Ogopogo statue in Kelowna, British Columbia
|Sub grouping||Lake monster|
|First reported||1860 + prior local legend|
Ogopogo or Naitaka (Salish: n'ha-a-itk, "lake demon") is the name given to a cryptid lake monster reported to live in Okanagan Lake, in British Columbia, Canada. Ogopogo has been allegedly seen by First Nations people since the 19th century. The most common description of Ogopogo is a 40 to 50-foot-long (12 to 15 m) sea serpent.
British cryptozoologist Karl Shuker has categorized the Ogopogo as a 'many hump' variety of lake monster, and suggested it may be a kind of primitive serpentine whale such as Basilosaurus. However, because the physical evidence for the beast is limited to unclear photographs and film, it has also been suggested that the sightings are misidentifications of common animals, such as otters, and inanimate objects, such as floating logs.1
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.2 In 1968 Art Folden filmed what is claimed to be footage of the alleged creature, showing a large wake moving across the water. A computer analysis of the footage concluded it was a solid, three-dimensional object.3 In 2011, a cell phone video captured two dark shapes in the water. A suggested explanation is that the video shows two logs.4
"The Ogo-Pogo: The Funny Fox-Trot"
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[T]he cover portrayed a boot-wearing, antenna-sporting, banjo-playing, pixie-like monster from Hindustan - all far removed indeed from Canada's serpentiform cryptid. Nevertheless, it was this very sheet music that had originated one of the most familiar of all modern-day cryptid nicknames (until then, the Lake Okanagan monster had been known only as the naitaka - a traditional native American name given to it by the local Okanakane tribe).
- 1972: The Supreme Court of Canada considered the case Horsley v. MacLaren which involved a boat called the Ogopogo. The case itself is also known as "the Ogopogo case". In Canada, "Ogopogo" has also been a name given to items such as boats and canoes.6
- 1978: The TV series In Search of covered the legend in season 2, episode 8. A July 1977 incident, involving locals Ed Fletcher, his daughter Jill, and Erin Neely is discussed, among others.
- 1983: Harry Horse's book for children, The Ogopogo – My Journey with the Loch Ness Monster is published.
- 1989: A car salesman from Kelowna sold footage of a beaver to the American TV show Unsolved Mysteries, claiming it to be Ogopogo.
- 1990: The owner of the Peachland Marina Restaurant "Mary's Country Kitchen" claimed to have photographed the Ogopogo crossing the lake from Rattlesnake Island
- 1990: A Canadian postage stamp with an artist's conception of the Ogopogo was issued.7
- 1991: In Final Fantasy IV, the Ogopogo is featured as a side boss in the final dungeon known as the Lunar Subterrane. It was also featured in the print advertising for the game, which included the tagline "Ogopogo lives! Will you?"
- 1996: Ogopogo was both a codename and mascot for Microsoft Publisher 97, with Ogopogo graphics featured prominently in the beta setup. Team t-shirts featured two versions of the monster: a small stylized picture on the front patch, and a larger, animation-influenced upper-body shot on back.
- 1996: The Ogopogo of Lake Okanagan is referenced in "Quagmire", a third season episode of the X-Files, in which Mulder and Scully search for an elusive sea-beast known as "Big Blue."
- 2004: Electro-industrial group Slick Idiot included a song titled "Ogopogo" on its album Screwtinized.
- 2005: The National Geographic television series Is It Real: Monsters of the Deep includes a segment reviewing the evidence regarding Ogopogo.
- 2005: A film inspired by the Ogopogo and made in New Zealand was released. The filmmakers were about to name the creature in the film after the Ogopogo until an Aboriginal protested that use of the name compromised Aboriginal religion, although other Aboriginals encouraged the use of the name "Ogopogo." Thus, the creature became "Mee-Shee" and the film was called Mee-Shee: The Water Giant. Jim Henson's Creature Shop modelled Mee-Shee after the late actor Walter Matthau.8
- 2008: In episode 103 of Reborn!, Hayato Gokudera tells Haru Miura that if he were to have a pet, it would be an Ogopogo, as it is "the strongest of all monsters".
