Even More Thoughts on Alaska Cadborosaurus Footage

Posted by: John Kirk on August 20th, 2010

This will be my last post on this subject until I have further news on when the show will be aired. I have asked the producers for a still from the footage, but am not expecting they will comply with my request.

When readers have seen the footage they will be able to write in these forums of their thoughts and impressions of what they have seen in the footage. If they disagree with the conclusions that Paul Leblond and I have reached from seeing the original footage and enhancements, then that is quite alright.

I don’t have any problem with anyone disagreeing with our findings, that is anyone’s right to do so.

Cadborosaurus is the generic name that we use in British Columbia to describe a north Pacific megaserpent. While some have claimed that Leblond and Bousfield have posited this creature may be a plesiosaur, there is no truth to this. It was a mistaken inference by a couple of scientists that Paul and Ed had said this and has now been widely and erroneously disseminated.

While Ed has said he thinks that this creature is a reptile, Paul is not so sure. Nor am I. I find it hard to believe that a reptile is able to endure the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. I don’t know what it is, but I have doubts about reptilian origins.

The idea that the Naden Harbour carcass is a decomposing basking shark is off base. Jim Wakelin – who may yet be alive today – worked at Naden Harbour in October 1937 and told our team a few years ago about his experience with that carcass and he was sure that it was not any known animal. As a flenser, he had seen all types of carcasses and marine animals. This one was so unusual that F.S Huband, the station manager at Naden Harbour, felt the need to photograph it and send tissue samples to Victoria and Nanaimo.

I have no trouble saying that the head of one of the Nushagak Bay creatures and the Naden Harbour carcass looked identical. Paul Leblond and I both spotted this even though we viewed the footage separately.

I do not get the people on this forum that think that this is a hoax. I have been in the cryptozoological community for over 20 years and have been wary about all sorts of claims and hoaxes. I am only coming forward with this information as I feel fairly confident that there are cryptids in the Nushagak Bay footage.

At worst this could be a horrible misidentification on the parts of the man who shot the footage, Paul Leblond, myself, the producers from Discovery Channel and tech people who worked on the footage and a select few others who have viewed the footage and have concluded that this is a group of unknown animals.

For one reader to say that he hopes this is not “Johor Bigfoot the revenge” is uncalled for. That was an outright hoax. This is not a hoax.

I would suggest that people consider the reputation of the Discovery Channel. Do you think that they would perpetrate a hoax? I don’t think so. Discovery Channel – at least here in Canada – have dealt with cryptozoology from a very skeptical perspective, much to my chagrin. However, I understand where they are coming from. For some people to come on this forum and say that Discovery is not an appropriate medium in which to convey footage of a possible new species of animal is ludicrous. It is a much better forum than the other programs one person suggested would be more appropriate.

Paul Leblond and the Hillstrand brothers from Deadliest Catch discussed this creature for the program. Paul then told them to go and catch these animals if they could for the sake of science. I hope this makes it into the program.

Watch the footage when it comes on. If you don’t think it is an unknown species say so. I’ll disagree with you, but I’ll shake your hand afterwards and say you have the right to think whatever you wish to about what you have seen.

John Kirk About John Kirk
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.

22 Responses to “Even More Thoughts on Alaska Cadborosaurus Footage”

  1. pressure responds:

    I’m intrigued by the absence of Mr. Coleman in all of this. He was quick to coin the name “Georgia Gorilla” to a rubber suit. I would have thought that he would be right in the middle of this.

  2. ILoveSnakes responds:

    While Ed has said he thinks that this creature is a reptile, Paul is not so sure. Nor am I. I find it hard to believe that a reptile is able to endure the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. I don’t know what it is, but I have doubts about reptilian origins.

    I think it’s worth noting here that Leatherback turtles endure very frigid waters, and plesiosaurs are known from an area of Australia that was once part of the South Pole. 95% of the fossils discovered were babies or juveniles, suggesting that the reptiles even bred the the cold Antarctic waters.

