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Baby Ogopogo?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 13th, 2008

What is this photograph being published with this story?

It may be nothing more than journalistic melodrama compounded by a lively interest in the excitement stimulated by a hot television program. Nevertheless, we must not ignore notice of information no matter how fleeting.

While I was in Colorado, the story broke of the possible discovery of an immature Ogopogo, the lake cryptid of Okanagan Lake, British Columbia. Let’s take a look.

The Vancouver Province published the following on Monday, November 10, 2008:

Could unknown Okanagan creature be baby Ogopogo?
by Kent Spencer

A TV documentary crew has added to the mystery surrounding Ogopogo by finding an unknown biological specimen in the depths of Okanagan Lake.

“I told a radio station tongue-in-cheek I thought it was the baby Ogopogo,” monster-watcher Bill Steciuk of Kelowna said Monday after the History Channel completed a nine-day shoot.

“It was all curled up. The features were really hard to see. You could see a little head tucked in and a straight tail with no fins.

“It’s a huge mystery. We have no idea what it is,” said Steciuk, who helped organize the shooting locations.

The unidentified specimen has been shipped to the University of Guelph in Ontario for DNA tests, but Ogopogo buffs will have to wait until February to find out more, when the Monster Quest program weighs in on the legendary mega-serpent.

Ogopogo, first sighted in the 1870s, is reputed to be 12 metres long with multiple humps and a small head.

The History Channel, which had a bigger budget than previous expeditions, mounted a thermal infrared imaging camera on a helicopter for the first time. It picked up an unidentified shadow on the lake, while sonar spotted something over three metres long moving in the water.

“That’s pretty big for a fish,” said Steciuk.

But divers made the most interesting find in an underwater cave on the west side of Rattlesnake Island.

“I couldn’t recognize it,” said Steciuk. “Nor could anyone else. Maybe a new species has been found.”
Photographs of the specimen were shown to local expert Arlene Gaal, who has earned the title of Ogopogo-ologist after writing three books on the subject. She is not sure that the son of Ogopogo has been found.

“The Ogopogo is real, but I don’t know what this is,” she said.

“I had my doubts when the crew presented me with their findings. It looked to me like a decomposing ling cod.”

She said the crew’s best efforts were wasted on choppy waters.

“It was not the time for sightings,” she said. “The Ogopogo likes warm weather and sunshine.”

Producers departed with dramatic re-enactments of past sightings – but no catch of the century.

Steciuk said the program may have been defeated by the primitive snake’s reserve.

“The Ogopogo is a shy animal,” he said. “There is no question we have an aquatic animal on our lake. Okanagan residents are starting to come to grips with it.”

Commentary does not seem to be going the History crew’s way.

For example, in remarks by Annalee Newitz, on Tuesday, November 11, 2008, she asked whether or not a “Baby Ogopogo [Was] Found in Canadian Lake?” She mentioned that another group of filmmakers had finished a “pseudo-documentary” on Ogopogo before the History crew showed up. She also dropped in the “ling cod” quote from “local monster buff, Arlene Gaal.”

Newitz concluded, “Sounds like this might just be advance publicity for the Monster Quest show. Frankly, I’d much rather watch The Beast of Bottomless Lake. Sounds more realistic!”

Another comment came via a blog from Monster Island News:

Whether the specimen is a decomposing fish or a genuine lake monster infant, it is certain that the folks over at the History Channel are going to keep a lid on the test results until the episode on Ogopogo airs in February.

It’s better for ratings that way.

Despite all such remarks, tell me you aren’t curious enough to either watch the program or hear what was discovered, even if a negative? Frankly, most of us here do consider “MonsterQuest” more worthy time spent watching television than, say, just relaxing with the latest variant of a copycat show perhaps named “North American Idol” or “Dancing With Someone.” :-)

Thanks to Bruce, Harris, Craig, BCSCC, and others who shared the breaking news on Ogopogo.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


24 Responses to “Baby Ogopogo?”

  1. RyanWinters86 responds:

    this should be interesting.

  2. monsterhunter316 responds:

    If “Monster Quest” is involved, its nothing.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    is that pic the only thing they have? better than most, but still could be a log.

  4. quatchibc responds:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t the ogopogo recorded previous to 1870 by local native american tribes? According to the ogopogo tourist plaque it was mentioned long before that.

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    “Dancing with Bigfoot” Not THAT is the show I wanna see on TV! ;-)

  6. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Let’s have our open minds. :)

    let’s not think it’s fake.

    it brings down hope.

    really.

