New Ogopogo Sighting

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 20th, 2009

Wendy Sanderson and Gordon Krug say they had a sighting on July 9, 2009, of a “snake-like creature” in Okanagan Lake, British Columbia, which some are relating to Ogopogo.

Sanderson, 41, who has lived in Kelowna since she was four, and Krug, an Edmonton welding teacher, were both at the Okanagan Centre boat dock at 10:30 a.m. Thursday because family members were taking a scuba diving course.
“There wasn‘t a single boat on the lake. It was completely calm, absolutely perfect, just the most pristine conditions for this viewing we had,” said Sanderson.
“I‘m not saying I saw Ogopogo. I‘m saying that I saw a big-ass snake-like creature in the lake. It scared the bejeezus out of me. It is creeping me out.”
Now, she‘s concerned about allowing her 13-year-old son, Kurtis, to scuba dive as deep as 30 metres near the Bennett Bridge in a couple of weeks.
“It was so huge; I would have said over 30 feet. I‘m thinking, a good three feet out of the water. It formed two to three humps at the same time as it was swimming or slithering from the east to the west across the middle of the lake. For three minutes, we watched it and then it was gone. It was the most amazing thing we ever saw.”
A 22-year-old man fishing off the dock was so surprised he dropped his fishing rod.
“The welding teacher was pacing up and down the dock, screaming at everybody that would listen. He wanted everybody to experience it. I just watched. I had my cell phone on the beach, but I didn‘t even run for it to take a picture. I just wanted to watch,” said Sanderson.
The creature she saw was too large for any snake ever documented by scientists, she said.
“A lot of people are saying: ’Wendy, what if that was a group of sturgeons?‘ There‘s no way they could have been that synchronized while swimming. I‘ve been looking up sturgeon and those are fish. They can‘t form perfect humps out of the water to be able to pull off what we saw. There‘s no way.”
“Our giant sturgeon?” responded Krug with a laugh when asked about the sighting.
“About a mile out from us was distinctively what you would say Ogopogo is. There‘s three humps, right? The more we watched it and watched it and watched it, you could see how mistakes have been made over hundreds of years,” Krug said.
“It appeared to be a giant sturgeon. As it went in and out of the water, there were three humps. I‘m convinced it was a sturgeon,” he said, despite the lack of any evidence of sturgeon in Okanagan Lake.
“What else could it be? Whatever it was, it was definitely there. There was something in the water that was definitely cool, really neat. Because of the way it was coming out of the water, it appeared to have three humps. It was massive, I‘d say 30 feet long,” he said.
“It was absolutely dead calm.
“We were a mile back and you could clearly see the way water was moving around it. You could see it moving in the water and the way the water was affected by it.”
“I don‘t want to be called a freak in public,” Krug said with another laugh. Kelowna Daily News

Wendy Sanderson sent a letter to another newspaper, about her sighting. She said: “I saw a large snake-like creature at the surface of the lake for about three minutes. It was probably 30 feet long and as it slithered across the lake, it made humps at the surface.”

Thanks to GJ and SS for this new info.


Recently, I learned from Darren Naish and John Kirk of some sad news. It is with a heavy heart I pass along that Ogopogo and Cadborosaurus researcher, the retired Royal British Columbia Museum marine biologist Dr. Edward Bousfield has lost his wife, the former Joyce Burton of Ottawa, in May 2009. My deepest condolences to Ed and his family.

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.

17 Responses to “New Ogopogo Sighting”

  1. wuffing responds:

    “It formed two to three humps at the same time as it was swimming or slithering from the east to the west across the middle of the lake. ”

    “I‘m not saying I saw Ogopogo. I‘m saying that I saw a big-ass snake-like creature in the lake. It scared the bejeezus out of me. It is creeping me out.”

    These are the words of Wendy Sanderson, a local elementary school librarian? OK 🙂

    To the reported facts then. They “were a mile back”, it had “two to three humps”, the lake was “completely calm” and it was about 30 feet long.
    And most important, they were near water level which makes it hard to gauge sizes and distances.

