Clapsadle Carcass: Another Mysterious Bloated Beach Body

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 4th, 2008

Let me just call this one the “Clapsadle Carcass.”

Literally, in the wake of last summer’s Montauk Monster media circus, it was bound to happen again. Another carcass of an animal has been found on a sandy beach, and a local news outlet has attempted to turn it into a mysterious event.

Animals die and wash ashore all the time. Before the summer of 2008, there wasn’t really any news value to such stories.

But we report on the media, as well as the events, so here goes:

West Hartford, Connecticut’s NBC News 30 broadcast the news last week (see their video here) that an odd dead “mystery beast” had been discovered ashore in New London.

Bobbette Clapsadle was walking along the beach the last weekend in September with her family when she made what the news station called “the gross discovery.”

Her daughter snapped pictures (see one above and others in their slide show here).

“We weren’t sure at first. It was kind of covered in grass (and) was in the weed line. My son saw it first and was like, ‘Look at that!’ My husband walked over and said, ‘Oh my God,'” Clapsadle said.

Visitors to Ocean Beach were equally perplexed.

The news station noted some people think the carcass is of a pig, some believe thought it is a sea turtle, while others suspect it to be a raccoon. (I’m sorry, but I must wryly observe that these alleged folks who think these beached animals are turtles appear to not know the most elementary biology, namely that turtles don’t have teeth or mammalian skulls.)

By Monday, September 29th, the creature’s body was nowhere to be found.

It is highly doubtful the “Clapsadle Carcass” (above) will dethrone the Montauk Monster (shown below).


First widely seen image of the Montauk Monster.


One of the second series of photos of the Montauk Monster to surface.

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.

28 Responses to “Clapsadle Carcass: Another Mysterious Bloated Beach Body”

  1. fossilhunter responds:

    I dunno…
    Is that a piece of seaweed over the neck? It looks to me like someone has taken a fairly clean skull and stuck it on a carcass, then put seaweed on it to smooth things out. Unless it is part of the carcass and I just can’t tell from the photo. From what I can tell, trying to judge size, this is a good bit larger than the Montauk critter.

  2. octavioa1 responds:

    Sea lion with mange.

  3. fmurphy1970 responds:

    It is difficult to assess this photo with someidea of scale, but I have looked at some of the other photgraphs of this carcass and going by the shape of the skull, snout and teeth, I think it maybe a cougar.

    You can see by the teeth that it’s definately a mammalian carnivore of some kind. I certainly not an aquatic animal. More likely to have died alongside a river, got washed out to sea and ended up on the beach.

    See cougar skull here.

    Anyone else think it could be a cougar?

  4. Galea responds:

    its a seal guys

  5. Richard888 responds:

    My first reaction was “sheep.” The incisors look sheepish. But the incisors look like those of a carnivore. Besides, the skulls are different.

  6. cuitlamiztli responds:


    While I agree that it’s a carnivore, the shape of the skull and dentition are all wrong for a puma. Cats have a dental formula of Incisors=3/3 Canines=1/1 Premolars&Molars=4/3 while the ‘mystery skull’ appears to have a dental formula of I=3/? C=1/1 P&M=4-5/4-5. The other telling features are the triangular premolars, which you don’t see in cats, and the lack of a highly-developed carnassial pair, which is characteristic of them.

    The closest match I have found is a badger, which has a dental formula of I=3/3 C=1/1 P&M=4/5.


    “It looks to me like someone has taken a fairly clean skull and stuck it on a carcass, then put seaweed on it to smooth things out.”

    It almost looks that way, doesn’t it? It seems odd that the skull would be so clean while the rest of the carcass is bloated/decomposing, and for seaweed to only be on the ‘neck’… it also looks out-of-proportion to the creature’s body.

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    I believe this may just be a seal. By the size of the body I would have to go with an elephant seal or I guess event he male sea lion is large enough. I googled seal skeletons and found this link.

    The skull is similar. Unfortunately I don’t speak the language the title is in, but I believe it is close enough to say that this is just a seal…of some sort.

  8. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    I have to say that ball of flesh under the skull looks like a kitty’s face with an eye patch… Why I noticed that i don’t know but anyways my first though when I saw the teeth was perhaps a rodent of some sort that was extremely bloated. However I think that the seal arguement seems to fit this rather well.

  9. Sordes responds:

    Skulls are often the first parts of a carcass which deflesh during the decomposition. It begins normally at at edges of the mouth and the inside of the mouth, because those parts are even open for the smallest scavengers like birds for example. The inside of the mouth is also a great place for maggots, they will grow within a very short time and eat away nearly the complete flesh of the head, but the rest of the body can still remain intact.
    The skull is undoubtly those of a carnivore as it was already said (little info for Richard888: Sheeps have no upper incisors at all…), and the shape and the dentition as well as the location gives us again only two possibilities, raccoon or badger. Given its proportions a badger is in this case perhaps more probable, but sadly there is no good photo of the paws. But judging from the the elongated body, the short tail and the big amount of subcutan fat I would prefer a badger as identification.

