Cadborosaurus – a saltwater plesiosaur

A plesiosaur skeleton
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The only known video footage of Cadborosaurus willsi gives the best clues yet to what it really is: a saltwater pod of plesiosaurs.

The Alaskan sea monster

In 2009, Kelly Nash, a fisherman who regularly works the waters of Bristol Bay, had a clear sighting of the famed Alaskan sea monster, or sea serpent. It measures about 30 feet long, with at least two humps. In the most striking scene in the Nash footage, the creature blew air out of a hole in its neck. This last part led one commenter to say that this creature is a common bottle-nosed dolphin—in short, a whale. But this creature is far too large for that.

Since 1734, more than 300 claimed sightings have taken place. The most common place where people have sighted these creatures is Cadboro Bay, near Victoria, British Columbia. Hence its name Cadborosaurus, “the Cadboro Lizard,” or simply “Caddy.” The creature gained the species name willsi from Archie Willis, the Victoria newspaper editor who first coined the name Cadborosaurus for these animals.

Description of Cadborosaurus

The Effingham carcass, a possible Cadborosaurus. Vancouver, BC. Photo: unknown; said to be in public domain.

The Effingham carcass, a possible Cadborosaurus. Vancouver, BC. Photo: unknown; said to be in public domain.

Edward L. Bousfield and Paul H. LeBlond made the most complete description yet of “Caddy.” Any given one of these animals measures 15 to 45 feet long. One-third of that length is in its neck. It has a pair each of pectoral (front) and pelvic (rear) flippers. It is a very good swimmer; one witness watched it swim as fast as 40 knots. Most witnesses describe humps or loops in its back as it skims the surface.

In 1936, a carcass washed up at Camp Fircom, British Columbia. Then in 1937, a whaling crew found a 20-foot carcass of an animal that might have been a Cadborosaurus in the belly of a sperm whale. Its head looked like that of a horse, and its tail had several fins and spines. The men at the Naden Harbor whaling station took many photographs. Sadly, they did not keep the carcass. They either lost it, or someone stole it—no one has ever figured out which, or gotten the carcass back.

In 1947, the Effingham carcass washed up near Vancouver Island. (See photo.)

What Cadborosaurus might be

Cadborosaurus is most likely a plesiosaur. Bousfield and LeBlond have described a creature that looks a lot like several creatures that witnesses have seen in several freshwater lakes around the world. Pods of plesiosaurs seem to live in Lake Champlain (Vermont and Quebec), Lake Okanagan (British Columbia), Lake Windemere (England), and Loch Ness (Scotland). (The Loch Ness pod might have died out by now. The water in Loch Ness is dirty and murky; the other three lakes are clean.)

Cadborosaurus differs from these seeming plesiosaurs in several ways:

  1. It swims in salt water, not fresh water. So nothing confines it.
  2. It is much less shy than its freshwater counterparts. “Champ”, “Ogopogo,” and “Nessie” have been notoriously hard to sight. “Caddy” is easy to spot. This is why we have so many good and consistent descriptions of it.

Though “Caddy” is not shy, it is not aggressive either. No “Caddy” has ever threatened a human being.

Featured image: a plesiosaur skeleton, and an artist’s concept of a plesiosaur head. Photo: Justin Pickard, 20 June 2010. CC BY-SA 2.0

Also published here.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

31 Responses to Cadborosaurus – a saltwater plesiosaur

  1. Charles Wheat says:

    Really? REALLY?! This is unbelievably derp. In the video and the article, there is reference to the pictures of the Loch Ness Monster, WHICH ARE AN ADMITTED HOAX. Do ANY of the people on that video or this site actually study marine biology? I know you people doesn’t always appreciate peer-reviewed papers and journals, but a “popular” TV show and EASILY doctored photographs are your only evidence for these “dinosaurs” and yet you’re calling this news? Really? *shakes head*

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Be careful that you do not break your silly neck with your headshaking. I admit no such thing as you accuse, about the Loch Ness creature not being real. (Though, sadly, I suspect that the pod of plesiosaurs that formed the basis for those sightings might be extinct by now; Loch Ness is polluted.) And sing your hoity-toity elsewhere, if you please.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Loch Ness is polluted”

        No it isn’t. It’s murky because of peat runoff, but in terms of actual pollution it’s WAY cleaner than Windermere is.

