The UB-28 And UB-85 Incidents – Encounters With Sea Monsters?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
April 6, 2020
Last Updated
September 30, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
Cryptozoology, Sea Monsters

The idea of huge, monstrous beasts existing beneath the surfaces of the planet’s seas and oceans are familiar to most of us. Perhaps one of the most famous is said to reside in a (relatively speaking) small stretch of water in Scotland in the form of the Loch Ness Monster.

A picture of a submarine blended into a depiction of a sea monster

Were war vessels attacked by huge sea monsters?

While most believe these tales are mere legends, myths, and folklore, there are many accounts on record that claim to be true events. And perhaps even more interesting is that some of the most intriguing are not too far in the distant past.

During the First World War, when many battles were taking place on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, several reports came of strange “beasts” and “monsters” rising out of the icy depths. Two, in particular, stand out. Not least as detailed accounts have survived into our contemporary era. Furthermore, both would take place in areas of water that have long histories of sightings of strange beast-like creatures residing under its surface.

We will start by examining an account that took place early in the First World War in the summer of 1915. The incident is without a doubt one of the strangest on record.

The UB-28 Incident – A “Gigantic Aquatic Animal” Shot “80 Feet Into The Air!”

What we know of this most bizarre incident [1] comes from the logbook of the captain of UB-28, Commander Freiherr George G. von Forstner. According to the entry on 30th July 1915, in the North Atlantic, the UB-28 would spot the British steamer, Iberian. Knowing it was carrying crucial cargo for the war effort, it turned its torpedoes on the vessel and fired.

The hit was direct. And according to Forstner “the steamer sank so swiftly that its bow stuck up almost vertically into the air”. Seconds later, the steamer had disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

Artist's impression of the attack

Artist’s impression of the attack

It was obvious to Forstner that the boat was speeding toward the bed of the ocean. Suddenly, around half a minute later, however, a violent explosion sounded out. At the same time, pieces of debris “shot out of the water”. Forstner would claim this wreckage was projected around 80 feet into the air.

Strangest of all, though, was that among the crippled remains of the boat was a “gigantic aquatic animal”.

Much to his relief, six other crewmen were with him in the conning tower. And all saw the bizarre events unfold, including the navigator and the engineer.

An Unknown Creature “Writhing And Struggling Among The Debris!”

As the awestruck crew maintained their focus on the bizarre scene taking place on the waves of the Atlantic, each could clearly see the creature “writhing and struggling among the debris”. They would later recall that although it had a similar look to a crocodile, they were “unable to identify the creature”.

They would estimate it was around 60 feet long and had four limbs which appeared to have “large webbed feet”. Furthermore, a “long, pointed tail”.

Although they would contemplate attempting to take a photograph, by the time the crew came to their senses and processed the strange events, the creature had disappeared under the surface.

Perhaps the fact that Forstner chose to document the encounter – in his logbook, although not the official log – is telling in itself. It is highly unlikely that such notes would have entered the log had the incident not occurred. Especially when we consider it took place during wartime. Furthermore, such claims of “sea monsters” were greeted by most in a similar fashion that the majority treat UFO sightings today. In short, it would make no sense for Forstner, or the crew, to make up such an account for no reason. Aside from the ridicule, they could also risk disciplinary action being taken against them.

We should note, though, that it is perhaps important that the official log doesn’t mention the incident. Nor do the accounts of the Iberian.

There are plenty of theories and claims as to what the strange creature might have been, however. We will examine some of those shortly after we have turned our attention to a similar detail that took place just short of three years later.

Before we do, though, check out the short video below regarding the UB-28 incident.

The UB-85 Incident – A Large Beast With Teeth That “Glistened In The Moonlight!”

At some point during April 1918, another incident occurred, this time somewhere between the coasts of Ireland and Scotland. [2] What we know of the incident comes from the crew themselves, who would tell of their bizarre encounter when a lifeboat from their now sunken submarine was “captured” by the British warship HMS Coreopsis.

What was particularly strange to the British crew was the fact that the submarine made no attempt to dive upon their approach. It appeared as though they were simply drifting helplessly. In fact, the crew of the seemingly stranded submarine was only too happy to climb aboard the British warship. Once they had done so, Captain Krech would reveal one of the most startling accounts ever heard.

According to Krech, the submarine had surfaced the previous evening in order to recharge their batteries. As this was happening, however, a “strange beast began to climb aboard” after surfacing from the waters around them.

Reconstruction photo of the incident

Reconstruction photo of the incident

Krech would continue that this monstrous creature had “large eyes, set in a horny sort of skull”. The head itself was relatively small, but its teeth were “glistening in the moonlight”. So large was the menacing beast that the U-boat began to “list greatly to starboard”. In fact, so heavy was the pull on the submarine that Krech “feared an open hatch would drop below the waterline”. This would, of course, cause the U-boat to take on water and sink.

