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In Canadian folklore, Ogopogo or Naitaka (Salish: n'ha-a-itk, "spirit of the lake") is a lake monster reported to live in Okanagan Lake, in British Columbia, Canada. The most common description of Ogopogo is a 40 to 50-foot-long (12 to 15 m) sea serpent resembling an extinct Basilosaurus or Mosasaurus. Ogopogo has been allegedly seen by First Nations people since the 19th century. According to skeptical author Benjamin Radford, "[the First Nations stories] were not referring to a literal lake monster like Ogopogo, but instead to a legendary water spirit. Though the supernatural N'ha-a-itk of the Okanagan Valley Indians is long gone, a decidedly less fearsome — and more biological — beast, whose exact form is a matter of debate, has replaced it.".
|Sub grouping||Lake monster|
|Other name(s)||N'ha·a·itk, Naitaka|
|Region||Okanagan Lake, British Columbia|
The origins of the name Ogopogo remain unclear. According to historian Mark M. Orkin, "According to canon", the creature received its name "on a night in 1924 when the strains of an English music-hall song were first heard in the city of Vernon, British Columbia". Orkin cites the following lines from the song:
- His mother was an earwig,
- His father was a whale;
- A little bit of head
- And hardly any tail—
- And Ogopogo was his name.
Orkin, however, notes that "A somewhat different form of the song appeared in the Vancouver Province in 1912, August 24, 1926. According to the DC the name was first applied in 1912." Additionally, the creature may sometimes be referred to by the pet name Oggy.
In 1946, 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. 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. 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.
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 floating just under the lake's surface." 
In September 2018, there were reportedly three sightings, one of which was described as a giant snake that was about 15 m (49 ft) long.
In popular cultureEdit
This article gives self-sourcing popular culture examples without describing their significance in the context of the article. (August 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- 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.
- 1990: A Canadian postage stamp with an artist's conception of the Ogopogo was issued.
- 1996: In the X-Files episode Quagmire, which is about an alleged lake monster, Agent Mulder mentions the Ogopogo in a list of other examples of lake monsters that have been sighted.
- 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.
- 2009: In the Venture Bros. episode, Return to Malice, Henchman 21 says that Ogopogo can beat the Loch Ness Monster and the Lake Champlain Monster, claiming that the Loch Ness Monster is just a toy submarine with a head made out of plastic and wood and the Lake Champlain Monster is just a log while Ogopogo is a plesiosaur.
- 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.
- 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.
- There is a statue of Ogopogo near the Kelowna Commercial Wharf in downtown Kelowna.
- Another statue of Ogopogo can be found at a children's play park in Cultus Lake, BC, just south of Chilliwack, BC.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game introduced a card called "Danger! Ogopogo!" in the set Savage Strike as part of the Danger! Archtype, which are all based on cryptids.
- Radford, Benjamin. "Ogopogo the Chameleon". The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- Radford, Benjamin. "Ogopogo: Canada's Loch Ness Monster". livescience.com. Live Science. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- Orkin, Mark M. 2015 . Speaking Canadian English: An Informal Account of the English Language in Canada, p. 205. Routledge. ISBN 1317436334
- Gaal, Arlene (2001). In Search of Ogopogo: Sacred Creature of the Okanagan. Hancock House. ISBN 0-88839-482-9.
- Radford, Benjamin. "Ogopogo: Canada's Loch Ness Monster". Live Science. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- "Canada's Loch Ness Monster Captured on Video?". Discovery News. November 14, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- O’Neill, Marnie (October 5, 2018). "Canada's Loch Ness Monster, the legendary Ogopogo lake monster, caught on video". Fox News. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
- 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. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. 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, British Columbia
- Gaal, Arlene (1986) Ogopogo: The True Story of The Okanagan Lake Million Dollar Monster. Hancock House, Surrey, BC.
- Moon, Mary (1977) Ogopogo. Douglas Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia.
- 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, Kentucky.
- Salmonson, Jessica Amanda (1992) The Mysterious Doom and Other Ghostly Tales of the Pacific Northwest: 149. Sasquatch Books, Seattle, Washington.
- Media related to Ogopogo at Wikimedia Commons