        Needless to say, neither lake contains plesiosaurs. Plesiosaurs are extinct.

  2. Ace says:

    This is pretty silly Terry.

  3. Charles Wheat says:

    Ah, rather I meant it was an admitted hoax in the sense that the most iconic photo of the Loch Ness Monster, namely the “Surgeon’s Photograph” taken in 1934, was deliberately faked. (For reference, http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/nessie.html)

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That goes to show only that one man exhibited a retouched photograph. That does not in and of itself show that the pod of plesiosaurs responsible for all those sightings never existed.

  4. Joel V says:

    If this stuff were legitimate it would be in the news, or a zoology journal, not some sensationalist piece-o’-crap monster hunter show.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      It’s time you changed your assumptions about what is legitimate, and what is not.

    • Toney H says:

      You mean the demon-controlled MSM “news”; or, some of the atheist controlled, evo loving zoology journals ????

      Pale-face make joke – LOL !

  5. Ace says:

    There is no evidence of a dinosaur living in said lake outside a few claims and some grainy footage. Come back to me when you have some real hard evidence.

  6. Night Jaguar says:

    In the past you’ve said Noah brought dinosaurs on the ark. Where’s your evidence for this claim?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      What’s your evidence against that? And recall: Noah brought specimens of every land animal on board, and every flying animal. He didn’t have to bring the swimmers on board.

      • It appears from some of the comments that human reason / logic has been thrown out the window. I wonder if some of the same people are the ones who accept the evolutionary thinking that such creatures died out umpteen millions of years ago. Me thinks that such documented sightings challenge their mindless reliance on the evolutionary millions of years mentality………

      • Night Jaguar says:

        You’re the one who made the claim, therefore the burden of proof falls on you.

        Anyway, how did Noah fit every dinosaur that lived on land in his ark? Some of them were pretty huge.

    • Toney H says:

      Job ch. 40 & 41 !

      Where’s your evidence against it ???????

  7. Harrison M D says:

    Sorry to spoil this, but look up “King of herrings” it is an oarfish that matches this description.

  8. GP says:

    There’s a few things strange about the “living dinosaur” theory – why is it that only plesiosaurs have survived? Where are the Ichthyosaurs (sp?) or for that matter the T. Rex’s ect. Or did the dinos that were on Noah’s ark all evolve (ahem) into plesiosaurs?

    In addition, the “proof” you deliver – , “eyewitness accounts”, occasional video clips and photos… well, forgive me if I’m wrong, but there’s just as much photo and video evidence for UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, etc. By your own standards of acceptable evidence, these must therefore exist.

    Also, your claim about Loch Ness being “disgustingly polluted” (as per your previous comments) and “dirty” is also a clear indication of just how shoddy your research is. The water is murky yes, but that’s because of peat deposits, not polution. There’s nothing nearby to pollute the water. Loch Ness is not “dirty.”

    In addition, you keep making references (unsourced, of course) to “pods” of dinosaurs. Please give examples of instances where there has been a sighting of more than one moster at the same time? It’s never been Loch Nessies, it’s never been Champs. Where are these pods you keep hoping are out there.

    Also you claim “Noah brought specimens of every land animal on board, and every flying animal. He didn’t have to bring the swimmers on board.”

    Firstly, God said: “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” Gen 6:17

    Secondly, “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.” Gen 6:19

    Now, I love how you put words into God’s mouth, because where exactly did He say “I’m going to kill every living thing, but it’s ok, fish, and dolphins and whales and dinosaurs and ducks are ok.” In addition, where did He say “Ok, Noah, 2 of every animal, but don’t worry about the fish and ducks?”

    “all flesh wherein the is the breath of life” seems pretty inclusive, if you ask me.

