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Arc-la

Arc-la

The "arc-la," probably an English corruption of the Inuktitut word akłak, is an unknown animal said to live in the Cumberland/Kangiqtualuk Sound of northeastern Baffin Island. Though no detailed written sightings were described, it was mentioned by the Inuit to various explorers, such as Charles F. Hall. Hall was the first to mention the arc-la on page 105 of his 1879 book Narrative of the Second Arctic Expedition.

He described the arc-la as an aggressive carnivorous mammal, larger than a polar bear, with grey hair, a long tail, and thick, stumpy legs. Its hind paws resembled a human's heel, while its forepaws "were divided into three parts." The arc-la was said to be able to stand on its hind legs and would sleep in holes.

Interestingly, the word "arc-la" is similar to the Inuktitut word akłak (ᐊᒃᖤᒃ), meaning grizzly bear. Unlike the grizzly bear, the arc-la is said to be larger and more aggressive than a polar bear, not to mention the numerous anatomical differences. Finally, there are no grizzly bears in Baffin Island.

Ashuaps

Ashuaps

Ashuaps (coming from the Ashuapmushuan river) is the name of a serpentine creature that allegedly lives in the 1,053 square kilometre Lac Saint Jean in Quebec, near Saguenay. Ashuaps is a 60 foot long dark bluish, snake-like animal that can lift its head over three feet out of the water. The indigenous Innu people have had legends of similar creatures in their mythology, saying that it lives in a cave under Grass-Snake Island in Lac Saint Jean.

The first modern sighting was in the early 1950’s, although a large amount of sightings occurred between 1978 to 1995 or so. Due to this, some locals think there was one Ashuaps, and it died in the 90’s, hence the very small amount of modern sightings. In 1955 the “International crossing of Lac Saint Jean” swim race was occurring, and due to the sightings, they signed a waver that if they encounter or are injured due to an Ashuaps, they will not take legal action against the organization that puts on the race. Sure enough, multiple onlookers reported seeing an Ashuaps during the race.

In 1978, Marcel Tardif and his wife saw a 50 foot long serpentine black creature in the lake, and on the same day, Michael Verreault, his wife and daughter had their canoe overturned by a “massive black snake”. In 1977 due to all the sightings a man built a submarine to find an Ashuaps, but due to the size of the lake, he was unsuccessful. The Ashuaps has became a local mascot and has had a brewery named after it.

Bessie

Bessie

Bessie is the nickname given to the lake monster allegedly living in Lake Erie, the 11th largest lake on earth, at 25,774 square kilometres and more than 200 feet deep. Sightings of Bessie have occurred before Europeans, as the Seneca have told of the Oniare, a ferocious animal that capsizes canoes. It is described as being similar to the Loch Ness monster in appearance, about 40 feet long, with a large body and a swan-like neck with a snake-like head. It has four flippers, with smooth black, dark grey, or brown skin, and a short tail.

The first recorded sighting was 1793, when the captain of the ship Felicity, saw an enormous snake-like monster rise its neck out of the water. Later, in 1892, the entire crew of a boat saw a lake monster thrashing around the water.

In 1960, a man named Ken Golic heard an unusual sound coming from the lake from his dock. He threw a rock in the direction of the sound and saw what he thought was a baby Bessie swimming away from him, as it was only 15 feet long and 2.5 feet wide.

In 1981, Theresa Kovach saw a bessie playing in the water. In 1985, Tony Schill of Akron, Ohio saw a serpent when he was boating. It was dark brown and had a long tail. Tony claimed that five humps came out of the water and was adamant it wasn’t a sturgeon. A friend was also boating with Tony, and saw the same thing.

In 1997, a video allegedly showing a bessie was taken, although it is quite blurry. In 1999, Leslee Rasgaitis was out with her nephews on Huntington Beach when they saw a very long ripple in the still water. They then saw what was causing it, a long otter-like creature just below the surface.

Black Coyote

Black Coyote

Black Coyotes” are an unknown population of black-furred canids, probably melanistic coyotes, seen in the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests around Caledon, Belfountain and Mono, near Brampton, Ontario since the 2010s. They resemble ordinary coyotes, but have a completely black coat, occasionally with a grey or white patch on the chest, and are significantly larger, being about 60 pounds, unlike the ordinary weight for a coyote, which is 20 to 40 pounds.

