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The Ogopogo Lake Monster

The Ogopogo is a vast water serpent said to reside in Lake Okanagan in British Columbia. Sightings of the Ogopogo date back to the early 1800s, when the creature was originally known by the native name n’haitaka , meaning “lake devil.” The name Ogopogo wasn’t adopted until the 1920s, when it was lifted from the title of a popular English musical hall number called The Ogo-Pogo: The Funny Foxtrot: “I’m looking for the Ogo-pogo, / The funny little Ogo-pogo. / His mother was an earwig, his father was a whale, / I’m going to put a little bit of salt on his tail.”

Ogopogo Sightings

Susan Allison’s 1872 sighting was the first detailed Ogopogo account from a white settler. She was the first non-native person to live in the region, establishing relations with the native peoples.

While driving on Highway 97 in 1968, Art Folden noticed something moving in the lake. He pulled off the road and filmed what he claimed to be footage of the alleged creature, showing a large wake moving across the water. Foldern estimated that the Ogopogo was 300 yards offshore. A computer analysis of the footage concluded it was a solid, three-dimensional object. Folden noticed “something large and lifelike”; in the distance out on the calm water and pulled out his home movie camera to capture the object. A 2005 investigation conducted by Benjamin Radford with Joe Nickell and John Kirk for the National Geographic Channel TV show Is It Real?, utilized surveyor boats to find the actual distance of the alleged creature from the shore. They found that it was much closer to shore than originally thought, resulting in a reduction of actual size and speed. They concluded that it was likely a real animal but its size had been greatly overestimated and that it was probably a waterfowl, otter, or beaver too far away to be identified.

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