  9. Kyle says:

    Truly astonishing.

    This is your evidence for living dinosaurs? A few pictures? A few people saying they saw them?

    Terry, if these claims were actually true, don’t you understand that this would be the biggest zoological find ever? That it would be the biggest news story in hundreds of years? So why is no one stepping forward? Why hasn’t David Attenborough made a documentary about this? Why don’t I turn on FoxNews and see the story “LIVING DINOSAURS DISCOVERED!!!”?

  10. GP says:

    It’s also worth noting your previous articles on the Ark – especially when you describe the mechanics of the Flood. Let’s assume that Noah did leave the fish and whales and ducks (what? they float) in the water.

    Here: (http://www.examiner.com/creationism-in-national/noah-s-ark-questions-about-the-global-flood) you say:
    “The Flood waters simply spread out and changed from supercritical fluid to water vapor in little more than an instant. The mass of water that flowed over the earth cooled down to a temperature quite comfortable for a wooden ship like Noah’s Ark. The water that shot up into the sky either fell back as rain, or froze and fell back as hail. So Noah’s Ark was in no danger of “par-broiling.””

    Ok, so we’re talking about hot water converting to vapour and back to water, being forced from the Earth at a speed and pressure enough to form craters on the Moon. From a crack that spanned the Earth. Just how exactly, would marine creatures have survived the pressure waves caused by this, not to mention the temperature changes.

    “Back then, the crust was ten miles thick. On the date that the Bible gives (17 Vul AM 1656), a hairline crack appeared in the crust. The tremendous pressure beneath it widened that crack very quickly, until it went all the way around the world.”

    What proof is there for a 10-mile crust? How exactly does the Bible “give” that date, or is it based on Ussher’s ages calculation?

    You also say “Radiation, from the formation of radioactive elements in the earth’s crust (from the magnitude-10-to-12 earthquakes attendant on the Flood) and the “cluster decay” of those elements into carbon-14 and other such poisons, diminished the life span of man by ninety percent, and in a hurry.

    No fishermen survived, because the seas were too violent for that. Noah’s Ark was the only ship that could survive.” (https://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2011/05/24/creation/noahs-ark-introduction/)

    Now hang on a second – the radiation reduced everybody’s lief span, and killed all the other fishermen (who were in wooden boats) except Noah (who was in a wooden boat). So how on Earth would all the fish that you insist Noah didn’t take on board with him, have survived that kind of radiation?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Go back to the source that I cited, and you’ll see.

      You’re also forgetting that animals have always survived where humans did not and could not.

      The “hurry” for the decline in the life span of man happened over eleven generations. But before then, the life span of man held steady at about 900 years.

      • GP says:

        Sorry, you’re not going to get away with one sentence replies.

        It’s not about where they survived – we’re talking about large, fleshy creatures that would have been buffeted by shock waves strong enough to send a stream of water 300,000 miles through space to strike the Moon. Please explain how a marine animal, as large as a whale, or plesiosaurs would have survived that. They couldn’t.

        In addition, ignoring the reduction in lifespan, the radiation killed the other fishermen instantly – or at least within 40 days. I’m not sure if the ark had lead shielding, but it is strange that Noah & co only received a gene-damaging dose (assuming that’s the mechanism for aging). And yet marine creatures, who would have been in direct contact with the radioactive brine, not bobbing above it, escaped unscathed. Please explain the mechanism by which fish and water-born mammals are resistant to radiation.

        You also haven’t answered the point about God saying He would kill “all flesh, wherein is the breath of life” and that Noah must take two of “every living thing of all flesh”. Both of these Bible verses are in stark contrast to your claim that “He didn’t have to bring the swimmers on board.”

  11. DinsdaleP says:

    Terry,

    This entire essay appears to be taking scraps of inconclusive film clips and theories, and then stitching them together to fit the conclusion you’re looking for.

