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Ogopogo statue in Kelowna, British Columbia
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Lake monster
Other name(s) N'ha·a·itk, Naitaka
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 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. Lake monster investigator Benjamin Radford notes “however, that these First Nations stories were not referring to a literal lake monster like Ogopogo, but instead to a legendary water spirit. The supernatural N’ha-a-itk of the Okanagan Valley Indians is long gone.”[1]

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]


  • Alleged sightings 1
  • Name 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Alleged sightings

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.[3] 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.[4] 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. An investigation conducted by Benjamin Radford with Joe Nickell and John Kirk for the National Geographic Channel TV show Is It Real?, in 2005 revealed that the object Folden filmed was indeed a real animal but its size had been greatly overestimated. It was probably a water fowl or beaver too far away to be identified.[5]

In 2011, a cell phone video captured two dark shapes in the water. A suggested explanation is that the video shows two logs. Radford analyzed the video for Discovery News and concluded that “The video quality is poor and the camera is shaky, 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. In short, they look a lot like floating logs, which would not be surprising since Lake Okanagan has tens of thousands of logs harvested by the timber industry harvested floating just under the lake's surface." [6]


"The Ogo-Pogo: The Funny Fox-Trot"

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The name "ogopogo" originates from a 1924 English music hall song called "The Ogo-Pogo: The Funny Fox-Trot", by Cumberland Clark and Mark Strong.

Karl Shuker said about the song:[7]

[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 (previously, the Lake Okanagan monster had been known as the naitaka - a traditional native American name given to it by the local Okanakane tribe).

In popular culture

Sheet music cover
  • 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.[8]
  • 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.[9]
  • 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?" The SquareSoft quarterly newsletter from this time period was also called the Ogopogo Examiner.
  • 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."
  • 2000: Ogopogo was featured in the anime Mon Colle Knights. This version is depicted as a giant deep sea fish with a vicious nature that lived in the Water Realm.
  • 2002: In the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, there is a water serpent monster named "Ogopogo".
  • 2003: The Ogopogo is mentioned and pictured in illustrations in the game Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island. The game takes place in the San Juan Islands of Washington, in "Snake Horse Harbor," named for the creature.
  • 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.[10]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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.
  • 2012: Ogopogo is one of six cryptids sought by comedian and journalist Dom Joly in his travel book Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. Joly recorded a video which he claimed might show Ogopogo swimming in a lake.
  • 2013: In the premiere episode of The Amazing Race Canada, season 1, teams travelled to Kelowna, where the Roadblock required one team member to submerge into Lake Okanagan to retrieve a clue attached to a sunken statue of Ogopogo.


See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Nickell, 2006
  3. ^ "Ogopogo Quest, The Search for the elusive lake monster known as Ogopogo continues - Have you seen him in Okanagan Lake in British Columbia Canada?". Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  4. ^ Gaal, Arlene (2001). In Search of Ogopogo: Sacred Creature of the Okanagan. Hancock House.  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ "Canada's Loch Ness Monster Captured on Video?". Discovery News. November 14, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ Shuker, Karl. "When Ogopogo was going for a song!". ShukerNature. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Ogopogo Stamps". 2003-07-06. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Brian D. "Ogopogo gets drawn Down Under," Maclean's, July 31, 2006, vol. 119, issue 29, page 56.
  11. ^ "Episode 111: All The Cool Monsters At Once by James Alan Gardner". 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  12. ^ "Caribou Lodge YoyoWorks Bear Vs Man yo-yo - Ogopogo Edition - YoYo Nation Store". Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Google Map Street view of Ogopogo statue seen from Abbott St.". 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.
  • Radford, Benjamin and Nickell, Joe (2006) Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World’s Most Elusive Creatures. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
  • Salmonson, Jessica Amanda (1992) The Mysterious Doom and Other Ghostly Tales of the Pacific Northwest: 149. Sasquatch Books, Seattle, WA.

External links

  • British Columbia Skeptics
  • "Ogopogo the Chameleon" article about Ogopogo in the Skeptical Inquirer           
  • Ogopogo – The Canadian Lake Monster


  • Lake Monster
  • Art Folden footage      
  • Thal footage


  • Ken Chaplin footage
  • Videos
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