Cryptomundo Meets Marvin the Monster

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on August 1st, 2011

John Kirk mentioned the footage of this creature in the video here on Cryptomundo: Alaskan Cadborosaurus Footage on Global BC News.

He later said the following here at Cryptomundo.

First let me clarify what that underwater photo shows. It is an image captured from a Shell oil drilling film shot in either 1963 or 1966 depending on the source. The locations where it was shot was either off Santa Barbara, CA or off the Oregon coast. They dubbed the creature Marvin the monster for no plausible reason. That photo was in Ivan T. Sanderson’s repository at SITU. I came across it recently and it just so happened that Global came calling and I showed it to them. As far as I know those are the only stills that exist and I have no idea where the film is. Ask Shell.John Kirk

Cryptomundian Mibs has found some images of Marvin the Monster.

Peeking at Ivan’s SITU files: meaningless reports of sea monsters.Part six.


Santa Barbara, CA, 1966. A 15-20 foot long “serpent” moved by underwater camera several times [film clip to the side]. Motion was “spiraling”. It had “rudimentary” head but noticeable eyes and mouth. A long thin tail completed the creature. Scientists speculated about jellyfish.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

15 Responses to “Cryptomundo Meets Marvin the Monster”

  1. fuzzy responds:

    Looks like an Articulated Wotinell to me.

  2. Hapa responds:

    The first photo seems similar to a picture I have in one of my books of a carcass thought to be a Caddy, found inside the belly of a whale. The photo here though makes me think more of a jelly-fish like animal, like some kind of Siphonophore, due to the unusual “skin” pattern. Might be the same species as the Caddy carcass, maybe not, this is a puzzler and should be investigated more.

    If they exist, we need to catch a Caddy. Can you imagine how science would be turned on its head if we found one? If it turns out to be a bonafide sea serpent, something that the world of science has ridiculed and ignored for centuries, talk about a shake up! It could possibly force them to give respect to the field of Crypto-zoology.

  3. bobzilla responds:

    Found that site the other day. Looking at it again, I don’t see a “sea monster”.

    The way the oval “mask” is showing the object, it is cut at the top to make it look almost exactly like the 1937 carcass.

    Without seeing it in motion, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to what that is.

  4. Redrose999 responds:

    Ooooo Interesting. I would love to see the moving footage! Good work guys!

  5. nnnslogan responds:

    I’d like to see motion video.

  6. Buckeyes1 responds:

    Yes, now that I see it better it does look like a compilation of smaller animals joined together and not a single, large animal. Thanks for posting the better images!

  7. stickyum responds:

    Stricking resemblance to the head of a Caddy! Would like to view the Shell Company film of this creature, if the film still exists. Perhaps Craig W. or John K. could help us Cryptomundians with a mailing address to write letters to the Shell Oil Company Dept. that may have the film, asking for public release.

    On another matter, but closely related to Sea Serpents, a Tag listed above: “Peeking at Ivan’s SITU Files: meaningless reports of sea monsters. Part Six.” reports….

    #64: near Barnstable harbor, MA, date not given [pre-1971]. Witnesses observed a large bony “grotesque” head rise up out of the water only twenty feet away. Head was covered with barnacles and “horse-like”. It spouted water short distances. Its body “snaked” into view: thick, black, clean of fins or any protrusions, and 50-60 feet long. Witness had film as he was out to make film of something else at the time. Writer of story allegedly saw film and vouched for it.

    So, what happened to that film? Does anyone know?

  8. Zilla responds:

    Don’t really see anything. Where is the “head” or “figure?” All I see is is a bumpy tentacle like thing.

  9. scaryeyes responds:

    Very interesting, and I agree it does bear a striking resemblence to the Caddy carcass. It would be very interesting to see it in motion. I wonder if the film even still exists.

