Kelowna, British Columbia, nestled in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of Western Canada, is a merry green dragon-like statue of a creature known as Ogopogo. The origins of Ogopogo come from old Salish Indian legends of a creature they called N'ha·a·itk or "lake demon", which lived in Lake Okanagan. From the time of the arrival of the White Man to the region, there have been numerous sightings, including some captured on film and video. Some sightings have been purported to have been witnessed by thirty people at one time. However no indisputable evidence of the creature exists.
The creature bears a great similarity to the more well-known Loch Ness Monster of Scotland. Some proponents of the creatures have suggested that they might be plesiosaurs or some similar reptilian creature descended from dinosaurs. However, no one knows for sure. None of these creatures has ever been captured or even examined up close. Due to the time span of the sightings, one would have to conclude that if these creatures really existed, there would have to have been familial lineages or colonies of these animals. If there were indeed numbers of large creatures such as these there would be a stronger likelihood of more sightings or some kind of proof. So far this has not happened.
If nothing else, the story makes for some great tourist appeal as thousands have pictures taken with the Ogopogo statue each year. And monsters or not, the Okanagan Valley is a great place for a summer vacation. Kelowna is a center of accommodations and attractions, but the cities of Vernon and Penticton also are on the shores of spectacular Lake Okanagan. In late summer, fresh fruit abounds with cherries an especially tasty treat. There are also numerous wineries in the area. Surrounded by mountains, the valley has a relatively temperate climate and summers on the lake are conducive to swimming and boating. The Okanagan Valley is an absolutely wonderful destination. And who knows. while there you might see Ogopogo out in the lake.
Philip Morris, owner of Morris Costume Company in Charlotte, NC admitted to media sources that the creature seen in the film was actually a man dressed in a modified gorilla suit that Morris had sold to Patterson via mail order. The story was taken up by author Greg Long in his book The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story. Philip Morris had told the story many times since the 1980s but never made a big deal out of it. He had mentioned the story in a radio interview and it caught the attention of the media, eventually reaching Greg Long. Since then, Philip Morris's account has appeared in print and on television numerous times.
Bigfoot apologists have had their hackles raised by this admission by Morris, trying to discredit his story. However, Philip Morris stands by the story and many have been convinced that Morris is telling the truth. I have known Philip Morris and his wife Amy for over forty years and know him to be quite the raconteur, but always credible in his stories. I have no doubt that he is telling the truth on this. All of the details of his story match up to everything I had read elsewhere and what I know as fact, so I am sure that this particular Bigfoot sighting and film was a staged hoax.
Hairy man-like creatures living in the woods, sea serpents descended from dinosaurs, or blood-sucking flying monsters may be real or they may be figments of the imagination. For centuries humans have claimed to see amazing and sometimes terrifying creatures that consistently elude capture. Sometimes footprints and other forms of evidence have been claimed to have been found, but often these discoveries have been proven to be hoaxes. Perhaps one day the proof will be absolute, but until then these creatures will remain mysteries.
Do you believe in Bigfoot or Yetis? Do you really think a serpent-like creature lives in the depths of Lake Okanagan or Loch Ness? Have you ever seen a fantastical creature or known someone who has? And if you have seen one, were you sober?