Canada lays claim to more lake monsters than any country in the world and our very own Ogopogo was once a lot more blood thirsty than most of us realize, according to a paranormal investigator who will be speaking in Kelowna Monday.
Benjamin Radford has spent the last 10 years as an author and investigator researching everything from aliens to a bloodsucking Hispanic vampire and will be teaching those interested in how to get to the bottom of their favorite mysteries—Ogopogo, Sasquatch and even the Loch Ness Monster.
“It’s not a matter of trying to disprove things,” said Radford, who once considered himself among the biggest fans of paranormal literature, gobbling up books on the Bermuda Triangle, auras, crystals and ghosts.
Radford says he’s learned to go into every unexplained phenomenon investigation he encounters with an open, but skeptical mind.
Ask him if he believes in ghosts, for example, and he’ll tell you it’s really not a question he likes to answer.
“It’s about what you mean by believe. To my mind the question is: Is there evidence for ghosts?” he said.
The answer: “I haven’t found it yet.”
What he has found is a good deal of First Nations and Native American folklore which goes a long way toward explaining many of the phenomenon that make up today’s tales from the crypt and slippery monsters.
Ogopogo, for example, was originally supposed to live somewhere around Rattlesnake Island off Peachland and was called the N’Ha’aitk monster. It received sacrifices of chickens and dogs from the First Nations people who would make the crossing in hopes they could stave off the monster’s attack.
Ogopogo has actually featured prominently in Radford’s work. In 2005, he did a special on the beast for
National Geographic, spending several days here filming. This will be his first speaking engagement in B.C., though, and he’s keen to share stories of some of Canada’s other watery monsters.
Caddy in Cadboro Bay, for example, Champ in Lake Champlain, Cressie of Crescent Lake, all have their unique tales.
Radford addresses the monsters as culturally true, if not physically so, and tracks down what happened to create their stories.
He says he initially got started seeking answers to paranormal phenomenon after realizing all the books he read as a teenager had one thing in common—lack of research.
Figuring the written word, published in a book, could not be false, he set about trying to find evidence.
“Now that I’m 40, I recognize that that’s a bad tack to take,” he said, joking that he’s since figured out there’s a fair number of things written in books that aren’t particularly accurate.
Nevertheless, he does keep to his word and try to keep an open mind, no matter how seemingly impossible the story or phenomenon may be.
Everyone’s welcome to hear Radford speak at Okanagan College, room H115, on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m. He will be leading seminars Tuesday on how to investigate the paranormal in the everyday experience.