Ogopogo or Naitaka (from the Salish language for “lake demon”) is a lake monster reported in British Colombia’s Okanagan lake since the time of the First Nations. Reported most commonly as something like a sea serpent, it doesn’t have the characteristic “plesiosaur” style body reported in Nessie sightings. Ogopogo has been investigated by the likes of Karl Shuker, who wrote The Beasts That Hide from Man, who suggested that most Ogopogo sightings may be misidentification of creatures like otters and inanimate items like logs. The best film of Ogopogo was shot in 1968 by a guy named Art Folden, becoming the infamous “Folden Film.”
The Vancouver Sun (via MSNBC) reports that visitor Richard Huls says he’s captured video of Ogopogo, which you can view right here. I warn you, though…it’s pretty disappointing. It’s not even really a wake of any kind…it looks to me like a current or something. How it made the news, I haven’t the foggiest idea.
Other Ogopogo videos on YouTube, like this one, are more of the same — something under the water, maybe, but who knows what? Nothing to see here.
From MSNBC’s story:
A man visiting British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan last week claims to have captured video of Ogopogo, Canada’s version of the Loch Ness Monster.
According to a report in the Vancouver Sun, “An Okanagan man has video he says proves the Ogopogo may be more than just a figment of our imagination. Richard Huls says he always believed in the possibility of the monster rumored to be living in Okanagan Lake. Last Thursday, while visiting a West Kelowna winery, Huls shot video that he believes proves something does indeed live in the water. ‘It was not going with the waves,’ Huls said. ‘It was not a wave obviously, just a darker color. The size and the fact that they were not parallel with the waves made me think it had to be something else.”
Ogopogo, some believe, has its roots in native Canadian Indian legends that told of a beast called N’ha-a-itk that would demand a live sacrifice from travelers for safe passage across Lake Okanagan. Hundreds of years ago, whenever Indians would venture into the lake, they brought chickens or other small animals to kill and drop into the water to assure a protected journey. It’s clear, however, that these stories were not referring to a literal lake monster but instead to a legendary water spirit, and are not historical evidence for Ogopogo.
…So what exactly did Huls record? The video quality is poor, and the camera is shaky, so it’s hard to tell what the object is, or even if it’s moving. But a closer look at the 30-second video reveals that, instead of one long object, there are actually two shorter ones, and they seem to be floating next to each other at slightly different angles. There are no humps, nor head, nor form; only two long, darkish, more or less straight forms that appear to be a few dozen feet long. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lake Okanagan has tens of thousands of logs harvested by the timber industry floating just under the lake’s surface.
I gotta hand it to MSNBC, they’ve got cojones. Calling Ogopogo “Canada’s Loch Ness Monster” is a dangerous enterprise. You might piss off the Lake Ontario super-snake.