Naden Harbour Carcass

The real thing?  the Naden Harbour carcass.

Unknown animal discovered in the stomach of a
recently caught sperm whale at the Naden Harbour
whaling station (Queen Charlotte Islands, BC) in the
summer of 1937. The creature was described by a
witness as  ‘The remains of a Sperm Whale’s Lunch,
a creature of reptilian appearance 10 ft 6 in in length
with animal-like vertebrae and a tail similar to that of
a horse. The head resembles that of a large dog with
features of a horse and the turn down nose of a camel.”

Naden Harbour 1
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Naden Harbour 2
Flensing crew at work at Naden Harbour (1939) All Photographs B.C. Archives
The Naden Harbour staff were well-acquainted with
fetal baleen whales as seen in the photograph with
staff member Jim Wakelen, an eyewitness to the
unknown creature, with a baleen whale fetus. The
carcass was located in the first stomach, where no
digestion takes place. The Harbor staff commented
on the body having very little damage and described
it as a single entire animal with a thin white film on
the surface. The animal was hailed as a "juvenile
Cadborosaurus" in the press. The carcass was
shipped to the American Whaling Company home
base in Bellevue, Washington, where it was shown
to the public in a barrel of acetone.

A portion of the backbone and skin was then shipped to the BC Provincial Museum where the
director of the museum had identified the remains as "pieces of a baleen whale" and was discarded.
A.Nixon, James Wakelen, James Wakelen Sr. Naden
Harbour Wharf, July 1938 (Holding Fetal Baleen Whale)
Naden Harbour 3