Mysterious object off East Beach to stay underwater... for now

Mysterious object off East Beach to stay underwater... for now

The Westerly Sun


WESTERLY — The strange object stuck in the sand off the coast of East Beach, which has captured the attention of many, including news outlets across the country, will stay rooted underwater for the time being.

A scheduled operation to attempt removal of the circular object with eight legs capped with concrete was canceled Tuesday because of deteriorating conditions, including heavy wave action and rip currents, said Peter Brockmann, East Beach Association president.

The association had planned to have Rocky’s Tree Service of Charlestown attempt to pull the object out of the water using heavy equipment on the beach. On Wednesday, Brockmann said a different approach might be used.

“We expect very soon to have a diver go down and see if he can, and how easily, dig sand away from one of the legs to see if we can get a better idea just how deep it’s embedded, what the rest of the leg might look like and whether anything is attached to the end of the leg, which should then provide greater detail about the other legs as well,” Brockmann said.

The goal, Brockmann said, is to pull the object out in one piece and avoid it breaking during the removal operation. “Because of the enormous pressures working against pulling it out of its grave as is, we need to tread more carefully so we can remove it intact and not have it break apart on us,” Brockmann said.

Depending on what the diver finds, Brockmann said, high-pressure water or air might be used to remove sand from around the legs to ease the resistance.

“We think it’s critical to remove this all in one piece so that we might better be able to identify it and, more importantly, so we don’t leave possibly dangerous pieces of it still embedded in the surf zone,” Brockmann said.

With any luck the object can be pulled out of the water next week and then the association will attempt to have it identified, Brockmann said.

The object, which is about 10 feet off the shore at low tide, has received television news coverage and newspapers, including the Washington Post and New York Times, have carried news wire accounts. The original story on the object has remained the top-read story on The Sun website for days.

Readers, both online and through e-mail, have offered both serious and humorous theories on what the object is and how to remove it.

dfaulkner@thewesterlysun.com


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