Cryptozoologist Researcher Gary S. Mangiacopra Dies



Cryptozoologist and Sea Serpent researcher Gary Mangiacopra of Milford, Connecticut, died of a coronary heart assault, age 71, on November 14, 2022.

In 2011, writer Chad Arment heard from Gary that he had a coronary heart assault and was recovering. In latest months, in an try to trace down what had change into of Gary, the sources of a detective have been employed to entry official data telling that he had handed away on the finish of 2022.


For a half century, Gary Mangiacopra gathered a powerful quantity of archives on the query of the Sea-Serpent, the American Lake Monsters, and the Big Octopus of Florida. Gary additionally labored in different matters of cryptozoology, and mysteries of his dwelling state of Connecticut.

Gary wrote of his early curiosity 0f the matters he beloved for his Amazon creator profile: “I first got interested within the fascinating area of cryptozoology as a younger boy after studying journal articles on the Yeti and Bigfoot. My curiosity within the area grew all through adolescence. Later in faculty, I started conducting formal analysis on this area, and ultimately wrote my Masters Thesis on the “Theoretical Inhabitants Estimates of Giant Aquatic Animals in Chosen Freshwater Lakes of North America.”

He adopted the analysis of Roy Mackal and Bernard Heuvelmans, and wrote “I owe partially a few of my success to my good pal and mentor Dr. Arthur E. Gagnon. Over time his encouragement, teaching, and technical recommendation, have assisted and helped me to proceed my analysis and writings.”

Gary Mangiacopra, a New Englander along with his particular grasp’s diploma in biology, had been desirous about doing archival cryptozoological investigations since he was a teen. He grew to become one of many foremost specialists within the research of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies of the Sea Serpent in New England. He additionally studied American Lake Monsters. He printed many articles on these two topics within the journal Of Sea and Shore, and he had ben making an attempt to arrange separate books on Sea Serpents and Lake Monsters for years.

Gary was a radical Sea Serpent researcher, and his multi-parted “The Nice Unknowns of the nineteenth Century,” was printed in Of Sea and Shore in 1977. In Vol. 8, No. 3 (Autumn 1977), he launched his systematic classification of his findings. The Mangiacopra system organized sea serpent sightings from New England, a area famous for sightings of coiled sea serpents, a lot of which have been labeled as many-humped sea serpents within the Heuvelmans system.


After analyzing 64 sightings from the nineteenth Century North Atlantic, Mangiacopra concluded that there have been 4 varieties of sea serpent represented in these studies. These Mangiacopra varieties are the dorsal finner, maner, horn head, and many-coiled.

Mangiacopra later decided that many sightings, particularly after 1947, didn’t match nicely into any of those classes. In line with Mangiacopra, most post-1947 sightings of sea serpents describe animals which resemble his multi-coiled sea monster, however with completely different physique proportions. 

Mangiacopra’s five-year research was primarily based on an examination of 64 alleged sea serpent sightings reported in New England (United States) newspapers between 1869 and 1899. Of the 64 instances, he decided that 1 was a hoax, 8 have been misidentifications, 7 contained inadequate knowledge to make any conclusions, and 48 have been unknown animals or “attainable sea serpents”. Whereas he was capable of verify that the ships and captains talked about have been actual, and have been within the acknowledged places, primarily based on the “arriving ships” columns of assorted newspapers, Mangiacopra admitted that there was no manner of figuring out how dependable the descriptions themselves have been. He primarily based his classifications primarily on secondary options, because the sightings featured few frequent fundamental options. Every of the Mangiacopra varieties was in comparison with a Heuvelmans sort and a LeBlond & Sibert sort, the latter system being created for North Pacific studies from the identical latitude as New England.

In line with Mangiacopra on the time, though the maner and many-coiled have been essentially the most generally reported, sightings of the dorsal finner and horn head contained extra particulars, exhibiting that they weren’t misinterpretations of the primary two varieties. The excellence between the maner and many-coiled was blurry, however Mangiacopra favored their identification as separate varieties.

Maniacopra’s particulars concerned:

1) Dorsal Finner

The dorsal finner appeared in 5 sightings, made between 1878 and 1888. Primarily based on these 5 sightings, Mangiacopra described it as between 70′ to 100′, with a 9′ to fifteen′ diameter and a weight of two tons. The pores and skin is easy, generally scaly or warty, and is boring inexperienced to darkish brown with a lighter yellow underside. The pinnacle is in comparison with that of an alligator or a frog, and is 15′ lengthy, with a 5′ jaw sporting 6” tooth. This sort has a single pair of entrance flippers, a big fin on its again, and vertical undulation permitting it to swim quickly.

