has been described as being between 6 to 20 metres in length,
black to tan in colour with a characteristic snake-like body with
some eyewitnesses describing appendages, others not. There have
been sightings both in and out of the water. Even with all of
these sightings over the years, much of the hard evidence such
as photos, videos, film footage, etc. has been less than conclusive,
yet the credibility of eye witnesses suggests that Lake Okanagan
could indeed be home to an entire species of unknown aquatic animals!
over the years
folklore specifically places the lair of the lake monster which
they called N'ha-a-itk, or lake demon, at a cave under Squally
Point near Rattlesnake Island which is offshore from Peachland.
The Indians would never paddle a canoe near this area without
an offering because quite often a storm would spring up and legend
had it that N'ha-a-itk would rise out of the waters to claim another
1872 - The first recorded sighting by a caucasian was by Mrs. Susan
Allison, a B.C. pioneer and author.
Occupants of about 30 cars along an Okanagan Mission beach reported
1947 -A number of boaters all saw the creature at the same time. One
of the witnesses, a Mr. Kray, described it as having "a long
sinuous body, 30 feet in length, consisting of about five undulations,
apparently separated from each other by about a two-foot space,
in which that part of the undulations would have been underwater.There
appeared to be a forked tail, of which only one-half came above
the water. From time to time the whole thing submerged and came
Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Miller and Mr. and Mrs. Pat Marten reported
seeing a "tremendous creature with a snake-like head and
a blunt nose swimming some 250 feet behind their motor boat".
The group watched the unknown animal for over three minutes, after
which it submerged.
Photo taken by a Parmenter family member.
unknown - Geoffrey Tozer, the son-in-law of British Columbia Premier
W.A.C. Bennett (B.C. Premier from 1953 to 1972).
Photo taken by Ed Fletcher of North Vancouver
Steciuk was crossing the bridge from the west side of Okanagan
Lake in October of 1978 towards Kelowna. He caught a movement
in the lake and immediately stopped his car. All the traffic behind
him also stopped and he was soon joined at the rail by about 20
other onlookers. All 20 or so people saw what appeared to be a
head with three black humps behind it perhaps 60 metres away protruding
out of the water. Bill and the onlookers watched the creature
'swimming' for nearly a minute, after which time it disappeared
beneath the water's surface, leaving a substantial wake. This
sighting made a believer out of Bill and he vowed to try to one
day search for Ogopogo.
1979, 1981 - Photos taken by author Arlene Gaal.
Photo taken by a Wachlin family member.
"It was right around Regata time, July 24, 1981, around
1:00pm. We were in a rented ski boat and were running on the west
side of the lake in the vicinity of Peachland, just a bit northwest
of the tip of Rattle Snake Island. A waterskier had just passed
us going fast in the opposite direction to us when suddenly a
creature surfaced directly in front of us facing a northeasterly
direction. We saw no head, just a body, my thoughts being that
the head might be laying flat just below the surface. At first
I thought it was the wake of the other boat, but then realized
that the boat's wake was going the other direction. As we came
closer, the creature broke into a fast-paced undulating motion.
I pointed our boat directly at it but as we neared it, the creature
dove, causing a large frothy whirlpool. I turned the boat around
and could see the creature two or three feet below in the water.
It moved at great speed at least half-way across the lake before
it dove deeper and out of sight. The creature was at least 50
feet long and seemed to be either very dark green or black. "
1984 - Photo taken by a Svensson family member.
hunting guide Ernie Giroux and his wife saw a "bizarre animal"
emerging from the placid waters. "It was about 15 feet long
and swam real gracefully and fast," Giroux told the press.
The Girouxs claim to have see an animal with a round head "like
a football;" at one point several feet of the creature's
neck and body came up out of the water.
1987-1990 - John Kirk had frequent sightings over a period of three years.
2000 - a Penticton businessman and his wife apparently watched the
head and neck of a large creature swimming through the water for
several minutes while boating off Rattlesnake Island near Peachland.
2000 - The following was reported "At midnight Monday, six adults
including four security guards, spotted a strange looking creature
at the end of Bernard Avenue. The 4 - metre (12 foot) long creature
with four flippers, 2 at each end, thrust forward like a caterpillar."
2000 - A marathon swimmer, Daryl Ellis, reported being accompanied
for a short distance during his swim by two large creatures as
he passed Rattlesnake Island. He described them as one being 6
- 9 metres (20 - 30 feet) long and the second being smaller. They
followed him for quite awhile and then disappeared. When he swam
near Okanagan Lake floating bridge in Kelowna, a creature with
a large eye the size of a grapefruit came within 9 metres to get
a close look at him."
Painting by local artist with police sketch-artist training,
depicting Darryl Ellis sighting.
A minister and his wife were hiking in Kalamoir Park on the west
side of Okanagan Lake near Kelowna when they spotted a strange
creature swimming on the surface of the lake and took its picture.
2000 -Visitors from Prince George, British Columbia, were walking in
Bertram Creek Park south of Kelowna. They suddenly saw a disturbance
in the lake approximately 300 feet out. What appeared to be a
huge log was moving parallel to the shore against the waves. They
estimated it was 40 feet long and watched for about 45 seconds
before it disappeared.
2001-2002 Special thanks to Dan
Basaraba of Peachland for permission to use the following
two photos taken exactly one year apart (two sightings: July 19,
2001 and July 19, 2002)
19, 2001 and July 19, 2002
are just a few of the myriad of sightings which have occured over
the years. Although many people are afraid to admit they saw a
"monster", there is certainly enough evidence to prove
that there is something in Lake Okanagan - THE SEARCH CONTINUES..... Click here for more sighting