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Charlie Sheen: Actor, Party Animal, and… Cryptid Hunter?

The American actor known as Charlie Sheen, born under the name Carlos Irwin Estévez to actor Charlie Sheen, perhaps needs no introduction. He has starred in such high profile movies as Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987), Young Guns (1988), Eight Men Out (1988), Major League (1989), Hot Shots! (1991), and The Three Musketeers (1993), as well as TV shows such as Spin City and the mega-hit sitcom Two and a Half Men, which earned him his title of the highest paid actor per episode on television. In addition to acting, he is well known for his charity work and activism for AIDS and breast cancer research, as well as raising money for various other causes, and is probably just as well known for his personal antics, party lifestyle, relationship scandals, and substance abuse problems. What many people might not know is that Charlie Sheen also seems to be somewhat of a monster hunter, and has been on at least two excursions looking out in the wilds for mythical beasts.

It all seems to have started in 2013, when Sheen admitted that he was quite obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster, of Scotland’s Loch Ness, and far from just armchair researching about it he decided to do go and do something about it. He then made plans to actually fly out there with some friends, confident that he could be the one to catch Nessie, apparently by using a hook, line, and a leg of lamb, with one hotel manager who got a call from Sheen alleging that the actor told him to prepare “an old-style wooden rowing boat, a traditional Tilley lamp, a boat hook, a thick chain, and a leg of lamb.” It seems absurd, but he seemed to be very serious about actually rowing out onto the Loch and trying to hunt down the monster like the shark hunters in the movie Jaws, which according to him was his actual real inspiration. Wait, it gets weirder.

Charlie Sheen

Sheen ended up secretly flying out there on Thursday, July 4, 2013 aboard his own private jet with some buddies, staying at the historic and rustic Aldourie Castle, situated on Strath Dore at the southern end of the Loch and stocking up on his supplies and equipment, including the chains, a ridiculously, almost comically large custom made hook, a whole leg of lamb, a wooden boat that he spent thousands of dollars on just for this purpose, an antique bronze battle helmet, because why not, and a couple bottles of whiskey. Local hotel manager Willie Cameron, whose help was enlisted to help the team gear up, would say of acquiring the hook and the boat:

We had the boat hook specially made by a ship’s chandler in Inverness. There was a lot of effort to locate a suitable wooden boat and we eventually found one in a yard in Achiltibuie, which is almost 90 miles away. However, it was not for rent and we had to buy it for £2500, which was agreed upon by the Americans. We then had to transport it to Loch Ness in a trailer. We were sworn to secrecy by Sheen’s people as this was a private visit. Only a small number of people here knew about it.

Sheen and his crew then went out on the mysterious Loch to do a little fishing the next day, on Friday July 5, although it seemed more like a party than anything else, the men laughing, drinking their whiskey, and filming the entire thing. At some point the leg of lamb disappeared, but there was no sighting made of the elusive monster. Cameron would say of the surreal sight:

He (Sheen) went out on the rowing boat on Friday afternoon with his friends and again on Friday night until about 3am. He and his party wanted to be on the boat on their own, though our crew kept an eye on them. We never heard if Charlie managed to see anything or what happened to the leg of lamb. But certainly he and his friends seemed to enjoy themselves. They had a camera with them and filmed their entire visit. I think it was always Charlie’s ambition to go on Loch Ness and hunt for the monster. He told us to keep the rowing boat until he came back. Charlie was an absolute gentleman. They had a wonderful and relaxing time but unfortunately didn’t see any sign of Nessie, although I’m sure they’ll be back in the future to try again.

Charlie Sheen at Loch Ness

The next day Sheen had photos taken with a wooden sculpture of Nessie, and hopped on his private jet to head home amid the sounds of a former Scots Guard playing traditional Scottish tunes on the bagpipes. Sheen would later speak about his trip on an episode of The Jay Leno Show, where he was either drunk, joking, or had a hilariously poor understanding of Loch Ness (the lake) and Nessie (its monster), comically telling the show’s host Leno, “Well, first of all, I was in the right country for starters. That’s where Loch Ness lives. In Lake Nessie.” OK, Charlie, whatever you say.

Later that same year Sheen the monster hunter was at it again, this time headed to the remote wilds of Alaska, not to hunt down Bigfoot, as one might assume, but rather an obscure mythical creature called the Kushtaka, of the lore of the Tlingit and Tsimshian tribes of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The Kushtaka were said to be shapeshifters capable of taking many forms, but especially fond of turning into otters, sort of like wereotters, and according to lore like to lure in unsuspecting victims by imitating the cries of babies. I’ll let Sheen explain, because he says it best when he explains:

It’s a shape-shifting trickster who is half man, half otter. It lures one away from the campsite with the mimicked sounds of a crying baby, then kills you, takes on your form, and returns to the scene for more suckers or prey.

Kushtaka

Why Sheen chose to focus on this creature of all things is unknown, but he once again headed out on his private jet with his team, his destination being Sitka, Alaska. It is not clear what exactly they did to try and look for the fearsome creature, but Sheen seems to know why they had no success, saying in an interview with TMZ, “It obviously knew our group was far too skilled to be snowed in this fashion so it stayed hidden like a sissy.” However, was the trip really a bust? According to The Weekly World News, not only did he catch the Kushtaka, but he also engaged in hand to hand combat with it, although it ultimately got away. I am not making this up. The Weekly World News article says:

Sheen saw the Kushtaka hiding in the brush and reportedly “pounced” on the beast. Sheen looked crazier than the beast. I think Kushtaka was more afraid of him than Sheen was of Kushtaka,” said a local hunter. Sheen lured Kushtaka into his “trap” by howling like a wolf and singing Metallica songs at the top of his lungs. Kushtaka appeared and Sheen… pounced. “I grabbed that Otter Man by the throat and I wouldn’t let go,” Sheen reportedly said. Charlie said the thought Kushtaka was a “wimp” and that he plans to bring the beast back to Hollywood to display and mount in his house. Congrats, Charlie!

Hey, if you can’t trust the Weekly World News, who can you trust? Considering the source, this last tidbit is most certainly fabricated, however, Charlie Sheen really did go to Alaska searching for this creature, or at least used it as an excuse to go traipsing about fooling around with his friends. It is hard to know just how seriously Sheen took any of these excursions, or whether he really expected to find anything, but they definitely serve to add another weird layer to a man already well known for his bizarreness.