    More info:


    Plesiosaurs 1

    Plesiosaurs 2

    Plesiosaurs 3

    So I don’t think a reptilian identity for Caddy can be considered suspect merely on the basis of low water temperture.

    I am very much looking forward to seeing the video!

  3. mustWarnOthers responds:

    @ pressure… Maybe Mr Coleman is waiting until he sees the footage until he makes a comment on it, which is more than I can say for some of the readers of Cryptomundo. Also, I think you may be remembering the Georgia Bigfoot hoax wrong, Loren actually called the finding “amazing” and was almost fooled by the photo of rubber suit at first. It was only after a few more pieces of evidence came through that he discredited it.

  4. BoyintheMachine responds:

    Just an FYI: I know scientists who won’t watch the Discovery Channel because they get fed up with the nonsense the channel promotes as scientific evidence.

    Also, it doesn’t matter if the network picked it up, all that matters is on what show it will air.

    Otherwise, I will keep an open-mind but I will admit at this point that my hopes are not up.

  5. Mibs responds:

    I’m eager to see the video footage, but I’m also keeping a skeptical eye open. It’s important to separate desire from truthful examination regardless of the results.

  6. Kopite responds:

    Well said John. Some of the sniping and cynicism shown by some of the posters here has been disappointing, to say the least. If they are so cynical and full of scofticism about a possibly fascinating piece of footage then why on earth are they even reading about such subjects on a site called Cryptomundo, nevermind posting on it?

  7. PhotoExpert responds:

    I look forward to seeing the video footage. Thanks for keeping all the readers here updated John.

    The only comment I can make on this subject, prior to seeing the footage, is about the way some people post here on Cryptomundo. I think a few readers need a lesson in civility!

    Perhaps a warning system can be implemented by moderators here at Cryptomundo. Everyone gets a one time pass for the first infraction. A second infraction gets a warning letter. A third infraction gets a second and final warning. And any infractions after that winds up in posting privileges being suspended or terminated.

    I do understand that people have different points of view. That is what makes Cryptomundo great. But attacking posters, especially without having seen the footage or having any facts, are troll-like at best. Some people have a mean streak and lack the ability to control themselves. When there is no self control, it must be imposed with authority.

    I think it is great that we get first peeks at things here at Cryptomundo. However, contributors will be less likely to use Cryptomundo as their source if they are treated by civil actions from readers. Then, when a real find comes Cryptomundo’s way, those sources and contributors will be less likely to use Cryptomundo or give Cryptomundo first glance at anything. All this because some people can not control themselves and speak without reviewing the facts. This should and can be prevented from happening!

    Enough said! Personally, I’ll wait to comment until I have seen the footage and have the facts. Thanks for keeping us informed until that time!

  8. octavioa1 responds:

    As always…. time will tell.

  9. oldphilosopher responds:

    I feel no impulse to comment until I have seen or heard something to comment upon. Nothing in the proffered facts regarding this filming merit critique at this point. Would that could be said of all.

  10. SurferSasquatch10 responds:

    I feel I should point out that Nushagak Bay is adjoined to Kvichak Bay, which through the Kvichak River, is connected to Iliamna Lake, home to the legendary Iliamna Lake Monster. Whilst Iliamna sightings generally seem to agree on the detail of an enormous fish species, it may be possible that some sightings could be somehow related to this supposed Cadborosaurus population.

  11. pressure responds:

    I remember the “Georgia Gorilla” episode very well. Mr. Coleman had Blogged that he had information from someone close to the situation. He suggested we use the name Georgia Gorilla. This not long after he coined “The Montauk Monster”, in jest perhaps but those were his words.
    Mr. Coleman is the main contributer to this website and I find his silence on this matter intriguing.
    1.) Has he been asked for comment by The Discovery Channel?
    2.) Has he seen the footage?

    I view Mr. Coleman as the foremost expert in the Cryptozoology field. Is he being excluded from this “Discovery”? If so, why?

