(ANIMAL URBAN LEGEND/VIDEO) CANADA — Sightings of Ogopogo, the legendary monster living in Lake Okanagan, have dated back to the 1920s. Like Nessie and Bigfoot, Ogopogo has been caught on tape, but the grainy cell phone video does little to prove the rumor of Ogopogo’s existence. Find out what researchers think of the footage, and watch the video. Tell us what you think: is Ogopogo real, or just a legend? . — Global Animal

Discovery News, Benjamin Radford

Ogopogo is a 25-50 ft, snake like creature with a horse head. Photo Credit: ogopogomonster.com

Ogopogo, the world’s second best-known lake monster after Scotland’s Nessie, has been captured on a grainy cell phone video, according to one eyewitness.

A story in the Vancouver Sun reported,

An Okanagan man has video he says proves the Ogopogo may be more than just a figment of our imagination. Richard Huls says he always believed in the possibility of the monster rumoured to be living in Okanagan Lake… while visiting a West Kelowna winery, Huls shot video that he believes proves something does indeed live in the water…. “It was not a wave obviously, just a darker colour. The size and the fact that they were not parallel with the waves made me think it had to be something else.”

Huls admitted that his video is not definitive proof: “It proves something is down there,” he said. “Whether it’s Ogopogo or not, it’s a different story but there is something at least down there.” Huls is certainly correct about that; he did videotape something in the lake. But is it a monster?

When I first heard about the Huls video, I was intrigued. I researched the monster and its history in-depth for a National Geographic television series, and devoted a chapter in my book Lake Monster Mysteries to the beast. I have a strange monstery affection for the creature, and though I doubt it exists I’d love to see evidence proving me wrong.

Many who live around the lake have also embraced the monster as their pet mystery; the coat of arms for the city of Kelowna, on the shore of Lake Okanagan, features a seahorse, which, according to a city brochure, “in heraldry is the closest approximation of our Ogopogo.”

Researcher John Kirk of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club believes that it’s far more likely that an unknown creature exists in Lake Okanagan than in the much more famous Scottish loch called Ness. Kirk told Discovery News that “The catalogue of films and video of Ogopogo are more numerous and of better quality than anything I have personally seen at Loch Ness and I believe that several of them are very persuasive that a large, living, unknown creature inhabits the lake.”

Ogopogo sightings date back since at least the 1920s, and the creature is often described as having dark skin and a characteristic series of humps. There are only a handful of photos and videos allegedly of Ogopogo, though none have provided any real evidence for the creature, and at least one famous video was later revealed as footage of a beaver.

So what about the new video evidence? It’s difficult to know what Huls’s video shows. Like virtually all video evidence for unknown creatures such as chupacabra, Bigfoot, and lake monsters, the footage is of poor quality. Perhaps most frustratingly, the video only lasts half a minute. If we’d been able to see what the “monster” did over the course of several minutes, that would have provided important information about its identity.

The footage shows not one but two long, dark shapes in the water that appear to be floating next to each other. Significantly, the objects that Huls don’t move at all; if it is a serpentine monster (or even an overgrown animal like an oarfish), judging by its (non)behavior it’s probably dead.

What could those two unmoving long, dark, straight objects be?

The most likely explanation is that Huls spied two logs that had escaped from a timber boom. Logging is one of the major industries in the Okanagan Valley, and there are countless logs floating in the lake that look exactly like the objects that Huls recorded. It is of course possible that a mysterious monster lurks somewhere in the cold depths of Lake Okanagan. But if so, it seems that it’s as camera-shy and elusive as ever.

More Discovery News: http://news.discovery.com/animals/canadian-lake-monster-capturedon-video.html