Saturday, June 25, 2016


The Plesioturtle by Thomas Finley 
      When the first images from the Kelly Nash "Cadbourosaurus" video were released to the public a few years back there was a keen interest by aquatic cryptid fans and researchers in the clips and story that went with the video.

Nash series I - Caddy

NASH series I -  Triangular head breaks the surface
   Being that there is very little usable or un-hoarded video footage out there of any aquatic cryptids, the Nash footage attracted much attention. Researcher John Kirk was given a private showing of the entire event and seemed excited by the prospect of footage that he felt showed a group of unknown creatures being chased by a pack of killer whales.
   The first snippets of footage released publicly consisted of about 7 seconds of lower resolution footage of what appeared to be several low lying, surface swimming animals moving along as a group. In this first series of clips, no whales are visible.

Classic Caddy profile
   The limited footage did not resemble the proclaimed profile of the animals as described by many witnesses - that being a camel faced, loop producing serpent whose reported slender, snake like body would coil out of the water to the point of sometimes actually showing daylight thru the hoops.
     In both series of the now public Nash clips there are no long-necks or coils or "horsey" looking heads that visibly break the surface shown at any time.

   Most researchers disagree on what the animals possibly are, with nominations made of various ancient reptiles - now thought to be extinct, mis- identified elephant seals, long necked pinnipeds not in the fossil record and the thought to be extinct "Super Otter."
   Ogopogo has often been described to posses a "Horse-like head" too.
   Whatever Ogopogo is, it lives inland from Caddy, in the 100 mile long Lake Okanagan, which  was connected to the 
                                                         British Columbian sea 8,000 years ago.  

Supposed Caddy anatomy derived from picture of "Naden carcass."
   Before his untimely passing, Kelly Nash made it clear that these animals were not anything he's ever seen before, so whales and other commonly seen sea-life might be ruled out by the on the job knowledge of someone with an over 40 year fishing career in that area of British Columbia. 

The late Kelly Nash in center
                                 Series II Nash Caddy video

    As in the original clips, the animals can be seen to cluster with one another. Kelly's son, Kyle Nash remarked that you can see "a bunch of them swimming very close together," so he realized that this was not some giant singular hump connected beast. Instead there seems to be several of these wake producing animals cruising along at a good speed, and apparent square-ish shaped heads and eyes are visible in the cluster, most prominent on the lead animal.

CADDY cluster of humps and heads ?
   The animals are swimming from right to left at a decent clip and at one point son Kyle Nash is impressed by the speed of the group and is heard exclaiming "look at how fast they're swimming." Unfortunately, most of the frames from this new footage suffer from motion blur, but several in-focus images exist if examined frame by frame. 
What may be a series of undulating humps are seen- sometimes swimming in a row, and sometimes swimming side by side while clustering together to create at times a single almost unidentifiable writhing mass.

3 in a row - eye visible on center animal ?
     One of the ideas by various researchers over the years is that some of these more humped aquatic cryptid sightings are unknown giant single animals somehow equipped with fatty flexible lumps on their backs that roll up on their spines and give the appearance of the multi- humped monsters mentioned occasionally by witnesses. Another assumption is that the animals are snake like in nature and coil to create the humped presentation. 

A youngster ?
    Viewing the Nash footage, one can see these particular animals swim in a tightly formed group. It may be easier to see where all the different shaped humps in reports of aquatic cryptids might be coming from. In both series of the Nash clips it's hard to tell where one animal ends and the next begins. They are not always swimming in a predictable circus elephant row either, but swimming besides and over each other and keeping close to the lead animal in the pack as well. If an observer were not to take this suspected behavior into account then it would be easy to think that these protrusions were all from the same hump- connected uber- animal. In the 2nd batch of footage there are no whales visible again, which may suggest that there is even more unreleased footage yet to come.

CADDY as a giant, long necked, leatherback style turtle by Chris Smith

   An idea postulated by Prof. Roy Mackal while researching on Loch Ness 40 years ago was that some humps could also be the result of youngsters hitching a ride on the back of an adult animal. Such behavior would explain how it's possible that eyewitnesses have reported seeing a row of humps where one of the humps in the middle would suddenly disappear. As to the possible identity of what we are seeing in the Nash footage, fully aquatic turtles should be considered as a prospect. 

Nash series II still
   Cold water tolerant Leatherback turtle pods are sometimes seen to swim in a similar fashion to what is observed on the Nash footage. Turtles don't always need to have rigid, cumbersome shells. The Leatherback turtle has a very flexible carapace, as do the worldwide Trionychids or softshell turtles. 

Indian Soft Shell Turtle showing the shell flexibility
  If Caddy is a turtle, then why no reports of shells being noticed ?
Turtle's shells can sometimes take on the color and pattern of the skin of the animal thus giving the illusion that there is no shell at all, an idea that may have been suggested by one  aquatic cryptid researcher who once described Lake Champlain's "Champ," after witnessing it close up, as
" a Snapping Turtle without a shell." Such a  creature as a "shell-less turtle" has not existed zoologically since the order of the Placodonts, some quarter of a BILLION years ago. (250 million). Could it just be that the shell was not noticed ? 

Indictra - Softshelled Trionychid showing continuous shell / body integration of
shape and disruptive camouflage colors patterns.

Continuous membrane around the entire turtle make this Indian Trionychid
look like it's been tool dipped in plastic. That hidden neck can extend the length of the shell.
   On many occasions, Caddy has been described as "turtle-like." Could it be that there is in fact a shell, but that they are one of the species where the shell is not detected easily ?  

          Champlain mystery animal left & known species giant Hoan Kiem Turtle on right  

            left - Nash Cadborosaurus head.     Right - 18 inch wide LC Champ head above water
- same triangular snouts
  Hopefully there is more footage to be seen. The additional 8 seconds from the 2nd camera is important in that it could help identify the animals as not being waves or seals/ pinnepeds, whales or plesiosaurs, but perhaps something else.  The shape of the head in the Nash series seems not to be horse shaped, but looks to be a "turtle- like" creature of some kind looking into the camera with several swimming companions snuggled up against it. Could it also be that additional reports of coiling or long, overly thin necks are miss-identifications of the creature's long fins breaking the surface ?

A square head looks into the camera 
  There is usually an expectation by researchers to hear about the long neck, believing these creatures to perhaps be Plesiosaurs, yet many sightings on places like Ness, Champlain and Okanagan report a short necked animal.
   What kind of animal can have both a short or long neck ? Only a turtle.

      Nash series II - Head above water - eye visible - fins out to the sides
                             - is this a huge unknown aquatic turtle ?

Leatherback Turtle in similar pose with head held higher
   Another pro-turtle idea came from "Cadborosaurus, Survivor from ther Deep" author Ed Bousfield who speculated that the animals were reptilian in nature and were able to breathe underwater, an ability that can only be attributed knowingly to the order of Testudines, via the use of cloacal gills.  

Nash series II - swimming from right to left.
Is that a head and reptilian brow-ridge up front ?

   Joe Nickel and Ben Radford have pointed out in their book "Lake Monster Mysteries" the wide variety of conflicting lake monster reports from Lake Champlain alone. The endless variations of manes, back structures, humps and head neck configurations, although believed seen and reported, may not be what they really look like. They are not always described in a consistent manner.
   Could it be that the pandemonium of the animals swimming around and over each other at an Olympic speed be responsible for the humps and bumps ? Considering the apparent behavior on the video taped by the Nash videographers, it may be worth considering.

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