Huge Python caught in Binictican Housing

...Tom Elliott here. I was at the time the FSD Watch Commander, call sign N9C. At about dusk a Marine Sergeant (Can't remember his name), his wife and two children went out for a stroll and to walk their PIT BULL on leash. Walking over the bridge between Bayani Village and Binictican the Sgt. stepped into the Jungle area above the stream to take a leak. He had the dog on leash and was standing on a cement slab doing his thing (this is his story) when the dog started pulling on the leash. The SGT said the dog yelped and tugged hard which made him turn his head around to see what the problem was. Well, just this huge snake coiled around the dog. He yelled to his wife and she came running, screamed, ran away and they went to the first house and called FSD.

...I was patrolling and responded to the dispatchers call (Tess Lazso Blue Shirt) along with the 1-0 base, 1-4 Bayani and 1-5 Binictican patrols. Really can't remember who all showed up. It took us about 5 - 10 minutes for us to get on scene and to talk to the Sgt. The snake had killed the dog and was no where to be seen. The Vet up in Cubi later confirmed the dog was 42 pounds having been seen three days earlier.

...If you were security, then you know that we didn't randomly shoot wildlife on base, so I called the Operations Officer Major Miller and discussed the situation.  It was decided that because of the size and location of the snake, that if it returned, then we should try and kill it because of the danger it could be to small children who played in the area. We left the dog in place and informed everyone in the area to stay away and wait for the snake to return to eat the dog. I told 1-4 to check the location every half hour.

...After maybe an hour or so, 1-4 reported the snake back and coiled back around the dog. When I got back on scene it was dark and using our Mag lights saw that the snake was coiled in a manner to squeeze the dog down it's throat. The complete head and neck of the dog down to the front shoulder blades was already inside the mouth/neck of the snake. It was easy to walk right up to the snake and place the barrel of my shotgun about 6 inches from the snake. I shot lower down the neck of the snake because I didn't want to blow the hell out of the dogs head. So I shot off approximately 14 inches of head and neck. The force of the shot also freed the dog from the mouth and the whole head area was covered with slime and distorted.

...We then put the snake and dog in the back of my truck and proceeded to 10-19A, the off base HQ, were the lock up was, right before you crossed the bridge over Shit River. We were never able to find a scale to weight the snake, but with 7 big guys we had a hard time lifting and carrying the snake. Some, due to the lose hanging grips we had, but it was HEAVY. There was a lot of arguing then and now on how much the snake might have weighted. It was 18 inches around most of it's length, and although it looked to be about 300 to 400 pounds, I would guess somewhere between 150 and 200 pounds. With the head off the snake measured 20 feet 8 inches. So it was a good 22 feet long.

...The next major issue was what to do with the snake. I shot it and by God I was going to get the skin. Major Miller and Colonel Tilly got involved and it looked like the snake would go to the major. Well as the good senior chief I was at the time, I made sure I misunderstood and took it to the small Nigrito Village located between the Cubi Point - Subic Bay intersection down from the fuel farm. I gave 40 dollars US to a group of the men and told them I needed the snake skin. They skinned it and I was already relieved from watch when I went to see how things were going. I had informed Major Miller that I was sorry but didn't understand and had already given the snake to some Nigritos and had no clue were I might find them.

...So I got the fresh skin and took it home. The Nigritos were cooking both the snake and the dog. I had the skin in a few days, but by that time Major Miller calmed down and I was allowed to keep it. The skin stayed in my house and was never displayed anywhere. I had a belt and wallet made from a small part of it out in Olongapo and planned to have boots made with the rest of the skin in Korea.  Never got the boots made, gave the wallet to my son-in-law much later and I still have and wear the belt. I brought the skin back to San Diego when I left Subic in Aug of 1989.

...I was going through a divorce by Dec of 89 and my ex-wife can't remember if she gave the skin away or sold it during a yard sale prior to going back east. She never liked it, plus it was never properly cured and had become brittle and scales were flaking off. My youngest daughter says she has a picture of us holding the snake also. I should be able to scan in and email you two pictures of the snake and I'll take a picture of the belt.

...MAC Shaffer can tell you about a snake we saw one night crossing the road going up the hill to Binictian. We were both drunk (well we did drive drunk all the time) driving home one night from town with me in front when I slammed on my brakes and there was a snake completely across the road. I mean both lanes and both shoulders with snake still in the jungle on both sides. In my drunken stupor (went to alcohol rehab in 91) I grabbed a (I thought) big stick and was going to hold the snake down until Shaffer could help. All I could think of was getting a jacket to match the boots I was going to have made. To make a long story short, I was bent over about the half way point of the snake with Shaffer yelling run, when I finally realized the snake was coming my way. I jumped, it lurched at me and ended up with the bottom of my Levi's pants leg firmly gripped in it's mouth. It then proceeded to head back toward the jungle dragging me along kicking and yelling for help. Schaffer ran back to his car, ran over the snake which started coiling wildly, while I became completely sober for one of the few times while I was in Subic. He then backed up running over the snake again which then let go of me and took off into the jungle like being ran over twice was no big deal.

God was that great duty or what!!!                                                          

Tom Elliott ETCM(SW) Retired in 1996
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