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In the Wake of the Sea Serpents Hardcover – Feb 1969

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Hart-Davis; First Edition edition (Feb. 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0246643129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0246643124
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,098,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. B. Barak on 15 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
OK, it's expensive and it's old (1965), but it still has so much to offer. This remains the most comprehensive study of sea serpents and a must if you, like me, are intersted in this intiguing field. Heuvelmans was a Belgian zoologist who effectively invented cryptozoology, writing about hidden animals and wondering what they may be or if they really do exist. This book, which builds on the earlier works of Oudemans (1892) and Gould (1934) brings together 600 possible sea serpent sightings from around the world, with BH detailing the most remarkable and attempting to explain what might have been seen by the fortunate observers.
BH speculates on whether what was seen were reptiles, mammals or whatever, and groups these sightings into distinct groups, based on the observations and his inferences. It is a truly mammoth and thought provoking piece of work, as well as temptingly suggestive as to the veracity of the subject matter! What on earth have so many people seen so often, swimming through the waves all these years....?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J Dingwall on 29 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating overview of retrospective sightings of unexplained sea creatures by Belgian cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans.
Accessable and thought provoking accounts from around the globe never cease to intrigue and is concluded with the authors impartial summation.
In some instances creatures would appear at coastal harbours on consecutive days for over a week at a time - even more amazing is that no one thought of bringing along a camera...
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By ls on 3 July 2015
Format: Hardcover
best ever!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Extremely comprehensive discussion of "sea serpents" 13 Nov. 1997
By pablito@lanminds.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Very detailed, fascinating review through about 1965 of "sea serpent" sightings. Heuvelmans finally did computer analysis of the sightings and arrived at seven different types, all unrecognized by science, including three archaeocetaceans, two pinnipeds, a giant eel and a large crocodile-like reptile. This book is strictly about marine animals and doesn't include fresh water animals like the Loch Ness monster. The english version is a combined translation of two books in French, one about the giant squid and the other about sea serpents. I have been hoping that Heuvelmans will update this book but so far he hasn't.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The book on sea monsters. 5 April 2002
By Sea Monster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Heuvelmans book has been heavily used and abused since it first came out in English condensation in 1968. It remains the comprehensive historical treatment of two sea monster phenomena: giant squids and sea serpents.
This book is well worth 5 stars but it has its limitations. This is not a negative criticism merely a statement of fact. It doesn't cover all types of reported sea monster (there are many) and naturally it stops in 1968. Some of Heuvelmans interpretations and conclusions should be open for debate (notably his historical framework for the origin of the Kraken and sea serpent and his classifying of sea serpent types).
Unfortunately many books (but not all) published on this topic since then have been abstracts of this work offering little more by way of material, methods or conclusions. Time to move on, marine cryptozoologists...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bernard Heuvelmans: Founder of cryptozoology. 3 July 2008
By Michael J. Shields - Published on Amazon.com
This, and its companion volume, "On the Track of Unknown Animals" are the foundation works of cryptozoology, and even today perhaps the best "reads" in the whole field. Very few have prepared so long or so carefully in writing on this subject. The book is richly illustrated with many black and white photos as well as reproductions of dozens of original witness sketches.
Required reading for natural history buffs, the paranoid, and impossibly skeptical alike. 19 Mar. 2014
By Adam Urbanczyk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is arguably the grandfather of all such works on the subject matter. Whether or not you "believe" in the notion that there are several types of large marine animals which have escaped clear videographic documentation (or Oprah couch interviews, for the very limited minds among us) is somewhat irrelevant. Mr. Heuvelmans, after spending some ungodly amount of time digging through reports going back centuries, soberly and objectively discusses the history of the phenomenon, prominent individuals both "for" and "against" the existence of such creatures, and pragmatically analyzes the evidence as anecdotal as it often is. Other reviewers have questioned Mr. Heuvelmans' objectivity in approaching the issue. Based on this book's divestment of known hoaxes and acceptance of rational explanations where they reasonably apply, I don't share those reviewers' trepidation.

Fans of the genre will in all likelihood become exhausted; Daniel Cohen, Richard Ellis, and other current authors on this and related topics (both of whom I am a fan), after reading this book, have barely scratched the surface on the number and quality of reports of such creatures. Those who refuse to believe, by some sort of logic, that there could still be large, mostly-unknown animals in our seas may find the book frustrating.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Super duper mega favorite love it alotta alotta Yep Yip Yep! 27 Jan. 2008
By W. Matthews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
One of the great books on Fortean phenomena, incredibly researched, documented, and well-written - Mr. Heuvelman's shares the original source material (i.e. letters, news articles, ship logs, interviews, etc.) and these first-hand accounts are what convince me of the honesty of most of the observers of the Great Sea Serpent. And the book is voluminous (like, 600+ pages, dude) - Heuvelman's scoured the libraries and naval records of most of the European imperial powers to find here-to-fore unprinted or unknown accounts. Gives a comprehensive telling of the New England Sea Serpent stories of the early 1800s. No stone unturned. Highly recommended, even if you don't agree with his conclusions - a "super-otter?" And if one possible identity of the reports is a giant pleisiasaur-like long necked seal, then I'm thinking they should be surfacing to breathe more often - but hey, the oceans a big place!
Yep - this one is one of my treasures.
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