Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Manipogo ,Lake Manitoba's monster, wherefore art thou?

Lake Manitoba is Canada's thirteenth largest lake. The lake is irregularly shaped and is about 200 km long and about 45 kilometres wide. It is not as deep as other lakes said to house lake monsters but like most lakes of its age and size, stories of a large creature living in the lake have been passed down by early Native American settlers. The creature is reported to be from 12 to 45 feet in length, brownish in colour and have a snake or sheep like head. It’s name is Manipogo.

Here is an eyewitness statement:

Louis Breteche: There was a sand bar just out that direction but it has all grown back into some weeds. This was probably in 1957. My Dad sent me with a half-ton truck to pick up some, well I was hauling more than one load, hauling gravel to put in front of the garage because there were a lot of rough bumps in there. So, I was hauling gravel. We had a hired man named Eddy and we were down there shovelling away. We put in a half truck load because it was pretty heavy gravel and all of a sudden one of us happened to look towards the lake and we saw an object coming in the water coming about, oh, three four hundred yards and it looked like a bunch of ducks. But, they were all in line so we said, well gees that looks funny for ducks. It kept coming this way. We just quit shovelling right away and we started looking and kept on looking. It kept coming closer and it keep coming a little bit on the angle. I don't know if it could hear us or what, but then it got pretty close. As it got closer to us, within about 100 yards in the water, it lifted its head right out of the water about four feet and it had a head something, oh I would say just about like a horse. It was hard to explain it. The head was fairly long and it just lifted out and slapped the water again and did that a couple of times.

Then in 1962, Manipogo was reportedly photographed by two fishermen who where shocked to see the strange serpentine like creature swim past the front of their boat.

Not long after that sighting, American television commentator, John Konefell, and CKND TV’s operations manager, Richard Vincent where out enjoying a fishing excursion on Manitoba in a small vessel when they caught sight of something huge swimming approximately 900-feet away. The two attempted to give chase to what they believed to be an animate object, but were not able to keep up with the creature. The men had a camera and were able to take a photograph of what they referred to as the "thing". The image shows a dark object approximately 12 feet in length protruding almost 2 feet out of the water, like a snake in the water. Like many other lake monster photos the picture isn't clear enough to prove the existence of the creature. The appearance does match up with other eye-witness reports of Manipogo as having a long tubular body at least a foot in diameter. Several years later in 1974 Richard Vincent was interviewed about his encounter, however he seemed hesitant to identify the animal in the photo as a Manipogo, instead claiming that he and Kendall where unsure as to what they saw in the lake that day.

In the early 60's Professor James A. McLeod of Manitoba University investigated the creature by trying to locate any remains, that would be present in abreeding population but was unsuccessful.

Also in the 1960’s, a Mr. and Mrs. Stople saw a “reptile-like beast surfacing about thirty feet from their boat

Then twenty people saw what looked to them like a large reptile. A few weeks later seventeen people saw the creature from the same beach. It was also reported as being seen in groups like a family. A group of 17 witnesses, most of them bearing no relation to each other, reported seeing three animals, two large and one small.

In 1974, a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman reported seeing a large snake like creature while on duty near the lake.


On July 12, 1997, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, "People in communities around Lake Manitoba (in Canada's Manitoba province, north of Winnipeg--J.T.) are buzzing about a 15-metre (50 feet) snake-like creature, with a head like a horse, that was supposedly shot and spirited away under cover of darkness recently." Manipogo, as the monster in Lake Manitoba is called, is commonly sighted during the summer months. He made several appearances between 1960 and 1967, mostly at Toutes Aides, Man. in the northwest corner of the lake. The shooting incident was first reported on Thursday, July 10, at the Sandy Bay Indian Reserve, north of the city of Portage La Prairie (population 12,535).

It turned out to be hoax and it was thought to be the result of a drinking party on the beach.

There doesn’t seem to have been any recent sightings, so has Manipogo died ? Maybe it was a large sterile eel and therefore had no descendants or maybe it is just lying low. There are several suggestions that it could be a descendant of a prehistoric whale or maybe a hybrid . Lets hope it reappears again so it can be properly investigated.