1857, June 4: Port Charlotte Mermaid

So, while searching for something else, I recently found this odd item listed in an English newspaper, dated for July 30, 1857.

"A Mermaid -- The declaration of two fishermen on the Argyleshire coast appears in the Shipping Gazette. They say-- 'We, the undersigned, do declare that on Thursday last, 4th June, 1857, when on our way to the fishing station, Lochindaal, in a boat, and when about four miles S.W. from the village of Port Charlotte, being then about 6 PM, we distinctly saw an object about 6 yards from us, in the shape of a woman, with full breasts, dark complexion, comely face, and fine hair, hanging in ringlets over the neck and shoulders. It was above the surface of the water to about the middle, gazing at us and shaking its head. The weather being fine, we had a full view of it, and that for 3 or 4 minutes. -- John Williamson, John Cameron. -- Islay, June 9th, 1857.'"

I haven't yet been able to track down the edition of the Shipping Gazette that is mentioned, and so cannot yet confirm the story started there... but there seems no good reason to not mention the incident while I'm still digging. So there you go.