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(N'ha·a·itk, Naitaka)
Ogopogo engraving from 1872
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Lake monster
First reported 1860 + prior local legend
Country Canada
Region Lake Okanagan,
British Columbia
Habitat Water

Ogopogo or Naitaka (Salish: n'ha-a-itk, "lake demon") is the name given to a lake monster reported to live in Okanagan Lake, in British Columbia, Canada.



Reconstruction of the Jim Reigger sighting.

Proponents of the Ogopogo's existence claim that the first documented sightings of the monster date back to around 1872, and occurred as the area was being colonized by European settlers.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[1] 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."[citation needed]

The first alleged film of the creature is The Folden Film, filmed in 1968 by Art Folden, which shows a dark object propelling itself through shallow water near the shore. The film was shot from on a hill above the shore.[citation needed]

Ogopogo was allegedly filmed again in 1989 by a used car salesman, Ken Chaplin, who with his father, Clem Chaplin, claimed to have seen a snake-like animal swimming in the lake, which flicked its tail to create a splash. Some believe that the animal the Chaplins saw was simply a beaver, because the tail splashing is a well-known characteristic of beavers. However, Chaplin alleges the animal he saw was 15 feet (4.6 m) long, far larger than a typical beaver (beavers are approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) long). A few weeks later, Chaplin came back with his father and his daughter and filmed it again.[citation needed]

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.[2] Another suggestion is that the Ogopogo is a lake sturgeon. It is also possible in some cases that Ogopogo could be the misidentification of a seiche, a standing wave in a lake that travels below the surface in a long serpentine motion.

A posting on the CFZ (Centre for Fortean Zoology) blog[3] shows parallel photos indicating that the primary components of Ogopogo sightings are large sturgeons and swimming moose that create a standing wave in the wake. He supports this contention with photos including a swimming moose that has a "many humped" wake, and with illustrations that depict Ogopogo with a mooselike head and antlers. Drinnon states that the reports including long necks of 10 feet and longer are quite rare, and shows an example that could plausibly be describing a large leaping fish such as a white sturgeon, which are known for their leaping by sportsmen. He also illustrates that the pictographs around the lake (and supposedly showing the Lake Demon) are quite crude and show basically loglike streaks in red ochre. The rock art depictions ascribed to Lake Okanagan in the books by Mackal and Costello do not occur at that lake, they are at Vancouver Island (independantly stated also by Joe Nickell).[citation needed]

In popular culture

In 1990, a Canadian postage stamp depicting an artist's conception of the Ogopogo was issued.[4]

Ogopogo was both codename and mascot for 1996's 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.

In 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.[5]

The logo for Kelowna's Western Hockey League team, the Kelowna Rockets, depicts Ogopogo.

In Canada, "Ogopogo" has also been a name given to items such as boats and canoes. In 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".[6] In 1989, a car salesman from Kelowna sold footage of a beaver to the American TV show Unsolved Mysteries, claiming it to be Ogopogo. In 1990, the owner of the Peachland Marina Restaurant "Mary's Country Kitchen" claimed to have photographed the Ogopogo crossing the lake from Rattlesnake Island

Harry Horse wrote a book for children, "The Ogopogo - My Journey with the Loch Ness Monster", in 1983.

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 (Salmon) body.

The TV series In Search Of covered the legend in their season 2, episode 8 show in 1978. A July 1977 incident, involving locals Ed Fletcher, his daughter Jill, and Erin Neely is discussed, among others.

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?"

Well respected hockey analyst Daryn Duliba posts under the pseudonym Ogopogo on Hockey's Future.[7]

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".

Ogopogo is mentioned at the start of 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 about 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.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nickell, 2006
  3. ^ Dale Drinnon (2010-01-24). "I saw the moose today Oh Boy". Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Johnson, Brian D. "Ogopogo gets drawn Down Under," Maclean's, July 31, 2006, vol. 119, issue 29, page 56.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ [2]


  • Gaal, Arlene. 2001. "In Search of Ogopogo" Hancock House 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.
  • Season 3, MonsterQuest- Episode "Lake Demons"
  • Season 4, The Venture Bros. - Episode 4, "Return to Malice" - Henchman 21 settles a debate about lake monsters by declaring Ogopogo to be a plesiosaur.

External links

Coordinates: 49°32′50″N 119°35′44″W / 49.54722°N 119.59556°W / 49.54722; -119.59556



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun



Ogopogo (plural Ogopogos)

  1. (Canadian, cryptozoology) A large aquatic creature, similar to the Loch Ness monster, which supposedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada.
    • 1930, "Mysterious Ogopogo Is Accused of Capsizing a Canadian Boat," The New York Times, Mon 19 July 1930, p. 17.
      The ogopogo made no attempt to devour the sailboat crew, as he is reported to have done some years ago in the case of some Indians.


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