Alibi V.28 No.37 • Sept 12-18, 2019 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Florida

At least 16 bricks of cocaine have washed up on two Florida beaches following the passing of Hurricane Dorian. South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that a Melbourne, Fla., police officer was patrolling at Paradise Beach Park last week when a couple brought his attention to a suspicious package that had washed up on the beach. The officer said the package was “wrapped in a way that is consistent with a kilo of illegal drugs.” Days earlier, at Cocoa Beach, a red duffel bag stuffed with what appeared to be 15 bricks of cocaine was discovered by a beachgoer and reported to police. All 16 bricks tested positive for cocaine. It is believed that the bricks washed ashore due to the passing of Hurricane Dorian, which stirred ocean waters off the eastern coast of the US. A photo of the brick found at Paradise Beach Park was released by police. It shows a package labeled with lettering that is partially concealed by a man's hand. The visible letters spell “D-I-A-M-A-N-T.” Police are currently investigating the incident and have not revealed if the bricks found at Cocoa beach shared the same label. A kilo of cocaine reportedly has a street value of $20,000 to $30,000 in Orlando. The bricks were turned over to US Customs and Border Protection.

Dateline: New Zealand

A New Zealand research team believes it has a new theory about the Loch Ness Monster. According to The Washington Post, geneticist Neil Gemmell, a professor at New Zealand’s University of Otago, and a team of scientists have been analyzing DNA collected from 250 samples of the famous Loch Ness in Scotland. The lake is a freshwater loch that is best known for its association with alleged sightings of what witnesses believe is a large underwater monster. Many theories about the alleged monster have been postulated, including that it is a prehistoric marine reptile called a plesiosaur that somehow survived to present day. The sightings reportedly date back to 565 AD, with the majority occurring during the 1930s. Gemmell's team used the DNA samples to build a comprehensive index of the creatures living in the waters of Loch Ness. The researchers were able to catalog a number of organisms, including bacteria. According to Gemmell, there was no sign of a monster in the loch. “We can't find any evidence of a creature that's remotely related to that in our environmental-DNA sequence data,” he told BBC News. “So, sorry, I don't think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained.” But he did suggest a possible explanation for the many monster sightings. “There is a very significant amount of eel DNA. Eels are very plentiful in Loch Ness, with eel DNA found at pretty much every location sampled—there are a lot of them … Therefore we can't discount the possibility that what people see and believe is the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel.” Many independent researchers have balked at the team's findings, however, pointing out that an eel would have to be much larger than any in the historical record to fit the descriptions of the monster.

Dateline: Australia

A planned BBQ protest against a vegan woman who sued her neighbors for hosting backyard cookouts has been canceled by its organizer, who cited concerns over trespassing. According to 10 Daily in Sydney, Australia, a recently canceled Facebook event titled “Community BBQ For Cilla Carden” invited Australians to visit the home of the vegan woman who had made headlines by suing her neighbors. 9 News reports that Carden took her neighbors to the State Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court to complain about a number of issues she was having with them. According to the complaint, Carden—a vegan—alleged she was unable to sleep because her neighbors were intentionally harassing her by playing basketball, smoking cigarettes and cooking meats in their back yard. “They've put it there so I smell fish, all I can smell is fish,” she told reporters. “I can't enjoy my backyard, I can't go out there … It's deliberate, that's what I told the courts, it’s deliberate.” A Supreme Court Judge and the State Administrative Tribunal said her claims were unreasonable and lacking in evidence, however, and dismissed her case. The tribunal reportedly said the family was not behaving in a way that could be considered a nuisance. “What they are doing is living in their backyard and their home as a family,” read its decision. It was also pointed out that the family had moved their barbecue to the other side of the yard and stopped turning on their lights in an attempt to appease Carden. The woman attempted to appeal the decision, but her request was denied. The Facebook event inviting diners to enjoy barbecue at Carden's home was organized in “protest” of her actions. According to its description, the event was meant to “get some pork on her fork” and keep her from “destroying” an “Aussie tradition.” Thousands RSVP'd to the event, but Carden's lawyer threatened legal action if anyone trespassed on her property. The barbecue organizer, Baley Masan, issued a statement last week that the event was being canceled. “We do not condone the harassment of Mrs. Carden or the trespass onto her land,” he wrote. He asked that attendees use the money they would have spent on sausages to donate to a drought relief fund for Australian farmers.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.