  10. EastTexan responds:

    Maybe I missed it, but is there any stabilized video of the Alaskan caddy? Also, I wonder how the “15 – 20 foot long” figure was arrived at in the 1966 report. The moving images of Marvin would be quite interesting to see. I’m afraid that the chance of films still existing might be very low, unless a copy is in someone’s private collection.

  11. ParticleNoun responds:

    I don’t think there is anything about this which makes it like Caddy. The shape of the head in the top frame is not a result of whatever is in frame, but a result of the frame itself. The frame is oval, curved along the top and bottom, and so cuts off the top of whatever is in the frame, making it appear curved, when in fact, whatever it is most likely continues out of frame for some distance. The shape people are saying looks like the head isn’t that shape at all.

    To me this looks either like a loose barnacle encrusted rope, or a tentacle from some large octopus or squid.

    Once you see that the top frame doesn’t show the shape of a head (again due to the oval nature of the top and bottom framing), it’s hard to see it as anything Caddy like at all.

  12. stickyum responds:

    Article from Shadowlands Sea Serpent Page –

    Colossal Claude and Marvin the Monster

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

    Until about 20 years ago Oregon also seemed to be wonderful country for serpent seekers. The following story by Peter Caims appeared in the September 24, 1967 edition of the Oregonian:

    Colossal Claude hasn’t been seen for some time, but Marvin the Monster is reportedly alive and well. He’s even appeared on television.

    Claude was first seen cavorting near the mouth of the Columbia River in 1934. Over the years he was often sighted by Columbia River lightship crewmen and by passing fishermen. But the once-familiar sea serpent hasn’t shown up since the mid-1950s-
    Marvin is a comparative newcomer.

    He was first discovered swimming off the Oregon Coast by Shell Oil Company divers in 1963. His presence was recorded by video tape cameras, later screened for study by the nation’s leading marine biologists.

    In addition to Claude and Marvin, the watery denizens have been sighted off Newport, Bandon, Nelscott, Waldport, Empire, Delake and also in Crescent and Crater Lakes.

    They come in several varieties and sizes. Some are shiny and some have scales. Some reportedly have coarse fur. There is even a variety of mini-monster, for the compact minded.

    One thing they usually have in common is the shape of their heads. Observers say they are most often found to be like those of the camel, or horse.

    L.A. Larson, mate of the Columbia River lightship, was probably the first to see Claude. That was back in 1934. Other members of the crew confirmed the sighting as did the captain and members of the crew of the lightship tender Rose.

    “It was about 40 feet long,” and Larson. “It had a neck some eight feet long a big round body, a mean looking tail and an evil, snaky look to its head.”

    A news story of the day reported: “Members of the crew (of the lightship) after studying the monster for some time with field glasses, wanted to lower a boat and go after it, but the officers discouraged the plan for fear it would swamp the boat.”
    Claude next popped into the news in 1937, when skipper Charles E. Graham of the troller Viv raced back to Astoria with the story of sighting a “long, hairy, tan colored creature, with the head of an overgrown horse, about 40 feet long, and with a 4-foot waist measure.”

    Veteran fishermen gazed out over the Columbia bar and said: “It’s Claude.

    Claude was repeatedly sighted through the years that followed. Once by Captain Chris Anderson of the schooner Arpo. He said he got a face to face look at Claude.

    “His head was like a camel’s,” he said. “His fur was coarse and gray. He had glassy eyes and a bent snout that he used to push a 20-pound halibut off our lines and into his mouth.”

    Other Oregon monsters that have competed for the headlines over the years include:

    Bandon’s mini-monster, a 12 1/2 foot animal with a bulbous nose and a cow-like body covered with brownish hair.

    –a 30-foot serpent with “a slender neck, a snake-like head, and a fan-shaped tail” seen by more than 30 people at Nelscott. The “thing” splashed around the Nelscott reefs on several occasions. One group of observers was considered extremely reliable–its members were on a WCTU outing from the Willamette Valley.

