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Monsters and myths: I saw Caddy!

The Story

It was fine fall day in October 1933 when W.H. Langley and his wife set out for an afternoon's sail near Victoria. Their boat had reached the point of Discovery Island when they made a discovery of their own. A greenish-brown creature, later named Cadborosaurus, was travelling quickly in front of their boat. In a CBC interview, Mrs. Langley recalls that she wasn't afraid, merely interested. "It took my fancy that it wasn't anything we'd seen before," she says. 

Medium: Television
Program: Here and There
Broadcast Date: July 29, 1956
Guest(s): Mrs. Langley
Host: Warnett Kennedy
Duration: 2:02

Did You know?

• Four days after the sighting, the Victoria Daily Times published a news report on the sighting. In the article, the Langleys described what they saw.
• The newspaper then received a letter from Fred Kemp, an employee of the provincial archives, who said he, his wife and son had seen the monster the year before.
• Newspaper editor Archie Willis received so many reports about the monster that he gave it a name: Cadborosaurus.

• The first part of the name comes from Cadboro Bay, a body of water near Victoria where the monster was often seen; "saurus" suggests the creature's dinosaur-like features.
• "Caddy" is described as a dark green or black creature between nine and 20 metres long with a sinuous, snakelike body that forms humps or coils when it swims above water. It's said to have small fins, a long neck and a horselike head.

• Some people reported sighting a smaller but similar creature in the same vicinity; this was assumed to be Caddy's mate and was given the name "Amy."
• One of Caddy's staunchest believers is retired marine biologist Dr. Edward Bousfield. As of 1999 he had never seen the monster, but had published a 1995 scientific paper naming it as a new species, Cadborosaurus willsi.

• While skeptics scoff at the idea that there could prehistoric animals (as Cadborosaurus is assumed to be) lurking in the ocean undetected by scientists, there is a precedent for it. In 1938 fishermen in South Africa caught a fish that was later identified as a coelacanth -- a "living fossil" whose species had previously been thought to have died out 70 million years ago.

• The scientific term for creatures like Cadborosaurus, Okanagan Lake's Ogopogo and Sasquatch is "cryptid." Cryptids are animal species that are unrecognized by scientists because of insufficient evidence of their existence.
• Cryptozoology is the study of unknown species of animals. Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, a Belgian zoologist, coined the term in the 1950s.


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