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Ogopogo Tissue Sample?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 5th, 2009

Kelowna, British Columbia’s Daily Courier is reporting two scientists have agreed to analyze the remains of a mysterious-looking specimen found along the shore of Okanagan Lake.

A tissue sample of the creature will be sent to a researcher in Ontario for DNA testing, and the carcass itself will be examined by a scientist in Alberta.

The remains were found two weeks ago by Kelowna resident Dan Poppoff as he paddled his kayak near the far end of Lakeshore Road. For now, he’s still got the carcass, which measures more than a metre-long in his freezer at home.

Poppoff is reluctant to suggest the strange-looking carcass might be an example of an Ogopogo, the legendary inhabitants of Okanagan Lake. But he is interested in finding out just what it is. He contacted Arlene Gaal, a Kelowna woman who was written extensively on Ogopogo sightings over the years.

Gaal is making arrangements to send the tissue sample and carcass to the two researchers, who she declines to identify.

“If I name them, people will be calling them left and right, and they won’t be able to get on with the business of determining just what this creature is,” Gaal said late in June.

“But I can assure you that both of them are very reputable people, experts in their fields. Both of them are attached to universities,” Gaal said.

Gaal isn’t sure when the results of the investigation will be available, but she hopes it will be fairly soon.

Stay tuned, as Cryptomundo will follow up on this story.

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.


20 Responses to “Ogopogo Tissue Sample?”

  1. lincoln s responds:

    you said it was about one meter right? well for it to be zeuglodon infant wouldn’t an infant be at least 5 or 6 ft. I’m not sure how long their young were but blue whales infants are about the size of are larger than a truck since zeuglodon are smaller I’d have to say for a zeuglodon baby it’d have to be At LEAST 5ft or larger

  2. flame821 responds:

    Decomposing bodies can look drastically different from their previously living counterparts. Is there any information on what this unidentified corpse looked like? As in mammalian, fish, reptile?

    It would be neat to find a new species in the lake, even if it could never be classified (due to size, etc) as Ogopogo. I’m constantly amazed at the new life forms science is discovering in the sea; it would be nice to see some new fresh water species as well.

  3. springheeledjack responds:

    The BIG problem with tissue samples from water is that fish and all kinds of critters can decompose altering the shape of the original animal…not to mention being chewed upon…

    now, obviously the meter long what’s-it probably looks odd to Dan, and it may well be…don’t know, haven’t seen it:) So, we will have to wait for the results on this one…it’s interesting to be sure, but WAY too soon to get excited…unless momma comes ashore looking for her baby…

  4. cryptidsrus responds:

    Hopefully some proof of Ogopogo will come out of this. And hopefully the scientists will be identified after the samples are done. It’s good also that Poppoff has not attempted to make a press conference out this YET. Apparently “confirmation” is needed before disclosure for him. Cautiously optimistic, I am. :)

  5. alcalde responds:

    I want to be the first to go on record with the theory that the sample will ultimately be indentified as “windsurfer”. ;-)

  6. Alligator responds:

    If there is no futher information to this story, I hope someone like Loren will go after it and at least find out what the results of testing were be they good, bad or indifferent. Seems like we get these tantalizing stories so many times then pfffft…it goes up in smoke. No follow up on the results.

  7. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Lincoln S – problem with that; the Basilosaurus you’re thinking of lived millions of years ago in open ocean. Whatever Ogopogo is, it lives now, in a lake. Therefore, if it is a descendent of Basilosaurus, then it is likely smaller – and its young are as well.

  8. springheeledjack responds:

    Great comment alcalde–laughed out loud on that one…

    Even though this stuff often turns out to be a dead fish, it’s still worth checking out…because sooner or later we are going to come up with something unidentified, which will give us more information on Ogopogo or others. The alternative is what probably goes on more often than not…people do find carcasses or other things, ignore them, walk on and they could be walking by a great scientific discovery.

    Rejection and dejection go hand in hand sometimes, but it’s worth the wait when you do find something worthwhile…

  9. DWA responds:

    Well, there’s probably another reason Ms. Gaal doesn’t want to ID the researchers doing the testing.

    She wants them to do the testing.

    I can’t help but wonder how many times stuff like this has gone in for testing, and the result either vanished or came back unsatisfactory (either unknown-but-don’t-know-what, or known animal) and one wondered whether the result was, shall we say, influenced by the researchers’ desire not to be thought woo-woo. Which is serious not only personally, but professionally to them, much more, maybe, than with non-scientists.

    If I were one of them, I’d make it a point that I would only do the testing if no one ever found out who I was unless I was personally OK with that (and I’d let you know, in writing).

    Mishandling of evidence is epidemic in crypto. Anything anyone can do to minimize that just might advance the field.

  10. lincoln s responds:

    ya cryptoinformant your probably right but a few few sightings put it in the right size category for it to be the same size as the prehistoric basilosaurus .but I guess if you take over estimation into account your right. but until its discovered we’ll never know but great thought though.