  12. MattBille responds:

    Surfer, yes, that thought has definitely come up.
    The idea of two big cryptid species in a limited area would seem highly unlikely. I’ve probably looked into Iliamna as much or more than anyone else, (even if the documentary “Monsters and Myths of Alaska” cut me down to a ten-second sound bite), and I think it’s the most likely of all large aquatic cryptids. It does sound like an unusually large, probably insular type of sturgeon.
    Relation to the filmed creatures? Hmmm. If the film only showed serrated backs in the water, then it could be the same species (despite the unnatural behavior for sturgeon). However, if John Kirk is right when he says an animal lifted its head clear of the water and looked toward the camera, then maybe we DO have two surprises in a limited area.

  13. cryptojet responds:

    I can not wait to see the footage, very exciting indeed. Iview from where I stand. DC is in the business of selling TV programs, they need entertaining content to be able to do this. Note that I say “entertaining” it doesn’t have to be scientific.

    I can definitely see the point of view that scientific discoveries don’t normally play out this way. If it was genuine there would be a buzz and excitement pulsing through the scientific community the likes of which many of us would not have seen in our lifetime.view from where I stand. DC is in the business of selling TV programs, they need entertaining content to be able to do this. Note that I say “entertaining” it doesn’t have to be scientific.

    I can definitely see the point of view that scientific discoveries don’t normally play out this way. If it was genuine there would be a buzz and excitement pulsing through the scientific community the likes of which many of us would not have seen in our lifetime. can see both points of view from where I stand. DC is in the business of selling TV programs, they need entertaining content to be able to do this. Note that I say “entertaining” it doesn’t have to be scientific.

    I can definitely see the point of view that scientific discoveries don’t normally play out this way. If it was genuine there would be a buzz and excitement pulsing through the scientific community the likes of which many of us would not have seen in our lifetime.

    I do agree that we must wait to see the footage to make up our own minds. Perhaps DC have scored a real scoop here and are going to break something truly amazing in an unconventional fashion, i.e through the entertainment industry rather than through the scientific community.

    Also it is really unfair to essentially label Mr Kirk a liar. Sounds like a chap any of us would like to have a beer with.

  14. springheeledjack responds:

    I guess I’m commenting on the naysaying that’s been going on. I think all too often it is disappointing on a site such as this where information, sightings, and photos or video comes in and it turns out to be blobsquatches (or USO’s), and we get no closer to any sort of truth.

    As a fact, a lot of the stuff that runs across this site falls into those categories, with only a minimal number of actual sightings and footage applicable to our cause. That’s simply because of all of the misidentifications, hoaxing, and genuine excited people who end up involved in cryptozoology. As Loren and Craig and the others have tried to point out on this site, you have to sift through a lot of mundane, and weed out the crap in order to uncover the real gems of information.

    We all get frustrated when someone thinks they’ve got the video or find of the century and it turns out to be a sturgeon or a bear…or a guy in a parka at extreme range…or worse, a few idiots with a bathtub and a suit. It’s easy to become jaded and to assume that everything coming in is going to be nothing or hoaxers or some misidentification. And it’s hard not to ASSume everything is a fake or a blob after you wade through a hundred false leads.

    Like I said, I get frustrated too…when we get a piece of evidence and it turns out to be either so vague as to be of no value or a fake because someone has nothing better to do with their time, I have my favorite catch phrases and four letter words.

    However, part of being a true skeptic is not making a hip shot and jumping to a conclusion without some investigation and as many facts as you can get. Immediately denouncing an encounter or footage is just as irresponsible as jumping up and down and getting out your checkbook to buy the suit in the bathtub.

    That’s what this site and its contributors have been teaching us over the course of Cryptomundo’s existence.

    Sure, we’d all love to get the carcass in hand, or the definitive proof that our favorite cryptids are out there and indisputable. However, until that day arrives we sift through the evidence as we get it and make heads or tails of it.

    AND, it’s the one piece of footage, sighting or encounter that is of value that makes it worth wading through all of the other garbage and keeps me on the hunt. And returning to Cryptomundo day after day.

    So, I will say again. I’m excited about this footage–and with John Kirk and Dr. LeBlond already having a first hand look at it, AND the fact that they’re excited about it, gives me more reason to be excited.