    Take a dollar bill, study Washington’s mouth, – three humps, right? – then hold it at arms length and you have what “two to three” humps thirty feet long will look like from one mile away.

    A classic boat wake sighting.
    Good PR for the area though – unless you run scuba courses!

  2. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Wuffing, you forgot another of the reported facts of the sighting – “There wasn’t a single boat on the lake. It was completely calm”. I think the lack of boats does a fairly good job of ruling out boat wakes, because of one important ingredient for the production of a boat wake – a boat.

  3. wuffing responds:

    CryptoInformant – Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t forget that part – the boat or boats involved could easily have passed out of view or gone into a nearby harbour or jetty as there are about a dozen within one mile (couple of minutes) of Okanagan Centre. Boat wakes can last for twenty minutes or more.

    And what do you make of this part of their story – “It formed two to three humps at the same time as it was swimming or slithering from the east to the west across the middle of the lake.” At Okanagan Centre on the Eastern side, the lake runs North – South, so an object slithering from the East to the West would be moving directly away from them.

    Or were they at some other Okanagan Centre boat dock, not the one 12 miles North of Kelowna?

  4. cryptidsrus responds:


    “These are the words of Wendy Sanderson, a local elementary school librarian? OK.”

    You’re forgetting that even librarians are human beings as well (shock of shocks!!!)—so when they see something “out-of-the-ordinary,” so to speak, they’re going verbalize their feelings like the “rest of us.” 😉
    If that had been me, I don’t know that I would not have articulated the same things the same way—only I would have added some “Holy S—-” and some “S words” along the way. 🙂

    Whatever this is or is not, it is definitely worth including here. And the couple’s unwillingness to label this definitively as Ogopogo add somewhat to their credibility.
    Plus I laughed at what Krug said. Funny guy, that one. And no fool.

    “”“I don‘t want to be called a freak in public,” Krug said with another laugh””.
    Yep, no fool indeed. 🙂

  5. dogu4 responds:

    I’m all about entertaining the idea of cryptic creatures in these northern lakes, but have to admit that the conditions are almost exactly the kind where a wake seen a low angles does look much like what the observer describes. Having been in kayaks and canoes out on open coastal water and big lakes under similar flat calm conditions, an unexpected wake is something you don’t want to meet sideways if it’s from a big enough boat which can be well after the boat’s sped away. The wakes themselves can travel quite a good distance over a reasonable amount of time as well as travel beyond line of sight. Under certain conditions when the light is right, I can see where certain wakes would look like a 30 foot long lamprey or eel or any of the other candidates for cryptic lake creature moving coiling around at the surface…and maybe one was a wake and one was a lake creature, either way it is interesting and I’d love to see a researcher train a time delayed underwater camera onto a carcass that’s been anchored in a typical locale on the bottom and see what comes over for a snack.

  6. norman-uk responds:

    It seems the water conditions were ideal for the propagation of a very prominent wake. That is a glassy smooth surface on a still day. But the witnesses were highly excited and positive they saw something special. The description of a lake monster may sound the same but these witnesses clearly believed they saw the latter and were willing to say so.

    The lake is mainly south to north but also runs diagonaly at one point so if a little reasonable leeway is given to the sighting ie the subject was travelling from the east to the west bank is it not feasible that the alleged creature could be seen travelling across the witnesses view and still travelling east to west across the lake ?

    This is one of those sightings which must by its nature be filed as interesting but indeterminate.

  7. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Yeah, without pictures you can’t really say anything based on the verbal descriptions alone, especially given that size and/or distance may have been exaggerated here due to a lack of reliable reference points.

    I know what you’re talking about with the wakes, by the way, thanks to experiences while swimming – typically, at the distance I am from the boat, the wake hits me after the boat has already gone out of sight.

  8. DWA responds:

    Slight reality check here.

