The Secret Selma Footage

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 6th, 2008


Extreme Expeditions author Adam Davies’ just-released footage of the “Seljord Serpent” or Selma is actually secret footage that has never been released before. (See my previous blog on this sterling example of blobdracontology, here.)


Jan-Ove Sundberg of the Swedish group GUST writes:

The Selma video you now write about at Cryptomundo was taken on our expedition to Lake Seljordsvattnet in 1999.

That Adam & Co. took it has been kept a secret by them until now, but GUST have published many articles about the video. See this feature [which is in Swedish] published in 2005 (I have taken no less than 4 different pictures in there myself).

The reason I haven’t published it on [my site] is that Adam Davies forbid me to do so. Now I guess the time has come.

Selma Video Screen Caps

Please click on image for full size version

Of course, the reality may live someplace other than in what Sundberg states. The controversial Swedish figure may be misusing the word “secret.” The footage aired some time ago on the “Richard and Judy” show in the UK, which is their equivalent of “Oprah,” according to Adam Davies. Davies appears to have merely not allowed Sundberg to use the footage himself.

The uploading of the footage on YouTube and its playing on Cryptomundo are its first showings on the Internet, but not publicly.

Various other frames of the footage have also now been enhanced and commented about here and here.

selma coat

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.

11 Responses to “The Secret Selma Footage”

  1. mantis responds:

    And the secret is………..
    you’re just looking at waves.

  2. PhotoExpert responds:

    Some Cryptomundo reader has to be the voice of reason here. I guess I will volunteer myself for that role.

    I understand, when dealing with unknown animals, known animals, unknown scenarios, and possible cryptids, many of us here want to be believers. I think that is a good thing. But it can become a bad thing when we reach conclusions based on data or evidence that is not there. When we want to believe so much that something may exist or want to believe so much in some idea, that we exclude other more probably and scientific explanations, we become an easy target for skeptics. And you know what, if one were a believer, you really could not blame them.

    Skeptics or cinics would actually have a point in arguing against the believers when are belief rests on theory with shoddy evidence to back it up. In most people’s opinion, questionable evidence is no evidence at all. If believers keep relying on questionable evidence, they deserve to be a target for skeptics. Not that the skeptics are right in their point of view, but it does give their arguments more validity for current and future cases when believers use ambiguous evidence as proof in proving their points. Heck, it even makes me skeptical.

    When the BF Massacre Theory was proposed here, I had a lot to say about that. It seemed that pulling at strings to prove a theory that had very little credence in the way of evidence, makes serious cryptolovers a target or even a laughing stock. Believing requires being optimistic but it also requires data, evidence, and logic. I will add common sense into that mixture as well. When saying that something could be based or enhanced digital manipulations as was the case in the BF Massacre Theory when the water was said to contain blood after being manipulated, is just ludicrous. It makes anyone that supports such a theory on such flimsy evidence or lack of evidence, just look plain foolish. Objectivity was thrown out the window when that happened. Scientific principles were thrown out the window too when that happened. To support such nonsense without any proof should make believers ashamed of themselves. It lowers the bar for true Cryptozoologists or Cryptoenthusiasts. It muddies the water in this interesting field. So if you are a believer, you need to step up and put such theories and bad science to rest as quickly as you can.

    In this case, I almost feel as if this video of “Selma” is a joke. I am not saying that perhaps a Selma does not exist. In fact, Selma may be a real animal. It could be a known animal or unknown animal or even the cryptid serpent that some people proclaim it to be. But let’s get serious fellow Cryptomundo readers. I don’t know what that video shows if anything, except that the camera person was very shaky on what appears to be pretty calm waters. That is my first red flag. How many times have we seen very shaky video when people are trying to perpetrate a hoax? So that is red flag number one for me.

    Red flag number two for me is that there are other more reasonable explanations that would explain that particular video. When we jump to a theory that it must be Selma, we just have discounted more probably explanations that are more rational. We just throw the science out the window when we do that. I for one will not do that. I am not going to say if I am a believer or skeptic. I am one that seeks the truth. So I would classify myself as a skeptical believer. And as such, I require a higher standard of proof than someone saying they were on an expedition to photograph Selma. That is like the ghost hunters that take “orb” photos and say they just happened to have a camera and were in a graveyard at 3 AM and not looking to capture a ghost on film. If it were a game of poker, they already played their hand for me. Sure you were in a graveyard not expecting to catch anything. Sure it is an orb and therefore it could not be dust, other particulate illuminated by the flash or water droplets in the air. It must be a ghost orb because the photographer said so and “just happened” to be in a graveyard with a camera. Sound familiar? Shaky video and the cameraperson just happened to be on an expedition in a body of water where the legend of Selma existed for some time. Is anyone with me on that?

    The third red flag is that although the video was captured in 1999, why did it take so long to get out. And giving the translator the benefit of the doubt, why was it “secret” for so long?

    The fourth red flag for me is when science is totally discounted or not included as an explanation. For me, looking at the video, the sun seems to be at such an angle that it is coming from behind the subject toward the video cam. Has anyone here ever studied wave theory as part of physics? Has anyone here ever heard of constructive antinodal interference? Has anyone here studied optical physics or quantum physics? Ever heard of index of refraction of light? Ever heard of white light absorption and shadowing as it pertain to imaging?

