Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Legend of Altamaha-ha

I bet you never knew that Georgia had its own version of the Loch Ness Monster!!! Well, it does. One of the largest rivers in Georgia is the famous Altamaha River in the southeast portion of the state. The river actually empties in to the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Georgia. It is said to be one of the largest river basins in the country, and as such, there are a lot of tributaries to this river. Near my hometown in Montgomery County, the Ocmulgee and the Oconee Rivers come together to form the Altamaha. It is a wonderful sight.
Legend has it that in the waters of the Altamaha, near the city of Darien, there is a strange creature. It appears ever so often and sightings of this creature go back to the times before whites settled the area. The Tama Indians from that area told stories about the animal. According to Jim Miles in Weird Georgia, "Centuries ago, the Tama Indians first told tales of a huge water serpent that hissed and bellowed." In the 1920s, timbermen who rode the river reported sighting something that fits the description of Altamaha ha, also known as Altie. Other sightings include a Boy Scout troop from the 1940s and two officials from the Reidsville State Prison from the 1950s. One of the most recent reports was from 2002 when a man who was pulling a boat up the river near Brunswick reported seeing something over twenty feet in length and six feet wide break the water. The man reported that the animal seemed to emerge from the water to get air and then submerge again beneath the depths. Others who have seen the animal say that it has dull gray skin and looks to be spotted in some places.
There is some speculation that what people are seeing are snakes, dolphins who come inland from the coast, alligators, or even beavers. But some of those who have reported seeing the creature swear that they know the difference and are not seeing those things. One report mentioned that the animal swam under a boat and gave it a big "whack" with its long tail. Others speculate that the animal could be some oceanic cryptid that actually swims in to the Altamaha and spawns before going back out to sea.
The legend is quite popular in the McIntosh and Glynn County areas, which both border the Altamaha River and are on the coast. In fact, The Darien News has covered the story on many occassions. In addition, there was even a childrens book written on the topic by Ann Davis called The Tale of the Altamaha Monster. Perhaps Monsterquest should visit the Altamaha River and take a look around!!!


Lady Em said...

I saw a show on this!! You know my boyfriend and I fish the Altamaha all the time!! I'll let you know if I see anything strange, well stranger than what we usually see on the river's here. You should google ebeneezer creek, it's right above Savannah, and has quite a history.

The Professor said...

Yes, Ebenezer Creek is the site of that infamous crossing by Sherman and his gang which resulted in tragedy. I have heard there are creepy things that happen in that creek. The souls of those lost slaves should haunt the general forever!!!

Anonymous said...

It's quite interesting to learn such creatures still exist this days. The sun might be shinning too bright that it impact the visions of those that claimed to see such creature. Or they might have misrepresented what they saw, out of fear. Whichever it is, it could be more credible if a picture could be taken, at least with their cell phone.

Unknown said...

This is a place I've always wanted to investigate. Looks like I'm looking at a road trip this summer.

The Professor said...

That river is huge. You might want to contact the Darien newspaper and see what they have on file as far as recent sightings and reports. This river has such a large basin, that whatever this animal is, could be anywhere. Good luck. I hope you get lucky and get a snapshot of Altie. Send me a copy if you do.

Anonymous said...

My name is Taylor James Johnson and I am a film student at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

I am currently making a documentary on The Altamaha Monster and after reading your blog I was wondering if you could help me out with finding information on the creature. Possible an interview too?

Thank you very much
and if you wish to contact me please do so at

thanks again

Todd Parmelee said...

Shot some video today of a strange sea creature by Fort George in Darien. I did not know about this creature until I saw the brochure about Altie in the Fort George Museum (this was after I had shot the video).

The Professor said...

Email me at so I can find out a little bit more about what you saw and experienced in this video.

Professor Wells

bobby youles long said...

i live here in in swamp and i know there is somethang in that water i seen two years ago down at a place where it is real deep that this thing came out of the water i seen this big head the gills were so big you could put your head in one its body came up and slamed the water hard sound like a big truck hit the water it was as wide as a car gray came out of the water about eight feet i didnt see its whole body but it was big well i hope somebody eles see it too..ok.this is bobby y long. i live in the swamp,email me at

acernest said...

i have heard of a spot called the "Blue Hole" this is another spot the creature. is said to frequent. any comments on this.