Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Peeking at Ivan's SITU files: meaningless reports of sea monsters.Part Nine.

This cluster of "Ivan cases" is a little different from the ones we've been looking at. They consist of a small stack of clippings etc all about claims of observations of the British Columbian critter "Caddy". We had heard of a few of those in the previous 80+ sightings, but these were all laid out together in one place in the notebook. So, let's see what they say.

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.

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."

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. 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.

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 .....

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";

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;

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;

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.

Caddy, what or whoever you are, maybe you can continue to manifest now and then and save us from our dead-minded little selves.


  1. CC#7 [#91]: Despite the "problem" with to much vertebrae for a basking shark they found gill rakers and teeth leaving no doubt that it was a basking shark.

  2. I've not reasearched case CC#13 [#97] in deep. But there's a newspaper-clip of 15 April 1952 stating that a carcass pulled ashore at Ucluelet is not the beloved sea monster but only an sea elephant. The description of an sea elephant in this clip: body like a seal and head like an elephant... it's cadborosaurus. ;)

  3. Still enjoying these posts! Too bad you don't have Heuvelman's with you, but my guess is some or most of the original source materials are the newsclippings you have there. He has the testimony of a Mr. F.W. Kemp, who gave a full and articulate account of his August 1932 "Caddy" sighting to the Victoria Daily Times. (Wake of the Sea Serpents 441-42) "It did not seem to belong to the present scheme of things, but rather to the Long Ago when the world was young," he wrote, and he only told a few "trusted friends" for "fear of ridicule and unbelief." I'm always moved by the witness's own words, and by their sense of the strangeness of their experience. Their gut tells them that no one will believe them.

  4. Absolutely in love with the phrase that the creature "belonged to Long Ago when the world was young". [and it applies to the anomaly hypotheses whether you want an "Ivanish" one or a "Folkloric entity" type].

  5. Hello, Prof.

    Do snakes in the water undulate from side-to-side, or occasionally up and down? Sea snakes do the former. I have never seen a snake swimming with an up and down or vertical stroke. That probably means little. However, is there an ambulatory benefit to either type of locomotion? Most of the sightings refer to up and down movement as a whale would show. Great stuff, greatly enjoying it.

  6. Richard: this is not my area of expertise, but here are a few "Sherlockian" thoughts. All water mammals evolved into their advanced forms firstly on land and then they migrated back into the sea. As such, they were "stuck with" some elaborate genetics which was tough to re-do. That includes the backbone. The mammalian backbone is structured for great flexibility going forward and aft, but not as much side-to-side. Mammalian swimmers are therefore going to be stuck with an up-&-down body action to get thrust in the water [other than hands and legs of course; we are talking here about body movement for "big" thrust].

    The reptiles we know today are ground wallowers. Up and down motions don't work for them since they are on their bellies as a lifestyle. Most aquatic reptiles are semi-aquatic, spending most of their time on land or at least some major amount of it. They retain the side-to-side lashing movement to gain big thrust. Fish, who are also basically a belly-down planform have a similar optimum side-to-side whiplash of the spine to create thrust. In both lifetypes there is [to my poor knowledge] an additional "gathering" of the muscular mass to burst out in a first "escape" mode from a standstill.

    Once you are completely surrounded by a fluid, and that fluid mainly takes gravity out of the force equation, theoretically you should be able to polish your external form so as to efficiently cut the water and "be fast". That is obviously true as physics in the form of fluid dynamics has sculptured the outer appearance of fast Fish [ex. sharks],and fast Mammals [ex. dolphins] almost identically. Who's fastest will then depend upon how much muscular force can you efficiently direct towards your "big water-moving lever", i.e. tail. [ and how long and broad that lever is].

    Please take all this as Prof BS, as this is not my field, AND Nature is constantly laughing at our science. Whereas it is possible that good observation of body motion during swimming can be an indicator of species type, that will apply only to the sorts of species that we are familiar with and perhaps not so much to an "ancient" reptilian remnant form. Palaeontologists would know if skeletal remains indicate only sidewinder movement for water reptiles of large size.

    Obviously with folkloric critters, all bets are off.

  7. Reptiles and fish move side-to-side in the water, and thus the reported movement (up-and-down) of Caddy, Cassie, Bobo, and several West and East Coast North American "Sea Serpents" are clearly not serpents or even marine reptiles (including the "pleisiosaurs" (sic) mentioned in the article above). Caddy and kin might be ancient surviving forms of whales, evolved elongated seals/seal lions or even otters or dolphins in a row, but it is doubtful they are reptiles.

  8. I'm afraid that the "line of humps" sightings are pretty much only red herrings after all. See my blog posting and especially note the pictures at the bottom of the page:

    So the matter of undulations in any plane whatsoever are basically beside the point.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  9. I agree, of course, that any "line-of-humps" sightings in unquiet waters are very suspect. We would indeed be foolish wannabees to force normal wave action to become a lake monster of some kind. As always, I like to take each instance on its own terms. I can conceive at least an appearance of a many-humped creature manifesting in calm water at close sight. Such an event would be reported by an honest and observant witness as a water creature having many humps and in such a case would be justified in doing so.

    Regarding "undulations" in vertical vs horizontal planes: I am still interested in hearing such details from the reporters, however my former inclination to relate such information to actual physically-evolved animals has become much lessened by the feeling that I get from the observations that any truly anomalous sightings of these things are probably not of natural-selection-produced creatures at all, but rather denizens of some side-by-side existing paranormal reality. I'm keeping my mind open on this of course [only a fool would not with such little to go on], but these physical science reasoning processes seem to be the actual "red herrings" in these matters in my judgement.

  10. I live up in Northern Saskatchewan and just today June 27th 2013. A young man was attacked by something that he described as a creature with a horses head and had fins. He was taken to the nearest hospital with cuts and bruising. After being bit and pulled by the creature he was able to fight his way free. The incident occurred on the Buffalo River near the town of Dillon, Saskatchewan.

    1. extremely interesting claim. I hope that this gets a decent field investigation report [interviews plus site visit plus doctor's report]. If so, it could be worth something.



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