Police notified park visitors to stay away from the area and remain vigilant. Images and a message posted to the Westbrook Police department’s Facebook page have gone viral, and warn residents to be cautious:
Until the type of snake is determined and we can assess the safety risk, we caution people who recreate along the Presumpscot River to remain alert, maintain a safe distance from any wildlife, and report any sightings of the snake to the Westbrook Police Department.
Police have dismissed claims that the snakeskin might have been placed there as a prank, and are taking seriously the threat of a monster snake on the loose. In June 2016, another Westbrook Police officer posted a message to Facebook claiming a sighting of a large snake eating a beaver not far from the sighting of the snakeskin.
The snake has been dubbed “Wessie” in honor of the infamous Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Wessie has become an internet sensation, and cryptozoologists have flocked to the area hoping to catch a sight of Wessie. Some snake experts have weighed in, guessing that the snakeskin belongs to some kind of giant rat snake as opposed to the most common guess, a python.
Local residents and academic experts alike are now weighing in on the as of yet unsuccessful search for Wessie. For now, though, this small town seems to be enjoying all of the excitement that Wessie has created.