In the 1960s American spy satellites photographed a huge leviathan craft docked in the Caspian Sea. The CIA dubbed it the Caspian monster. It was however a top secret Ekranoplan that was built for war. It remained in a naval dockyard under lock and key after the USSR collapsed until recently when it broke free and washed ups on a beach a few hours to the south near the Russian city of Derbent. I flew to Rostov and set off across the varied landscapes and cultures of Southern Russia in search of the infamous Caspian monster.