New Ogopogo Sighting

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 4th, 2011

Bill Gibbons, author of Mokele-Mbembe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin, has forwarded breaking news of a new Ogopogo sighting. He writes of his sighting, Dave Woetzel’s, and their families, following. Bill is driving the boat and Dave is the other individual in the photo below:

Here is the Ogopogo sighting made by Bill Gibbons, Dave Woetzel and their families on Saturday, July 2, 2011. [See the new update here.]


Bill Gibbons (male adult
Terri Gibbons (female adult)
Andrew Gibbons (17)
Dave Woetzel (male adult)
Gloria Woetzel (female adult)
Jonathan Woetzel (14)
Heidi Woetzel (11)


Date of sighting: Saturday, July 2nd @ approx. 20.00hrs
Weather: clear, sunny, flat calm lake conditions at encounter location
Depth at location: 140 feet
Length of encounter: 10-12 seconds
Observation: three-four humps and a brief head observation
Colour: Dark green, and possibly a spinal ridge that briefly broke above the waves.
Disturbance: Waves approximately 1.5 feet in height
Length: visible part of body & waves 10-12 feet.
Equipment used: Bushnell Trophy 8×42 Waterproof/fogproof Binoculars; Sony Super 8 Digital camcorder

We met on the afternoon of Saturday, July 2nd at the Okanagan Lake Resort, 2751 Westside Road, Kelowna, where both our families were staying for the weekend. After dinner, we decided to rent an 11-seat powered boat to explore the lake, but only had an hour left before the boat had to be returned to the resort boat rental. Dave wanted to visit an Ogopogo ‘hotspot,’ which I believe was just south of  Beach Bay on the NE side of the lake. It took about 30 minutes to arrive at location from the resort. The conditions were sunny with good visibility, and the water was flat calm at the location.

Dave was piloting the boat while myself, my son Andrew and Jonathan Woetzel were at the bow.  We arrived at the target area at 8.00pm and powered down the engines, beginning a slow cruise in the area. At first we noticed small fry beginning to boil at the surface, followed by a large disturbance about 30-40ft directly ahead of us. There were no boats in the vicinity and no waves on the surface or a wake of any kind that may have confused the issue.

The waves that appeared seemed to  be generated by something directly under the surface.  The waves themselves were standing about 1.5 feet out of the water, followed by a sudden appearance of about three humps (possibly four) and a snake-like head that broke the surface only for two or three seconds.

I was able to zero in on the disturbance using a pair of  Bushnell Trophy 8×42 Waterproof/fogproof Binoculars, while Dave Woetzel filmed the object with a high definition Sony Super 8 camcorder. The object was a dark green colour with (possibly) a small dermal ridge running the length of the visible humps. My impression was that we were observing an animate object at least 12 (visible) feet or more in length.  Then object moved at about 3mph directly across our bow, moving from west to east, diving under the water after about 10-12 seconds, leaving the waves in its wake to dissipate. We slowly trawled the area in a circular motion hoping to make a second observation, but the animal did not reappear.


Mokele-Mbembe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin by William J. Gibbons.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

15 Responses to “New Ogopogo Sighting”

  1. j_porter responds:

    So if there was a Sony video camera filming, where’s the video?

  2. ThomasCrowley89 responds:

    I wonder if there any type of water snakes native to that area?

    I actually heard this one encounter by a girl back in 1970 it think it was. She was jet water skiing, well she fell off, and when her friends turned the boat around, she was apparently screaming and crying cause she saw a big snake like creature swim right by her. I just thought share that on here.

  3. Hapa responds:

    Something like this needs a good reeling-in if its legit. But if Ogopogo gets to monstrous sizes, like the hypothetical Nessie is supposed to (I believe Ogopogo is said to be large), then trying to get such a vast creature out of the water, or onto shore…you would need whaling equipment and modern fishing tech (sonar) to do it.

    However, unlike Squatch (most likely numbering into the hundreds or thousands, if it exists) lake monsters like Ogopogo, due to their vast size, might number in each lake (assuming they do exist) precious few. It would be terrible to put on the straw to break Ogopogo’s genetic back by killing one, But it would be impossible to prove it without a specimen (Bringing one in alive would be more difficult than bringing in a corpse).

    You don’t kill: it could go extinct without proper conservation aid.

    You kill: you murder a legend, and will no doubt suffer the wrath of many in the world at killing such a majestic, rare wonder of God’s creation.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

  4. ThomasCrowley89 responds:

    Well, if that’s the only to shut up all the skeptics, then I’m in favor of it hapa.

  5. Redrose999 responds:

    I would love to see the video.

    Other than that, it sounds like they saw two sturgeon, they can look like they have humps and have something that could be seen as spinal ridges on their backs.

  6. zobo1942 responds:

    I agree – where’s the video?

    I live a couple of hundred feet from Okanagan Lake, and I didn’t hear anything about it around here.

