Unidentifiable marine animals have been reported numerous times throughout history, but footage of such animals seems to almost never be produced. Could the Gary Liimatta footage show an unknown denizen of the deep? (Artwork by Thomas Finley)
The segment featuring the Liimatta footage starts at 9:50 and proceeds until the end of the video.
The segment featuring the Liimatta footage starts at 0:00 and ends at 0:30.
The Facebook page "Lake Monsters" posted this excellent video which contains the full footage without the other segments which are in the documentary clips above.
Although the subject of the footage is unfortunately unclear, I did put together some comparative images between stills from the footage (these do have a slight contrast filter applied, but nothing artificial has been added) and the appearances of other alleged "sea serpents" and a few candidates for the identity of such reported animals. The first paste-up, shown below, compares the eyewitness sketches of two large-headed and large-eyed "sea serpents" (Isle of Man animal at the left and the Easington animal at the right) with two stills from the Liimatta footage. While the allegedly unknown animal seen off the Isle of Man by Major W. Peer Groves, his wife, and their children in 1928 could be initially dismissed as a mangled recounting of a known pinniped, it is worth noting that Michael (Grove's son who shared details of their encounter with Bernard Heuvelmans) was an oft traveler and was knowledgeable in zoology.2 The observation also apparently took place at a fairly close range and lasted for a lengthy period of time.2 Michael drew Heuvelmans a sketch of the witnessed animal which had a distinctly diamond-shaped head, large eyes which were described as gentle-looking, a wide mouth, a cylindrical neck, and sparse long whiskers.2 The account which Major Groves originally gave to the Daily Mail in 1933 included features such as the head being about as large as that of a bull with a long snout similar to that of a dog.2 The "sea serpent" reportedly seen by Joan Borgeest while she was on the coast of Easington, England around 1938 has a striking similarity to the Isle of Mann animal, although it does seem to have displayed some more reptilian characteristics. The animal was described as having a green colored body, a rather flat head, large protruding eyes, a mouth which opened and shut as it breathed, and movement through a 'humped glide'.2 It was approximately 100 yards away from Mrs. Borgeest and dived once she called out to other people nearby.2 While the similarities between the reported animals and the subject of the Liimatta footage may be seen as merely superficial, it does demonstrate that "sea serpents" with large heads and medium length portions of their neck held above the water have been reported in the past.
Isle of Man (top left) and Easington (top right) "sea serpent" sketches compared to stills from the Liimatta footage.
(Eyewitness sketches are from Cameron McCormick's Biological Marginalia Tumblr)
|A male elephant seal, female elephant seal, and a sea lion (respectively) compared to stills from the Liimatta footage.|
|Rhomaleosaurus pliosaur which is illustrated as similar to a leatherback turtle in some aspects of its appearance.|
(Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rhomaleosaurus_BW.jpg#filelinks)
While the poor quality of the footage may cause suspicion to some, it is important to remember that conditions at sea such as inadequate lighting, fogginess, rain, and several other factors often prevent clear images. Still, such indefinite footage cannot be regarded as definite evidence for the existence of unknown marine animals, and it is best to leave it as inconclusive. Thus, my creation of an article focused on the film is representative of an interest due to its being one of the few videos which is allegedly of a "sea serpent" and is accompanied by good eyewitness testimony rather than confidence in its legitimacy.
- "The British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club." The British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2014. http://www.bcscc.ca/cadborosaurus.htm.
- Heuvelmans, Bernard, Richard Garnett, and Alika Watteau. In the Wake of the Sea-serpents. New York: Hill and Wang, 1968. Print.
- "Introduction to Elephant Seals." Friends of the Elephant Seal. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. http://www.elephantseal.org/E-Seals/intro.html.
- "The Cadborosaurus Wars." Scientific American Global RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/04/16/the-cadborosaurus-wars/.