The House of Representatives appropriated $5,000 ($120,000 in 2019 dollars) for eradicating the New Jersey shark threat, and President Woodrow Wilson scheduled a meeting with his Cabinet to discuss the fatal attacks. "[15] Still, State Fish Commissioner of Pennsylvania and former director of the Philadelphia Aquarium James M. Meehan asserted in the Philadelphia Public Ledger that the shark was preying on the dog and had bitten Vansant by mistake. He admits, "The evidence is long gone, and we will never really know if it was one shark or several, one species or another, that was responsible. [65] The attacks are also briefly referred to in Benchley's novel White Shark. [54][55], Academics were skeptical that a shark could produce fatal wounds on human victims. Before dinner, Vansant decided to take a quick swim in the Atlantic with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever that was playing on the beach. After the attacks on Stilwell, Fisher, and Dunn, residents of Matawan lined Matawan Creek with nets and detonated dynamite in an attempt to catch and kill the shark. The victim was Charles Bruder, 27, a Swiss bell captain at the Essex & Sussex Hotel. The New York Times noted that Hoffman "had the presence of mind to remember that she had read in the Times that a bather can scare away a shark by splashing, and she beat up the water furiously." Holowach’s tragic death marked the 13th shark attack in the US this year, two of which were fatal. Brody adds, "And there's no limit to what he's gonna do! "[42], Ellis points out that the great white "is an oceanic species, and Schleisser's shark was caught in the ocean. Hoffman was certain she was going to be devoured by the "Jersey man-eater", but later admitted she was "not sure ... whether she had her trouble for nothing or had barely escaped death. "Man-eater." After locating the boy's body and attempting to return to shore, Fisher was also bitten by the shark in front of the townspeople, losing Stilwell in the process. [70], The attacks at Matawan are the subject of the National Geographic Channel documentary Attacks of the Mystery Shark (2002), which examines the possibility that a bull shark was responsible for killing Stanley Fisher and Lester Stilwell;[41] Discovery Channel's Blood in the Water (2009); Shore Thing (2009) (directed by Lovari and James Hill); and the Smithsonian Channel's The Real Story: Jaws (2011).[50]. Between July 1 and 12, 1916, five people were attacked along the coast of New Jersey by sharks; only one of the victims survived. "[46] However, the likelihood that one shark was involved is contested. When he opened the shark's belly, he removed a "suspicious fleshy material and bones" that took up "about two-thirds of a milk crate" and "together weighed fifteen pounds. As curator of the International Shark Attack File, kept at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Burgess is an expert on shark attacks. [39] Researchers such as Thomas Helm, Harold W. McCormick, Thomas B. Allen, William Young, Jean Campbell Butler, and Michael Capuzzo generally agree with Murphy and Lucas. [34] Schleisser mounted the shark and placed it on display in the window of a Manhattan shop on Broadway, but it was later lost. [51] In 1891, millionaire banker and adventurer Hermann Oelrichs offered a $500 reward in the New York Sun "for an authenticated case of a man having been attacked by a shark in [the] temperate waters" north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sean and James estimated the shark was about 3.5 to 4 metres long. He told The Philadelphia Inquirer in early 1916 that "it is beyond the power even of the largest Carcharodon to sever the leg of an adult man." Ichthyologist Henry Weed Fowler and curator Henry Skinner of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia asserted that a shark's jaws did not have the power to sever a human leg in a single bite. Meanwhile, The Maine Marine Patrol was monitoring sharks near Bailey Island — where former Big Apple fashion executive Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, was killed while swimming with her daughter Monday, and where other sightings have since been reported, according to CBS affiliate WGME. Women Are Panic-Stricken as Mutilated Body of Hotel Employee Is Brought Ashore", Joseph Dunn's census and hospital records, "2 Weeks, 4 Deaths, and the Beginning of America's Fear of Sharks", "Many See Sharks, But All Get Away. We've received your submission. [68][69] Fernicola also wrote and directed a 90-minute documentary called Tracking the Jersey Man-Eater. Scientists have spent much time at sea and along shore, and have several times seen turtles large enough to inflict just such wounds. Meanwhile, NBC 4 has new information that the Maine shark attack victim was … Your Ad Choices [31] Several fishermen claimed to have caught the "Jersey man-eater" in the days following the attacks. Terms of Use An exhibit at the Museum of New Jersey Maritime History about the 1916 shark attacks. [48] Ellis remarks that "to try to make the facts as we know them conform to the 'rogue shark' theory is stretching sensationalism and credibility beyond reasonable limits." Privacy Notice Since an appropriate sized white shark with human remains in its stomach was captured nearby shortly after the attacks (and no further incidents occurred), it seems likely that this was the shark involved in at least the Matawan fatalities. I mean we've already had three incidents, two people killed inside of a week. Well, according to the International Shark Attack File of the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History the chances of death by shark in your lifetime are 1 in 3,748,067. Near Long Island, experts said the sightings this week were likely bull sharks, which are aggressive and scavenge for food in warm water. He believed that sharks tangled in fishing nets or feeding on carrion might accidentally bite a nearby human. The writer concluded, "This would account for their boldness and their craving for human flesh. Resort towns enclosed their public beaches with steel nets to protect swimmers. Burgess, however, does not discount the great white: The bull draws a lot of votes because the location, Matawan Creek, suggests brackish or fresh waters, a habitat that bulls frequent and whites avoid. Scientists believe it is most unlikely that a shark was responsible, and lots of people though believe it much more likely that the attack was made by a sea turtle. Holowach’s tragic death marked the 13th shark attack … To calm the growing panic, the three men stressed that a third run-in with a shark was unlikely, although they were admittedly surprised that sharks bit anyone at all. [26] Shark hunts ensued across the coasts of New Jersey and New York; as the Atlanta Constitution reported on July 14, "Armed shark hunters in motor boats patrolled the New York and New Jersey coasts today while others lined the beaches in a concerted effort to exterminate the man-eaters ..."[27] New Jersey governor James Fairman Fielder and local municipalities offered bounties to individuals hunting sharks. The island was the locale for over 16% of the world's fatal attacks from 2011 to 2016. The spy who shagged 'em: Suspected Chinese agent reportedly slept with, courted pols, Warning issued about COVID-19 vaccine after patients suffer reaction, Grinding to a halt: 'Highest-earning sex worker’ sues over lost wages, NYC Chipotle besieged by rats feasting on avocados, biting employees, 2020 is so awful, even the aliens are staying hidden. The bull shark, however, is infamous for its freshwater meanderings, as well as for its pugnacious and aggressive nature." The first major attack occurred on Saturday, July 1 at Beach Haven, a resort town established on Long Beach Island off the southern coast of New Jersey. No drinking for two months after COVID-19 vaccine, Russia tells citizens, January Jones claps back at tabloids over ‘desperate’ bikini photos, Tyler Cameron is buff and shirtless in Florida, Lauren Bushnell debuts baby bump days after pregnancy reveal, Nicolas Cage Goes Full Nicolas Cage in Netflix’s ‘History of Swear Words’ Trailer, © 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Surfer walks for help after suffering 'catastrophic' injuries from shark, Captivating video captures fish being chased off the Rockaways, Trixie the whale shark dies at Georgia Aquarium, Megalodon fossils discovered all over the world, YouTube bans videos claiming 2020 presidential election fraud, Sanders surrogate weighing run for House seat in Ohio, New York's Electoral College delegation to cast votes in person in Albany, Joe Biden chooses Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to be HUD secretary, Supreme Court rejects GOP bid to overturn Biden's Pennsylvania win, Celebrate the holidays with a Mickey and Minnie collab from BaubleBar, Sur La Table takes up to 55 percent off luxury cookware, You can get the popular Sonos One and One SL speakers for 20 percent off, These popular Beats Solo3 headphones are 40 percent off, Improve your oral hygiene with this award-winning electric toothbrush that’s over 60% off, Pornhub cracks down on illegal content following exposé, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter is pregnant with her third child. "[57], The Jersey Shore attacks compelled scientists in the United States to revise their assumptions that sharks were timid and powerless. [66][67] Fernicola's research is the basis of an episode of the History Channel's documentary series In Search of History titled "Shark Attack 1916" (2001) and the Discovery Channel's docudrama 12 Days of Terror (2004). [20][21] Actress Gertrude Hoffmann was swimming at the Coney Island beach shortly after the Matawan fatalities when she claimed to have encountered a shark. The number of shark attacks in any given year or region is highly influenced by the number of people entering the water. Capuzzo, Michael. Since records began, New Zealand has suffered 12 fatal shark attacks dating back to the 1850s, with at least 50 non-fatal attacks recorded. The paper reported that "the foremost authority on sharks in this country has doubted that any shark ever attacked a human being, and has published his doubts, but the recent cases have changed his view. [4] Matawan's location made it an unlikely site for interactions between sharks and humans. Personal and national reaction to the fatalities involved a wave of panic that led to shark hunts aimed at eradicating the population of "man-eating" sharks and protecting the economies of New Jersey's seaside communities. [12] According to Capuzzo, this panic was "unrivaled in American history", "sweeping along the coasts of New York and New Jersey and spreading by telephone and wireless, letter and postcard. Five people chewed up on the surf! Police … A 10-year-old boy is in hospital with injuries to the head and chest after a shark grabbed him from a boat and attacked him off the coast of Tasmania, Australia. “If anything is spotted coming too close to shore or displaying erratic behavior, our pilots will get that info to all area beaches and lifeguards no matter what jurisdiction,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, according to the outlet. [17], The media's response to the second