A lake situated in British Columbia, Canada, is said to be the home of Ogopogo, a lake demon that has been seen for centuries and described as a large snake more than 50 feet long.
A Sea (Lake) Serpent?
This was (possibly) the first video evidence said to be of Ogopogo, a creature said to inhabit the lake since possibly before Colonial times, and is said to be in most accounts a large "serpent-like" creature that many believe has stalked humans. Natives in the area referred to it as n'ha-a-itk, which Westerners translated to mean "lake demon", and small animals were sacrificed on the lake to appease the "Demon". Accounts of horses and even men being attacked or taken by the beast were reported in the 17th century. Over the years Lake Okanagan has been given the title "Canada's most deadliest Lake", mainly due to its treacherous currents and the unpredictable winds of the area.
The lake is situated in the Okanagan Valley in the province of British Columbia. It is 135 kilometres long, 4.5-5 kilometres wide and said to be 240 metres deep. It has two islands in it, one which is called Rattlesnake Island, and it is here, near a popular cliff-diving area called Squally Point, that many believe Ogopogo may reside as many of the sightings of the monster have been made in the general vicinity.
Ogopogo has overtaken its more famous counterpart, the Loch Ness Monster said to inhabit Loch Ness in Scotland, as the most recorded, photographed and reported lake monster in the world and every year there are up to ten reported sightings. YouTube is littered with clips of footage taken on the lake supposedly of the monster, with many travelling there to try and see the beast. Over the last 45 years many photos, and amatuer film footage has been produced and examined.
A Canadian historian by the name of Arlene Gaal has over the last forty years become the foremost authority on Ogopogo, and has written three books on the monster, detailing encounters by locals and tourists and sharing photographic evidence to support claims of an unknown creature in the lake. She has purchased footage of the creature, and has made sure that any film,video or photographic evidence of the beast has been preserved. It has been said that she, like many, firmly believes the creature to be something prehistoric, a relic from the age of the Dinosaurs, that has managed to survive in the depths of the lake, and says encounters or visual reports are made when the creature surfaces to feed on the local population of fish.
Many cryptozoologists and zoologists concur with that possibility, however there are many sceptics who believe the creature is nothing but folklore or mis-identification. Some argue that many eyewitnesses are seeing beavers, otters or drifting logs. Some scientists also believe that sightings can be attributed to strange waves that may form underneath the water. However,many have been stumped by footage taken in recent times of masses of huge proportions, and been shaken by eyewitness accounts of ordinary people who refuse in some cases to enter the lake again.
In most reported sightings or encounters one creature is seen, however there have been rare examples of more than one creature being seen together, with one story detailing how a diver was "stalked" by two large creatures while swimming below the surface, one on each side of him swimming parallel to the shore. He described long eel-like creatures with round heads. There are many experts who believe in the possibility of maybe a mutant or unknown species of large eel being responsible for sightings, many though still discount ANY evidence to do with Ogopogo.
Many other legendary monsters said to inhabit lakes and lochs around the world have similar descriptions tagged to them, is Ogopogo just one example of a species of creature that may have survived in freshwater since prehistoric times?
Or is Ogopogo a unique species, possibly a true version of a sea serpent?