    If you had done a little google research about the source of your video clip, you’d see that the location is accessible to a population of lake sturgeon, which can grow quite large.

    http://weirdanimalreport.com/news/alaskan-sea-monster-footage-fizzles

    There’s nothing in the video that definitively shows plesiosaur features or the true scale of what we are looking at. You’re seeing what you want to see, and that’s not proof. Proof is something so conclusive that it is beyond subjective interpretation.

    What’s ironic is that even when you’re presented with a confession that the original loch ness photo was a hoax, you write it off as a single refuted example, but maintain your contention that “pods of pleiosaurs seem to live in A, B and C” as if it’s based on reasonable evidence instead of legend, speculation and the shakiest of “evidence”.

    Many of your essays here lack credibility and actual evidence, and when you’re presented with actual, solid evidence that disagrees with you, your involvement in the discussion abruptly ends and you move on to other topics.

    Nature never stops surprising us, and just as coelacanths appeared unexpectedly, we may find true evidence for other species thought to be extinct to actually still be living. That would be a great story, and I’d look forward to reading any like that. Researchers actually produced coelacanth specimens though. Blurry clips of something swimming in open water isn’t proof of anything.

  12. Maroun says:

    Terry you should really close these comment sections up so that athiests can’t spread their venom after your articles. It all comes down to a person’s heart man. Do they want to be lord of their own lives or do they want to submit to God? If they continue on the current path they are on and then stand before God they will be without excuse as the bible says.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJAii5n0KIo&feature=channel_video_title

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz6jwVOlLkk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNM_m9Q9EBU&feature=channel_video_title

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq_xkAorcHc&feature=channel_video_title

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha_tSzPvcds&feature=channel_video_title

    The bible is the clear word of God, from prophecy to advance scientific knowledge to the biblical and extrabiblical documentations of Jesus, God has given us more than enough proof that the bible is His word.

    http://www.y-jesus.com

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That’s a good set of links. But to reply to the point you opened with: Sometimes you have to convict people with their own words. Also, it’s better to encourage a robust debate than to have the comment section go completely stale.

      • Maroun says:

        Perhaps you are right if you are dealing with someone one on one or something like that but here on the internet I disagree, what if G-d forbid someone comes in here and they read one of your articles, and their heart becomes soft, they start to get closer to the Lord, then one or more of these athiest comments is read by them, then because of that and combined with the temptation of sin they harden their heart again?

        Just my opinion, maybe you should pray about it, and I should too to know which way is best.

        G-d bless you.

        • DinsdaleP says:

          Maroun,

          I’m not trying to turn anyone away from God, and in many cases the critical commenters here are not trying to either – the point of our rebuttals is to address the content of the articles here.

          I’ve been corrected on topics where others have shown me to be wrong, and when they’ve done that, I’ve always been grateful because the result is that I’m more knowledgeable than before. If Terry can make convincing cases for his points, he’ll win converts to his point of view, because his arguments and evidence will be more solid than any alternative.

          If you are concerned that people will read these rebuttals and somehow lose faith, then their faith couldn’t have been very solid if debates like these can rattle it. As I’ve said elsewhere, these types of exchanges should not be censored by closing comments, but embraced as opporunities to address dissent and remove doubt. Why not get more engaged, Maroun, and help represent the positions and views you feel aren’t getting a fair hearing? I can’t speak for others, but I’ll read your posts with an open mind and respond with respect.

  13. John says:

    When you consider how far our species has come, slowly developing a more and more sophisticate understanding of the natural world, to the extent that today most scientists figure we’ve got most of the laws of the universe figured out, and then you contrast this with the gibberish you keep spouting and it becomes apparent that in spite of all of our massive intellectual progress, we are still just a collection of primates, although some are certainly more enlightened than others, we are in essence just upright walking chimps.

    Creationism is one of the most amazing lies ever told. There is no evidence for this position at all, and instead it is based on an insane dogma. Oh, you keep claiming to have evidence, but instead you spout claims of sea monsters. Even if you’re right and these sea monsters do exist, this won’t prove a global flood, this won’t prove a special creation and when we do understand this (if indeed there is anything here to be understood), we will understand this through the context of evolution. After all, if you’re right, for a species this size to move in water that cold, it is highly unlikely that this thing isn’t warm blooded, and so if it is some kind of living dinosaur, that’s just evidence that dinosaurs were warm blooded, which establishes more evidence for the evolution of birds from dinosaurs.

