THE CADBOROSAURUS WATCH


Picture by David John, based on LeBlond/Bousfield composite and eyewitness accounts.

"Any fool can disbelieve in sea serpents..."
- Archie Willis, 1933

The waters off the Pacific Northwest coast of North America is said to be the home of a seafaring cousin of the Lock Ness Monster, dubbed Cadborosaurus by Victoria, British Columbia newspaper editor Archie Willis in the early 1930's. The large snake-like creature has been seen for over a thousand years from Alaska to Oregon, with most of the reported sightings occurring in the inland waters around Vancouver Island and northern Olympic Peninsula.

Vancouver biologist Dr. Edward L. Bousfield and Dr. Paul H. Leblond, a professor of oceanography at the University of British Columbia have created a composite description of the creature based on numerous sightings:

    1. It's dimensions, ranging from 5 to 15 meters in length;

    2. It's body form: snake-like, or serpentine, with extra ordinary flexibility in the vertical plane;

    3. The appearance of it's head, variously described as resembling that of a sheep, horse, giraffe or camel;

    4. The length of it's neck, elongated, ranging from one to four meters;

    5. The vertical humps or loops of the body, arranged in tandem series directly behind the neck;

    6. The presence of a pair of anterior flippers; posterior flippers absent or nearly fused with body;

    7. The tail; dorsally toothed or spiky, and split horizontally or fluke like at the top;

    8. The very high swimming speed, clocked up to 40 knots at the surface.


The Caddy watching "season" is between October and April, with most of the sightings occurring in this colder time of year.

What is Caddy? There are many theories; from a descendant of the great sea dinosaurs, to a type of primitive whale, to tourists drinking too many alcoholic beverages. The Pacific Northwest borders one of the deepest undersea trenches in the world. This region has a rugged coastline, with inlets and bays rarely seen and descriptions of Caddy have been remarkably similar for generations. On the other hand, the waters of Southern BC and Washington are some of the most heavily used in the world, and aside from Naden Harbor carcass, which disappeared before it could be studied properly (why do people lose dead sea monsters all the time?), no one has brought a dead Caddy to the UBC or UW bio labs.

"Men really do need sea-monsters in their personal oceans.
... An ocean without it's unnamed monsters would be like a completly dreamless sleep."
-John Steinbeck
The Log From the Sea of Cortez



From the Victoria Times-Colonist , August 9, 1997

Cadborosaurus, British Columbia's seagoing dinosaur, was seen twice during July by a family in Mill Bay, B.C.

Timothy and Laurice Mock, and their 14-year-old son, Christopher, were cruising up Princess Louisa Inlet in their 24-foot powerboat. "Laurice was scanning the shoreline for bears while Tim was at the wheel, watching for logs. The sea was glassy, and since the sun had not risen above the mountains, the channel was still in shade. Tim noticed a large log up ahead and altered his course accordingly. Suddenly, the 'log' split into three pieces."

"'As we ran past it, it disappeared,' Tim said, 'And all that was left was a swirl in the water, a mini-whirlpool. The log was gone.'"

The second July sighting occurred as the Mocks "were dropping anchor near Homfray Channel, adjacent to Desolation Sound. Once again, the sea was flat calm and the surrounding water was exceptionally deep--in some places up to 700 meters (2,310 feet)."

"'We were dropping anchor, and we were all on the foredeck. We had been poking along in the area for hours with no traffic," said Tim. Son Christopher said, 'What's that at the entrance?' When he looked up, Tim saw an unusual wake going back and forth with a parallel set moving along beside it."

"'It was weird. It (the wake) wasn't diminishing, and it wasn't in the direction it should have been. It was going along the shore rather than towards it.'"

Then Laurice Mock got a close look at the creature with her binoculars. "I got a good look at it," she said, "It had its head close to the water. It was like someone doing the breast stroke, like a snake."

Dr. Ed Bousfield, a retired cryptozoologist with the Royal British Columbia Museum, calls Cadborosaurus "a Mesozoic relic" and believes "the females come to shores of shallow estuaries to bear live young (similar to garter snakes)."

Dr. Bousfield has collected over 200 accounts of Cadborosaurus sightings over the years (See the Victoria, B.C. Times-Colonist for August 9, 1997).



From the Victorian Colonist , July 1997

A snorting, 20-foot-long "sea monster'' was spotted by two university students off the shores of a Pacific coastal beach in Victoria, British Columbia, the pair said Friday. Ryan Green, 18, a Simon Fraser University business student, described the rocky-faced creature as a twin-humped, round-bodied monster that swam across Telegraph Bay near suburban Saanich. It was about 49 feet from the rock Green and his friend, Damian Grant, were sitting on. Green said he and the 19-year-old general arts student at the University of Victoria saw the heavy-breathing creature surface twice before it disappeared into the calm waters. "All of a sudden, this head comes up, like a whale with no spray. And then this hump, the size of an inner tube in diameter. And then another hump. It's nothing I've ever seen before,'' said Green. He stressed that the puzzled pair was sober at the time of the sighting. Ed Bousfield, a biology research associate with the Royal British Columbia Museum, said the reptile-like creature is probably a cadborosaurus, one of the last living dinosaurs. I phoned these two chaps and let them do the talking, and their observations absolutely tally with the classical profile of the cadborosaurus,'' Bousfield said. Bousfield, who is writing a book on the deep-sea, predatory cadborosaurus with scientist Paul LeBlond, said about 160 recorded sightings of the swift-swimming monster have been reported. Due to "incredibly bad luck'', there are no such animals in captivity or museums, and a 1937 photograph is the only visible recording of the beast. "We get half a dozen records of sightings up and down the (Pacific) coast every year. All these people say the same thing about the animals, so there's got to be something there.'' He said the cadborosaurus was named in the 1930s after sightings in nearby Cadboro Bay.



Acknowledgments:

"Cadborosaurus: Survivor of the Deep" by Dr. Paul H. Leblond and Dr. Edward L. Bousfield is an excellent study into the criptid, discussing it's history, posible habits, and a very complete list of sightings.

Supernatural BC

Other Sightings sources:

Paul H. LeBlond, "Sea Serpents of the Pacific Northwest," Montana Magazine. XLIII (Autumn, 1993) p. 44-51.

Marge Davenport, "Caddy, Northwest Sea Serpent and Other Fishy Stories, " Afloat and Awash in the Old Northwest. Tigard, Oregon: Paddlewheel Press, 1988, p. 201-208

Peter Ciams, "Colossal Claude and The Sea Monsters," The Oregonian. September 24, 1967.




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