    Proximity of Whiskey Run reef apparently had nothing to do with the sightings of a sea monster off Empire a few years ago. Ben Tanner, skipper of the troller Gold Coast, said the creature approached his fishing boat, “smacked its mouth, rolled its long lashed eyes at the crew, then pointed its tail in the air and dived straight down.”

    Oregon Indians, of course, believe there is a monster in just about every fair-sized pool of water in the state. Their legends are full of such stories.

    There is a paleface corroboration, however, for monster sightings in both Crater and Crescent lakes. The latter, in particular, is said to have an unusual inhabitant that has been sighted several times.

    One day Henry Schwering and Bert Vincent were fishing on the lake. Henry later reported: “I suddenly noticed that the fish had stopped biting. Then I noticed fish scooting away and the water started boiling. Then I saw a huge, round head break water not far from the boat. ” The next day Bert also saw the “thing” himself, as did others on the lake shore.

    Reports that a 22-foot hairy-chested monster had been washed up on the beach at Delake brought people hurrying to the spot on March 4, 1950. What brought them running was Old Hairy (as locals quickly dubbed him.)

    “It had the body of a cow, approximately nine tails, and is covered with hair all over the body and legs,” ran one enthusiastic account.

    Pretty teen-ager Marybell Allum of Delake was the first to stumble on Old Hairy. Then her dad, town marshal Andy Allum, had a look. He said the monster weighed all of 1,000 pounds.

    “It’s a whale shark, undoubtedly,” said Dr. E. W. Gudger, of the American Museum of Natural History. “A harmless critter with the body shaped like a tadpole.”

    “Whale blubber,” said an Oregon Fish Commission biologist.

    “It’s an elasmobranch,” said Prof. Fred J. Kohlruss of the University of Portland. “It’s a sea inhabitant whose bones remain in the cartillage stage.”

    Despite all of this leaned thinking, the who and what of Old Hairy was never satisfactorily explained.

    And so it is with Marvin, Oregon’s youngest monster.

    Marine biologists have examined the Shell Oil Co. video tapes, which show Marvin in detail. The footage was shot during the company’s search for off-shore oil.

    Marvin shows up as being about 15-feet long. He has barnacled ridges along his body, and he propels himself in corkscrew fashion in waters about 180 feet in depth.

    The University of California believes Marvin is a etenaphor Oelly fish); Scripps Institute of Oceanography thinks he’s a salpida: the University of Washington plumps for a siphonophore (another jelly fish,) the University of Texas believes simply that he is a creature left over from prehistoric times.

    But the fishermen hunched over their beer glasses in Astoria taverns know otherwise. Misty-blue eyes strained seaward, with not a little affection, they say: “It’s probably Claude.”

    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.

  13. Frankyboy5 responds:

    ParticleNoun is right that the frame is oval shaped and gives the illusion that that is the head right there. Despite this, it could be the bottom part is indeed the mouth, just the top of the head was cut off by the frame’s shape. Their report that there were eyes on this creature suggests it isn’t a rope or anything like that.

    I’m currently trying to stabilize the Nash video.

  14. bobzilla responds:

    Yeah, I mentioned that about the frame in the third post.

  15. Nomad0168 responds:

    I saw this footage with my bothers when we were kids (in Sydney, Australia). It was featured on a documentary about Bigfoot/Lake Monsters etc. but I’ve never been able to track down this documentary and I don’t know what it was called. I was only 8 or 9 years old at the time so it would have been around 1976-77.

    But I saw this documentary twice, so the second time I made sure to really look at the few seconds of film of this strange creature. I remember it had a head like a camel and I seem to remember it swimming past one of the supports of the oil rig… however, it was a long time ago so I can’t be sure.

    My brother even buys any old ‘mystery’ documentaries he can get his hands on in the hopes of finding it again, but as yet we’ve had no luck.

    So even if Shell have lost the original film, it still exists out there somewhere on this documentary.

    So if anyone has any information about this documentary please let me know. đŸ˜‰

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