The two cryptozoological animals which will be discussed in comparison to the Hagan carcass in this article, with Ms. Hagan's sketch of the carcass at the bottom. (Top Image Source: Cameron McCormick; Middle Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambo; Bottom Image Source: Ms. Julie Hagan).
(Part 1 can be found here.)
In this, part two of the Hagan carcass comparisons series, we will compare Thomas' artistic reconstruction and Ms. Hagan's illustrations of the "Hagan carcass" with descriptions and illustrations of other cryptozoological animals. The two main comparisons which will be made here are with an alleged unknown animal carcass found in The Gambia by Owen Burnham and a hypothetical "sea serpent" type based off of reports. Thanks to Scott Mardis for creating these comparative images for me to share here.The first comparative image in part two is between Thomas' artistic reconstruction, Ms. Hagan's illustrations, and an illustration of the "Gambo" carcass allegedly observed by Owen Burnham in The Gambia. Fellow cryptozoological researcher Dale Drinnon had suggested to me that the Hagan Carcass and the "Gambo" carcass could possibly have been of the same animal, and Scott agreed that the two unidentifiable bodies sounded similar. The "Gambo" carcass was allegedly discovered in the year 1983 by Owen Burnham when he was fifteen years old.1 As a wildlife enthusiast, Owen decided to take measurements and later made sketches, although he did not take samples as he apparently realized it was unique after returning to the United Kingdom (and he also may have faced resistance from his family if he tried to take any pieces of the carcass home).1 This carcass was around fifteen feet in length with a girth of five feet and had two sets of flippers, a "beaked" snout which had a pair of nostrils at the end, a "domed" head, small eyes, no dorsal fin, a tail without a fluke, and eighty conical teeth.1 Although the location of the "Gambo" animal's nostrils and its absence of a tail fluke do not match with the Hagan mystery carcass, it is certainly possible that this was due to mistakes in Owen's observations or transmission, as he was fifteen at the time of viewing the carcass and his renditions were actually created after he had returned to the United Kingdom2. Although there are some notable differences between the two descriptions, the "Gambo" carcass seems to be the most similar alleged carcass of cryptozoological literature to the Hagan carcass.
Thomas' artistic reconstruction of the Hagan carcass at top, illustration of the "Gambo" carcass at middle, and Ms. Hagan's illustration at the bottom. Please click to enlarge
The next animal of cryptozoology which seems to share similar traits with the Hagan carcass descriptions and sketches is Bruce Champagne's Type 2B "sea serpent." Bruce was very kind in allowing me to reproduce the information which he wrote on this type of reported animals in his thesis named A Classification System For Large, Unidentified Marine Animals Based On The Examination Of Reported Observations. Bruce did an excellent job on this lengthy study, and I am very thankful that he allowed me to reproduce his section on his Type 2B animals (which is below). Please click each image in order to enlarge them and read them better.
Image Sources: A Classification System For Large, Unidentified Marine Animals Based On The Examination Of Reported Observations (Bruce Champagne 2008)
The problem with making comparisons between the Hagan carcass and the Type 2B Animals is that the reconstruction provided in the article may not be entirely accurate for the true appearance of these reported animals (if they exist.) The reconstruction was illustrated by Cameron McCormick and, as the excerpt indicates, he was not going off the clearest details possible regarding the reported animals' physical feature. However, some of the features described by witnesses of Type 2B "sea serpents" do share similarities with those of the Hagan carcass. These include the cylindrical body shape, presence of hair, beak-like rostrum, and apparent lack of a dorsal fin. Although details on the appearance of the Type 2B Animal's tail or the presence of a second set of flippers have not been revealed in reports, it is certainly possible that the animals possess such features as they were never seen fully out of water. This would put the alleged features of the Type 2B animals even closer to the that of the Hagan carcass, and possibly end our search for a similar creature in cryptozoological literature.
- Woodley, Michael A., and Karl Shuker. In the Wake of Bernard Heuvelmans: An Introduction to the History and Future of Sea Serpent Classification. Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon: CFZ, 2008. Print.
- "Darren Naish: Tetrapod Zoology." Darren Naish: Tetrapod Zoology. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2013. http://darrennaish.blogspot.com/2006/02/gambo-rides-again-beaked-beast-of.html.