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Saturday, 29 June 2013

Hagan Mystery Creature

"Hagan Mystery Creature by Thomas Finley 2013.
This painting is a reconstruction of a mysterious carcass found washed ashore off Southern California 34 years ago. The witness Julie Turtle Hagan described the the creature as being 10 feet long, a bulky body like that of a Walrus with the unusual appearance of a Platypus.
The aquatic mystery mammal also had a blow hole like that of whales & dolphins. Authorities from a local Sea Life Center removed the carcass never to be seen of again or identified.

It is a true oddity. Julie only mentioned the skin was dark brown and leathery "Like" a walrus not a Walrus. Over all appearance was Dolphin like with a blow hole. You are welcome to use it Dale.

Thomas Finley"

After making some remarks about the anatomy which had a bearing on the identity, Thomas, Jay Cooney and myself were provided with more information. The description had come by way of Julie Hagan. Ms. Hagan described the unidentifiable carcass as being that of an aquatic mammal which had a body that was comparable in its bulkiness to that of an elephant seal. According to Ms. Hagan, the color of the skin was leathery and dark brown like that of a walrus, but was much darker and had little wiry hair. The animal reportedly had a blowhole and a flat tail like a dolphin. However, the carcass also had several unique features such as a large bite mark on its side, two sets of  (the hind flippers were firm and not vestigial), and a head which was described as having a flat, leathery "bill" like that of a platypus. Other than the large wound on its side, the carcass was fully intact and Ms. Hagan feels that it had recently washed ashore. Julie was able to measure the carcass and estimated that its body was ten feet long, approximately four feet high, and possibly 3.5 feet wide.

This is almost certainly a primitive cetacean of some sort. What struck Jay Cooney and myself was the possibility this could be another "Gambo" (certain features in the description contradict the description in Gambo's case, but there might have been mistakes made in observation or in transmission) and Thomas Finley graciously provided us with a revised reconstruction.

"My good friend Jay Michael Cooney will be presenting a in depth article on Julie Turtle Hagan's eyewitness account of this aquatic mystery creature. It is a great achievement for me as it is rare I get to paint a reconstruction with the assistance of not only the witnesses fine details but also the help from others Jay and Dale Drinnon included to help identify the species and morphology of the animal on the drawing board. Thank you everyone this is a great example of teamwork and its many challenges along the way to find answers we seek.
Thomas Finley"

I note with interest the fact that the mouth is now more definitely that of a beaked whale. Since Jay Cooney's interview will contain new information I am not privy to, this shall also be interesting to see his version of the article.


  1. Great article Dale, I'm glad we agree on the primitive cetacean hypothesis. I really do wonder if this is a Gambo, and Owen was 15 when he saw his carcass so mistakes would certainly be understandable for him recounting it a few years later.

  2. Thank you Dale, Thomas and Jay for this. Its very unfortunate that Ms Hagan doesn't had a camera with her, so until new information will be uncovered this story will become another mystery. There is naturally the possibility that it was a unknown (or more unlikely a prehistoric) cetacean but then we haven't safely excluded a more recent cetacean. The problem is that just while we can't explain some described features we can't say its not possible that its a modern cetacean: the Ataka-Globster was described as having tusks and "no eyes". No features of a whale but nevertheless it was a whale. Trunko was described as having a lobster-like tail, a trunk and fur. No features of a whale but nevertheless it was a whale. The Son of Trunko was described as giant lizard with fur. No features of a whale but nevertheless it was a whale. The Santa Cruz carcass was described as having elephantine legs with toenails and a duckbill. No features of a whale but nevertheless it was a whale. In face of the "duckbill" I' am wondering btw if anyone has shown the pictures of this case to Ms Hagan?

    A further point to consider (and especially for further investigation) is the "local Sea Life Center". Is it a fact that they haven't identified it or just an assumption from Tom or Ms Hagan as they never heard more of it (what is not astonishing btw as most carcasses never see any publication other than a database or scientific papers etc.)? Which brings me to the questions of the exact location and the exact date of the find?

    1. Hello Markus, I'll have an article out within the next couple hours which will hopefully answer your questions. Go to for it

  3. The first thing that comes to my mind is possibly some form of Stellas Sea Cow, perhaps a type unencountered before.
    The second is perhaps the Marinne Life Centre may have some record surely where such an oddity was buried or at least some paperwork on the creature. If they had had any scientific sense samples SHOULD have been taken.

    1. Indeed I also thought of Steller's sea cow right off also, but sea cows and whales are equally incapable of accounting for the rear limbs as reported


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