    However, I’m not dooming it or buying into it until I get a look at the footage for myself. I’m skeptical without making a judgement before I know what’s going on.

    So, bring it on…I want to see what those fishermen caught on film!

  15. jerrywayne responds:

    I see no reason to assume this news is a hoax or that the creatures of interest are not as described. My problem is with equating these apparent cryptids with Cadborosaurus. This may be the reason other posters are viewing this news as dubious.

    According to Darren Naish’s site, Tetrapod Zoology (Sept. 02, 2006), Bousfield and LeBlond formally described the Naden Harbour carcass as a new species in a supplement to the science journal Amphipacifica and “proposed that Cadborosaurus might represent a surviving plesiosaur” because “(on p. 8 it is classified as ‘Class Reptilia, Subclass Euryapsida?, Order Pleiosauria?’)”. Perhaps we should note the question marks.

    In their book CADBOROSAURUS: SURVIVOR from the DEEP, LeBlond and Bousfield, in a chapter titled “What Is Caddy”, suggest that the Naden Harbour carcass and various eyewitness accounts imply: “Overall, Caddy ranks most closely with marine saurischian (plesiosaurs) or thalattosuchian (marine crocodilians) reptiles and marine mammals…” (p.82). They seem to conclude on the following page that Cadborosaurus is “perhaps most closely related” to early marine crocodilians.

    As to the identity of the Naden Harbour carcass, all I really suggest is that we cannot determine if it represents a cryptid or a known animal under obscuring circumstances. Some have put forth the ever present “usual suspect,” a decayed basking shark, as the explanation for the carcass. It is worth noting that the director of Provincial Museum in Victoria, in July of 1937, was quoted as saying “there was little doubt that the portion of a backbone, the piece of baleen and the portion of skin forwarded to the museum were pieces of a baleen whale, which he believed was of premature birth.” (p. 56 of L. and B.’s book).

    Mr. Kirk states again that the head of one of the cryptids in the new footage looks very much like the head of the Naden Harbour carcass. MattBille states that Mr. Kirk describes the cryptid as lifting its head above the water and looking towards the camera. Perhaps I should reread Mr. Kirk’s original post again, because I don’t remember any comment suggesting the animal in the footage lifted its head out of water, Caddy like. Of course, if it did, that fact would seem to disallow fish as a solution to this mystery. If it didn’t so elevate its head, I must ask again how it is possible to assume an affinity with the Naden Harbour carcass head, which is known only in profile.

    My primary concern is that the apparent cryptids in the new footage are being conflated with the legendary Cadborosaurus, unnecessarily.

  16. bigfootsdad responds:

    For jerrywayne: “Then one the creatures turns to look in the general direction of the camera and I must say I was stunned because it looked like a living breathing version of the famed Naden Harbour carcass obtained in 1937.” From Mr. Kirk’s post 15 Cadborosauruses? Maybe a few less.

  17. jerrywayne responds:

    Thanks, bigfootsdad.

    Maybe I’m overthinking this, but Mr. Kirk has not posted that the cryptid in question “lifted its head clear of the water.” In fact, he never suggests at anytime that the footage shows a classic posture for Caddy, i.e., head above water, with long neck. This is important because Mr. Kirk seems to be saying the cryptid’s head is seen and it resembles the Naden Harbour dead beast’s camel-like head. If the cryptid’s head was not above water, but at water level or just below the surface, then its resemblance to the Naden Harbour animal would be necessarily tempered by the elements (especially, given the fact that the comparison, the Naden Harbour carcass, is out of water and seen only in profile).

    Like I said, maybe I’m overthinking Mr. Kirk’s comments. Anyway, this seems on the surface (pun intended) to be a very promising cryptozoological development.

  18. Kris responds:

    Cadborosaurus has always been my favorite cryptid so the idea that this footage is out there is very exciting. I respect what Mr. Kirk has said about the footage and I am very excited to see it for myself. I’ve always believed that Caddy was out there! After reading LeBlond and Bousfield’s book I came to the conclusion it was some sort of marine mammal, I can’t wait to see for myself!

