While surfing for one of my favorite subjects, Cryptozoology, I came across this interesting story from Georgia…
Georgia’s famed water monster is found along the Altamaha River, a vast tidal estuary that includes many rivers, creeks and marshes which are affected by the Atlantic Ocean tides. The creature has been described as 20 to 30 feet in length and thick as a man’s body with multiple humps. Known as Altamaha-ha, Ha-ha, or the slightly more dignified Altie, it has been sighted over 300 times, dating back into dim prehistory. The Tama Indians spoke quietly of a huge serpent that hissed and bellowed.
The first modern witnesses were timbermen in the 1920s who cut great trees, arranged them into enormous rafts, and rode them downriver to mills at Darien, near the river’s mouth. In 1940 a group of Boy Scouts, who always tell the truth, reported the big snake. The first authoritative sighting came in 1959, when two officials from Reidsville State Prison observed a 30-foot long creature in the river.
Reports mushroomed in the 1970s as the population expanded and more people began to fish on the streams, hunt in the marshes, and take to the water for recreation. The creature is unafraid of humans, and a number of reports have it staring down people and bumping or swimming beneath their boats. Some witnesses have feared attack and the swamping of their vessels.
Ann Davis, who tracked sightings of the monster, received an anonymous report from a commercial sea captain, whose professional account is superior to all other sightings. In June 2002 he was piloting a towboat past Marker 216A, where the Altamaha enters the Intercoastal Waterway. The water was eerily calm, right at high tide. The boat was pulling a large 45 foot long catamaran sailboat from Two Way Fish Camp, where many Altie reports have originated, to a marina at Brunswick.
“Suddenly and without warning, something large broke the surface immediately in front of the towboat,” the captain wrote. Although the animal “was broaching the surface similar to the way a dolphins does: head, then body, then tail,” he “knew at once it was unlike anything I had ever seen.”
The creature, estimated at over 20 feet in length and six to seven feet in circumference, was colored dark brown with dark spots. The skin was smooth and scale less, leading the captain to believe, “it was an air-breathing mammal as it seemed to come up, get air, go down, then come up again.”
Altie passed at a distance of 15 feet, just beyond the bow of the towboat. When it disappeared beneath the water the captain questioned what he had seen. However, he looked in the direction of the creature’s travel and “here it came up again, just as before.” The animal ignored the passing boats.
One weekend during July 2000 Robert and Carla Mucha launched their tandem kayak between docks on Cat Head Creek. The tide was high and flowing in when Carla spotted an object emerging from the water 10 feet away. It was “2 feet high and about 3 1/2 inches long,” apparently a hump that quickly submerged and struck the kayak “with a solid, heavy smack.” The couple quickly and wisely paddled away. Carla knows that the creature, whose skin was dull and grayish, was not a dolphin or alligator.
Harvey Blackman described an encounter with the monster at Two-Way Fish Camp to Hugh Mulligan, a local newspaper columnist. He was standing on a floating fish dock when a large wave rocked the platform. Passing in the river was a grayish-brown aquatic animal, 15 to 20 feet in length and thick as a human body. When it raised up out of the water, Blackman saw a snake like head.
On a cold, windy day in 1981 two men entered a creek from the Altamaha near Two-Way and spotted “that thing,” which had been reported in the local newspaper. Lying on a mud bank, it was gray-brown, 10 to 30 feet long, and 20 inches in diameter. Apparently sensing the boat, Ha-Ha slid into the water and swam toward them, looking them over as it passed. The men feared for a moment that it would attack them. The great serpent had two to three humps and undulated as it swam. It had no appendages or fins.
A local fisherman identified as T.O. has spotted different sized creatures in his four sightings. He believes they were the same species, just different members of it. Two were seen in the Altamaha at Broughton Island, one at the mouth of South River, and the last near Hird’s Island. During the first encounter, his father grabbed his rifle to shoot, but T.O. stopped him. His creatures measured from 18 to 30 feet in length, the head small in proportion to the body, which he compared to the size of a big truck tire. Humps were generally seen, and when Ha-Ha appeared in low water he could see its back, which seemed triangular. The mottled skin was brownish-black. On one occasion, the animal looked directly at the man, then smoothly submerged without a ripple, resurfaced, and fixed its gaze on him again. On each occasion, the creatures submerged and reemerged or undulated through the water. The mouth was always closed, and the eyes were noticeable.