Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology

The "Naden Harbor carcass," pulled from the stomach of a whale in 1937.

Caddy (Cadborosaurus willsi), or Amy for the supposed females, is a name given to sea serpents reported mainly from the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean coast of Vancouver Island, in western Canada. The name is sometimes applied more broadly to sea serpents reported from all along the Pacific Northwest coasts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon[1][2][3] although different local names are used in some of these areas.[4]

Amerindian peoples of the Pacific Northwest believed in a number of sea monsters, such as the wasgo, sisitul, haietlik, and tizheruk, which some cryptozoologists associate with modern Caddy accounts.[5] Except for a single possible sighting in the 18th Century, European reports of sea serpents in the region began in the late 19th Century, around Vancouver and Seattle, and became more frequent over the decades until the name Caddy was coined during a flood of accounts in 1933 and 1934, at which point published reports became regular and internationally-known. Paul H. LeBlond, Edward Bousfield, and John Sibert became its best-known investigators after beginning surveys during the 1970s, and sightings of sea serpents are still reported from the Salish Sea, most recently in 2019. Alongside sightings, pieces of evidence cited in support of Cadborosaurus include an alleged juvenile specimen pulled from the stomach of a whale in 1937; a number of supposed "baby sea serpents" captured alive but released; and a piece of semi-lost footage filmed in Alaska, claimed to show a group of Caddies. However, all of this evidence is highly controversial.

Discounting hoaxes and mistaken identity – it is suggested that swimming moose could account for a number of sightings – whether or not reports refer to the same kind of animal is debated by cryptozoologists. Bernard Heuvelmans, arguing that the name was a geographic term only, classified Caddy reports as both merhorses and longnecks, both giant pinnipeds.[4] LeBlond and Sibert, finding the Heuvelmans system inapplicable to the Pacific Northwest, initially identified three distinct categories of "Caddy," small-eyed, large-eyed, and serpentine,[1][6] but LeBlond and Bousfield later singled out the serpentine, camel-headed creature as the most important, but not the only, unknown animal in the Caddy reports. They believed that animal to be "least unlike" a plesiosaur, but popular alternative theories posit that it is a cetacean descended from something like Basilosaurus, or a giant, elongate pinniped.[2] A close relationship between the Salish Sea's sea serpents and the freshwater lake monsters of British Columbia, including Ogopogo, has been proposed.[6][3]


See relevant entries under List of sea serpent sightings in the Pacific Ocean (-1847), List of sea serpent sightings in the Pacific Ocean (1848–1891), and List of sea serpent sightings in the Pacific Ocean (1990–)

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 LeBlond, Paul & Sibert, John R. "Observations of Large Unidentified Marine Animals in British Columbia and Adjacent Waters," Institute of Oceanography Manuscript Report No. 28 (1973)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shuker, Karl P. N. (2016) Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot?, Coachwhip Publications, ISBN 978-1616463908
  3. 3.0 3.1 LeBlond, Paul H. & Kirk, John & Walton, Jason (2019) Discovering Cadborosaurus, Hancock House Publishers, ISBN 978-0888397355
  4. 4.0 4.1 Heuvelmans, Bernard (1968) In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, Hart-Davis, ISBN 9780246643124
  5. Swords, Michael D. "The Wasgo or Sisiutl: A Cryptozoological Sea-Animal of the Pacific Northwest Coast of the Americas," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 5, No. 1 (1991)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mackal, Roy P. (1980) Searching for Hidden Animals: An Inquiry Into Zoological Mysteries, Cadogan Books, ISBN 978-0946313051