I found this on a photo search yesterday and I found it EXTREMELY interesting.
Identifying the Unidentifiable
July 27, 2012
Hunting sea beasts
“I need money,” I said. “I need a boat.”
My editor, as a broad rule, does not believe in sea monsters. Even those, like the Cadborosaurus, that have been seen by over 300 seafarers.
If I’m insane, I argued to my editor on a Friday afternoon in The World office, then I must be in good company.
No more than 60 years ago, a fishing crew watched an unknown creature approach their ship off Cape Arago.
If those men were insane, so too perhaps were the fishermen who recorded a humped beast in Alaskan waters in 2009. Footage later appeared on the Discovery Channel.
If we are insane, then our ringleader must be Paul LeBlond, an emeritus professor from the University of British Columbia. For 50 years, LeBlond has collated hundreds of monster sightings.
Commonly described as a “horse-headed megaserpent,” the creature has all the hallmarks of the Loch Ness Monster. In the Pacific Northwest, experts know the beast by a different name: The Cadborosaurus.
Skeptical? LeBlond asks doubters to read about the Cadborosaurus before brushing it aside.
“This isn’t like UFOs that are a stretch of the imagination,” LeBlond said. “This is a zoological possibility. There are still animals being discovered in the ocean.”
In the interest of pushing the zoological frontier, I wanted to charter a boat in search of the Cadborosaurus. My dream was to be the first man to lay claim to the brute.
It was the hunt for the leviathan.
I set sail from Charleston Marina on the 14th of June with a five-man crew, pressed between 15-knot winds and the allure of the unknown.
The odds were against us. While the Cadborosaurus is sighted from California to Alaska, it has been more than 50 years since one was spied off Cape Arago.
Among experts, British Columbia is known as ground zero for Cadborosaurus sightings. In the 1930s, the beast was named after its frequent sightings in Cadboro Bay, Vancouver Island.
But even in the heart of “Caddie” country, the serpent is elusive. Despite several expeditions, LeBlond has never seen one in real life. In late May, a National Geographic film crew at his side, the Canadian made another unsuccessful search.
LeBlond didn’t rate the chances of my own expedition.
“You would basically keep your eyes open and go to sea without a strong expectation of seeing anything, because the creature is rarely seen,” he said.
But he offered some advice: Keep your camera ready. Too many photo opportunities have been missed by distracted observers.
“They stand there ogling the creature and forget about their camera,” he said. “One good photo is worth a lot of eyewitness observations.”
My crew was up for the challenge. Although my editor was absent, I had a World photographer at my side.
I also had Mel Campbell of the Wild Women of Charleston. When Campbell heard of The World’s expedition, she insisted on joining.
“I just have this feeling, a good feeling that today is the day. Don’t you?” said Campbell, as our boat churned through the brackish water of the Charleston channel.
And, unlike LeBlond, I had the eagle eyes of Margie Whitmer, the owner of Betty Kay Charters.
Fate had brought me to Whitmer, a red-haired woman with a warm, motherly charm. When I first called, she not only agreed to reserve me her 47-foot boat; she also told me, unexpectedly, that her father had sighted a Cadborosaurus off the coast of Washington.
Margie recounted the story: It was 1956. Whitmer’s father was salmon fishing with four friends on a foggy day in Neah Bay. A creature appeared, which he described as “long, dark, bigger than a boat.”
“He said, ‘I’m never going out again in an open boat, a small boat, for salmon,’” Whitmer said. “It scared him that much.”
I asked whether her father might have been joking.
Whitmer shook her head.
“He was just very serious, to the point that you know he was rattled,” she said. “And he was a big strong man and nothing could disturb him. But that sure did.”
After 30 minutes, we reached open water. We were alone now, two miles from land, a crouton in a teal soup.
Our boat churned toward Cape Arago lighthouse, our eyes probing the horizon.
An hour passed and our hopes began to fray. No necks. No humps. No fins.
Compounding matters, seasickness began to take hold of me. I could barely hold my harpoon.
We charted a course homeward.
As our boat pulled into the marina, a sea lion lazed on the pier. In a search built on hearsay and dreams, its flesh, so blubbery and tangible, taunted me.
Be it Cadboro Bay or Loch Ness, few monsters appear to those who search for them. Most witnesses, like Whitmer’s father, stumble on the beast by accident.
Sadly, those sightings are never enough for the insatiable appetite of the scientific record.
Jan Hodder, a Charleston-based marine biologist from Oregon State University, says while little is known about many deep sea creatures, those closer to shore are well-documented.
“Just think of how many people are on the ocean all the time,” she said.
A British paleontologist, Darren Naish, is less polite. He says Cadborosaurus mavens, like Paul LeBlond, have created a composite creature based on body parts from different sightings.
“Accounts used to support the reality of ‘Cadborosaurus’ likely represent a hodge-podge of seal and deer sightings, as well as sightings of other animals and phenomena,” Naish wrote in his blog for Scientific American.
These comments are fuel to the fire of unbelief. While I remain empty-handed today, I am cheered by a 1933 editorial in the Victoria Daily Times by Archie Willis, an editor more imaginative than my own.
“Any fool can disbelieve in sea serpents,” he wrote.
Reporter Daniel Simmons-Ritchie can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 249, or at email@example.com.
Basically you have a situation with sightings assumed to be in the shape of the newspaper article's sketch. Creatures with necks 3-6 feet long need to be separated out from the more definitely Longnecked category of creatures reported with necks 6-12 feet long (and perhaps twice that actually.) and a body length of 10-20 feet long to go with the shorter-necked category but 20-40 feet to go along with the longer necks 12 feet long or so. (That is, the LongNecked creatures are up to 30-50 feet long total, length of neck assumed about 1/3 to 1/4 of total length, and shoter-necked creatures in the range of 10-20 feet long total with a head like that of a horse or camel reported on both categories, only a neck reported as half as long in the smaller category. The larger sized longer necked category now matches with Tim Dinsdale's Reconstruction of the Loch Ness Monster in its basic measurements and proportions.)
We can now return to LeBlonde's creatures listed above.
His long bodied creature is clearly the same as "THE GREAT SEA SERPENT" Otherwise reported World-wide in all bodies of water, freshwater and saltwater, and described in similar terms all over. It is also illustrated as the tail section of the newspaper article's monster sketch
The two kinds of animals identified by LeBlond and pictured at the top of this article are the bull and cow moose, and type 2 is indeed the "Adorned"version with more abundant mane and horns (antlers) but still within the same species, as the original document has stated. a big bull moose can be as much as over 15-16 feet longtip of snout to tip of tail. Those estimates of 20 feet long overall were really quite close
|Swimming Cow Moose and Calf|
|Swimming Bull Moose|