    For some strange reason, when reading your descriptions of these eyewitness accounts, I immediately think, “Hey, they’re talking about a whale!” Maybe this is because that’s the much more likely case in this scenario as opposed to believing in sea monsters. Maybe this is because these descriptions sound like whales. I’ve spent a sizable percentage of my life at sea, I’ve spent months on Lake Champlain (never saw anything even remotely like a pod of dinosaurs), I’ve sailed up and down the west coast, from north of Victoria to south of Tijuana, and I’ve seen what you’re describing here. These sound like whales.

    Another possibility, given the general description of the shape of the animal, is that these are sightings of some sort of squid. Now, we know that very large squid exist, and we know that we don’t understand a tremendous amount about them, and sightings are as rare and as fleeting as what you’ve described here, but we do know that these aren’t sea monsters or some kind of extant dinosaur.

    Changing the subject slightly,
    Would you only use medicine that’s based off of the Bible? Terry, you claim to have a background in medicine, so surely you’ve noticed the remarkable correlation between the advent and subsequent application of the theory of evolution and our radical progress in medicine over the past century. That is to say, antibiotics, our understand of genetics and DNA, all of this is grounded in the theory of evolution and all of these act as evidence in support of the theory of evolution. If you only used creationist medicine, that is to say medicine based on the Bible, you wouldn’t even have the precursor to aspirin (although Muslims discovered that), much less anything more effective. Prior to the explosive growth in our understanding of biology due to the theory of evolution, medical science and technology was a joke. Today, we’re beginning to develop the ability to manipulate a person’s genetics, a fruit entirely borne through the labors of “evolutionists”.

    On the one hand, your delusion scares me because it threatens the continued advancement of our species, and on the other hand, I find it hilarious. You sound like a child who is afraid of the dark, and you’ve turned God into your own little nightlight and safety blanket. You’re already talking about monsters out at sea, why not start talking about monsters under your bed too? It’s not that big a jump, both are simply expressions of fear of the unknown. I won’t mind if you claim that the monsters under your bed are homosexual communists who hate God and worship the devil, it just seems like that’s your sort of thing.

    I have noticed that you seem to be all about this bit of cryptozoology, but you don’t try to also prove the existence of Sasquatch. Of course, another upright walking ape, perhaps one that we could share even more genetic information with than a chimpanzee, is an even bigger threat to your insistence that man was initially made out of clay brought to life, and not the latest in a series of increasing sophisticate hominids (which is what the fossil evidence would lead us to believe).

    Not that any of this really matters, one way or the other, science marches on, despite your screaming protests that it stop immediately, lest your favorite fairy tales be further shattered by cold, hard fact.

  14. Night Jaguar says:

    So Terry, how did all those gigantic land dinosaurs fit on the ark?

  15. GP says:

    I agree with Dinsdale – Maroun’s attitude towards stifling debate would indicate a frailty in his own faith, if it could be so easily shaken by a few people questioning the premise of a theory. I know the very basis of faith is “never question” and that’s fine when you’re preaching to the choir, but any theory should be open to rigorous questioning.

    I’m also a bit disappointed that Terry still hasn’t answered the following questions:

    You also haven’t answered the point about God saying He would kill “all flesh, wherein is the breath of life” and that Noah must take two of “every living thing of all flesh”. Both of these Bible verses are in stark contrast to your claim that “He didn’t have to bring the swimmers on board.”

    Likewise, you haven’t explained how, if they had remained in the sea, they would have survived the crushing pressure waves and the deadly radiation.

  16. Keith H says:

    LOL – Nice work GP!!

    Of course Terry will never answer your questions. He is a coward when it comes to actually defending his beliefs with real logic and common sense.

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