|A depiction of the Hagan Mystery Carcass which is based off of the description given by a witness.|
(Hagan Mystery Creature by Thomas Finley 2013)
Update ~ Especially when dealing with data and views so circumstantial as those of cryptozoology, scientific lines of thinking are constantly changing. As my research delves further into the bizarre realms of zoology, my own thoughts have evolved substantially and will most likely continue to do so. I feel that this change does not reflect poorly on my own reputation but rather shows that I am willing to adapt my own hypotheses when met with contrasting data. With this having been stated, I have since come to disagree with some of the material presented in this article. The notion of the Hagan carcass as a primitive cetacean is quite tantalizing if the description is taken to be entirely accurate, and multiple other zoological academics such as Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans have written on the supposed persistence of archaeocetes. However, the presupposed gap in the fossil record necessary for such an occurrence contradicts our current understanding of paleozoology, with the bones of archaeocetes being much denser and more diagnostic than those of commonly cited living fossils such as the coelacanth. Anecdotal accounts of animal carcasses are also infamously poor, with decomposition often hindering the ability of an eyewitness to accurately record the animal's true appearance or identity. Nonetheless, I will leave the publication as it stands for the benefit of those interested. Please refer to this article for my more recent position on the Hagan carcass.
Thomas Finley, a cryptozoological artist and good friend of mine, has recently shared an interesting report with me and other researchers. This report involved the discovery of a carcass belonging to an unknown animal off the coast of Southern California by Julie Hagan. The event allegedly happened on April 20, 1978 in La Conchita, California. I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Hagan about the occurrence on Facebook, and I have permission to share the details she gave me. Ms. Hagan described the unidentifiable carcass as being that of an aquatic mammal which had a body that was comparable in its bulkiness to that of an elephant seal. According to Ms. Hagan, the color of the skin was leathery and dark brown like that of a walrus, but was much darker and had little wiry hair. The animal reportedly had a blowhole and a flat tail like a dolphin. This carcass also had several unique features such as a large bite mark on its side, two sets of flippers (the hind flippers were firm and not vestigial), and a head which was described as having a flat, leathery "billed" snout like that of a platypus. Other than the large wound on its side, the carcass was fully intact, and Ms. Hagan feels that it had recently washed ashore. Julie was able to measure the carcass and estimated that its body was ten feet long, approximately four feet high, and possibly 3.5 feet wide. Julie also measured the length of the eyes from the blowhole, and found that they were approximately six to eight inches away and were slightly above the bill. However, Julie was unable to take photographs due to her absence of a camera and she did not take samples of the body because she could only think to use her senses to observe the carcass, due to her lack of tools for sample collection. Two other people also apparently witnessed the carcass on the beach but did not remove it due to its powerful odor, and it was reportedly last seen being removed from the beach by people from the local Santa Barbara Museum. Although the carcass was never publicly identified, it does share some features with a known species, although this species is not supposed to exist in modern times.