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Friday, March 26, 2010

Strange Creatures

         In downtown 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.

          Why is it that humans seem to have a desire to see fantastical creatures?  There doesn't seem to be a lot of likelihood that most of them exist and yet the stories abound.  I grew up hearing about the "Abominable Snowman" or Yeti.  Later I began hearing the stories of a similar creature in North America called "Bigfoot" or Sasquatch.  These creatures became all the rage in the imaginations of  North Americans and numerous sightings began to be reported.  One of the most famous ones was captured on film in 1967 by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in the wilds near Bluff Creek, California.  The film stunningly shows a long-armed furry man-like creature walking across a stream and momentarily giving a haunting, fleeting look toward the camera.   Now we had absolute proof that Bigfoot did exist.

         Or did this Bigfoot really exist?   In 2002, 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?


  1. I think I like to believe in fantasies/stories of these creatures because they fuel one's imagination. Imagining is what we all do. Keeps the "little gray cells" active. Enjoyed your post! Thank you! Cathy

  2. I know these stories well! I was fascinated by these creatures when I was young.

    I still think there is something - something that would give rise to such tales. I have been to Inverness and those living around Loch Ness believe. Over half the townsfolk have seen something unusual in the loch. While I doubt it's a dinosaur, I think there's something unusual living in Loch Ness.

    BTW - standing on the bank of Loch Ness, in the most photographed location, was a real thrill for me! I need to dig that old photo up and post it someday...

  3. No Lee I have never seen or heard of anyone I know seeing a monster,
    Why these mysteries exist I really dont know or comprehend. As for the Loch Ness monster now one as far as I know have seen it yet many people gather there and wait to see if it indeed appears.

    The only "Monsters" I've seen is our politicans who rule our nation and that is on TV......LOL

    Most interesting subject as always.
    Have a lovely day.

  4. Well, something gave rise to those tales. But I'm still skeptical.

  5. Kelowna and the surrounding area sounds beautiful what with cherries, wineries and a water serpent!
    And how interesting. I'd never heard the Morris story about Big Foot. In 1972, when I lived in Dracut, Mass New Hampshire, they filmed a movie about Big Foot or Sasquatach as they called it in the area which was once a Wampiset (of the Algonquins) Native American settlement. They flimed the movie for weeks in the state forest across the street from my house. My 7 year-old son and I would watch the creature get out of a truck with the crew and go into the woods for filming. However, seein bhim so civilized, didn't dampen our fascination with the creature, real or not. We felt more sorry for him being all alone, I think, with no one else like him, similar to Frankenstein.

  6. I know there are humans out there with a great deal of hair but I don't believe in Big Foot per se... however, I do think in the depths of the oceans and deep lakes are creatures that perhaps we haven't discovered yet.


  7. Hi, Lee,
    As you probably know, the Bible speaks of the creature called the Leviathan which is supposed to be a huge underwater creature, who according to Job breathes fire. As a school librarian, I found the children fascinated by the stories of the Loch Ness Monster, and books about it stayed checked out. When they found a book on the shelf about it, they would usually gather together and look at it. As for what I believe, I think such a creature is possibly in existence today. I enjoy the movies about Bigfoot, too. Best regards to you. Ruby

  8. Cathy- thanks for visiting and please come back anytime. Fantasy is fun and it can be mentallly stimulating.

    Diane --A lot of people do believe. I'd love to go to the Scottish Highlands. From the pictures I've seen, Loch Ness and Lake Okanagan look kind of similar.

    Yvonne -- Love the politician joke. I can see one of your poems based on that one.

    Alex -- Sometimes I think people want to see something so badly that they convince themselves that they have seen it. Count me as a skeptic, but an open minded one.

    Ggray -- I would encourage anyone to go to the Okanagan Valley for a vacation--it is beautiful! If there really is Bigfoot, I can't imagine it being a solitary creature. There would have to be many of them in order for them to continue existing. It is fascinating to contemplate.

    Ann -- I can go with that. The ocean is so vast, deep, and unknown that I'm sure there are things there we still have not found.

    Ruby -- Kids love these types of stories--I know I always did and still do. Water creatures are a distinct possibility. And who knows what creatures might exist in vast regions like the Great Smoky Mountains for example.

  9. I'd like to think there is still some magical mystery left in the world and I suppose that whenenver there is a Native American legend about something I like to give it a biut more credence than just what the good ole boys saw out on their drunken hunt.

    I myself have not SEEN anything but at times felt something was out there-for what its worth.

