Cryptozoology: a look at mysterious creatures

Kenton Dampchuk, a cryptozoologist with a resemblance to musician Carl Johnson of Library Voices, has been talking about a swamp monster living in Regina’s Wascana Lake in the media since a year ago. The Wascana monster, otherwise known as TAB (Toxic Algae Blob), is composed of toxic algae floating on the humanmade lake made in 1883. But ha, ha –the joke’s on us. TAB is part of a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign for Swamp Fest, a three-day music and arts festival in Regina founded in 2016.

However, some in Saskatchewan have made genuine claims about seeing mysterious creatures in this province just as in other parts of Canada and the world. I want to believe in paranormal creatures. Speaking of monsters, I’ve known at least two people who have told me they’ve seen the Ogopogo in the Okanagan Lake. Only the cynical have disdain for this beast lurking undisturbed in the depths of a vacation destination lake filled with motorboats in the summer –this is British Columbia’s genuine Loch Ness version of a tourist trap.

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The Turtle Lake Monster –according to reports –is an amphibian creature lacking a dorsal fin and with the head of a horse, pig or dog. This monster swims in Turtle Lake near Livelong and North Battleford in Central-West Saskatchewan. Before you plan a hunt for the Turtle Lake Monster with a boat equipped with sonar beams, you should know the Cree believed people go missing whenever they invaded this mythical beast’s territory. In other words, forget I mentioned the Turtle Lake Monster.  

Saskatchewan has its own Sasquatch legends too. Since 2009, more than four sightings of the Zoobey have been sighted near Rockglen –chiefly on Columbus Hill. The Zoobey, a creature resembling the Sasquatch, Bigfoot, the Yeti …and so on …stands on the hill and harasses the wildlife. Legendary wild men such as the Zoobey fascinate us, because these beings characterize baser reflections of ourselves. A Fred Flintstone fixation. To this point, Bigfoot researchers, Grover Krantz and Geoffrey H. Bourne, thought the worldwide legend of a half-man, half-ape creature might refer to relic populations of the Gigantiopithecus, an extinct primate with fossilized remains discovered throughout Asia.

Krantz claimed the primate was bipedal, meaning this ape-like being existing nine million years ago was capable of walking upright. So far, the limited number of Gigantiopithecus fossils haven’t proven Krantz’s hypothesis. Although all the Gigantiopithecus fossils were discovered in Asia, Krantz believes his version of the primate walked over the Bering Land Bridge then strolled into North America with big plans. But I’ve also heard from a self-proclaimed expert in Vancouver that Sasquatches and the like are capable of shape-shifting, meaning these creatures could have astral projected over the Bering Land Bridge instead of hiking along the frozen territory from Asia to North America. Interesting note: more than a third of Sasquatch-Bigfoot sightings in North America have occurred along the Pacific Northwestern Coast, but the Zoobey prefers the Burning Hills of Rockglen. Well, good on the Zoobey.

I’d like to mention Saskatchewan’s numerous ghost sightings too, but this is another article. Anyways, whether paranormal or explained creatures exist or not, their legends are always interesting to ponder over and add a unique colour to Saskatchewan.