Residence: Queens, New York

Incident Location: New York City Water Tunnel No. 3

“Hundreds of feet beneath the bumper-to-bumper traffic of New York City is one of the world’s most ambitious engineering projects. Though it goes by the prosaic name of City Water Tunnel No. 3, when work wraps up in 2020 the subterranean aqueduct will have taken five decades and at least $6 billion to complete. It will snake 60 miles from the Kensico Reservoir in Westchester County through the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, supplying water to more than 8 million residents and thousands of factories and businesses.

City Water Tunnels No. 1 and No. 2, finished in 1917 and 1936, transport more than a billion gallons of water daily, but they leak badly in places. In 1954, engineers realized the only way to repair and maintain the older tunnels–and to increase capacity to meet growing demand–was to build a third, more sophisticated tunnel with valves to shut down and divert the flow of water. Plus, it would provide a fallback should any portion of the system be damaged by an event like an earthquake.”

Age: 34

Gender: Male

Occupation: Sandhog

Injury or Fatality: No

Other Witnesses: Yes – Refused Comment

BEGIN RECORDING

Captain Cousteau: Hello Mike! Thank you for meeting with me. Please recount your sewergator encounter with as much detail as possible…

Mike Warfield: I use a pneumatic drill that sinks 10-ft. holes into the rock. Dynamite is then tamped in with wooden poles. We use a massive machine to bore through the longest stretches of bedrock, and I love the sometimes dangerous, always labor-intensive drill-and-blast work. Planning for the tunnel began in the 1960s, and in 1970 the “sandhogs” began to dig. My dad was one of the first sandhogs.

The guys I work with are the closest friends I have on Earth. If all hell breaks loose and a hog is in danger, you go after him, no questions asked. I trust them with my life.

We’d brought in some piping to drain off excessive water. It had been a rainy spring and water in the tunnel was knee-high. We were all wearing waders. It was hard to move. Hard to work.

I don’t know if the beast was in the piping upon arrival, or if the gator had managed to find it’s way into the tunnel on its own. Regardless, it was enormous!

I waded into the deeper water to pound in the dynamite. I was halfway across the waterway when I came face to face with the hungry gator. I looked back and the gator surfaced and I looked him right in the face and stared at him for what seemed like an eternity.

He dragged me under the water five times. Though I wasn’t aware at the time, my arm was being ripped off. The gator hit me in my stomach and knocked the wind out of me and I dug and took my finger and gouged its eye. It spun and turned around and went away from me. I didn’t know I was missing an arm until I was wading back.

I got away from him, luckily. I mean, it was just a fight for survival. He was trying to eat and I was trying not to get eaten. The whole time I just felt myself bleeding to death. The whole time I was just screaming for help and asking God for forgiveness. I was shouting and then men were applying pressure to prevent me from bleeding out. I was praying and after that everything went dark. They called 911 and the ambulance picked me up.

A New York Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission captured the 15-foot-long alligator responsible for the attack and destroyed it. The photo below was taken after the incident. A necropsy was performed on the gator and examiners were able to recover my arm, but were unable to reattach it. Nine months later I received a bionic arm – a gift from Mayor Bloomberg.

The gator was incinerated and all media was kept away to prevent mass hysteria. People shouldn’t know that these animals are living beneath their city. People shouldn’t have to worry about these beasts. This is New York! Not the Everglades!

Picture taken when Alligator was Found:

pipegator2

Maps:

pmx0405sandhog008-lg

pmx0405sandhog009-lg

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“We pulled it out of a 8 inch line in Edmonton, I actually don’t know what it is, but I do know it sure scared me when I saw it on the CCTV, I thought we were going to have to call in CSI as it looked like it might have been Human. I just saw the back part and the curve of the jaw. It was a rather scary day.”  From: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beothuk/279622661/in/set-72157594345353903/

Speculation and Comments:

“It is an Herbivore, but what kind? I would hazard a guess by size, if it were domestic, a sheep or goat, if it were wild, a deer, or Caribou. If you know, I would be interested in hearing what is was.”

“It is the lower jaw of a domestic pig (or it could be a “feral” pig). It’s also a young one because behind the rear molars is a set of teeth that hasn’t yet erupted (come through the bone). I am intrigued by the wear in the middle teeth of the left jaw though – rough diet?”

“Still, that is a really weird thing to be pulling from a sewer line. Oh yeah – also look at the lower canine teeth that basically function as tusks. They are larger in adult males. Good find!”

Suggested Resources (for comparison):
www.flickr.com/photos/barbara-h/172343604/
www.flickr.com/photos/cat-sidh/83465171/
www.coueswhitetail.com/other_hunters/y-vs-old -lower-jaw-2…

Cover, New Yorker magazine, November 29, 1952
Illustrator: Arthur Getz 

BY Brendan Brosh, Alison Gendar, Jonathan Lemire and Wil Cruz, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Wednesday, October 15th 2008, 11:17 PM

Cowabunga!

Three blockheaded teenagers were busted playing in a sewer Wednesday in Queens – after getting lost while pretending to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, police sources said.

Schiller Milfort, 16, of Hollis, and Marvin Ottley, 17, of Bellaire, along with an unidentified 15-year-old boy, were shirtless and in their shorts and sneakers when firefighters plucked them out of a sewer in Kissena Park.

The make-believe heroes were crawling around the sewer system when they got confused and lost their way, police sources said.

They were not injured, officials said.

“These three idiots were playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and wanted to go into the sewers,” said one police source. “They were never in danger, just goofing off and being stupid.”

Milfort and Ottley were charged with criminal trespassing. The other teenager was released to his parents.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2008/10/15/2008-10-15_three_found_busted_after_getting_lost_in.html

Toys, toys, toys!

April 24, 2009

It is common to find toys in the sewers as children often flush them down the toilet or drop them in the gutter to be washed down storm sewers.

The collection includes a toy sewergator.  Perhaps, some kid thought this was his natural habitat?

“The hand of a doll that we pulled out of a storm line in Meadowlark Park in Edmonton, AB Canada. The doll was filled with sand so it looked rather real when Ernie flushed it into the Manhole.”

From: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beothuk/sets/72157594345353903/