Just as an assortment of lake monsters have taken on the names Tessie, Bessie, and such to echo Nessie (the Loch Ness Monster), so, too, have a few members of the ocean-dwelling Sea Serpent tribe. Caddy off the coast of British Columbia and Chessie from the Chesapeake Bay are two of the more famous ones. A lesser-known sea monster is Cassie, the Casco Bay Sea Serpent of Maine. Cassie is known from a growing body of reports dating back to the eighteenth century in the Northeast.
As Bernard Heuvelmans remarks, most of the sightings for the hundred years between 1777 and 1877 are in New England, with two-thirds of those off Maine (though it was the Massachusetts reports that attracted the most attention). Off Maine, in Broad Bay in 1751 and in Penobscot Bay in 1779, men fishing the Atlantic coastal shelf sighted sea serpents. During June and July 1818 others claimed to have seen a sea serpent in Portland Bay. Many sightings occurred off Woods Island, Maine, in the early 1900s. Eastport, Maine, hosted encounters in the late 1930s and in 1940.
Loren Coleman wrote the first article published about Cassie in Portland Monthly (May 1986). In it he related the experience of Commander Edward Preble, among others. After seeing the creature near Penobscot Bay in 1779, he rowed out toward the sea monster, ten feet of which was visible above the waterline. When he got close enough, Preble would state, he fired the bullets of his swivel gun at the monster. The only apparent effect was to cause Cassie to swim away even more rapidly.
Coleman has interviewed Maine residents who saw Cassie as late as the 1950s. Few sightings have been reported in recent years. Possibly the noisy sea traffic has moved Cassie—as well as other animals, such as seals and dolphins—away from their former haunts, which were closer to the Maine shore, in Casco Bay.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark