Sabine River Monster Photo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 25th, 2006

Coast to Coast AM’s website has posted the following image of an unknown creature swimming on its back, as seen in the Sabine River, near where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The Sabine River forms the border between Texas and Louisiana near the reported point of this picture/sighting. Most of the area around this location would be bayou country, but nevertheless freshwater. The Sabine River is known for its large freshwater catfish, but this animal does not appear to be even remotely similar to a catfish.

Mystery Sea Creature

Click on image for full-size version

Please click here for more details from the C2C site.

What do you think it looks like?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

46 Responses to “Sabine River Monster Photo”

  1. clman1 responds:

    The man who took the photo also called in to Art Bell last night on C2C. He said he was out fishing at night at the mouth of the Sabine River and heard loud splashing noises. When it started to get light he was able to see what it was; he said it resembled a 45 ft long eel.

  2. DARHOP responds:


  3. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Interesting, looking at the full size photo I get the impression — since it’s said to be on it’s back — of a dolphin’s front flippers. I do not know the technical term.

  4. fredfacker responds:

    The only creature I can think of that swims on it’s back is an otter. However, I don’t know how you could tell anything from this photo except that there was some sort of object sticking out of the water.

  5. swol responds:

    Discounting personal accounts, my first thought is a log.

    I would lean toward floating debris which kinda-sorta looked like something living.

    Just my opinion.

  6. planettom responds:

    Basing my opinion on looking at this photo alone, my best guestimate would be the dorsal fin of a dolphin. Having fished in the Galveston Bay and off of the Texas coast for 20+ years, that’s what it looks like to me, strictly from the photo at least.

  7. sasquatch responds:

    45′ eel. None of you were there, so if he says that’s what it looked like, then he’s the best witness we have, isn’t he? From the picture I can’t dispute the claim.

  8. caddo21 responds:

    It would be very helpful if the photographer gave us some behavior observations on this object. Did he for instance observe it through binoculars?

  9. TemplarKnight21c responds:

    First thing that came to mind was a seal. Possibly an otter, too.

  10. serf77 responds:

    I’m sure the guy probably saw and heard something. We’ll never know what it is based upon the picture presented. Just another speculative mystery for the archives.

  11. EastexQueenB responds:

    The only seals you see in this part of Gulf Coast are in zoos. Seals don’t live in the Gulf. I would believe an otter, dolphin, nutria or even the rare lost manatee before a seal.

  12. RocketSeason responds:

    Its big for an otter or a seal. Possibly a manatee. Possibly a dolphin.

  13. quill responds:

    Do capybaras live in that area? That’s what it looks like to me.

  14. bigsassy responds:

    I’d say log or wounded/dying channel catfish. Have you ever seen a catfish? How does it hold the pole?

  15. crypto_randz responds:

    I wish the photo was taken closer, much too far away but the object seems to be large. If the person says it’s a 45 ft eel, I will take his word. Also he was the one who took the photo and saw it up close.

  16. jjames1 responds:

    I’m somewhat surprised that anyone is taking specific guesses at what this “thing” is. Even in the full-sized image, the “thing” is so indistinct that it’s impossible to give a legitimate analysis.

  17. a_welch90 responds:

    The picture isn’t blurry, for a pleasant change, but the object is so far away that, like some other commenters, I agree that it just isn’t possible to make an accurate guess about what exactly it is. There’s no way.

  18. CamperGuy responds:

    Don’t think anything can really be told from the photo except there is something in the water but can’t tell whether it is a log or an animal.

    I think in the photo there is a fish that has jumped completely out of the water about an inch and a fourth to the right of the dark area of whatever is in the water. Possibly the source of the splashing sound heard by the observer?

  19. VoiceOfReason responds:

    It looks like a speck. Why didn’t he zoom in or paddle closer? I have a million photos with that “creature” in the distant ocean.

  20. CryptoGoji responds:

    Being in the Mississippi river area, it very well could be a large Catfish. I have seen a buddy of mine at work show me his photo of a 75 lb catfish that was almost as big as he was, (a little over 5.5 ft) and had a head as big as his chest, he cought that in the Missouri around Jefferson City, Mo. It could be that, but at the surface? My best guess is that of a dolphin, maybe a big otter, but a 45 ft eel? Dont know of many that get that big, if any, but the sea holds many secrets. The photo is very vague, and at such a distance, it could be a log as well.

  21. Sky King responds:

    “45′ eel. None of you were there, so if he says that’s what it looked like, then he’s the best witness we have, isn’t he? From the picture I can’t dispute the claim.”

    If he said it looked like the Jolly Green Giant out for a swim, would that still make him the “best witness we have”? After all, none of us were there.

  22. shovethenos responds:

    You can’t deduce much from the photo, but if it is authentic and not a known animal I have a hard time with it being an eel.

    First, eels are not air-breathers so they generally do not spend much time at or above the surface. Second, the neck joint on eels is generally pretty rigid, allowing side to side motion but little or no up and down motion.

    The animal pictured seems to have its head tilted upward at an angle compared to the more horizontal neck. This would be improbable for an eel to do, as it would basically have to tilt its whole body that way due to the limited range of motion in the neck joint in that direction.

    Incidentally, this is why I have a problem with eels being the culprit in Loch Ness. Some of the sightings might be freakishly large eels but the long-necked and land sightings just don’t match up with an eel.

  23. mrdark responds:

    I’ll be brief: worthless photo, interesting story.

  24. maceman444 responds:

    I have to say this picture shows me nothing but some black blob floating in the water.

  25. stillserchin responds:

    Another dime-a-dozen photo of “something” cavorting about in the water too far away to be discernible. The man says it looks like a 45′ long eel. Who knows?

  26. busterggi responds:

    What the heck, I’ll vote for an otter too. But not a 45 foot long one, just a regular one.

  27. OKCurious responds:

    There is just not enough detail in the picture to give any good data. I would say that just an eyeball glance at the distance from boat to object, I would bet if you did the math the object is nowhere close to 45′.

  28. eireman responds:

    The Blobness Monster! I coined it! It’s mine. 😀

  29. Porkchop responds:

    How about Dotsquatch?

  30. CryptoGoji responds:

    Making any size comparsion from this photo is an impossibility. We just dont have anything other then the front of the boat and an endless horizon to judge from. We dont know how much is beneath the water and what is above it. Really neat photo and a great “sea monster” story, but nothing to prove or disprove his story.
    Perhaps its a “Sheriking Eel” from “The Princess Bride”. Next thing well find in the jungles of Preu, “R.O.U.S.’s”.

  31. LSU_Crypto responds:

    I have fished the Sabine on many times. In all the time I spent around the river I never heard of anything unusual from any of the folks who fish it.

  32. eireman responds:

    I love Rodents of Unusual Size!!!

  33. mystery_man responds:

    I’d say speculating on what kind of animal it is is kind of jumping the gun a little. What is there here to lead us to believe it is an animal? Honestly, that could be a whole lot of inanimate things, nothing to make me assume it is an animal of any sort. Unless there had been a history of strange sightings in this area, it is highly possible that this is something more mundane, although even that is hard to tell from this speck in the distance. Frankly, the picture quality is not enough to give much to work on at all as far as I can see. We might as well speculate on what kind of floating debris it is as much as what kind of animal it might be. I’m not just going to blindly take his word for it and I think we have seen enough hoaxers here recently to know better than that. A blobsquatch.

  34. BendyWVa responds:

    The water looks a little bit muddy, drift maybe? Or just a big freshwater fish. My kids and I saw a large fish in an inland lake near here (Indiana) and we all pointed and said “Shark!” together. Of cource we knew it wasnt a shark, probably a big catfish or a carp.

  35. brineblank responds:

    Just curious as to the timing and such for the picture. If he was able to get this picture from a distance, and if he was able to see it resembled a 45 foot long eel, why was he not able to get a closeup picture? Even with reflections due to lighting it would have provided a good shadowy outline to judge the critter by.

  36. One Eyed Cat responds:

    I never said it WAS a dolphin. That is what the rather distant shape made me think of.

    Dunno, the photo is a bit distant to get very specific about seeing anything

  37. Trapster responds:

    To me it appears to be a dolphin coming up for air, swimming from left to right. I tend not to put too much stock in the C2C AM photos or their stories lately. Some of them have been pretty blatantly misidentified.

  38. Sky King responds:

    This is like a good 90% of all the “UFO” photos: WAY too distant to carry any meaning. If you can’t take a good picture, don’t take a picture AT ALL!

  39. Al responds:

    It does look vaguely like an Alligator Gar. They do swim at the surface and snap their heads out of the water, as well as roll. I suppose that could present a serpentine, or eel like appearance. I’m a little skeptical about the alleged length, though.

  40. mystery_man responds:

    Logs and driftwood have been known to float on the surface too. I don’t know a whole lot about photography, but is there any way for someone to enhance this pic somehow? Maybe move in closer and clean it up a little? Is that possible? I just don’t see anything here to warrant getting excited over the way it is now. I won’t discount that this is an animal, but it really is just a nondescipt speck. Not a whole lot of evidence for or against an animate object.

  41. cosmic monster responds:

    My cousin caught a 55-pound alligator snapping turtle a couple years ago in a creek in Houston. They showed the picture to a state biologist who identified it and said he caught one twice that size in Louisiana. They get even bigger than that. I’d think it was a dinosaur if I saw it in the wild, and now I’m not surprised we get so many weird water sightings.

    This is a cell phone shot of the picture on his refrigerator door:

  42. BadState responds:

    The photo could be absolutely anything….

  43. talthar responds:

    Too much distance, too little detail to tell what this is. Though I am jazzed at the idea of a cryptid in my neck of the woods, I just can’t determine if this is worth getting excited over.

  44. scotto responds:

    jjames1 said it best. It’s too indisctinct. All speculation. I’m surprised it’s being discussed actually.

  45. jesse responds:

    As the Photographer of the Sabine Sea Creature…

    I have just learned of this web site, I would like to address some of your questions and reply to some of your comments.
    First, the creature was like an eel only because I didn’t see any fins. I know eel’s stay on the bottom but this was no eel. It was not an otter playing in the water, this was a fish that had come to the top of the water and rolled over.


  46. pure_country_89 responds:

    I know jesse and i think he’s full of bologna!!!


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