A Sea Serpent Surprise

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 7th, 2007


I turned on the television this morning, over there in the background near my desk, to check the news on the local NBC channel. The very first thing on the screen was an individual discussing a Sea Serpent sighting. I happened to be in the midst of writing an article about New England Sea Serpents.

I was floored, struck by, well, this bolt from out of nowhere. I quickly discovered the guy was a Reverend Peter B. Panagore, giving one of those daily messages the stations run, it seems, so their viewers can take a break from the news and go run for your morning cup of tea. But this one got my attention.

It was a “Daily Devotion for January 7, 2007,” with a twist. It was about a cryptozoology sighting, and I wanted to hear the storyteller’s point.

Turns out it was from the First Radio Parish Church of America, which happens to be based in Portland, Maine (where I live). Reverend Panagore had an interesting conclusion. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do to share it here for today.


Sea Serpent Surprise

From the Working Waterfront news, August 2003.

“Sea Serpent” surprises Nova Scotia lobsterman.

It was a beautiful June day. Wallace Cartwright and his sternman were in Point Aconi Cove.

Then he saw it. It was 25 feetlong with a body the diameter of a five gallon bucket. Three humps on it’s back. It weighed four hundred pounds at least. Its head was a foot above the water, disproportionately small with the body looking almost like the head of a sea turtle. It went down and hid in the mud.

Cartwright hung around, then saw it a half a dozen times over 45 minutes by following it back out to deepwater — at three or four knots. He didn’t have a camera aboard.

The Curator of Zoology at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History talked with him. The curator said that in his laboratory freezer there are several deepwater fish caught off Labrador that appear to be from a new species. The curator believes Cartwrght may have seen an oarfish, but in the absence of a specimen he can only speculate.

Cartwright says, I looked up oarfish on the internet, and I’m here to tell you it was definitely not an oarfish. An oarfish looks like a ribbon and this was tube shaped. Oarfish swim vertically and this was swimming horizontally.

My neighbors will tell you I have a reputation as credible man.

Reputations matters. They add credibility or incredibility to what we say.

The witnesses of the resurrection were credible men. On their word alone a faith was formed.

Let’s Pray: God, our reputations matter. Help us be honest in all our dealings and truthful in all our words. Amen.

Today’s Thought Is: A trusted reputation is a treasure.


Wallace Cartwright’s encounter happened during the summer of 2003. He described it as noted above, was reluctant to tell people about what he saw, but finally agreed to be interviewed by CBC radio. He told of being very scared: “I was kind of leery of approaching it. God knows, the thing might have been able to jump out of the water, you know? And I’m sure it could have swallowed you whole.” For more information on Sea Serpents, please see The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep.

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.

10 Responses to “A Sea Serpent Surprise”

  1. daledrinnon responds:

    “400 pounds” is a basically ridiculous figure for a creature supposedly 25 feet long. Even if it was the diameter of a five gallon bucket along its entire length (in which case it could not poke humps above water level), it would be larger than the usual anaconda, and an anaconda of that length might well weigh more than 400 lbs. A reticulated python of large size might weigh nearly that, and an anaconda is a heavier snake than the python.

    This sounds very like your run-of-the-mill Loch Ness Monster type of sighting. I am actually rather surprised that the dimensions are so conservative in this case.

    The witness evidently confused the meanings of “vertical” and “horizontal”.

  2. shovethenos responds:

    I think the witness was just being conservative with the weight – something 25 feet long with a diameter the size of a 5 gallon water bucket would weigh “at least 400lbs.”

    Anyway, its good to note that the classic New England-style sea serpent is still being sighted.

  3. DavidFullam responds:

    As a Christian I say “interesting.”

  4. joe levit responds:

    Obviously, witnesses to sea serpents are just as cautious, if not more so than viewers of bigfoot, to come forward with their accounts. I’m certain there are also many more sightings that happen in this category than people let on. This is a terrific account. I wonder about the “new species” of deepwater fish the curator believes he has in his freezer.

  5. skeptik responds:

    A pretty amazing sea serpent was filmed in Norway in 1999 by a local, Mr. Molvær, and his 16 year old son. It was observed throughout a week’s time by several trustworthy witnesses who’ve lived of and close to the sea most or all of their lives.

    I contacted a local division of NRK (Norwegian State Channel) who aired the several minute shoot, since NRK lets you order DVD copies of the news, but after a lot of ado it turned out they didn’t have it in their archive anymore.
    A poor, scaled-down version is available online here. (Click the red button to see the video)

  6. joe levit responds:

    One more thing, I just looked again at the sea serpent illustration at the top of this post. I’ve seen that many times, but clearly had never taken a really good look at it. I had never noticed the two smaller eel or serpent-like creatures swimming away in the bottom left-hand corner. Are those immature specimens? Also, the main serpent appears to be exiting a cave, on land. I wonder what that may hint at. I tend to really enjoy older illustrations like these. I think they detail accuracies more often than people believe.

  7. skeptik responds:

    Oh, and it is feeding on a dead killer whale (Orca) in the video.

  8. Tengu responds:

    The description seems to be an unhappy combination of precise and vague.

    It sounds like a Leatherback turtle to me.

    The Curator suggested an oarfish (standard response…but you could say that ‘leatherback turtle’ is equally cliche) if so, what was it doing on the surface, clearly happy and not dying, as a deep sea fish like the oarfish would be in such a position?

    I don’t recall fish sticking their heads out of the water…most odd

    and of course an oarfish would have its trademark crest, wouldn’t it?

    (unless it was a ribbon fish which is similar)

    If not a turtle, could be a walrus or strange species of seal strayed down from the north.

    (can you imagine how funny a bladder nosed seal would look if you had never seen one before?)

    I was reading an article on arctic seals in a British nature mag, apparently we often get visitors. Sometimes they are lost youngsters, but at others they seem to be healthy adults who have teamed up with local seals.

  9. wenonahplace responds:

    I love when the most credible people endure the most incredible experiences.

    It tends to bring the significance of eyewitness testimonial credibility to skeptics, but also helps the eyewitness awaken from their cryptozoological coma.

  10. Dreamcatcher responds:

    I have a comment about the oarfish the Lobsterman was probably working in shallow water at that time of year. It could have been an oarfish that was not able to swim vertically. Also a lobsterman would know if something was unusual in the water I used to live on an island off the coast of Maine and you hear stories like this every now and then.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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