    When the bigfoot hoax came along, my friend thought bigfoot was fake, cause of the hoax.

    he also thought there was one bigfoot species.

    Ogopogo..

    I’m surprised this blog isn’t filled up like the hoax of BF.

    Ogopogo is much as important as bigfoot. why?

    cause we have gorillas. why would bigfoot be such a find?

    Ogopogo is differnent. he’s like a dinosaur.

    A DINOSAUR PEOPLE, a DINOSAUR is much worthy of a Nation world wide news then a BF.

    Beside how they assume it’s a log, didn’t they get a closer look, wasn’t it swimming?

    Non the Less an Investigation of the lake is much more appropriate then waiting in feb.

    I mean hunting down animals (without killing) should of been done more professionally. I’m not saying these people are Noobs. But They sure can do a lot better. :)

    Ogogpogo would make my day more than bigfoot. :)

    sorry but i had to feel that way, cause i see Gorillas, what more do i want? dinosaurs or like a dinosaur, is what is more a FIND. We’ve been taught they were extinct. Why do we have to believe these theories? we have Cryptozoology to debunk those theories. It’s cool if you believe in those theories, I’m just making a point to what I’m trying to say. Cryptozoology would be pointless if Extinction is what really happened. Cause most of the cryptids are what is said to be extinct.

    Even BF. HAHAHAAHA

    Whatever your beliefs are, you are here in Cryptomundo for a reason. to debunk us or to be by our side.

    Ogopogo though i do have my doubts but after seeing this picture, i now believe.

    even if it’s a log or cod fish w/e… i now believe in Ogopogo.

  7. ARO responds:

    The thing in the picture looks like a miniture whale to me lol, and Dj Plasmic Nebula I completely agree with you. A dinosaur discovery would make my day a million times more than if bigfoot was discovered.

  8. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    I know monsterquest gets some negative reactions, but think of it this way:

    It’s a TV show they aren’t putting money into these expeditions with plans to scrap everything when they don’t find anything. They’re going to play stuff up for ratings, it’s media. Loren has said many times that there aren’t a lot of places willing to finance serious research or expeditions for cryptids so let’s take what we can get. If ratings are good they can put more money into these expeditions which raises the chances of results. These are secretive creatures, and there are no guarantees when dealing with animals. Hopefully something will be found but Bigfoot isn’t going to lay down on the lawn of the whitehouse and sunbathe. We will only find these when we are out in their territory and shows like MQ provides the chances for professionals to get out there and look, and maybe someday we will get lucky.

  9. springheeledjack responds:

    MonsterQuest has more going for it than shows like Destination Truth…at least they seem to try to do some serious hunting for things–sheesh!

    I will be interested to hear what the thing is they found. And yes, I will watch:) have to support my swimming cryptids!

    Arlene Gaal is one of the experts when it comes to Ogopogo-she’s been studying the thing since I can remember. Let’s hope (isn’t that word like the kiss of death for things coming out of TV shows?:) they have something other than a dead eel embryo or something…

  10. Richard888 responds:

    This is a very exciting story. The picture is a small part of it and if disassociated from the story it will still be a very exciting story. Here’s what’s exciting about it:

    1) Infrared cameras can be used to explore lakes.
    2) A 3 meter long object was spotted moving in Lake Okanagan.
    3) A bizarre creature has been caught from an underwater cavern.
    4) The bizarre creature is in Guelph University, an 1 hour drive from where I live.

    I am tempted to call them tomorrow.

  11. korollocke responds:

    After the georgia fraudsqautch and the Montock movie doll I’m a bit gun shy.

  12. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Monster Quest is Good. But i do seem to understand what your saying about more ratings more money more monster finds..

    non the less. it’s great to have the chance to experience this on tv. Now what i can think of now, is we non tv producer, can do better. We don’t need millions of Dollars to find them, all we need is enough time… To stay in that area and enough batteries and flim for both the camera and camera vid. depends what’s your liking. :)

    i mean we don’t need tv to show these creatures. We have the internet for that. Besides… what’s more important is that you get the creature and then post it. It will somehow get to tv.

    i’m not saying that tv is wrong. but i’m saying is that we don’t need to rely on tv euipment and professional equipment. You have your eyes for that and your camera, and camera vid.

    that does get good quality. :)

  13. mystery_man responds:

    The thing in the photo looks kind of like a black plastic garbage bag floating on the surface to me. If someone told you that is what this is a picture of, would you give it a second thought? I know that doesn’t sound as “sexy” as saying that this photo is of Ogopogo, but seriously, that photo could be of any number of things other than a large lake dwelling monster. Because we know that is what it is claimed to be is not necessarily a reason to throw critical thinking out the window and find ways to fit the object into that explanation. I think it is important to look at what the photo actually shows rather than what people tell us it’s supposed to show or what we would like it to show. What it shows could be anything.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m intrigued by the Ogopogo mystery and I want to find out what type of animal (if any) could be behind it. But I’m not so sure this photo shows that animal. I’m not even convinced it is any sort of animal we are seeing there in the photo at all. It’s hard to say. Inconclusive at best. I’d like a little more information about the circumstances surrounding this picture before saying it is one thing or the other.

