A Hand-to-Hand Combat with Sea Monsters (Oct, 1937)

It’s about time someone took a stand against those vicious killer turtles! Everyone knows what happens when you let them get out of control.

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A Hand-to-Hand Combat with Sea Monsters

HAVING taken upon himself the occupation of slaughtering deep sea monsters, armed with no other weapon than a knife, Wallace Casewell, officiating captain and constable of Panama City, Florida, a well built chap in his early forties, has spent years in this dangerous and not exactly lucrative hobby —and all because he claims that, as a boy, he conceived a vital dislike and disdain for sharks, turtles, swordfish and other sea killers. Captain Casewell thinks nothing of wrestling with and subduing a twelve-foot bottle-nosed whale, a tiger shark of similar size, gigantic snapping sea turtles, an octopus, swordfish and various other sea monsters known to be dangerous. Although his body shows numerous scars in testimony of the sea battles, the captain has emerged from most of the encounters, always victorious, and without much important damage to his person.

Out in the open water Captain Casewell’s approach is simple. Upon sighting the monster, he dives overboard with nothing but a knife between his teeth then he either comes up on the animal from below, or approaches it from above, as the occasion demands. So thrilling have these battles become that a motion picture company decided to film the episodes, but in order to do so special equipment first had to be constructed. A large steel drum was first built with an opening in the front, to which a double thickness of plate glass was fitted. This tube was so arranged that the window would float just below the surface after the cameraman, assistant and camera were located within it. Due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to shoot scenes at any great distance under the water, the area in which the battles were to be staged had to be bounded by means of wire net. With the deep sea monster trapped in this enclosure, Captain Casewell dived overboard and demonstrated his technique.

Don’t think that because the animals were caged in a small area that they were less ferocious. Everyone knows how much more vigorously a fish will thrash around when it is trapped in a net. Hence Captain Casewell had to be on the alert every moment of the time, for he, too, was trapped. However, these pictures show more than technique; they demonstrate an unusual method of taking submarine pictures with very inexpensive equipment

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