Ogopogo, the clandestine cryptid from Canada’s Okanagan Lake, has been spotted over the course of September not once, but three times, according to local monster hunter Bill Steciuk. Steciuk runs the cryptid website Ogopogo Quest.com, and became a believer in the existence of the elusive creature when he made his own clear sighting in 1978.
Although the name "Ogopogo" originates from a 1924 song called "The Ogo-Pogo: The Funny Fox-Trot", Native American tradition held that a bloodthirsty creature called N’ha-a-tik, a Salish-Spokane-Kalispel word meaning "lake demon", lived in Lake Okanagan, and required the sacrifice of a small animal before anyone could try to cross Okanagan’s waters. Modern sightings began in 1873, when the creature was spotted by a rancher, who described is as "a snake-like creature, which closely mirrored the often repeated local native legend."
On September 7, Kelowna BC resident David Halbauer was visiting Bear Creek Provincial Park with his brother Keith, when they spotted something in the water about 300 feet from shore. Describing the creature as a long and dark snake-like creature, Halbauer said. "I don’t think I could put my arms around it," referring to the creature’s diameter. "It rolled up and down as it went in the water. Another lump of the same thing came up about five metres [16.4 feet] in front of it." Halbauer managed to record the encounter on his phone, but the creature is only briefly seen in the video as the sun’s glare kept Halbauer from seeing what was on the screen, preventing him from keeping the creature in frame.
"When you’re sitting on a beach on a sunny day you don’t expect a dinosaur to come out of the water," Halbauer exclaimed. "We were all just stunned."
Two days later, on September 9, amateur photographer Andrew S., also of Kelowna, was taking pictures of the lake at Bluebird Bay when he suddenly spotted a "large moving object [that] suddenly reared out of the lake and moved quickly from left to right…" Andrew managed to get a clear picture of the wake, and reported that there were no nearby boats that could account for the wave, and that no tremors had been reported for that day.
At 9:00 am on September 18, Martin Z. was working on the 22nd floor of a highrise condominium in Kelowna when he spotted what "looked like a giant snake breaching out of the water (barely) but enough to make pretty big waves in and around it." Martin pointed out the object to a coworker, who "was looking and seeing what I was seeing and was also dumbfounded." He described the creature as approximately "30-50 feet long breaching out of the water for approx 2-3 minutes." Martin reports that he tried to record the event, "but by the time I got [the phone] out of my pocket, it had submerged and the waves almost instantly vanished and the water went calm."
Steciuk says that sighting of Ogopogo tend to cluster around this time of year. "The majority of sightings, historically in Okanagan Lake, happen between the last week of August and the first week of October," Steciuk said in an interview with Global News. "So if anybody wants to get a picture of Ogopogo they better get a camera and they better get out there on the lake."
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