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Ogopogo: Canada’s Loch Ness Monster

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on January 15th, 2014

Resident skeptic Ben Radford has penned an article about Ogopogo:

Scotland’s Loch Ness may have the fame as far as lake monsters go, but for many monster searchers (often dubbed cryptozoologists), Ogopogo — a creature said to lurk in Canada’s Lake Okanagan — is the most likely and best documented of all lake monsters.

For cryptozoologists like John Kirk of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, “The catalogue of films and video of Ogopogo are more numerous and of better quality than anything I have personally seen at Loch Ness and I believe that several of them are very persuasive that a large, living, unknown creature inhabits the lake.”

Early Indian legends

There are dozens of reputed lake monsters around the world, but what makes Ogopogo especially interesting is its previous incarnation, according to legend, as a bloodthirsty killer. Ogopogo, some believe, has its roots in native Canadian Indian legends of a beast called N’ha-a-itk (also spelled Naitaka) that would demand a live sacrifice from travelers for safe passage across Lake Okanagan. Hundreds of years ago, whenever Indians would venture into the lake, they brought chickens or other small animals to kill and drop into the water to assure a safe journey.

It’s clear, however, that these stories were not referring to a literal lake monster like Ogopogo, but instead to a legendary water spirit. Though the supernatural N’ha-a-itk of the Okanagan Valley Indians is long gone, a decidedly less fearsome — and more biological — beast, whose exact form is a matter of debate, has replaced it.

Ogopogo is often described as dark and multi-humped, with green, black, brown or gray skin. The head is said to look like that of a snake, sheep, horse, seal or even an alligator. Some eyewitnesses say it has ears or horns; others don’t. Many sightings simply describe a featureless “log” that came alive.

Read the rest of the article here on LiveScience.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


3 Responses to “Ogopogo: Canada’s Loch Ness Monster”

  1. kbraun responds:

    I find it hard to believe …..

    “An investigation I designed and conducted with John Kirk for the National Geographic Channel TV show “Is It Real?” in 2005 revealed that the object Folden filmed was indeed a real animal but its size had been greatly overestimated. It was probably a waterfowl or beaver too far away to be identified, but still leaving an impressive wake in the calm water’

    A waterfowl or beaver (15 + ft ) ? That may be more of an interesting quest than the search for Ogopogo.

  2. springheeledjack responds:

    Uh yeah…what that guy above me said. I question the methods.

    And I’d be willing to bet the spirit of N’ha-a-itk is not gone from the lake–I’m guessing the local tribes still have something to say on that front.

  3. DWA responds:

    I have watched more waterfowl and beaver swimming than Ben Radford has watched animals doing anything. Never have I seen an “impressive wake.”

    But dismissing stuff without reference to evidence is a Radford trademark. I certainly don’t miss him around here.



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