Wednesday 17 July 2013

More Sea Monster Reports from Ivan Sanderson's Files

I had posted on this page before but Jay Cooney brought it to my attention again because of the supposed Sea serpent film mentioned at the end, and its curious similarity to the more recent "Cadborosaurus" film taken in Alaska. Along the way I saw a few items I thought I needed to comment on but that I had missed when I was on the topic before.

An Australian Sea monster:

Here we go one last time:
Case#102: Foul Bay, BC, "1970". A giant snake was observed, 20' long. Its head was shaped like a cobra's, and was held about a foot out of the water while swimming. It had "fins" on its back.
[Sounds very much like an oarfish but one then wonders about the "cobralike" head. However, I opt for an oarfish and say that the "cobralike" head was the fancy of the witness. Both cobras and oarfishes have fixed, staring, round eyes.]
#103: Cadboro Bay, BC, 1969. Several witnesses observe Caddy from a distance of only 20 feet. No description given. ...
#105: West coast of Vancouver Island, BC, 1954. A 40' long "sea monster". It had a horse-like head with large lips. Dark brown body with one hump. Swam by undulating. More than 30 witnesses.
[Almost certainly a swimming moose with the horselike head, big lips and one prominent back hump. The wake was causing the "Undulating" effect-DD]

#106: Feather Banks in the Florida Keys, "1930s". Rather vague report which nevertheless intrigued Sanderson. Apparently this thing was only about 6-7" long but swam right by and under witness' boat in clear water. It had a very small head connected by a long neck to a smooth body. It was reddish brown colored. It sounded like the witness was trying to tell Ivan that he saw a miniature sea monster, and Ivan was a bit exasperated that he wasn't clearer about what he saw. [Sounds very like a sea lion but in the wrong ocean. A young one of the Hoy SS type, perhaps?-DD]
#109: Western tip of Sicily, 1968. Carcass. [we had a lot of these in this first half, but this is the last one]. Witnesses observed bones sticking out of the sand. {i.e. no one knows how long the thing had been buried there}. The animal was more than 23' long. It had 33 vertebrae, and a flat "duck-shaped" head. Another case where the local scientist couldn't identify it. [Evidently an alligator-like "Medcroc" skeleton going on other information-DD]

#110: Hong Kong, China, 1969. Pretty hard to easily swallow this one. A bunch of teenagers were partying on the beach when one of the girls started screaming about a monster. She and one boy were alerted to look in that direction by a "crying" sound. The thing that was making the sound was slowly coming ashore in their direction. It was 20-30' long, all black body, and a big head. The worst part of it were those "Green Eyes". The hysterical teenagers began to run, and were relieved to see the thing shuffle back into the water. [I take this to be a lost Elephant seal once again-DD]

#111: Bradda Head, Isle of Man, 1937. Now this is the kind of case that I like. It comes to Ivan, not as a newspaper clipping, but as a personal letter. [illustration at the left]. It is simple, straight-forward. And its description is buttressed by a neat sketch done by the observer. All this needs to elevate it to the status of a good UFO-style case is a researcher interview and investigation. But this we don't often have in sea monster data, so I'll gratefully take this.
As you can read, the witness had a clear but brief view of the total animal, and it was shaped like a plesiosaur. Others might wish for more, but this one rings very real to me.

Digitally cleaned copy by DD

#112: Aleutian Islands, 1969. An elongated animal with an undulating swimming motion. A head like a dog's with whiskers and close-set eyes. Long red-yellow [amber?] colored hair. No length was given. Witness swears was not a pinniped. [Almost certainly another sighting of "Steller's Sea Ape" and presumably an otterlike creature at sea.-DD]

#113: North of Nova Scotia, 1956. A 45' long white-spotted sea turtle with 15' long flippers plowing through the sea. [one wonders if the witnesses had seen hump-backed whales before].[I concur, this is a humpback whale-DD]  

#114: Howe Sound, Georgian Straits, BC, "1960s." Witnesses on shore see two creatures coming parallel to shoreline. Both heads out of water 5'. Camel-shaped heads 20"[?] long. Gulls flocking around at height. Brownish-yellow body with 14"d necks. Water consistently disturbed [for?] 30' behind, leaving witnesses to guess at body length of such dimension. One animal dove and came up with large octopus in mouth, which it ate gulpingly like a dog. Scraps flew about, which the gulls raced for. Other animal stood patiently by, then both swam off together, stopping again further up coast. [A longneck with a head 20 inches long scales out to be just over 33 feet long. The original I reprinted had said 20' but that plainly had to be a misprint for 20": 14 inches would be the thickness of the middle of the neck, 10 inches or less the thickness just behind the head and the full length of the neck 10-11 feet long. Obviously the witnesses only saw the forward halves of the necks.]