  11. cryptidsrus responds:

    Alcalde:

    Have some “faith” now, will ya??? ;)

    Whatever this turns out to be, it IS definitely worth looking into.

    Although I agree with DWA.

    The mishandling of evidence in cryptozoology is legendary.

  12. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Yeah, over-estimation of size probably plays a big part in that – I don’t see any way for a lake environment to support an animal 60 feet long, which was the adult size for Basilosaurus.

  13. bccryptid responds:

    One comment I’d make is, nobody has yet claimed the carcass recovered was a complete specimen, so any comment on size at this point is useless.

  14. alcalde responds:

    >The mishandling of evidence in cryptozoology is legendary.

    I admit knowing very little about this subject, but it seems to me that the consensus interpretation is that scientists make the evidence disappear (per DWA’s comments)? Isn’t the opposite interpretation possible as well though? Person makes claim about extraordinary evidence, claims it’s being tested by some place that wants to remain private, finally forced to reveal name, place denies having the item – because it never really did have the evidence in the first place? People who want to believe brand the lab as part of a conspiracy rather than the original claimant as a hoaxer? That’s the classic pattern of fraud in UFOlogy, usually involving bits of metal supposedly incapable of being manufactured on earth or claiming Kodak or someone authenticated a UFO photo.

  15. DWA responds:

    alcalde: the consensus interpretation doesn’t exist (I’ve never heard of anything like a consensus on anything in crypto, which doesn’t help it much).

    But all kinds of things happen to evidence. A not-intended-to-be-exhaustive sample:

    1) Stuff goes in for analysis, and no word on whatever happened to it. Never have figured out what’s going on there.

    2) Stuff doesn’t even get collected, because either the witness was totally flabbergasted or because the witness, not being a scientist, thought the video or the sighting was enough.

    3) Testing isn’t conclusive. (Reading about this you find out that hair testing, for example, isn’t the slam-dunk science one would think it was at first glance.)

    4) Stuff is lost, mishandled, dropped, left behind, forgotten, etc.

    5) A conclusion may – just may – be affected by the researcher’s ability or not to conceive that whatever this is is real. Yep, scientists are influenced by that just like other folks. They’re people, with biases and beliefs and stubborn positions and pride and irrationality creeping in at the durndest times just like anyone else. (One reviewer of the Patterson/Gimlin film said that that had to be a real, unrecognized animal…but naaah, naaah, it just can’t be, I just can’t believe it’s real.)

    You get the idea. One would think that there’d be one success. Boy, I sure would. But I’m sure that the general level of incredulity affects the seriousness with which scientists receive evidence, as well as ignorance affects what witnesses do (or don’t do) with it.

    It seems to me almost impossible that you couldn’t have several – never mind just one – successes at linking evidence to a cryptid. Which is why there are only a few in which I would invest any chips (lake monsters not being yet among them), and them only because there are so many consistent eyewitnesses of good character that it just seems very unlikely it’s all being made up.

    But frustrating? Oh yeah. It’ s that.

  16. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    I think “frustrating” is the only consensus we have about cryptozoology. You get a video, look at it… ah, it’s some dude in a bear-suit. You get the P/G film… ah, someone squints really hard and finds a stick. You get a body like this, who knows – maybe it’ll get misplaced!

    The point is, schtuff happens. On a regular basis. With alarming frequency.

  17. springheeledjack responds:

    Frustrating is the word…and mostly because we have to wade through so much crap to find the good stuff…between the boneheads who put rubber suits into freezers and the crazies who want their fifteen minutes of fame at the expense of cryptozoology, some days it is enough to beat your head against a wall.

    I don’t know Arlene Gaal, never met her, but I’ve read her books and listened to some of her interviews, and she has alway struck me as very savvy and definitely dedicated.

    I would guess she is just being very careful and keeping everything in check to make sure the evidence doesn’t get squirreled away somewhere or lost or whatever happens to stuff like that (I have my own theories about that, but we won’t get into that here:). So, I will sit back with my popcorn, in between movies and trips to Cryptomundo to see what develops…

  18. lincoln s responds:

    bccryptid while that is true but in order to be a carcass a sizable amount of the body would have to be found you could find a part of an animal let’s say a flipper and a small portion of the tail that doesn’t really qualify in my eyes.in no way am I saying this is what you think I’m just saying you have to a good portion of the body for it to be a carcass

  19. Alligator responds:

    I forwarded this story to a Canadian friend up in that neighborhood of BC. It was news to him. Evidently other than the small blurb in the Courier, none of the press up there has picked the story up and usually they are good for a couple of Ogopogo stories a year. ????

    Like I said, someone needs to stay on this and find out the “rest of the story” regardless of what it turns out to be.

  20. Ghost314 responds:

    I predict that testing will reveal the tissue is from a photoshopped piece of driftwood.



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