The dorsal finner is considerably equal to the many-humped sea serpent of the Heuvelmans system, and, just like the many-humped, the first concept concerning its id is a species of cetacean.

The Maner
Primarily based on seven sightings, the maner is a serpentine or eel-like animal, between 15′ and 50′ lengthy, with a flat 3′ head formed like a horse’s or a snake’s, tapering in the direction of the muzzle. Its eyes are massive, and its 10′ neck is slender. Some accounts give it a mane or beard, others quills. Mangiacopra in contrast the maner to the merhorse of the Heuvelmans system and massive eyes of the LeBlond & Sibert system.

In Loren Coleman’s and Patrick Huyghe’s The Subject Information to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Different Thriller Denizens of the Deep (Tarcher, 2003), describes it as “actually simply one other title for Heuvelmans’ Merhorse.”  It could be an unknown species of pinniped.

3) Horn Head
Primarily based on 5 sightings, the horn head is a long-bodied animal 25′ to 60′ lengthy, with a darkish dorsal floor and lighter underside. It has crocodile-like scales, saw-like projections on its again, a forked or pointed tail, and a pair of horns on its flat, spherical head. The horn head is in comparison with the long-necked sea serpent of the Heuvelmans system and the small eyes of the LeBlond & Sibert system. Mangiacopra didn’t speculate on its attainable id.
4) Many-Coiled
Primarily based on 5 sightings, the many-coiled is serpentine, with attribute curves looping out and in of the floor of the ocean, and swims like a snake. Its diameter is small for its size, given as 20′ to 100′, and its seal-like head, which is typically described as horned, has a diameter of two′. The loops are generally stated to help dorsal fins.

Mangiacopra in contrast the many-coiled to the tremendous eel of the Heuvelmans system and the serpentine animal of the LeBlond & Sibert system, although it’s thought-about to be extra much like the many-humped sea serpent. Like that sort, the many-coiled is alleged to be an archaic, elongated cetacean, probably much like Basilosaurus.

5) Eel-Sort
A attainable fifth sort appeared in a single report examined by Mangiacopra, the Rondout serpent of 1886. Mangiacopra in contrast it to the super-eel on account of its lengthy dorsal fin, though the seal-like comparability was harking back to the many-coiled.


Gary Loren

I used to be a frequent correspondent with Gary, however as he rejected any type of on-line presence, in addition to e mail, it grew to become increasingly more tough to be in contact.

The final time I used to be capable of have a face-to-face dialog with him was on the Worldwide Society of Cryptozoology assembly at Princeton, Rutgers, NJ, 1995.




In 2007, Grey S. Mangiacopra and Dwight G.Smith printed Does Champ Exist? (Coachwhip). It was their first full size e book, and was concerning the attainable existence of the Lake Champlain Monsters, Champ, rumored to inhabit Lake Champlain.

Mangiacopra would usually inform different researchers that he was at present (within the Eighties) engaged on a two-volume e book masking Sea Serpents.

On his Amazon profile, he elaborated: “Presently I’m engaged on six books together with a two-volume set about sea serpents.”

That dream was by no means to come back true.

Coachwhip writer Chad Arment writes:

Loren just lately famous the passing of long-time Fortean researcher Gary S. Mangiacopra. I had helped Gary with the publication of his Champ convention e book (now out of print), however his hoped-for bigger e book on marine monsters was by no means accomplished. Loren jogged my memory of his varied papers in Of Sea and Shore, a conchology publication, and it seems these can be found in an on-line archive. The archive is a bit unwieldy to go looking, however there’s a PDF obtain possibility for every quantity. Gary wrote about sea monsters and blobsters of assorted types, again into the Seventies.


Gary did seem in unbiased documentaries, in addition to on one episode every of Monsterquest (2008) and Historical past’s Mysteries (2009).

Different work:

In 1995, Mangiacopra wrote a serious article with Dwight G. Smith, “Connecticut’s Thriller Felines: The Glastonbury Glawackus: 1939-1967” (The Anomalist: 3) on his decades-long investigation of his dwelling state’s Black Panther accounts.

Additionally they collaborated on Dwight G. Smith and Gary Mangiacopra, “What Readers Wrote In: secondary Bigfoot sources as given within the Letters-to-the-Editors column of the Sixties–Seventies Males’s Journey Magazines,” North American BioFortean Overview 5:4 concern 13 (December, 2003): 19–31.




We try to find Gary’s sister (contact me at to ahead her his needs for the disposition of Gary’s archives of which now we have documentation.

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