    You’d think someone would have mentioned something…

  7. aaronlife responds:

    at least post a still photo if not the video

  8. Hapa responds:

    Thomas Crowley89:

    Agreed. That is how science works: get the body or live specimen, get the scientific recognition. And with the animal’s conservation needs outweighing the legend needs, I’m in favor of bagging one.

  9. springheeledjack responds:

    I will ASSume for the moment that the video footage is being looked over…hopefully by John Kirk and colleagues…then maybe we’ll get a look at it.

    Cool on the sighting.

    As for species and populations, you also have to figure that even though there may be a viable population, large sized Ogopogos are probably few and far between. AND we also don’t know what the size range may be…so depending on how Ogopogos grow, there could be lots of really small specimens…maybe a few inches long? And who knows what the median size may be. That alone could account for size differences in sightings. Once you have a specimen in hand, then you can start figuring out the details, but until you do, you’re really dealing blind trying to come up with facts.

    Either way, a sighting is good…now we follow up like all goooood cryptomundians: make sure our witnesses are credible, that stories and facts match up, test whatever data we have with tools at our disposal, and te add it to the list once we’re sure we’re not dealing with hoaxes and misidentifications.

  10. Opalman responds:

    I think the writer probably meant “dorsal” ridge not “dermal” ridge in his descriptive narrative.
    “I’m immediately extra-skeptical when I read of someone having a sighting of a cryptid under circumstances such as this. (Renting a boat, proceeding to area of known sightings and after mere minutes; “There it is”.)
    Its not too difficult to imagine the family trying to find a buyer for the pics and video; hence the lack of these at this early juncture.
    The sturgeon hypotheses is high on my list of possible explanations. Spring-early summer finds these sometimes huge (18’+) fish doing all sorts of “aquabatics” at the surface.

  11. D.R. responds:

    No video?

  12. Loren Coleman responds:

    See the new photographic update here.

  13. bgibbons responds:

    Let me add the following additional comments here:

    1. We did not set out to find Ogopogo on a short trip onto the lake. We were hoping to visit a few well-known “hotspots” in order to plan out a later expedition.

    2. The film only shows the wake left by the creature. However, I did observe 3-4 humps just above the waves, which were darker than the waves themselves. Dorsal ridge was also clearly visible on the humps as I was focusing on the humps with a pair of binoculars. Dave Woetzel and my son, Andrew, may have briefly observed the head of the creature for a few seconds just above the waves.

    3. The film shot by David Woetzel and the subsequent (still) images were remarkably similar to the Fletcher photo of an alleged Ogopogo, taken in 1976 and featured on page 111 of Arlene Gaal’s book, ‘in Search of Ogopogo.’

    4. We have absolutely no interest in selling the film to the “highest bidder,” or seeking any further publicity outside the cryptozoological community, although a subsequent frame-by-frame of the Woetzel film may be conducted at a later time.

    5. This was not a sturgeon (or two sturgeons), salmon, trout, krill, otters, or waves from a boat, etc. I have fished extensively in rivers, streams, lakes, the sea and all over the world. I have seen sizable fish and sharks of all kinds, not to mention crocodiles, hippos and elephants, etc in Africa. I have even seen monkeys swimming across a river in the Congo. The Lake Okanagan observation was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

    6. The disturbance and sizable waves we observed were generated by an animate object directly from underneath the surface in flat clam conditions. The waves were at least 1.5 feet high and dissipated after the animal submerged 10-12 seconds later.

    7. We did not advertise this sighting but only reported it to Arlene Gaal and John Kirk (who has seen Ogopogo 11 times in the past).

  14. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    Again…so where’s the video? Where are the high res images? All we have here is a good story.

    You completely rule out every other plausible cause for what you think you saw except for Ogopogo. That is not being very open minded to reason. The fact is that until you have absolute proof of something, you cannot rule out any plausible explanation.

    This is a highly traveled lake. On a Saturday evening at 8pm there is no way that the water was flat and calm after a full weekend day of boat traffic. The only time you come close to seeing a flat calm lake is in the morning after a calm, not windy evening.

    Next, this claim of seeing three or four humps and that it is from a singular creature doesn’t mesh with science or biology of any known animal, past or present. Long vertebrate animals do not ungulate up and down when moving through water. They ungulate from side to side. The only water going vertebrates that do ungulate up and down are dolphins and their kin and beavers. They certainly don’t produce three to four humps while doing so on their own.

    The only plausible explanations are that either you saw wakes that looked like something they weren’t or you saw multiple creatures that gave the appearance of a single creature…like fish or beavers, etc.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that it has been shown that people have a very difficult time accurately judging size and distance on water. Why? The lack of reference points of known sizes. Many many stories, photos and claims have been debunked due to this. The same principle applies to our ability to judge size and distance in low light.

  15. LvngstoneJS5 responds:


    When I met you at the conference in September and you told me about the sighting, I had no idea it would be like this. This sighting is amazing since it comes from a respected cryptozoologist as yourself. You would know if it was just a fish or something other.

    An amazing sighting.

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