When I was helping my friends Cord Douglas and Martin Doudoroff make their film New Sensations at Boston University, we had many misadventures. We set off a whole apartment building's smoke alarm with our smoke machine and had the Boston Fire Department show up. We went to the offices of the now defunct Bradlees and wound up breaking office equipment, spilling paint, and once again setting off another smoke detector (and calling the police). We locked ourselves IN an apartment. We even sent our building supplies flying down the highway because we didn't secure them well enough. But never did we think to strike fear in the hearts of Kentuckiana fisherman by dumping an octopus in the Ohio River.
So, Zachary Treitz.... a salute to you from a fellow BU Film School grad. (Class of '93).
How did the octopus wind up in the Ohio River this week?
A 21-year-old college student from Louisville said in an interview Thursday that he put it there - after shooting videotape of the animal last Sunday for a film project.
He said he had purchased it - dead - from a local seafood shop.
The six-foot-wide octopus made headlines earlier this week when a Jeffersonville fisherman hooked the dead creature while angling for catfish below the dam at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, across from downtown Louisville.
Its discovery prompted officials to speculate that someone may have kept it as a pet and released it - dead or alive - into the river.
Octopuses are invertebrates that live only in salt water and cannot survive for long in fresh water.
Zachary Treitz, of Crescent Hill, told The Courier-Journal that he’s surprised at the interest in the octopus, which he said he had put in the river on Sunday morning after filming it for a picnic scene in a short film project he has been working on.
“I guess we didn’t think about the interest this would cause,” he said. “It was completely surprising.”
Treitz, a Boston University senior, said he’d purchased the octopus from a St. Matthews seafood store and considered eating it after using it in the film.
But it was too old, he said, so he and companions shoved it into the river. They were amazed, he said, to see it swirl life-like in the river’s eddies before disappearing from view.
Reporter Grace Schneider can be reached at (812) 949-4040.