  10. Personally, I don't think there is a "Bigfoot" or a "Yetis" as we have seen "them" portrayed.

    I think there could very well be a large sea "monster-creature" in these aformentioned Lakes. I was looking through a computerized concordance for a reference for you. God commented that He had created a large sea "monster-creature" to swim and "leap" in the sea for His pleasure.

    We fail to see the part of Gods' character that reveals to us His love for color, texture, sight, sound, and especially variety. He has created things for His pleasure as well as our pleasure or need. We have't seen all that there is in the oceans, skies, earth yet!

    I will still keep looking for that reference. It just amazes me and calls me to greater worship and appreciation of God who could and would create a large fish just for His pleasure or enjoyment.

    So, why can't there be something to the Loch Ness Monster myth?

    I have never see a fantastical creature nor do I know anyone who has. That includes those days gone by and that are past of not being sober.

  11. rLEE-b ~
    I most DEFINITELY believe that these strange creatures do manifest sometimes. Over long periods of time there have been far, far too many highly credible eyewitnesses for the stories to be dismissed out-of-hand.

    If a priest, a policeman, a doctor, and a farmer all agreed that they saw you murder someone, guess where you would be spending the rest of your life!

    And yet, when these same respected individuals speak of seeing a Bigfoot or a UFO, etc., too many people want to immediately discount their testimony. This says more about the skeptic’s fear of facing the unknown than it does about the reliability of the eyewitnesses.

    It would be foolish for me to deny ALL of the testimony coming from respected persons over time. The real question is not "Do some of these things exist?" but "Why is there so little physical evidence?" and "Why do we not find a carcass occasionally? Do these things never die?"

    I believe the answer is that all of these strange beings are actually interdimensional and do not originate on this earth. For whatever reasons, they choose to manifest here from time to time before returning to their natural spiritual state. In other words, I believe that “demonic activity” is the explanation for most if not all of it.

    Have you ever seen a fantastical creature or known someone who has? And if you have seen one, were you sober?

    Twice I have seen Unidentified Flying Objects, and the first time it was during daylight hours and I was close enough to throw a rock and hit one. I was at work at the time, so yes, surprisingly enough, I was totally sober. As you know, I also once saw, while at work, an ostensibly human spectre which impossibly disappeared when I briefly turned my back to it. Haven’t seen a lake monster or a Bigfoot and really don’t care to. If these things are demonic, I’d rather see pink elephants!

    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

  12. David -- yes, if something has a history it definitely has more credibility. Sometimes when you're out in the woods especially you can get that feeling that something is watching you. You never know.

    Greg -- We shouldn't try to tie God's hands. I'm certain that God's creation is far beyond what we know now.

    StMc --You could be right about some of these manifestations. Then again they may be some sort of God created species that we have not yet identified. But demons are a definition option as well for some sightings.
    Re: UFO's--- didn't Jimmy Carter say he saw one? He was president so he has to be very credible.
    I think there are more than one explanation for these phenomena, but I think that many of these things do exist in some fashion.

  13. Fascinating post! I'e always been intrigued by rumours of these mystical creatures. Whether or not they exist, well...

  14. I've never seen one. But I believe it's possible they could exist.

  15. I have a vivid imagination, but I don't believe either exist!

  16. >>[Then again they may be some sort of God created species that we have not yet identified.]<<

    But why, after all these years and countless sightings is there no hard physical evidence? If these are all physical objects sharing this space with us, why do they not leave undeniable physical proof?

    If there are apelike men (Yeti or Bigfoot) out there, why do hikers NEVER come across one that got sick and died or was attacked and killed by a wolf pack, etc.? Do these things live forever? If so, they would appear to be the only animals God put on this planet that never die.

    Brother, only a view that explains these creatures as being essentially spirit that chooses at times to "materialize" can be logically defended. What is physical leaves physical evidence and dead bodies. I am aware of no exceptions to that fundamental law of earthly existence.

    I don't think they "live" here; I think they just visit.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  17. Interesting post - I have visited Inverness, Scotland and did not see Nessy and I have also visited Kelowna and didn't see a big foot.
    Doesn't mean they are not not there, only means I didn't see them. I like that these subjects keep people's minds and imagination on the go all the time and I enjoy the reaction and discussion whenever this subject is brought up.
    I popped over from Victor's blog and am so happy to meet you and enjoyed your post very much...hugs

  18. Love these creatures and their stories. I would never say anything doesn't exist. So much more fun to believe otherwise! When my students ask me if I believe (whatever) exists, my answer is usually "I hope so!"

  19. I'd love to think a Loch Ness monster lives. Or a Bigfoot. That they could escape us makes them so intriguing.

    Course, I also wish there was a Santa Claus - for adults.


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