Specific details involving this case are sparse at best, but what we do know is that in August of 1954, several residents of Britain’s Canvey Island, claimed to have discovered the remains of a strange animal lying in the shallow waters just off the island’s shoreline.
According to the account, a cadre of young men allegedly stumbled across the carcass while “loitering” on a local beach. The stunned group could not identify the monstrous remains, so they dragged the body up from the surf and covered it with seaweed to protect it from the sun and aerial predators.
It was after the beastly cadaver was protected that the speediest members of this youthful group were dispatched back to town in order to inform the local authorities about this amazing find.
When the (ostensibly skeptical) local constables arrived on the scene they found themselves at a loss to explain the origin of the creature in question. So with great befuddlement and a little trepidation, the constabulary contacted their federal superiors.
These superiors, realizing that they might have the zoological find of the century in their grasp, wasted little time in dispatching a pair of zoologists to the scene. These two scientists extensively examined and photographed the carcass and privately admitted, to curious onlookers, that they had never before encountered its like. Tragically, it would appear that all of these alleged prints have been lost either to the ravages of time or bureaucratic ineptitude.
The creature was described as a marine animal, but instead of bearing flippers it came equipped with both feet and legs, which the zoologists surmised would enable it to walk upright if it so chose. Its epidermis was described as being brownish-red and pulpy. The animal’s head, while otherwise devoid of details, was purported to sport two, bulbous eyes.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this animal was its two feet, which consisted of five toes curved in a “U” shape with a concave arch in the center. Eyewitnesses estimated that, while standing, the bipedal creature would have risen to a modest height of almost 3-feet tall.
The zoologists, upon concluding their investigation, proceeded to cremate the carcass — though, God only knows why — and apparently left the scene without making a single, official comment about the event. The story would have ended there, shrouded in mystery, where it not for the experience of a hapless clergyman, just three months later.
On November 11, 1954, the Reverend Joseph Overs, while strolling along the beaches of Canvey Island — just miles from the site where the initial carcass was discovered — came across a second corpse floating in a shallow tide pool. The Reverend immediately reported the cadaver to local authorities, who once again solicited the government’s assistance in the matter.
Eyewitnesses who had been party to both events, described this new carcass as being taller than it predecessor, approximately 4-feet in height, and in better condition overall. The government specialist assigned to the case claimed that the animal weighed about 25 pounds, had two large, bulbous eyes, distinct nostrils, a mouth full of strong, sharp teeth, and gills.
Onlookers described the creature’s skin as pink and tough, not unlike the hide of a healthy pig. Like its forerunner, this new cadaver came complete with two legs and feet, the feet once again assuming the distinct “U” shaped position.
Although it seems to be a stretch, these creatures may also be associated with the rash of “U” shaped footprints found in the pristine snow in nearby English counties during the 1850′s.
While investigators have been unable to dig up any other reports even similar to this, some researchers have hypothesized that the Canvey Island Creatures may have been a species of rare, marine salamander. That having been stated, this creature’s uniquely bipedal structure, while not precluding an amphibious origin, would seem to indicate that it is not a salamander.
It has even been suggested that these beasts may have been the pilots of a UFO that crashed in the ocean surrounding Canvey Island, but there were no reported sighting of anomalous airborne vehicles or any other evidence to suggest that these creatures were indeed OUT OF THIS WORLD.
In 1999, journalist Nicholas Warren investigated this strange discovery, but was unable to locate any official records at the National Rivers Authority or the Plymouth Marine Biology Association Laboratory identifying the creature as being an unknown specimen. Warren, following his interviews with the locals, came to the conclusion that the creatures must have been dessicated anglerfish.
Whatever the Canvey Island Monsters were or were not, these truly bizarre carcasses have have left scientists and investigators alike stumped for the better part of half a century.