    Other than the lake being totally calm and no boats (she said and I quote “there wasn’t a single boat on the lake,” I don’t think that the reactions of bystanders LIVING BY A LAKE are going to be as noted here for your standard-issue water disturbance. Or critter for that matter.

    Based on what we have here, there are two kneejerk responses I try to avoid. One is “MONSTER!!!!!” The other is “NUT, HYSTERICAL WOMAN (AREN’T THEY CUTE) OR OTHER STANDARD-ISSUE SCOFTICAL STANDBY!!!!!”

    I like to wait for more evidence before I pronounce people of whom I know nothing nuts, hysterical, silly or otherwise. Or sober, for that matter. I also refrain from positing anything – that is anything, of any kind – on this little evidence. That kind of hipshooting is something crypto needs to avoid.

  9. archer1945 responds:

    One thing I will almost guarantee it was not is a sturgeon, not matter how big you want to make it. Sturgeon do not swim with their back making humps in the water. They are bottom feeders and rarely come to the surface; though some will, for unknown reasons, leap out of the water.

  10. springheeledjack responds:

    Boat wakes are the classic fall back on this kind of stuff, but again, as has been said and by the witness: the lake was mirror calm and there were no boats…no wakes. If there were wakes out in the middle there would have to be wakes elsewhere too…they don’t localize to just one location on a surface of a body of water…they spread out from the source and continue moving on either side.

    As for the details…yeah, again too little to really say much, other than catalogue a possible sighting for future reference.

    I question the distance thing…really a mile out? I don’t think, without the aid of binoculars you could get any kind of detail on anything a mile off…that is some serious distance for eyes and I doubt whether they could have seen anything other than a blur of dark color at a distance of a mile…for the teacher to say it was 30 feet (again questionable), and that there were 2-3 humps…makes me think they were a lot closer than a mile.

    Also, neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed way more details…she said it was snake like…why? Was it the movement, the color, the shape, or something else or all of those that made her think snake? That is the aggravating part about eye witness accounts, AND why you have to investigate further than the initial report to get details.

    Was it Ogo? Who knows…but without more info, it can’t be defined as a sturgeon or a boat wake and case closed…that’s sloppy investigating too.

  11. JGreg responds:

    Wuffing, your assertion that the creature/wake had to be moving directly away from the witness is nothing more than a red herring (or red Ogopogo). Nothing in the post says anything about the creature/wake being straight out from the dock. It could as easly have been traversing the lake somewhat to the North or South of the witnesses allowing for something of a side view while still maintaining the westerly heading reported. In any event, they were there and neither you nor I were so I am inclined to cut them a little slack.

  12. HF responds:

    I spoke with Wendy Sanderson personally and she seemed very sincere to me. I am quite confident that her account is authentic and it appears to have made quite an impact on her.

  13. alanborky responds:

    wuffing, I once found myself in the company of a bunch of people who were verbally battering another individual because he’d dared to admit he thought lake monsters, Bigfoot, UFOs might be a possibility.

    These guys were smart, had degrees, and verbally very quick, and this guy was a lowly porter known not to have a single qualification to his name, so when he not only refused to be intimidated by their obviously superior intelligence, education and insight but even dared to admit he’d seen a ghost and a UFO they went to town on him.

    In the end I couldn’t resist the temptation to interject that I’d once seen a glowing rock hovering in the sky.

    Well that was it, they threw everything they had at me: one of them with a degree in physics, threw the the laws of physics at me; another with an astronomy degree recited every authority going why what I’d said was impossible.

    Then, after about ten minutes of all this ‘proving’ – at an almost “Burn the witch! Burn the heretic!” pitch of hysteria – the girlfriend of one them suddenly realised why I wasn’t bothering to defend myself, “Oh, he means the Moon.”

    The point being, have you ever asked yourself why some people – and maybe yourself – feel the irresistible NEED to trash such anecdotal accounts?

