Partridge Creek monster

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The Partridge Creek monster is the subject of a story by French writer Georges Dupuy describing alleged encounters with a large dinosaur at Partridge Creek, in the Yukon territory of Canada.

History

Illustration from “The Monster of Partridge Creek”

According to a 1908 story by Georges Dupuy entitled “The Monster of Partridge Creek” published in the French journal Je sais tout and The Strand Magazine, banker James Lewis Buttler and miner Tom Leemore told him they were hunting moose near Clear Creek when the animals they were hunting began running away in fright. The men said they followed tracks, which they interpreted as being made by a large animal, into a deep rocky gorge. The narrative asserts that Dupuy agreed to join the men, along with French missionary Father Pierre Lavagneux and five unnamed First Nations individuals, to search for the reported animal. According to the story, the group established a camp site overlooking a ravine near Partridge Creek where, for 10 minutes, they observed a creature described as 30 feet long with a hairy body. According to the French language version of the story, upon seeing it, a frightened Lavagneux exclaimed, “A ceratosaurus. It is the ceratosaurus of the Arctic Circle”.

Dupuy’s story describes how he and Buttler were “the laughing stock of Golden City” for a month after they reported an encounter with a dinosaur, and that the Dawson Daily Nugget wrote a satirical article comparing him to Edgar Allan Poe. Dupuy’s story includes a letter he allegedly later received from Lavagneux in which the missionary claimed to have spotted the creature again in the same area on December 24, 1907, carrying a dead caribou in its jaws and leaving tracks identical to previous ones.

In the September 1908 issue of Knowledge & Illustrated Scientific News, naturalist Richard Lydekker commented on the publication of Dupuy’s story, noting the existence of carnivorous dinosaurs in northern Alaska “seems incredible to every scientific mind” and pointing out the “prima facie presumption” that “the larger dinosaurs were inhabitants of warm rather than of Arctic zones”.

American comics artist Stephen R. Bissette calls the story “one slice of great northern Yukon territory fiction” and cites it as among early “Western/paleontology tales” involving protagonists facing still-living dinosaurs. According to Bissette, Dupuy’s story is “enshrined as the real thing by certain cryptozooology circles”.

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