    I’m a lot more interested in the claim that some new animal might have been found. Whether it is a baby Ogopogo or not, it would still be exciting to find a new species in the lake. Still, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest to me at this point that what they found isn’t a decomposed, misidentified body of a known animal.

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  14. TiBot responds:

    I am encouraged by their progress. So far no former Georgia police officers are involved. Has anyone seen this photos of Junior? Was it in a freezer by any chance?

  15. Goodfoot responds:

    DJ Plas: false hope is worse than no hope at all!

  16. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Well that’s good the Georgia Guys are not involved.

    I wonder what Canada would do to them when they hoax in their country.

    They may feed them to Ogopogo (JK)

    being sarcastic. :)

    I love everybody, but i hate hoax.

    anywho..I think it’s real. :)

    by any chance did they go in the lake?

  17. Ann Unknown responds:

    I just wish they would have used the photo of the actual specimen that was shown to expert Arlene Gaal. That blob photo may not have anything to do with the story. So far as I can tell the picture could be anything, from a mutated, freshwater okra; to a dark haired swimmer, being towed behind a boat in a black inner tube.

    So lets give them the benefit of the doubt. Here’s hoping for some surprising results to come back from the university.

    Again, Dj Plasmic Nebula’s “Liger Effect Theory” could come into play here (the best explanation for some of these cryptids I have heard so far). Could it be a hybrid resulting from the crossing of two, known, closely related species, and suffering from runaway giantism? (salamanders? newts? … )

    Here is another theory, ATAVISM, the genes of an organism’s ancestors reemerged. Two examples: birds with teeth, or horses with extra toes. Could a bird regain some of its ancestral dino traits? – Just something to think about.
    (I’d love for Ogopogo to turn out to be a dinosaur, too. :-) )

  18. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    hmm–they could be just jumping the decomposing shark (or cod) for ratings.

  19. sschaper responds:

    Monsterquest is the best show of its kind. Remember that they did make one real discovery – the first live filming of a giant squid, whether architeuthis or a giant humboldt. I don’t think any of the other shows can claim that.

    They are limited by their budget and production requirements. But what if the serious researchers – and I know that Loren has some clips on their site – nice ones, IMO, were to cooperate with them. What if instead of just going to a site for a few days, researchers were on site for weeks or months, using some of MQs equipment perhaps, maybe some funding, and then MQ can come in and finish off the report and make it suitable for TV? Camping isn’t all that expensive. Add several camera traps, gps units, good cameras, IR cameras, and let some people who know the country, who know the background of the cryptids, biologists, and pay for their vacation, finish up with an episode – and maybe actually find something. They actually try, but two night visits aren’t the most likely way of finding animals that have eluded science this long.

  20. Ann Unknown responds:

    I like sschaper’s idea. Just knowing who is crypto friendly in an area could help. There should be a group somewhere in Ogopogo’s range.

  21. Loren Coleman responds:

    John Kirk’s group, BCSCC, of course, is the premiere organization in the area studying Ogopogo and Caddy.

  22. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    That’s great. Ogopogo should get enough attention like Bigfoot. unless ogopogo will in Canada not in America……..

    Non the less… Hope to find them.

    do you think all the sea serpent are the same kind but different species from hybridization (whatever the word is). cause look at dogs, even humans helped them out, but still…

    now all the serpent that i remember had faces like dogs or horses?

    so they may be related.

    and some had a snakes face… or turtles.

  23. Haley Fisher responds:

    I went on this expedition, and I saw the “baby Ogopogo” for myself. I am of course always optimistic that it will produce interesting results, but I am not getting my hopes up.

    As for the photograph, I’ve never seen it before in my life and I don’t think it’s from the expedition. I think it’s being used from another source.

  24. XFiler responds:

    Rather a poor picture…can’t really seem to make out anything, other than the Jet Skier in the background…..perhaps a sturgeon?



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