- 2009: In Season 3 of the TV series Monster Quest, a search was conducted for evidence of the existence of an Ogopogo, revealing sink holes in the floor of the lake, cold streaks across the lakes surface (possibly indicating a large, cold-blooded creature surfacing for food), and what was at first thought to be a baby Ogopogo corpse, but was in fact an unrecognizable decomposed fish body.
- 2009: Ogopogo is mentioned in the The Venture Brothers Season 4 episode "Return to Malice", in a discussion between two of The Monarch's Henchmen, 86 and 87. As they argue who would win in a fight between Champ and the Loch Ness Monster, they are interrupted by Henchman 21 who makes the case that "Champ is a picture of a log" and "Nessie is a toy submarine with a head made out of plastic wood," while Ogopogo is a plesiosaur.
- 2010: A search for Ogopogo was conducted by Josh Gates for an episode his show Destination Truth. His team focused their investigation around Rattlesnake Island where many sightings have taken place.
- 2011: Ogopogo was one of the mythical Canadian creatures referred to in James Alan Gardner's short story "All The Cool Monsters At Once" which was podcast on the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine.9
- 2012: In Season 2, episode 18 of the TV series Lost Girl, the Ogopogo is mentioned when a character, Ryan Lambert, needs information on types of Fae connected with water.
- The logo for Kelowna, British Columbia's Western Hockey League team, the Kelowna Rockets, depicts Ogopogo.
- Ogopogo is a colorway of a competition-grade yo-yo produced by Caribou Lodge Yo-yo Works.10
- There is a statue of Ogopogo near the Kelowna Commercial Wharf in downtown Kelowna.11
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ogopogo|
- Nickell, 2006
- ogopogoquest.com. "Ogopogo Quest, The Search for the elusive lake monster known as Ogopogo continues - Have you seen him in Okanagan Lake in British Columbia Canada?". Ogopogoquest.com. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
- Gaal, Arlene (2001). In Search of Ogopogo: Sacred Creature of the Okanagan. Hancock House. ISBN 0-88839-482-9.
- "Canada's Loch Ness Monster Captured on Video?". Discovery News. Published November 14, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- Shuker, Karl. "When Ogopogo was going for a song!". ShukerNature. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- E. R. Alexander, "One Rescuer's Obligation to Another: The 'Ogopogo' Lands in the Supreme Court of Canada," The University of Toronto Law Journal, vol. 22, no. 2. (Spring, 1972), p. 110.
- "Ogopogo Stamps". Pibburns.com. 2003-07-06. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
- Johnson, Brian D. "Ogopogo gets drawn Down Under," Maclean's, July 31, 2006, vol. 119, issue 29, page 56.
- "Episode 111: All The Cool Monsters At Once by James Alan Gardner". dunesteef.com. 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "Caribou Lodge YoyoWorks Bear Vs Man yo-yo - Ogopogo Edition - YoYo Nation Store". Yoyonation.com. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
- "Google Map Street view of Ogopogo statue seen from Abbott St.". maps.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- Gaal, Arlene (2001) In Search of Ogopogo. Hancock House, Surrey, B.C.
- Gaal, Arlene (1986) Ogopogo: The True Story of The Okanagan Lake Million Dollar Monster. Hancock House, Surrey, BC.
- Moon, Mary (1977) Ogoppogo. Douglas Ltd., North Vancouver, Canada.
- Nickell, Joe (2006) "Ogopogo: The Lake Okangan Monster". Skeptical Inquirer, 30(1): 16–19.
- Radford, Benjamin (2006) "Ogopogo the Chameleon". Skeptical Inquirer, 30(1): 41–46.
- Salmonson, Jessica Amanda (1992) The Mysterious Doom and Other Ghostly Tales of the Pacific Northwest: 149. Sasquatch Books, Seattle, WA.