  19. springheeledjack responds:

    AND by the way, what’s the word on the Alaska film footage of the 10-15 things in the bay??? Anyone heard any updates on that and when it’s going to air and where??????

    Inquiring minds need to know…

  20. nnnslogan responds:

    I am as eager as anyone to see this new cadborosaurus footage. If it’s genuine, it represents a huge step toward finally identifying and possibly capturing one of these famous cryptids, the “water horse” or “sea serpent” of myth and legend.

    However, in light of recent higher profile hoaxes like the Sonoma bigfoot video engineered by Penn and Teller, and the Georgia bigfoot costume and guts in a cooler, we’ve all become more wary of any new announcement.

    Since I’m a 3DCG artist myself, allow me to postulate how a hoax like this could be created. I’m not saying it is a hoax. I’m just postulating how a hoax of this type could be accomplished.

    First, as any good magician will tell you, there needs to be an accomplice. You always have an assistant who can play the part of the seemingly honest person who appears to be a believer, but is secretly in on the gag. I don’t know these fishermen, but in a scenario like this they would be the people who seem honest, but pull off the confidence trick of fooling the mark with their sincere amazement.

    Second, you need the “evidence” in the form of a video. With modern CG technology, I have to be honest and tell you that there are 3DCG artists who are more than capable of fooling you if they want to. Not all of them are quite this good, but they are out there, and the technology is not nearly as expensive as their skills and time. The computers used to do this kind of work no longer need to be very impressive compared to the typical home computer. 3DCG software like 3D Studio Max, Maya, Modo, Softimage, Blender, etc. can be rigged up with photorealistic renderers, and I don’t think a cadborosaurus model would be very difficult to model, texture, animate, and blend into video with tracking software at this point.

    I’m not saying that’s what has happened here. I’m just making it clear that this is entirely possible now with current technology that anyone can buy and learn to use.

    I’m hoping the video is real. It will surely be thrilling to watch. I just have to hold onto some skepticism until I see it for myself.

  21. Automaton responds:

    Well, I’ve been searching ALL day to find out when this will air. I know it’s on Discovery Channel, I now know that it will be on Deadliest Catch (Agreed, a bit odd, but maybe surprisingly fitting) And finally, It’s supposed to be on in September. Well, September is almost over, and Tuesday the 21st a new episode of DC will air – The scariest moments of the season or something along those lines. So I’m deducing that that will be the likely air date. Purely speculation keep in mind, I don’t want to be ripped apart for misleading information. All I know is I’m gonna watch a show I’ve never seen before (before today), just in case it shows up there 🙂 Funny thing is, couldn’t find anything about this upcoming episode on Discovery.ca, or anywhere else. “TV listings are currently unavailable,” it says. Coincidence? Maybe. I found out from my cable box ;). I hope I’m right, ’cause real or not, I’m dying to see this footage.


    (And thanks John for the updates and info.)

  22. nnnslogan responds:

    I would like to mention that the “cadborosaurus” very much resembles the description of many creatures of mythology. The chinese dragon looks just like this. It has a horse-like or dog-like head with whiskers, a long, serpentine body with scales, four legs, and a tail almost like a fish. Chinese dragons are believed to live in rivers and lakes. Asian mythology also features a similar aquatic animal, the Qilin or Kirin, also featuring a mammalian head, antlers, and a scaly body. In western culture there is the kelpie or water horse, believed to haunt Scottish and Irish lakes, a parallel to the Lindorm in Sweden, or lindwurm on Germany. The descriptions are all a good match.

    If you check into descriptions of eyewitnesses to lake monsters around the world in many different lakes, very the description includes a horse-like head, something you would not expect of a serpent. You will also find descriptions of curling serpentine loops or “humps” in the water, a likely feature of coiled serpentine aquatic movement.

    It is entirely possible that when we finally obtain a sample of these aquatic creatures it will be a better match for mythological dragons than for dinosaurs.

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