Since I was a child, I have held a strange fascination with the legend of “The Gill-Man.” A half-man, half-fish creature that, according to the very most basic laws of nature should not exist, but does, or did anyway. Found only in the blackest and lagooniest corners of the Amazon, it is still unknown whether this fish that walked upright on hind legs was in fact a “one-of-a-kind” freak mutation, or the actual dawning of some fantastic new amphibious evolution.
Over the years I have collected every scrap of detail I could dredge up concerning “The Gill-Man,” from simple newspaper clippings sensationalizing its initial discovery by a research team in the mid-1950’s, to films and photographs of its capture and disastrous exhibition at an Oceanarium in Florida, etc... And despite the well documented, scientific cases surrounding all known encounters with “The Gill-Man” (least we forget the unfortunate experiments also performed upon it to remove its gills), various reports have shown that this deadly, vicious brute was also very much a sad, lonely, and incredibly misunderstood creature, quite possibly more human than fish.
“The Gill-Man” is a unique specimen, curiously lost in time, and regretfully now destroyed by man. But all is not lost! Thanks to Scot D. Ryersson and his unnatural ability to unearth rare, related objects and info about my fishy obsession, I am actually in possession of the only known, preserved remains left of the creature-- its gills! Scavenged from the wreckage of Ocean Harbor Oceanarium, the clear-view contents of the antique specimen jar are spine-chilling, while at the same remarkably enlightening. As a bonus, Scot has also found for me an original admission ticket (receipt), as well as a two-sided, full color brochure from “The Gill-Man’s” brief and horrific stint as a public attraction at Ocean Harbor Oceanarium in the mid-1950’s.
Thanks again Scot my friend, you have done it again!
---Stephen Banes (St. Louis, MO)