Lake Okanagan is located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The Lake is 135 Kilometers long, between 4 and 5 Kilometers wide and the
maximum known depth is 232 meters. The Lake is bordered by such Cities as Kelowna, Vernon and Pentiction. The Lake is said to be home to a creature
known as the "Ogopogo"
The Ogopogo is supposedly a "sea serpeant" or "lake monster" that has been spotted in Lake Okanagan.
The Native Legend
According to legend from natives of Canada, there was once a man possessed by a demon. The possessed man killed Old Kan-He-Kan, a respected local
man. To pay for his sins, the gods changed the murderer into a lake serpent so he would be forever at the scene of the crime and suffer eternal
remorse. The lake serpent was named N’ha-A-Itk by the natives, a name that roughly translates to water demon. Lake Okanagan was named in memory of
N'ha-a-itk which translates to " Water Demon " or " Lake Monster " would demand a toll from travellers for a safe passage through the waters it
called home. Its home was said to be the waters near Squally Point near Rattlesnake Island (also known as Monster Island). The fee for safe passage
was a live sacrifice. Whenever the Natives who lived around the lake would venture out on the water they would sacrifice a small animal to appease the
Monster. They would drop the animal into the water, it would drown and sink to the depths of the lake. This would ensure a protected journey. It was
told that the shore of Rattlesnake Island was littered with the gory remnants of the travellers who did not make a sacrifice. N'ha-a-itk would use its
mighty tail to whip up the lakes water into a fierce storm that would drown its victims. The white settlers also followed the Natives warnings. Yet
the Whiteman also lapsed at times and had to be reminded of the Monsters wrath.
Here is an example of what apparently happened to a man and his family when they chose to not make a live sacrifice before going on the lake.
Timbasket was a Chief of a visiting tribe. He was a cynic and declared his disbelief in the existence of N'ha-a-itk. He was told that the West
bank Natives intended to sacrifice a live dog to the Monster as they passed Squally Point. Timbasket was unimpressed. He knew far to much of the world
to concern himself with such a foolish custom. While crossing the lake Timbasket defiantly chose to travel close to the shore near Squally Point.
Suddenly N'ha-a-itk arose from the water and whipped the surface with his powerful tail. Timbasket and his family were sucked under by the great swirl
of angry water, never to be seen again.
Perhaps the earliest mention of the Ogopogo was the story of a man in 1860 leading horses that were swimming across the lake near Rattlesnake
Island. They were pulled under by some unseen and unknown force later attributed to the then common native myth of the Ogopogo.
The "Folden Film"
In 1926 a sighting is claimed to have occurred at an Okanagan Mission beach. This event was supposedly witnessed by about thirty cars of people
who all claimed to have seen the same thing. It was also in this year that the editor of the Vancouver Sun, Bobby Carter, wrote, "Too many
reputable people have seen [the monster] to ignore the seriousness of actual facts."
In 1968, the very first video film of Ogopogo was taken by sawmill worker Art Folden. He was driving along Okanagan, and glancing at the lake, he
noticed something strange in the water. What Folden saw was near the shore, and he pointed out his sighting to his wife. He stopped his car, and got
out to take film of the disturbance.
The creature would dive under the water and then reappear. Upon each reappearance, Folden shot his film. The video shows the creature moving from
shore into the deeper waters of the lake, finally diving under for good.
By estimating the height of the trees on shore, it can calculated the the length of the animal that Foley filmed was about 40 feet, approximately the
same size as the monster of Loch Ness. The film has been enhanced by investigators, and clearly shows a "dark object" moving through the waters. The
film has become known as one of the classics of lake monster lore.
This was apparently the first film taken of the Ogopogo.
Part of the footage can be viewed at around 2:45.
Here are two stills from the film.
The "Fletcher Film"
Here is an still from a video taken by Edward Fletcher in 1976.
Does anyone know where I could view the video? Im not sure if was ever released.
Could the Ogopogo be a Sturgeon?
In 1976, Ed Fletcher from Vancouver was with a group of friends on the lake when they saw Ogopogo. The creature remained in view for several hours
while the party pursued it back and forth along the shoreline taking pictures. Fletcher turned over to investigators five photographs of a
multi-humped creature. They claimed it had two erect ears on its head.
Some species of Sturgeon can grow to be 18 feet, they appeared in the fossil record around 200 million years ago.
People have often wondered if the a Sturgeon could be responsible for the sightings of Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan. However there are no recorded
sightings or captures of Sturgeon in the lake.
There a unconfirmed stories of people seeing Sturgeon in the lake, like in the mid 1950's divers were helping build the floating bridge and were
apparently scared by big unidentifiable shapes near the bottom of the lake. From checking around online some people say that they saw Sturgeon, while
others saw that they were just unidentifiable shapes that the divers assumed were Sturgeon.
There is also a $10000 reward is anyone can prove that the Ogopogo was a sturgeon.
Dan Basaraba Footage
CKIQ and Harv’s put up a cool $10,000 in cash for anyone who could prove that Ogopogo was a sturgeon. I fail to see how anyone could have picked up
the cash as how do ‘prove’ that a sturgeon and Ogopogo are the same things. There is just no reasonable methodology for doing this, so I guess
from the way the competition was worded nobody could have won the prize.
However, that did not stop people from attempting to fish for sturgeon in Okanagan Lake. I heard of people going out on boats with huge block and
tackle in a bid to win the prize money, but despite a fair bit of activity, the $10,000 went unclaimed because not one person was able to pull a
sturgeon out of the depths of the lake.
Heres a link to two seperate videos shot by Mr Basaraba.
The first clip looks waves, however I can kind of see what he's talking about when he says theres a solid object there, im not exactly sure
I find his second clip much more intriguing, it looks to me like theres something below the water swimming,.It could however be a group of fish, drift
wood or something like that, but it looks like theres something moving to me.
Heres another interview with Mr Basaraba talking about the Ogopogo.
In 2010 Destination truth did a show on the Ogopogo.
You can view the episode from these following links.
Part one - Start watching from 4:35
In Search Of...
Heres is a TV show called "In Search Of..." They did a show on the Ogopgo. It is narrated by Leonard Nimoy.
Other sources used
So what do you think? Could there be a unknown creature or creatures in Lake Okanagan? Have you seen the Ogopogo or perhaps know someone who has?
Ive been to Kelowna/Lake Okanagan many times and for as long as I can remember if been fascinated by the Ogopogo.
Personally I have not seen the Ogopogo, however, hopefully that will one day change.
Ill be adding more information to this thread in the future also.
edit on 5-1-2011 by FoxMulder91 because: (no reason