Realizing the imminent danger they were in, the crew began opening fire on the creature. This barrage of gunfire continued for several moments until the creature finally relented its grip on the submarine and dropped back below the waters.

Discrepancies Between Krech’s Account And The Official Records

Although they managed to fend off the bizarre beast, Krech would claim that their submarine suffered severe damage. So much so that they could no longer submerge. What’s more, the submarine itself would eventually sink, forcing the crew into the small boat in which they were discovered.

Just what did happen before the German crew was discovered by the British warship remains a mystery. However, in 2016, came an apparent discovery by the energy company, Scottish Power, as they prepared to lay cables on the seabed, brought the case back into the spotlight once more.

A shot from under the water

A shot from under the water

In the location they were working, they discovered what appeared to be the wreckage of a German submarine. Initial research would suggest it could be one of two submarines known to have sunk in the region – the UB-82, and the UB-85 of the above account. However, no confirmation of the identification of the wreckage was forthcoming.

Because the United States’ military had captured German military records dating from 1850 to the end of the Second World War following the latter conflict’s end, examinations of those of the UB-85 would take place.

Like the UB-28 encounter, there was no mention of the incident in the official records. In fact, the account tells a completely different story to the one issued by Krech.

Nothing More Than An Exercise In Saving Face?

According to the official records, the German crew had indeed surfaced to recharge batteries but had spotted the oncoming British ship. As they prepared to dive, the hatch on the conning tower failed to shut properly. Consequently, the submarine began to take on water.

Further compounding the problem were several cables leading from the conning tower to the control room. These were on Krech’s orders so as to power a heater. Because of these cables, the room of the control tower could also not be secured (which would have stopped any water from entering the main part of the submarine). This forced the crew to resurface and abandon the submarine essentially making them easy pickings for the British vessel.

It would appear, at least according to the official record, that Krech manufactured the entire story so as to save face about the fact that the sinking of UB-85 was essentially his fault.

Is this what really took place that night off the Irish coast in April 1918? It certainly makes more sense and is more rational than a tale of a huge beast-like creature suddenly appeared out of the water.

Or might it be a case of a changing of official records? We should stress this is high speculation on our part, but it certainly wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility, however unlikely it might be. Might the German military have altered such records due to the bizarre nature of them? Or might such alterations have occurred once they had come into the possession of the United States? Once more, it is highly likely no such alterations have been made, but in light of other sightings, we should perhaps keep the possibility on the mental backburner.

Check out the video below for more on the case.

A Surviving Member Of The Dinosaurs?

There are several proposed explanations for the sightings of the two alleged sea monsters.

Many researchers have proposed – in the case of the UB28 incident – that the creature may not have been an aquatic one at all. There are some who believe that the “monster” was perhaps some kind of large reptile that was on board the British steamer when it was attacked.

And this makes a certain amount of sense. Especially when we consider that the beast was thrown out of the water following the explosion. Of course, if this was the case, then the focus turns to the British vessel. And what exactly it was carrying at the time of the incident. And why.

A picture of a sea monster attacking a ship

Are claims of sea monster real?

Perhaps one of the most intriguing is that the creature could be a long-lost aquatic dinosaur. One that has managed to survive undetected for the vast majority of human history? Such a notion is not as bizarre as it first sounds. After all, increasing numbers of Bigfoot researchers believe that the Bigfoot is likely an unknown, perhaps ancient species that has managed to, until the last 100 years or so, live and thrive without their presence being known by humanity.

Much like the Bigfoot sightings, only further research into these mysterious water-based creatures will take us collectively to the truth of their existence.

A Long History Of Aquatic Beasts In The Planet’s Oceans

The fact is, accounts of sea monster are plentiful. And they reside in our modern era (of the 20th century onwards) as well as in the accounts and folklore of the past, stretching back to antiquity. Indeed, so ample are these accounts that we will most likely revisit them in a future, more in-depth article.

What should we make of the two First World War accounts we have examined here? Might the constant explosion of aquatic warfare have provoked such usually deep-sea creatures to the surface? While it is only speculative reasoning, such a notion would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination.

We should also take note that many of the records of the world wars would be “sealed”. This would make them off-limits to the general public. According to some researchers who investigate claims of sea monsters and other similar aquatic beasts, many more similar accounts exist. Although due to a lack of evidence or indeed records of the incidents, these accounts stray into “urban legend” territory.

Also of interest, particularly with our latter encounter, is that the area of water has a long history of such sightings and incidents. Indeed, might it even be the case that the “sea monster” of that case is the same as the equally legendary Loch Ness Monster? We might remind ourselves that the legendary beast’s residence, relatively speaking, is only a stone’s throw away.

Check out the video below. It examines the idea of strange beast-like creatures living in the deep depths of the planet’s oceans.


1 U-28 Creature, Cryptidz
2 The Submarine and the Sea Monster, The Museum of Unnatural Mystery

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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