The footage, shot by Alaskan fishermen in 2009, will make its public debut on "Hillstranded," a new Discovery Channel special that will air Tuesday evening at 10 p.m. EDT.
Some now claim the animal to be a “Cadborosaurus,” a reptilian creature named after Cadboro Bay, in British Columbia. Those lucky enough to have sighted this rare beast describe it as having a long neck, a horse-like head, large eyes, and back bumps that stick out of the water.
Reports of Loch-Ness-like sightings have been popping up in the area since the 1930s, yet the only proof of Cadborosaurus’s potential existence are grainy photographs and tenuous eyewitness accounts.
Paul LeBlond, former head of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of British Columbia, believes the 2009 video “adds to its authentication.”
"I am quite impressed with the video," LeBlond, co-author of the book "Cadborosaurus: Survivor from the Deep," told Discovery News. "Although it was shot under rainy circumstances in a bouncy ship, it's very genuine."
LeBlond compares the sea monster to a plesiosaur, a carnivorous aquatic reptile believed to have gone extinct during the Cretaceous Period. Others are more skeptical, believing the Cadborosaurus to be a frill shark, a large eel, or some kind of fish.
"People are working off of sketchy lay observations," said Jim Covel, senior manager of guest experience at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium. "We do, however, still find new species in the oceans, perhaps allowing some to entertain ideas like this, filling in the gaps with their imaginations. But it really underscores how more scientific exploration is needed."
One prominent new believer though is Andy Hillstrand, most known for his time on the television series “Deadliest Catch.” He believes he may have spotted a Cadborosaurus while filming “Hillstranded.”
"We saw a big, long white thing moving in the water. We chased it for about 20 minutes," Hillstrand told Discovery News. "Spray came out of its head. It was definitely not a shark. A giant eel may be possible, but eels don't have humps that all move in unison. I've never seen anything like it before."
Hillstrand is well aware of the controversial nature of his claim but gave credit to local fishermen who have reported seeing the Cadborosaurus.
“They are not a bunch of fruitcakes. These are people who are familiar with the local marine life.”
Read more about the Cadborosaurus at Discovery News.