The first sighting that caught the public eye was In 2015 when a crew of railway workers from Brampton claimed to have seen a completely black canid along the tracks in Caledon. There was no evidence of these unknown canids besides anecdotal accounts until 2016, when Deanna Gardiner, a resident from Mono, took two photographs of a “black coyote.” If the animal she photographed was a melanistic coyote, it would be one of, if not the only photographs of one outside of the southeastern USA, and would be some of the largest known coyotes.

Bulldog Bear

Bulldog Bear

Sightings of surviving short-faced bears are somewhat rare in Canada, but normally occur in the remote Boreal Cordillera forests of Northern British Columbia, the Yukon and especially the Nahanni Valley. They resemble grizzly bears, but almost a third larger, with a flat face sometimes described as cat-like, and have longer front legs then back legs, sometimes described as gorilla-like. Sightings of this cryptid are rare and little information is known about this animal.

In the book, Dangerous River, explorer Raymond Patterson claimed to have encountered a grizzly bear the size of a boxcar. Later in the same area, explorers Gus Kraus and Nazar Zinchuk saw a grizzly bear that was 12 feet long, which is two feet longer than the largest confirmed grizzly bear specimen. In 1965, a missionary named Father Mary wrote, “But if I told you the size of these bear tracks, you would just laugh at me. They were bear tracks all right, and an Indian said they were made by one of those giant brown bears. As far as I could make out from the Indian’s pacing things off between the trees, it would make a Kodiak look like a black bear cub”.

In his 2015 book, Canoe On The Nahanni, Adventurer and explorer D.H Koester wrote about when he paddled through one of the tributaries of the South Nahanni with his stepson, Mark in the ’70s. In the book, he described how he and his stepson capsized their canoe in some rapids. Mark pulled himself onto a ledge, while Koester crawled onto a gravel bar a bit downstream. That night, Koester saw an enormous bear emerge from the forest on the other side of the river, and wade across the rapids onto an island. He said it was the size of an Abrams tank and was bigger than a polar bear in size, reaching 12 feet long. He described the bear’s legs as being as wide as tree trunks.

Caddy

Caddy

Caddy is an unknown aquatic mammal that inhabits the fjords and inlets off the coast of British Columbia, as well as Washington and southeastern Alaska. “Caddies” are about 25 to 30 feet long, with two flippers at the front and horizontal whale-like tail flukes at the end. They have long serpentine bodies with smooth skin like a seal. Their heads are elongated, with an unusual muzzle, sometimes being described as resembling a horse or camel. They are also occasionally reported to have manes. They seem to prey on fish and occasionally seals and are known to occasionally break fishing nets. Reports of Caddy go back thousands of years into First Nations folklore. The Kwakwaka'wakw tribe, for instance, describes a very similar creature they call the Sisiutl.

​An example of a Caddy sighting was in 1933 by a Victoria Lawyer and his wife on a cruise in their yacht. They described seeing a "horrible serpent with the head of a camel“ rise out of the water and look at them for a couple of seconds before diving down. A whaling station in northwestern Queen Charlotte Island caught and killed a sperm whale in October of 1937. While removing the stomach contents at the Naden Harbor whaling station, they came across a twenty-foot long carcass of an unidentified creature. It had a horse-like head, a snake-like body, and a finned, spiny tail. Two photographs were taken, but no one knows exactly what happened to its remains. Dr. Edward Blousfield, retired chief zoologist of the Canadian Museum of Nature, analyzed the photographs, and compared it to all known fauna in the area, and concludes it to be an unidentified species.

One of the more detailed accounts of Caddy was by Captain Paul Sowerby in 1939, who said "We were headin' North, and, about thirty miles offshore, and saw this thing standing about four feet out of the water. So, I headed over towards it and took a look at it. At first, I thought it looked like a polar bear with its ruffles of hair. When we got right up alongside of it- and the water was crystal clear- there was just this column of this thing going at least forty feet and huge eyes. I had an old Newfoundlander as a mate and he said 'Do you see eyes on him?' Mouth and nose I have no recollection of at all, just those great big eyes. And the eyes seemed to open from top to bottom.”

In 2009, Kelly Nash filmed an alleged Caddy in quite good resolution and detail. In total there are 9 alleged videos/photos of Caddy and there have been over 300 sightings since 1933, although it is likely there are many more but are not reported due to fear of ridicule.

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