  10. zachary responds:

    It is a manetae the skull came out u can see the mouth

  11. cryptidsrus responds:

    Thought “walrus,” then said to myself—“Naaah.”
    Interesting, to say the least.
    Possible “flap”???

  12. sausage1 responds:

    I love this (non?) storyfor two reasons.

    Firstly, we have explanations ranging from sheep to raccoon, from big cat to various sea mammals, which must say something about pinning an animal ID down when the circumstances are just slightly out of the ordinary.

    Secondly, the name ‘Clapsadle.’ What a great name! The next time someone sees a badly coiffured mendicant after a night on the pop and says ‘I tell ya it was bigfoot!’ you can say ‘aw, Bob, have a day off, will ya, stop clapsadling.’

  13. CalebKitson responds:

    My first thought was a seal. I considered a dog next, but the body has far too much mass to be a domestic dog. I compared seal and dog skulls, and looked at the canine teeth and premolars, and I am convinced that it is the carcass of a seal.

  14. CalebKitson responds:

    Oh, and octavioa1….it isn’t missing hair because of mange. It has been in the water for quite some time, which would cause the fur to slip. The fur would come off even easier with something abrasive rubbing against it, such as sand.

  15. hudgeliberal responds:

    It looks like a walrus or seal body with some skull attached…thats my best guess. I am tired of this “fad” already.

  16. RyanWinters86 responds:

    These things look like land animals…Why are they all washed up on beaches?

  17. kittenz responds:

    My first guess is that it’s a pinniped of some sort. I don’t belive it’s a cougar or any other felid or canid. It does, however, in many ways resemble a bear.

  18. dogu4 responds:

    I think Kittenz hit the nail on the head to the best degree possible considering the photo and reported context. As for looking like it could be a bear’s skull, it reminds me of watching a couple of genuinely expert and experienced naturalists confuse the identification of a male Steller SeaLion with a mature Brown Bear. A quick look at the cladistics shows close relatedness following the breat miocene radiation of mammal species.

  19. fossilhunter responds:

    After seeing a still from the video (see link above) the thing is only about 2 – 3 feet long. Given the legs looking very not-flipperish and the short tail, I’m thinking domestic dog. Maybe a classic bulldog. We don’t have no stinking badgers around here, (bad joke, sorry!) but their head is flattened, so I would think the skull would be too, and this Clappsdale animal doesn’t seem to have that.

  20. Sordes responds:

    It is interesting that many people suppose it could be a kind of seal. Well, the skull looks indeed not that different from those of a seal, but the photos show also very clearly that this animal had legs and no flippers. Especially the back legs are very strong, and there is no possibility that it was a marine creature. The skulls of black bears look similar, but they have several differences, and especially the dentition is different. Their teeth have lesser sharp edges and their premolars are much more reduced and often even missing.

  21. RyanWinters86 responds:

    It cant be a bear…I saw another picture and it had a guy standing next to it and its only like 2 and a half feet long….It also cant be a seal because it has a tail…I think its fake…Its kinda odd how only the skull is decomposed or eaten just like the montauk monster.

  22. CalebKitson responds:

    I watched the video, and I think it is a raccoon.

  23. Ceroill responds:

    It’s a row of otters, decomposing in formation.

  24. Sordes responds:

    Domestic dogs have a skull with a forehead, which is not present in this animals, even in pitbulls and bulldogs. But the skulls of badgers and raccoons lack this feature (just google for it). And the hind legs are too short and the back quarter of the body too plump to come from a dog.

  25. pitbulllady responds:

    Check out this skull, and compare it to the skull of this latest “monster”.

    The skull morphology, dental arrangement, and the presence of large amounts of fat deposits on this animal point to Striped Skunk. Skunks, unlike ‘coons, go into a sort of semi-hibernation during the winter months, and pack on large amounts of body fat in the fall to prepare for this. The length of the legs (yes, they’re legs, not flippers or paddles, which rules out pinnipeds like a seal or walrus) is right, the skull is right, the body fat is right, and even the presence of dark fur around the neck is right for a skunk. I could not see enough of the tail in any of the photos, but it’s possible that the tail could have been cut off if it’s not there, or could have rotted off. I’ve had one skunk, a de-scented fur farm refugee (yes, skunks are bred for their pelts). When his fur was wet, it would “kink” up, just like the little bit of fur left on this animal, and he was really quite a hefty fellow! Skunks have some really impressive teeth for their size, like the other members of the Mustilid family.

  26. Kit_Seraphina responds:

    The skull to me looks like maybe a badger the body might be as well, it does look it. But how could a badger be by the ocean. To me the whole thing seems fishy. And I agree with others that the skull and body looks pieced together. Maybe its a bloated otter carcass?

  27. Sordes responds:

    There is a very good argument against a skunk: The tail. Skunks have much longer tails. But I agree that the skull looks very much like those of a mustelid, like for example a skunk. But a badger actually seems much more probable.

  28. klgonzalez responds:

    OK Any of you chime in now, A Wild Boar Hog. It Explains the whole anatomy. They are known to live on island areas. It drown then washed ashore. PAY ME I’M DONE.

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