Near the mouth of the
Altamaha River in southeastern Georgia is said to reside a hissing sea
monster. Called Altamaha-ha, for the river, or "Altie" for short, the
legend predates British-English colonization and is said to have
originated with the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe.
One of the
largest rivers in the state of Georgia, it empties
in to the Atlantic Ocean and has one of the
largest river basins in the country, second only the the Mississippi
River. Extending about 137 miles, it joins up with three major
tributaries -- that of the Ocmulgee and
Oconee Rivers near Lumberton City, and joined further downriver by the
Ohoopee River. It empties out into Altamaha Sound above Brunswick,
where it is joined by the Darien, Butler and Champney Rivers before
making its way to the ocean.
area, located primarily in McIntosh and Glenn Counties along the
Atlantic Coast, is not comprised of beaches, but rather, is made
up of many islands, acres of marshes, dikes, canals, ponds, and old
The Altamaha-ha is said to inhabit the myriad of small streams
channels of the river and adjacent marshes, particularly around
Darien, Butler Island, and elsewhere in McIntosh County.
This strange cryptid is described as having a sturgeon like body including
a bony ridge on its top. With front flippers and no back limbs, it
swims like a dolphin, and has the snout of a crocodile, with large,
protruding eyes and large sharp teeth. Its
coloring is said to be gray or green with a whitish-yellow underbelly.
Reports indicate that it is 20-30 feet long, though some have stated
seeing smaller or larger creatures, suggesting that Altamaha-ha is not
It has been reportedly been seen basking itself on the
shore, trolling casually along the river, and has even reacted
defensively while in the presence of boaters.
no physical evidence of the Altamaha-ha has been found, the tales date
back for centuries with the Indians describing a
giant snake-like creature that hissed and bellowed.
One of the first non native reports of the creature was
on April 18, 1830 when a correspondent of the Savannah Georgian
newspaper reported multiple sightings of a sea monster on the Georgia
coast. The primary eyewitness was a Captain Delano of the schooner
Eagle, who reported seeing a large creature off of St. Simons
Island below the mouth of the Altamaha River. His description stated
that it was about 70 feet long, its circumference about the size of a
barrel, and its head resembled that of an alligator. Five other men on
the schooner also reported having seen the monster, as well as several
planters on St. Simons Island.
In the 1920s timbermen riding the river reported
sighting a large snakelike water monster and in 1935, a group of
hunters spotted what they called a "giant snake" swim through the
river. In the 1940s, boy scouts reported seeing the creature, as well
as two officials from the Reidsville State Prison from the
In 1969 when two brothers were fishing on the Altamaha
River at Clark’s Bluff they reported seeing an animal that they first
thought was a sturgeon, but quickly changed their mind when they got a
better look. Stating that it measured about 10-12 feet long, with a
snout like an alligator, and a horizontal tail. They also described
the creature has having a triangular ridge along the top of its body,
sharp pointed teeth and being gun-metal gray in color.