SHEFFIELD — For nearly a century, amateurs and professionals alike have tirelessly tracked a mysterious, amphibious creature known as Morton the Sea Monster, with only a handful of brief appearances to direct their search. Three intrepid investigators — and this reporter — have gone farther than most in their pursuit, traveling across both space and time, from 1930s New York City to the quiet hills of the Berkshires, 2023.

The group, along with Norman Rockwell Museum’s Department of Imagined and Real Illustrated Phenomena (NRMDIRIP), has meticulously documented every sighting of the creature since its first encounter with humans in 1936, and a series of recent, inexplicable discoveries around Berkshire County have brought them closer than ever before to unraveling the mystery of the Sea Monster.

Now, from their headquarters at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, the investigators are calling on locals for their help in locating Morton, in case he slips into hiding once again.

Little is known of Morton’s birth, but he is believed to have first emerged in Berkshire County at some point in the early 1930s. He spent his early life traveling between the Berkshires and New York City, unseen by human eyes. The first documented Morton sighting occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 1936, when the creature emerged from Hudson River in Riverside Park then meandered along Amsterdam Avenue, Central Park West, and Broadway before slipping back into the river on its way to parts unknown.

Measuring dozens of feet in length, with a forked tongue and green scales, Morton was initially misidentified as some sort of draconic beast, earning him the moniker of Morton the Dragon. Based on the early documented sightings, biologists issued a name correction to Morton the Sea Monster, when he came ashore on Francis Street Beach, Nantucket in the summer of 1937.

Morton continued to seek out adoring crowds, returning to New York City on Thanksgiving Day, after having shed his green scales to reveal red coloration. His wanderlust not yet abated, he was next spotted in the Charles River and around Boston for Thanksgiving festivities in 1938 and 1939.

During World War II, Morton volunteered his rubber body for use by the U.S. military, shedding his skin once more and transforming back into the green scales of his youth. He went largely unseen for the rest of the 20th century, popping up briefly in often unsubstantiated sightings around the world. Morton came out of obscurity in 2016 to make a cameo appearance in the feature film “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call,” playing a possessed, ghostly version of himself. This would be the last widely-reported sign of the Sea Monster for several years.

The three searchers and myself, assisted by NRMDIRIP’s Director Percevel Rockbetter, contacted Massachusetts State Representative Smitty Pignatelli in mid-March with the confidential information that Morton may be on his way back to Western Massachusetts.

“It’s not surprising to me that Morton would consider returning to the Berkshires for a visit, or even to stay,” Pignatelli said. “With our natural beauty, welcoming communities, and cultural amenities, I’m surprised he hasn’t been back. Or maybe he has? I hope that everyone in my district will help the time-travelers locate Morton by sending pictures and evidence that they might find.”

The Prospect can now report with some confidence that Morton has returned to Berkshire County. His distinct footprints were discovered this morning in the vicinity of the Thom Reed UFO Monument Park at the covered bridge in Sheffield, as shown in the photographs above. This reporter, along with Morton experts and time-traveling scientist-adventurers Artemis, Atalanta and Orion, predict more traces of Morton’s travels are sure to be found across the Berkshires in the following months, but it will take more than four sets of eyes to track his movements.

Pittsfield City Council President Peter Marchetti called on city residents to assist the searchers in locating Morton.

“Pittsfield is a city of neighborhoods and neighbors. We have a history of pulling together to help each other, and to help our city as a whole. That is what makes me proud to live here. I would urge anyone who sees Morton to share information, pictures and other evidence.”

John Bissell, President of Greylock Federal Credit Union is urging all GFCU members to help look for signs of Morton.

“Our community is full of places of wonder, and wonderful people. We want to support the time travelers and Norman Rockwell Museum in their search for clues related to Morton’s travels and possible sightings.”

NRMDIRIP, Pignatelli, Marchetti, Bissell and the searchers are calling on residents of Berkshire County to document and report any evidence they may find that Morton is in the area — footprints, large amphibian scales, or giant teeth.

Photographs and video of evidence or sightings of Morton can be sent to:

Percevel Rockbetter

Director of Imagined & Real Illustrated Phenomena

Norman Rockwell Museum

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