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Posted by MsTT on May 13, 2003 at 21:27:44:
In Reply to: Military Intelligence - a contradiction in terms? posted by WW on May 13, 2003 at 03:58:43:
: Witnesses said it was at least 6 feet long and as thick as a man's wrist.
Translate - it was probably somewhere around half that length. I regularly get reports of five, six, seven and eight foot long snakes doing nuisance removal. When I actually catch the animals in question they average about half their reported length. Some of the people doing the reporting on the scene are police officers. Their snake length estimates are no more accurate than the average person's. Frankly I do not believe any damn thing I hear from a person describing a snake, unless that person is a snake keeper and talks to me in Latin names.
:And therefore not almost certainly not Walterinnesia, which are usually under 4 ft. long, nocturnal and rarely seen.
I'm not sure any species can be completely ruled out based only on a witness description. Though of course the more common snakes of the region would be a much more likely possibility.
:More than likely not since Walterinnesia is mostly nocturnal and much smaller.
I could see a nocturnal snake taking cover in or under a tent and then being disturbed by daytime activity. So I'd say it remains at least a remote possibility, though of course the "six foot long snake" would have been about half that. Which is just as I would expect from any eyewitness report of a snake sighting from a non herpetologist.
At least they didn't say that it had six inch long fangs dripping human blood and a shoehorn on its tail to take soldier's boots off before biting them.