By: Jessica Stacey-Miller
There is a long history of Cadborosaurus, affectionately nick named Caddy, a sea serpent creature well known in British Columbia, Canada. Caddy was first seen off the coast of Victoria Island and described as having a long neck with a camel or horse-like head, a pair of front flippers and a large fan-like tail. Some accounts have the description of hind flippers rather than a tail. There have been over 300 reported sightings in the past 200 years. The earliest reports of Caddy were in the aboriginal tribes of British Columbia, as well as Alaska. The sea creature is also known as “Hiytil’iik” by the Manhousat tribe, “T’chain-ko” in Sechelt mythology, and “Numske lee Kwala” by the Comox tribe. The Inuit tribes often painted the creature on the sides of their canoes to ward the creature off.
Stories have existed since the 1800’s but the first sighting reported was in 1933 by a Victoria resident and his wife while out on their yaht. They described their encounter as seeing a “horrible serpent with the head of a camel.” Another report came soon after in 1934. This time it was the government who reported seeing the creature and the exact same description was given. Some local fisherman that same year also reported seeing two serpents in the water. One was over 60 feet long and the other was half the size at about 30 feet long. Some hunters claimed to have seen Caddy rise out of the water, swallow the duck they just wounded and then submerge back under water. One of the most notable reports came in 1937 when a whaling station in Vancouver believed to have finally caught Caddy. Inside the stomach of a sperm whale was a carcass 20 feet in length, with the head of a horse, a snake-like body and a spiny tail. They were able to capture a picture but the remains of the serpent somehow mysteriously disappeared. Another picture was taken in 1939 by Captain Paul Sowerby. More accounts came about several years later in 1953 when 10 people saw Caddy from various vantage points and every description was the same. A video was also released in 2009 and a short clip of the video was featured on the Discovery TV show Hilstranded. The clip can also be found on youtube.
There are various theories of what this sea creature could be. Most of those theories do not fit the description at all. Some of those theories include basking sharks, sea lions, and pipefish. Two possible explanations could be that of a giant oarfish which are known to reach up to 65 feet in length. Another possible explanation is a Zeuglodon, which is an ancient whale thought to be extinct. Edward Bousfield, a retired marine biologist has made huge efforts in the attempt to find and prove the existence of Caddy. Mr. Bousfield and his partner Paul Leblond, chairman and founder of BCSCC, Canada’s cryptozoology organization have been pushing to formally introduce Caddy as a new species, Cadborosaurus willsi. They have also called upon the scientific community to help find Caddy. So if you ever find yourself in Victoria, keep your eyes on the water. Perhaps you will spot Caddy!