A prehistoric petroglyph from the Monsell site, Nanaimo, B.C. appears to be one of the first depictions of Caddy. (photo / public domain)

A prehistoric petroglyph from the Monsell site, Nanaimo, B.C. appears to be one of the first depictions of Caddy. (photo / public domain)

Does a creature lurk beneath Cadboro Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

For many, the mention of a group of people dedicated to finding definitive evidence of a legendary sea serpent may evoke an almost reflexive impression of a tinfoil-hat-wearing, fanatic cast of characters; out of touch with reality and certainly not a group to be taken seriously.

In the case of the small cadre of researchers and scientists behind the Caddy Scan Project, that impression would be both unfair and inaccurate.

“You have to start by telling that you are looking at it in a skeptical and scientific basis and, to be taken seriously, you have to establish that you have engaged in serious activities in another field,” explained Dr. Paul LeBlond, one of the researchers with the Caddy Scan Project.

LeBlond holds a PhD in Physics and Oceanography and has published works on the nature of waves, tides and tsunamis. He has worked as a professor and was the past scientific leader in the Ocean Production Enhancement Network. Others within the Caddy Scan Project have similarly impressive credentials.

The Caddy Scan Project has been around since 1999, when VHS cameras were installed at locations of supposed sightings of the Cadborosaurus, more commonly known as Caddy. That’s the name given to a large marine animal that has been sighted by hundreds of witnesses on the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Recently, those cameras have been upgraded to high resolution DVRs which automatically record any moving objects. While the cameras have not, as yet, recorded Caddy, the motion sensor technology has proven itself capable of capturing larger marine life.

“Caddy sightings are incredibly rare and happen only a few times a year along the entire B.C. coastline so the likelihood of capturing an image is very slight, and until an actual specimen is found, the existence of the creature remains only a possibility, without proof,”said LeBlond.

No specimen has ever been made available for scientific examination and LeBlond says that, until that happens, he will remain skeptical, but curious.

He noted that, for centuries, other oceanic creatures that were thought to be only legend have since been proven to be actually exist.

For example, it’s thought that the gigantic Kraken of legend was actually based upon sightings of a giant squid. For centuries that creature was discounted as no more than myth, but in 1853 a giant cephalapod washed up on a Danish beach and officially entered the annals of science. Many other samples have since been recovered, the biggest of which measured in excess of 18 metres in length.

“With Caddy, there are similarities and detailed accounts of appearance that bear a remarkable consistency. The creature is described as being hairy, with a long neck and, it seems, is mammalian in nature,” said LeBlond.

“We’re talking about close-quarter contacts where people have been very close to the creature. Those accounts seem to have some basis in a real encounters with what we refer to as a cryptid – that is, a creature whose existence has not been proven scientifically but is thought to exist.”

LeBlond discounts the fuzzy photos of the creature taken at a distance as being less than helpful.

“Photos like that could be anything and offer no proof of anything. And every time someone makes a false claim or fakes a photo it makes our work that much more difficult. It actually hurts our credibility.”

In its search for the truth, LeBlond’s group is encouraging anyone who has encountered Caddy to come forward and report the sighting. Information on how to report can be found at cadborosaurus.ca.

LeBlond and his co-authors and researchers, John Kirk and Jason Walton, have also published a book on the subject of Caddy, entitled Discovering Cadborosaurus, in which the legends, facts and fictions of the legendary creature are explored. (The book is available in bookstores or can be ordered through the group’s website.)

“I’ve been curious about this creature since I was an assistant professor at UBC in 1969 and I’m curious still. It’s an interesting puzzle, to be sure,”said LeBlond.

When pressed on whether he truly believes in Caddy’s existence and asked to speculate on what it could be, LeBlond is cautious in his approach.

“The way its movements have been described would lead one to think it may be mammalian, perhaps an unknown, large, long-necked deep-sea seal of some kind … but we really don’t know. Until we have a specimen to examine, it’s just a mystery, and one that we’d love to solve.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dr. Paul LeBlond heads up the Caddy Scan Project and characterizes himself as a curious skeptic. (photo / LeBlond)

Dr. Paul LeBlond heads up the Caddy Scan Project and characterizes himself as a curious skeptic. (photo / LeBlond)

A sketch made by the Kemp family following their Caddy encounter and published in the Victoria Daily Times in October 1933. (photo/public domain)

A sketch made by the Kemp family following their Caddy encounter and published in the Victoria Daily Times in October 1933. (photo/public domain)

Just Posted

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
Extinction Rebellion activists march from Vancouver to Victoria this weekend

The four-day trek ends at the B.C. legislature Monday, protest province’s environmental policy

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

A weekend of sunny skies may have Victoria breaking temperature records, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Temperature records eyed for Victoria with sunny weekend forcast

Victoria hit the highest April 14 temperature since 1926 on Wednesday

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Hydro crews repairing failed electrical equipment in Saanich

Vernon Avenue reopen to traffic following closure

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read