Cadborosaurus willsi, nicknamed Caddy, is an alleged sea monster from British Colombian coast of Cadboro Bay. It was described as a long, serpent-like beast with flippers, hair on the neck, and a camel-like head. It could be anywhere from 40 to 70 feet long in length. There have been more than 300 claimed sightings during the past 80 years.
The first reported sighting of Caddy was in 1933 by a Victoria lawyer and his wife on a cruise in their yacht. They described a "horrible serpent with the head of a camel." The creature showed itself again in 1934 when two members of the Provincial Government reported seeing the creature, the same description as the first. Later that same year two fishermen saw two monsters in the bay, one about 60 feet long, the other half that size. A rather interesting sighting was made by two hunters as they tried to recover their wounded duck. The monster rose out of the water, swallowed the duck, snapped at some gulls then submerged. They noted the six-foot long head with saw-like teeth.
A photograph of Caddy was obtained in 1937. A whaling station in Vancouver just caught and killed a sperm whale in October of 1937. While removing the stomach contents at the Naden Harbor whaling station they came across a twenty-foot long carcass of an unidentified creature. It had the head of a horse, a snake-like body and a finned, spiny tail. A photograph was taken, but no one knows exactly what happened to its remains. No scientist can properly identify the creature in the photograph. It seems to have mammalian and reptilian traits, but which it is, no one is sure of. It is suggested that the creature is a Zeuglodon, but that explanation isn't 100% satisfactory seeing that it is much slimmer and the head is shaped improperly.
Perhaps the closest sighting of Caddy was taken in 1939 by Captain Paul Sowerby.
"We were headin' North, and, about thirty miles offshore, and saw this thing standing about four feet out of the water. So, I headed over towards it and took a look at it. At first, I thought it looked like a polar bear with its ruffles of hair. When we got right up alongside of it-and the water was crystal clear-there was just this column of this thing going at least forty feet and huge eyes. I had an old Newfoundlander as a mate and he said 'Do you see eyes on him?' Mouth and nose I have no recollection of at all, just those great big eyes. And the eyes seemed to open from top to bottom."
On February 13, 1953, ten people also reportedly saw this creature. All of them watched it from different points of view and not one of the descriptions contradicted each other.
In August, 1968. W. Hagelund claims to have caught a baby Caddy near De Courcy Island.
In July, 1991. Phyllis Harsh claims to have caught a small 2 foot baby Caddy and returned it to the water on Johns Island (San Juan Islands).
The descriptions place Caddy as some sort of a mammal, long, slender, and with a bifurcated tail. This suggests that it is a Basilosaurus, an ancient whale thought to be extinct. The only problem is that the head of the creature is described as a camel's or a horse's, while a Basilosaurus , or Zeuglodon, head is more like that of a snake's. The monster of Lake Okanagon, known as Ogopogo, is believed to be a Basilosaurus, but the sightings are different of that of Caddy. It never raises its neck, it doesn't have hair, and the head isn't camel-like.
In 1943 two police officers, Inspector Robert Owens and Staff Sergeant Jack Russell saw a “huge sea serpent with a horse like head” in Georgia Strait. Later “with a pair of binoculars Sgt. Russell saw that the strange apparition was a huge bull sea lion leading a herd of six sea lions…Their undulations as they swam appeared to form a continuous body, with parts showing at intervals as they surfaced and dived. To the naked eye, the sight perfectly impersonated a sea monster.”
There have been suggestions that Caddy could be an example of the king of herrings or giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne). This species can reach 20+m (65.6 ft) in length and weigh up to 300 kg (661.5 lb); some think the red fin on the head and back of the giant oarfish resembles a horse head with mane. A modern illustration by David John, "based on LeBlond/Bousfield composite and eyewitness accounts" shows Caddy with a red mane.
"They're long and silvery and they undulate like a serpent would as they swim through the water," said H.J. Walker, a senior museum scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which has several oarfish in its collection.
The carcass of a decomposing basking shark is often mistaken for Caddy and has fooled experts and laymen. A rotting basking shark may resemble a decomposing plesiosaur. The Plesiosaur shape is mistaken for Caddy.
Darren Naish and colleagues have proposed that the baby "Cadborosaurus" captured in 1968 by William Hagelund was really a pipefish.
In Popular Culture
- Cadborosaurus featured on the television documentary series Northern Mysteries.
- "Caddy" was a mysterious element featured in the ninth Nancy Drew computer game produced by Her Interactive, Danger on Deception Island, set on the west coast of the United States.
- Caddy was mentioned on an episode of Is It Real? called "Monsters Of The Deep".
- The Cadborosaurus appears in the Zoo Tycoon 2 Mod Paranoia Reborn