    Well, if you had not, maybe it is just pure ignorance in thinking that this video has captured Selma the serpent. Or maybe you are so willing to accept anything as an explanation to prove your own belief in something while throwing out more probably explanations and data.

    What I see in this still capture shot and what I see in the video are waves. Given all the other flags, even if I threw those red flags out, just based on pure scientific knowledge, I see waves.

    I can’t explain years of optical physics and wave theory in just a few sentences. But I will give you the basics and you can research the information to see if what I am saying holds more credence than Selma being seen in this video.

    The lighting of this video appears to be natural backlighting. I say this because I believe you can see the shadow of the treeline in the water. That would tell me that the sun was positioned behind the subject. The video is so blurry and shaky, I could be wrong but that is my best guess. I see a couple of waves in the water. If these waves are backlit, then the water will defract the light going through the peak of the wave. There will also be some absorption of white light when going through the wave. There will also be diffraction of light due to particulate matter in the water itself. And tannins from the leaves will color the neighboring water and give it a darket color that absorbs light as well. The bottom line is that you will see a shadow underneath the wave as it is approaching the camera. The wave can change amplitude in the process when moving towards the camera. It can have higher or lower peaks, or more or less significant troughs. This is due to the opposing size of the waves and their frequency when approaching the waves that are visible with shadow.

    If we see the wave appear and disappear, one who discounts science would say that it is obvious it was a moving, living creature that just submerged. But upon further and more reasonable analysis, any one with a science background would know that the opposing waves, if exactly or near the same size, frequency and amplitude, will cancel the oncoming waves and the surface will go flat. No longer will dark spots or shadows appear. The light will not be diffracted through the wave any longer. And the wave will diminish suddenly or disappear completely if an exact match in size, shape and frequency. Wow! Now which explanation seems more probable to you now? Simple science or a cryptid explanation? I’m going with science. I will still hold out hope that Selma exists. But given the red flags, I am not going to discount science and more probable and more logical explanations to rationalize any hope of the waves being a serpent named Selma.

    This is called seeking the truth. I am a truth seeker. I like to call myself an skeptical believer. I am an optimist. But ridiculous theories with no evidence and/or poor evidence, just to rationalize one’s belief, does discredit the cryptoenthusiasts as a whole. We should not let that happen. We can not let that happen. Maybe that is why I have been more vocal lately when reading here. I see that happening. So I have become more vocal.

    I felt compelled to speak up when redacted by Cryptomundo posted about the BF Massacre Theory here. And although less compelled to speak up about this because I believe the intentions of Mr. Davies have little to do with an alterior motive, I still feel compelled to speak up. What I see is a trend here of similar scenarios.

    I don’t want ludicrous theories based on lack of good evidence to make fools of any of the believers or cryptoenthusiasts here at Cryptomundo. So I must post with impunity so that does not happen. I hope you appreciate my sincerity in putting these theories to task.

    Enjoy the posts and reads here at Cryptomundo. Be enthusiastic and enjoy the site as I have and am enjoying it. But don’t let your enthusiasm to believe, discount rational and logical scientific thinking. Think of other possible and probably explanations before considering legends as reality. I don’t want anyone here to be perceived as foolish.

    Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

  3. wtb1 responds:

    What Mantis said.

  4. shumway10973 responds:

    The top 2 pics could be something, or they could be otters, logs or nothing but waves. All the rest of the pics and the video footage are all rubbish. I cannot see a thing. Now, I’m not sure if that is because the person at the camera is that bad, if there really isn’t anything there or if it is because they put it on Utube. In any case, there’s nothing here.

  5. Shane Durgee responds:

    PhotoExpert, I don’t think anyone here thought there was anything all that remarkable about the footage or the stills, but… thanks?

  6. a_mangy_human responds:

    LOL mantis!

  7. springheeledjack responds:

    I’m in too. Sure there are pictures, but it doesn’t show anything that is conclusive or even respectable. The dark shadows could be waves, fish, swimmers, light on the water, anything. But we will never know, because the photos do not show a darn thing. And too bad too, because I would love to see something conclusive!

    BUt there you go. Another, well I don’t even think this qualifies as a blobselma. Sorry, but there’s no evidence there.

  8. Cryptonut responds:

    Otters….swimming in a line…. 😉

  9. Spinach Village responds:

    I have to say this.

    First of all I’m glad to see the pictures. I for one definitely find them interesting.

    I’m just curious as to why the majority of the posters at this cryptozoology site, feel the need to be so pessimistic, and cynical?

    How did they get here? Do they believe that there are animals and even large animals in the world that mainstream science is not aware of or will not acknowledge publicly? Or do they just like to kick the air out of theories haphazardly in the name of “debunking”?

    Talk about putting a damper on genuine explorer enthusiasm. Obviously I don’t understand where this culture came from.

    Every single Cryptomundo post is followed by a contest of who can logically debunk the best.

    So anyhow, I couldn’t hold that back any longer.

  10. mystery_man responds:

    PhotoExpert- From one truth seeker to the other, well said!

  11. vensethh responds:

    im not to big on this so i dont know what to expect.all i see is waves.

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