    If you told someone, “I’ve just seen the most beautiful girl/guy…”, wouldn’t you consider it a little strange if they vehemently proclaimed, “O, no you didn’t – the sun dazzled your vision/your hair was in your eyes/you were confusing the person’s face with the poster of a supermodel out the corner of your eye…etc., etc.,”?

    If you’d shown the commenter a picture or a video of the allegedly ‘beautiful’ person – i.e., something they could evaluate with their own eyes – or they were there themselves, then fair enough.

    But if they had nothing to go on, but still insisted you were wrong, wouldn’t you feel they were not only insulting your intelligence but also implying their own intelligence was so superior they didn’t even have to be there to know better than you?

  14. dogu4 responds:

    No disprespect to those who reported these phenomenon, and I acknowledge there’s no way I can see what they did, but their claim that there were no other boats of the lake should imply “as far as they could see from where they stood”. That lake is about 2 to 3 miles wide and 80 miles long. I know that even when on a perfectly calm lake of that size, from the heighth of a pier or deck of a boat you can easily fail to see a pretty good sized boats travelling even if you can see houses up above the shorline or even more distant features that seem crisp and sharp to one’s senses. Human eyesight and our ability to interpret it, is pretty amazing but we do tend to overrely on its presumed acuity but it doesn’t really measure up all that well.

  15. MontanaMtnMan responds:

    After reading some of the comments posted here regarding this sighting, I feel I have to comment myself. I tend to lurk more than I comment, but sometimes I just can’t stand to keep my trap shut. No offense intended, but if you’ve never been to Lake Okanagan, then you might not want to make assumptions on what was seen. I myself, have been to the lake many times as I live reasonably close to BC and the lake itself. Our large lakes on the west coast or western inland empire of Canada and the US are completely different from those you find in the east. Totally different geography, geology and ecology. The air is so clear in this part of the world ( as is the water in most cases ) that you actually can see for miles with clarity. We also don’t have the higher humidity that the east does, and this contributes to the clarity of the air as well. The land is also not very flat. It is mountainous and/or very hilly, giving excellent vantage points. Ogopogo has been sighted in this lake for centuries. There are pictographs etc. that are hundreds if not thousands of years old depicting this creature and they all are similar. There was no ‘boat wake’ in those days and people know what a sturgeon is and isn’t. Really, all I’m trying to say is; try not to be so skeptical that you blind yourself. I truly believe Ogopogo exists just as I believe that Sasquatch roams the vast evergreen forests of the Pacific NW and the Rocky Mountains. I have good reason to. Visit Montana and the surrounding states and provinces. You’ll understand what I mean. Thanks for listening and take care all.

  16. wuffing responds:

    I’m sorry, I didn’t know I had to live there to have a valid opinion. My mistake. I bow to your beliefs.

    (RNLI crew, 40 years experience working on water.)

  17. dogu4 responds:

    MontanaMtnMan; you are quite correct. Those lakes are distinct for a couple of reasons. The characteristics of the landscape and their geologic histories. In natural history terms Okanogan is similar to other northern fjord lakes, like most of the big lakes of BC and throughout the mountainous west, but include other examples like Champlain, Loch Ness, and numerous others arching across the planet as an enduring outline of the extent of the last great iceage (soon to be returning). That kind of biozone, the periglacial in many respects, is the normal state for much of what we consider to be temperate and moderate as they are now that we’re in a warm interglacial period, geologically speaking.
    My contention is that there could be a species that has adapted for millions of years to this kind of periglacial system, sorta like the salmonids are, but whose lifepattern includes long periods buried in the cold mud until some environmental signal wakens it to feed, reproduce or migrate.
    Considering the fact that an earthworm species endemic to the Palouse ( one of the few remnants of a bioregion that during the iceage was vast) are reported to be over 3 feet long (some say much longer), it doesn’t seem to be that hard to imagine a aquatic version similarly living by burrowing through sediments but underwater as well. It would explain why we rarely see them.

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