Cleaned up view follows and what emerges looks to me like
 a pretty good view of a swimming moose. Note duck in foreground.

Backing up to an earlier page:
As a preamble, I'm not going to try to make sense out of the whole Caddy crypto-issue. That's not only impractical, but persons far smarter than I am have already given it a serious go. Whether one chooses to buy into their hypothesis or not [pleisiosaurs], anyone interested in Caddy should begin by surveying LeBlond and Bousfield's book for the best overview.

Also, there have been claims of over 300 reported sightings of something which might be Caddy. I'd be crazy to try to summarize that. So, let's be satisfied with what we've been doing, and just see what Ivan would have seen in his own file if he'd looked there in 1960.

The first thing that he might have noticed is that people weren't agreeing as to when the sightings began. One person was claiming 1933 [without giving the details], while another letter claimed a sighting in 1905. For me, I've put the beginnings of this phenomenon as "prehistoric", meaning before written history and records. This is because of the role that a Caddy-like thing plays in PNW coast Amerindian lore, and the several rock carvings which seem to picture it. None of Ivan's clipping resources speak of this, however.

Caddy case #1[ whole case#85]: Georgian Gulf, BC, 1905. "James Murray" witness. This sighting is merely mentioned without details, but in the context of Caddy as a 30-40' long horse-headed critter; a later clip says that Murray's sighting was of a horse or camel-shaped head on a lengthy neck, and a serpentine body swimming with a sidewinder motion[?]. He asserted that he was thoroughly familiar with seal-like animals and this was not that;

CC#2 [#86]: Pender Island,BC, 1934. "Cyril Andrews" case. Witness was confronted with monster only 10' away. It was 40' long.

The case illustrated at the left was not in this set of Sanderson notes. It is an alleged potential mini-Caddy found in the belly of a sperm whale in 1937. Quite an elaborate brouhaha was stirred up by this thing and its display, and it seems to have been taken seriously by scientists pro and con. A very good analysis of this incident/carcass is on the internet [right here on Blogspot], by Darrin Naish, entitled Tetrapod Zoology, September 9, 2006. Naish views the carcass as still unsolved.

I mention the above because it may have had something to do with a wave of interest in Caddy in the late 1930s. In 1939 there was some sort of documentary [mainly interviews] made about the phenomenon, wherein the script mentioned two cases briefly, along with the statement that there were already "several hundred witnesses" to the beast. [This carcass and the other Caddy carcasses do not represent any evidence of any value going by the general consensus of opinion. They could be any of a number of common animals and they most likely do NOT represent any novel unknown species-DD]

CC#3 [#87], Cadboro Bay, BC, just pre-1939. Submarine cable layers disturbed the beast at depth.
" His total length was about 40 feet. The head was as big as that of a horse and shaped the same, though it had no ears. It was chestnut brown in colour, with hair on the head and body. No fins or tail as far as we could see. When it opened its mouth its teeth were two inches long. It was accompanied by a smaller one. Junior was the same, but half size." [Despite the reported lack of ears I have a pretty good idea this was a swimming cow moose with her calf, with a 40 foot wake in the mother's case]

CC#4 [#88]: exact location unspecified, just pre-1939. Chief Justice James Brown [Saskatchewan]:
" 35 to 40 feet long, like a monstrous snake. His head was like a snake's and came out of the water four or five feet and straight up. Six or seven feet from the head, one of his coils showed clearly, six or seven feet long, fully a foot thick, perfectly round and dark in colour, swimming very fast".

CC#5 [#89]: Point Estevan, BC, 1942. Clip merely says that Caddy was sighted.

CC#6 [#90]: Vancouver Island, BC, 1943. Small boat rammed and sunk by monster.

CC#7 [#91]: Vernon Bay/Effingham, BC, 1947. Carcass as pictured to the left. This carcass was measured at 45' long. It had a skull 12" across and was said to resemble a horse or a camel. It counted 145 vertebrae. It apparently was transported around on display.

CC#8 [#92]: Coast of Vancouver, BC, 1951. This might be a case or merely a summary of claims [difficult to be sure]. Body like snake, smooth back rather than finned [or furred?]. Horse mane. Coiled appearance. Head like a camel, and body c.2 1/2' in diameter. Shy behavior. Claims say that the creature also inhabits some interior lakes.

