If people have never heard of the Okanagan, they definitely know about the Ogopogo. The existence of this famed creature dates back as far as 1872!
Okanagan Lake is home to this lake monster.
The lake is massive in size. It is about 169 Km(80 miles) long, 3.5
Km(2.2 miles) wide and depths estimated to be nearly 305 meters(1000
I must say that I have glanced around when I am swimming or boating on the lake hoping to catch a glimpse of something.
I am a
believer and cannot dispute that an unknown species could exist in such a
The Ogopogo is considered a close relative of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland. People are always fascinated with the unknown and this is why this is such an interesting story that has evolved over the years.
Movie film frame taken by Edward Fletcher (1976)
creature has been reported to be anywhere from 6 meters(20 feet) to
over 21 meters(70 feet) long. It has been described as having a horse or
goat-like head and a long serpentine-like body with humps on its back.
The actual place where this sea monster lives is said to be at Rattlesnake Island near Sqally Point, across from the town of Peachland.
As I mentioned before, archival records of the existence of the Ogopogo date back to 1872.
In the year 1914, the tribes of the Nicola Valley and Westbank Indians discovered a decomposing body of an unidentified creature across from Rattlesnake Island. It was about 1.5 to 2 meters(5 to 6 feet) long and weighed probably around 181 Kg(400 pounds).
It was blue-grey in colour and had a tail and flippers. The carcass was so badly mangled that the long neck that was attached to the body was totally gone.
The Indians figured that this must be a baby as many of the other sightings described a much larger creature. How it had gotten into the lake was unexplainable.
The native indians named this creature N'ha-a-tik or 'snake-in-the-lake'. Other references to this lake monter include the Chinook wicked one and 'great-beast-on-the-lake'.
The Indians did a lot of fishing. When crossing the lake and the weather turned bad, the Indians always carried a small animal such as a chicken with them. They then tossed the animal into the lake as a sort of sacrificial offering to appease the creature below.
There have been footprints found on the shores of Okanagan lake. Shapes from cup-like, to dinosaur tracks with three toes, to a pad foot with eight toes. But these lend themselves to being a scam or hoax so they are not taken too seriously.
There have been over 200 sightings of this incredible creature, many of them from credible witnesses. These include a priest, a sea captain, a surgeon, police officers and so on.
They definitely make the existence of the creature a very strong possibility.
Photo courtesy of Carl E. Lebron Jr using Google Earth (2009)
Below I am going to
list several sigthings by multiple witnesses at the same time. These are
even more exciting as they give even more credibility to the legend.
Besides the numerous
there have been some photos and half a dozen films and videos taken of some kind of object moving in Okanagan lake.
Some of these pictures include:
There have been reported sightings of creatures residing in approximately sixty other lakes in the world. All of these fall in the same latitude as the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland and the Ogopogo here in the Okanagan.
View of Rattlesnake Island, home Of The Ogopogo
Supporters of the existence of the lake monster have argued that,
similar to the Loch Ness, underground passages exist between Lake
Okanagan and the Pacific Ocean to the west (connected by the Columbia River). There have been Ogopogo-like creatures observed in the Pacific Ocean.
To sum this mystery up, until someone captures a beast or discovers an actual carcass of one, there is no real proof that one does exist. Until there is some hard evidence to support it, the elusive Ogo pogo will remain a classic Canadian mystery.
But don't tell that to the many witnesses of the creature, and of the many believers of its existence.
Long live the Ogopogo!
Do you have a story about the Ogopogo?
Maybe a possible sighting?
Or maybe you have a picture of something in the waters of Okanagan Lake and you weren't sure what it was.
Do you think the Loch Ness Monster and other sea creatures really exist?
Do you have a question about this Sea Monster?
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An Okanagan Vineyard