attack was more sensational. The Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 were a series of shark ... a novel about a rogue great white shark that terrorizes the fictional Long Island coastal community of Amity. New Theories As To Why Coast Is Now Infested", https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/1951, Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 bibliography, Listen to this article or download mp3 of, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jersey_Shore_shark_attacks_of_1916&oldid=991557117, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Investigators want to know whether two children bitten on Wednesday in the waters off New York beaches were attacked by sharks. Joseph Dunn was taken to Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick; he recovered from the bite and was released on September 15, 1916.[11]. These people say the real culprit behind many of the reported incidents—including the famous 1916 shark attacks in New Jersey that may have served as inspiration for Jaws—may be the lesser known bull shark."[41]. Officials confirm shark attacked boy at Long Island beach The bites that a 13-year-old boy sustained in the waters around the barrier island off Long Island's South Shore resulted from a shark attack, New York officials confirm. After decades without a shark attack off Long Island, two children were bitten within minutes of each other on Wednesday. This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 18:01. [52] He wanted proof that "in temperate waters even one man, woman, or child, while alive, was ever attacked by a shark. June to July 14, 1916."[61]. [1], Despite the Vansant attack, beaches along the Jersey Shore remained open. Shortly after entering the water, Vansant began shouting. "[23] Nichols later documented the occurrence of the great white shark in his biological survey Fishes of the Vicinity of New York City (1918), "Carcharodon carcharias (Linn.) [56] Frederic Lucas, director of the American Museum of Natural History, questioned whether a shark even as large as 30 feet (9 m) could snap a human bone. The cartoon is entitled "What's a Family Man to Do? A boy and a girl were attacked about the same time late Wednesday morning at two Fire Island beaches about four miles apart. Morrell's body was recovered and later autopsied at Maui Memorial Hospital by the County Coroner. This story has been shared 217,456 times. [5] Around 2:00 PM a group of local boys, including young Lester Stilwell, 11, were playing in the creek together. [28] Hundreds of sharks were captured on the East Coast as a result of the attacks. Being unable to move quickly and without food, he had come in to bite the dog and snapped at the man in passing. On July 8, armed motorboats patrolling the beach at Spring Creek chased an animal they thought to be a shark, and Asbury Park's Asbury Avenue Beach was closed after lifeguard Benjamin Everingham claimed to have beaten off a 12-foot-long (4 m) shark with an oar. However, our examination of the site reveals that the size of the "creek," its depth, and salinity regime were closer to a marine embayment and that a smallish white clearly could have wandered into the area. Richard G. Fernicola published two studies of the event, and notes that "there are many theories behind the New Jersey attacks," and all are inconclusive. Fisher and others dived into the creek to find Stilwell, believing him to have suffered a seizure. They each suffered deep cuts but … Since 1916, scholars have debated which shark species was responsible and the number of animals involved, with the great white shark and the bull shark most frequently cited. "[53] The reward went unclaimed and scientists remained convinced that the upper eastern coast of the United States was inhabited by harmless sharks. [14] The New York Times reported that Vansant "was badly bitten in the surf ... by a fish, presumably a shark. The anonymous writer claimed, "These sharks may have devoured human bodies in the waters of the German war zone and followed liners to this coast, or even followed the Deutschland herself, expecting the usual toll of drowning men, women, and children." Broadway Books, 2001. It may also be of interest to note that sharks live in Lake Nicaragua, a fresh-water body, and in 1944 there was a bounty offered for dead freshwater sharks, as they had "killed and severely injured lake bathers recently. [32], On July 14, Harlem taxidermist and Barnum and Bailey lion tamer Michael Schleisser caught a 7.5-foot (2.3 m), 325-pound (147 kg) shark while fishing in Raritan Bay, only a few miles from the mouth of Matawan Creek. Photo: Getty Images Shark attacks closed Fire Island beaches Wednesday, alarming swimmers across Long Island and raising questions about the safety of New York beaches. The Jersey beach! According to SharkAttackFile.info, 57-year-old Bruno Junker was bitten by a shark while spear fishing out … Robert Murphy and John Nichols wrote in October 1916: There is something peculiarly sinister in the shark's make-up. Swimmers are allowed back in the waters off of Long Island one day after shark sightings. White Shark. In his book Sharks: Attacks on Man (1975), Llano writes, One of the most surprising aspects of the Matawan Creek attacks was the distance from the open sea. [10], The fifth and final victim, Joseph Dunn, 14, of New York City was attacked a half-mile from the Wyckoff dock nearly 30 minutes after the fatal attacks on Stilwell and Fisher. Whereas sharks had previously been seen as harmless, after the Jersey Shore attacks of 1916 the pendulum of public opinion swung to the other extreme, and sharks quickly came to be viewed not only as eating machines, but also as fearless, ruthless killers. Another cartoon depicted "an exasperated individual at the end of a dock that displays a 'Danger: No Swimming' sign and mentions the three most emphasized 'danger' topics of the day: 'Infantile Paralysis (polio), Epidemic Heat Wave, and Sharks in the Ocean'." Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights They pulled him from the water, but he bled to death on the way to shore. The temporal and geographical sequence of the incidents also suggests that earlier attacks may have involved the same shark. The 1916 fatal attacks are the subject of three studies: Richard G. Fernicola's In Search of the "Jersey Man-Eater" (1987) and Twelve Days of Terror (2001) and Michael Capuzzo's Close to Shore (2001). In a letter to The New York Times, a Barrett P. Smith of Sound Beach, New York, over 135 miles (217 km) away on the far side of Long Island, wrote: Having read with much interest the account of the fatality off Spring Lake, N.J., I should like to offer a suggestion somewhat at variance with the shark theory. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This story has been shared 217,456 times. The documentary takes a closer look at the series of events from different perspectives. [37], Another letter to The New York Times blamed the shark infestation on the maneuvers of German U-boats near America's East Coast. It was demonstrated in the Matawan Creek attacks, for example, that the full moon of the lunar cycle, which would have coincided with the attacks, would have raised the salinity in the water by more than double just a few hours before high tide. [40] However, the National Geographic Society reported in 2002 that "some experts are suggesting that the great white may not in fact be responsible for many of the attacks pinned on the species. Despite the town's efforts, no sharks were captured or killed in Matawan Creek. He concluded that "because it is evident that even a relatively small white shark, weighing two or three hundred pounds, might readily snap the largest human bones by a jerk of its body, after it has bitten through the flesh."[59]. [60], After the Matawan attacks, Frederic Lucas admitted on the front page of The New York Times that he had underestimated sharks. Vansant was in the surf playing with a dog and it may be that a small shark had drifted in at high water, and was marooned by the tide. It was produced by the George Marine Library in 1991; however, it was never widely released. The shark attacks targetted 2 children, a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, who were apparently bitten in their legs. According to The New York Times, "women [were] panic-stricken [and fainted] as [Bruder's] mutilated body ... [was] brought ashore." [7], The boys ran to town for help, and several men, including local businessman Watson Stanley Fisher, 24, came to investigate. [9] Stilwell's body was recovered 150 feet (46 m) upstream from the Wyckoff dock on July 14. The novel was adapted as the film Jaws by Steven Spielberg in 1975. The information in regard to the sharks is indefinite and I hardly believe that Vansant was bitten by a man-eater. Officials: 2 possible shark attacks off Fire Island On Wednesday, two children were bitten on the leg in the waters off Sailors Haven and Atlantique beaches on Fire Island, officials said. Bathers believed he was calling to the dog, but a shark was actually biting Vansant's legs. Located 30 miles (48 km) north of Spring Lake and inland of Raritan Bay, Matawan resembled a Midwestern town rather than an Atlantic beach resort. [35], No further attacks were reported along the Jersey Shore in the summer of 1916 after the capture of Schleisser's great white shark. Before Stilwell could climb from the creek, the shark pulled him underwater. "My leg was all bloody" Two children have been injured in shark attacks off the coast of Long Island in New York in the first such incidents in the state for 70 years, officials say. Science Admits Its Error. The East Coast shark hunt has been described as "the largest scale animal hunt in history. The New York Times' headline read, "Shark Kills Bather Off Jersey Beach". The museum sits just down the street from the site of the first attack at Beach Haven on Long Beach Island. Sitemap "[64] Richard Ellis, Richard Fernicola, and Michael Capuzzo all suggest that the 1916 Jersey Shore attacks, Coppleson's rogue shark theory, and the exploits of New York fisherman Frank Mundus inspired Benchley. Bites Off Both Legs of a Youth Swimming Beyond Spring Lake Life Lines. Long Island Sound is a tidal estuary connected to the Atlantic Ocean and located between Connecticut (to the north) and Long Island (to the south). ... 1916! See the graphic map, "1916–2006 United States (incl. Chief of police Martin Brody, biologist Matt Hooper, and fisherman Quint hunt the shark after it kills four people. He was rescued by lifeguard Alexander Ott and bystander Sheridan Taylor, who claimed the shark followed him to shore as they pulled the bleeding Vansant from the water. Bruder was attacked while swimming 130 yards (120 m) from shore. A shark bit him in the abdomen and severed his legs; Bruder's blood turned the water red. After the first fatality, newspaper cartoonists began using sharks as caricatures for political figures, German U-boats, Victorian morality and fashion, polio, and the deadly heat wave threatening the Northeast at the time. 'S 2008 concept album Jersey Shores was based on the Beach on conjecture and speculation year... 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