[Caddy composite drawing based on swimming moose reports]
CC#9 [#93]: This is part of the confusing Qualicum Bay business of 1953. There were three separate news stories associated with what may or may not have been the same instance. The stories do not agree. In my judgement, these are referring to at least two different incidents, one in February and one in April. [The clippings are very faded and hard to read].
The disputed February incident: On the 13th or 14th, ten witnesses went on record as having seen a 50' long animal with a head like a seal, and having three humps on its back, "cavorting about" the bay for more than an hour. The thing was watched by some through binoculars, who stated that it was definitely one animal and not some line of several seals.

As I read the next article closely [much to the distress of my over-worked eyeballs], it seems clear that the next case is separate from this, as it is stated to have happened on a date which requires it to be a week later. Here 25 witnesses thought they saw Caddy at a distance of 300 yards. Description: humps and fins. Five men rowed out to meet the monster armed with a camera. The beast resolved to be two gamboling sea lions.

CC#10 [#94]: I'm calling this a separate case. Qualicum Bay, BC, 1953. The April case consisted of witnesses in a boat approaching something that initially looked like it had three heads. Closing in, they were astonished to note that the thing was indeed one creature but having separate heads all shaped like a seal's but swearing that it was not three seals. The animal allegedly reared up, showing itself to be one thing. Well, ummmmm .....[Three seals and either some peculiar witnesses or a journalist with a peculiar sense of humor. I'd be willing to write off ALL of the Qualicum Bay 1953 cases to be based on one or two earlier sightings consisting of several seals swimming in a bunch close together, and then this April Fools sighing making fun of the earlier reports]

CC#11 [#95]: undated clipping of c. the early 1950s, Esquimalt, BC. Carcass. Eight foot long. Head like a horse. Mixed attempts by scientists to identify [ex. White Sturgeon; Ribbonfish];

CC#12 [#96]: undated clipping of c. early 1950s, Brentwood Bay, BC. sighting of animal with camel-shaped head and long hairy neck; accompanying illustration is a very nice thing done by David John;

CC#13 [#97]: undated clipping of c.early 1950s, West coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Carcass. Native American fishermen bring carcass ashore at Ucluetet. Fourteen foot long. Head like an elephant. Body eel-shaped, and coiled;

CC#14 [#98]: Patricia Bay, BC, another undated clipping of the same era. Thirty foot long animal with head like a goat, two short horns, and a bristly beard below. Small bright eyes. Three black coils exhibited by body when it swum with "snake-like glide"[Undoubted swimming moose]

CC#15 [#99]: Sidney, BC, undated clipping of probably 1959 era. 40-50' long creature with pointed head and long slender neck. Brownish body with three prominent humps. Neck 10-12" in diameter. Swam in undulatory manner[Suddenly a "Classic" Longneck 3-humped conformation];

CC#16 [#100]: Race Rocks, BC, undated c.1959. Serpentine creature seen. Head reared up. 8-10' of body seeable behind head while swimming. Serrated fins down mid-back. Very fast swimmer with lots of wake[Possible oarfish if the 8-10 feet of back/neck visible was horizontal at the waterline];

CC#17 [#101]: Oak Bay, BC, undated c. 1959. Snake-like creature moving at very high speed. Surfaced making huge amounts of bubbles. Definitely not seals.

All of that is quite an array for one location. It was that plus the native Amerindian legends of the Wasgo/Sisiutl/Sea-Wolf that interested me in this beast in the first place long ago. I've put my own [feeble] study of it on the blog [as some of you will know], deep in the past posts. I believe that there is a VERY lot there to recommend that an anomalous creature of some nature is "about" in the Georgian Straits and has been from folkloric times. Whether we are dealing with flesh [which Ivan would want], or with paranormal agencies [which he would not], there seems something to this one.

And how profound a part of the Life Mystery is it?? How does one go back to ancient Pompei and find Caddy waiting for us in the mosaics of that destroyed city?? What are we dealing with here?? Whatever it is, with our noisy skeptical minds, and our noisy irritating civilization, we are on the verge of losing it. A great shame, methinks.
[This last illustration is probably based on a wandering elephant seal, as per the recent blog
 on the topic-DD]

[Jay Cooney mentions that the coiling tail of the Wasgo/Whale Eater is probable for a Mosasaur but not for other candidates and I think that was a valid observation.-DD]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for mentioning my Whale-Eater observation Dale!


This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.