Most people have never heard of Igopogo
or Lake Simcoe, which is about an hour's drive North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As the name suggests, it is the Ontario version of the much more famous British Columbia sea-monster Ogopogo. I was camping on Lake Simcoe about 10 years ago but had never heard of Igopogo at the time either. To tell you the truth, I was alone in a little, rented motor-boat trying to find my way back to the campground beach to pick up my friends and got lost. I spent 3 hours going from bay to bay to little lake to little lake until I finally asked a third
person who was able to give me directions back. But no, I didn't see anything resembling Igopogo and I wouldn't have been looking for it in my situation anyway.
Igopogo is most often described as a relatively little sea-monster measuring no more than 12 feet long. It is said to have a long neck and a face resembling a dog. Igopogo is apparently slower than it's crypto-cousins and not quite as scary due to the dog-like head. Because of the head shape, it is believed that Igopogo is more of a mammal than an unknown reptile. It likes to bathe in the sun which suggests it can breathe air. No 2 descriptions are alike, although some say it has fins, it's as much as 70 feet long and has a snake-like body.
Igopogo Caught on Video?
The picture shown above comes from the Barrie Examiner of 1976. It's the only picture I can find of Igopogo. The sightings, which were rare to begin, stopped in the 70's and Igopogo was thought to have vanished until 1991 when a video tape came to light. Again, after 3 hours of looking for the Igopogo video, I come up empty handed. I attribute this to the Igopogo video never being released into a computer friendly file type or even to the general public itself. If I ever find this video I'll be sure to post it here. The only thing I do have is a description of the video. Some dude was out with his hydroplane when it broke down on him. His friends sat on shore filming the entire thing and watched as he had to fix his boat in the water. In the footage a disturbance is seen in the water and a large creature comes popping up behind the guy. The friends on shore sit laughing and wondering what's going on as Igopogo stands there staring at the frightened boater. The creature sinks back into the water, leaving its head above to stare at the guy for a little longer before sinking out of sight.
It's a shame I can't find the video or at least a better description of Igopogo in this sighting. According to BCSCC President, John Kirk, who was one of the first to see the alleged Igopogo video, he is positive that the creature is some form of "pinnipedia" - creatures such as seals and sea-lions. From the distance of the film, it is hard for him to clearly make out exactly which kind of creature it is.
Blame it on the Pinnipeds.
Seals and sea-lions are known to travel into the St. Lawrence Seaway and sometimes end up in the surrounding lakes. For one to make it as far as Lake Simcoe isn't impossible but has never been heard of before. Seals would easily be able to travel across land since they are mammals and could be hopping from one lake to the next at times. It's really easy to blame sea-lions and the like as the true identity of Igopogo, but that notion only lies in the conclusion of a single video of what people "called" Igopogo. Perhaps the puppy-like faces seen over the last however many years really were just an adventurous "pinniped" but there's also that chance that Igopogo is a distant cousin of Ogopogo, Nessie, or even Manitoba's Manipogo (next province over from Ontario).
The picture may or may not be a fake and the video may be a mistaken identity, but Igopogo will live on in the minds of the Lake Simcoe population.
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