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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptic > 21.1 > Alligators in the Sewers!

Alligators in the Sewers!

ON FEBRUARY 10, 1935, A REMARKABLE HEADLINE appeared in the New York Times: “Alligator Found in Uptown Sewer.” It was reported that 16 year-old Salvatore Condulucci had been shoveling snow into an open manhole with a group of friends on East 123rd Street, when they peered into the opening and spotted the creature churning in the murky waters. They reportedly grabbed a clothesline, created a noose and lowered it into the hole. After several near misses, Condulucci managed to angle the rope around the gator’s neck and yanked hard, snaring it. The youths pulled the dazed reptile onto the street and clubbed it to death with their shovels. Or so the story goes.

The Times reported that the boys brought the gator’s remains to the Lehigh Stove and Repair Shop at 441 East 123rd Street, where it weighed an impressive 125 pounds and measured nearly eight feet in length. As there were no area pet shops, it was hypothesized that the creature may have been a passenger on a steam ship from the Everglades that had fallen overboard. The account states that by 9 o’clock that very night, a Sanitation Department truck pulled up to the store and drove the carcass to Barren Island where it was incinerated.

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About Skeptic

CONFIDENCE SCAMS EXCERPT: The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for it Every Time; ARTICLES: America’s Stonehenge: Did Highly Developed Europeans Build a Sophisticated Astronomical and Religious Monument on the American East Coast More than 3000 Years Ago?; Is It ET?: Is Star KIC 8462852 a Sign of an Extraterrestrial Civilization?; Hurricane Strikes as Divine Retribution—An Empirical Test; Ruins of Empires: Thomas Jefferson, Constantin-Francois Volney, and the Separation of Church and State; Winning the Vaccination War in California; Prophet Without Honor: Francis Galton and the Birth of Behavioral Genetics; When Cops Kill: An Insider’s Perspective; Guns and Games: The Relationship Between Violent Video Games and Gun Crimes in America; More on Morals: On Science and Morality (1) Deontologists are Covert Consequentialists, (2) Expanding Science to Include Morals, (3) Clarifying Confusions; Alligators in the Sewers! COLUMNS: Who’s Crazy Now?: DSM-5 and the Classification of Mental Disorders; The Delicate Dilemma of Defining Rape; REVIEW: Red Team: How To Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy by Micah Zenko reviewed by David Priess; JUNIOR SKEPTIC: Haunted Houses; Earliest Ghost Stories; Ghostly Evolution
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