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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cryptozoologists Back to Search for Cameron Lake Creature

PRESS RELEASE - PARKSVILLE-QUALICUM BEACH, BC – August 24, 2010 - John Kirk, president and head field researcher for the BC Scientific Cryptozoology Club, and members of the BCSCC will be at Cameron Lake, 30 km west of Parksville, on Tuesday, September 14/10 to conduct research into the existence of a large lake creature.

Kirk and his team will be scanning the lake again, following up on their successful 2009 trip where two very large strikes on a fish finder indicated there is a large animal living in the lake. Sightings of a creature date back to at least 2004.

“The sighting fits in with a surprisingly large and widespread body of local lake creature history,” Kirk says of the of the Cameron Lake creature. “In fact, British Columbia is number one in the world for lake-monster sightings, beating out Norway and Sweden.”

The BC Scientific Cryptozoology Club was founded in 1989. Elusive creatures, such as lake monsters and Sasquatches, are known as cryptids and their study is called cryptozoology, from the Greek (cryptos) for hidden and zoology, the study of animals.

Kirk and his team will be available for media questions.

Coffee and refreshment will be provided.

Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Time: 12 noon
Place: Cameron Lake west shore public park access.

Media Contact:
Valerie Katzarski
Media Coordinator
Seasmoke PR, representing
Oceanside Tourism Association
P: 250-480-1531

John Kirk

BC Scientific Cryptozoology Club


Click for video

BCSCC Press Release: Cameron Lake Cryptid May Exist - 9/22/2009

Cameron Lake, BC: It turns out where there’s smoke, there is fire or in the case of Cameron Lake, where there’s a crest in the water, there is an unknown animal. Researchers this past weekend found evidence of at least two large animals living in the lake located about 30 km west of Parksville-Qualicum Beach.

“I’m not ready to say what it is, but there’s something there and its very large – certainly larger than any trout or lake fish,” said John Kirk, co-founder of the BC Scientific Cryptozoology Club and author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters, who conducted an initial research expedition on September 19, 2009 at Cameron Lake.

After some preliminary ground work the day before, researchers spent Saturday afternoon on the lake, probing the depths with a sonar-like fish finder. The first pass of the lake located two large contacts at a depth of 56 and 58 ft. But a pass of the lake later in the afternoon was even more successful.

"Something just went 'ping' on the alarm on the fish finder and we saw this absolutely massive object in the midst of various fish," said Kirk.

They made four more passes of the object in a 20 minute span and received readings at a depth of about 74 feet each time, ruling out that it was a school of fish.

"We were quite stunned that there was something that big in the lake, it was quite amazing," he said.

The researchers have been planning to explore the lake since a 2007 sighting by Brigette Horvath, who noticed a strange wake in the water and three objects or creatures going in a circle.

“Our organization has received reports coming from Cameron Lake since 2004,” Kirk said. “Witnesses have been describing what looks like a dark creature in the lake."

Kirk spent time on Okanagan Lake this summer in search of Ogopogo, and as chairman of the Crypto Safari Organization which sends investigators around the world, has traveled to Africa as part of research teams in search of living dinosaurs.

Kirk said the initial findings on September 19 suggest that a further more in-depth study of the lake is necessary.

“We definitely would like to come out here again,” said an enthusiastic Kirk. “When the lake is calm, the water flat, and the day long so we can really have a chance to locate this creature and find out, to the best of our ability, what it is.”

The BC Scientific Cryptozoology Club was founded in 1989. The group studies elusive creatures, such as lake monsters and Sasquatches, known as cryptids and the study of called cryptozoology: from the Greek (cryptos) for hidden, and zoology, the study of animals.

Besides numerous sightings of the Cameron Lake monster, Vancouver Island, along the Cryptid Corridor of Highway 4, has been the location of numerous Sasquatch sightings. A film and a History Channel program based on the elusive animal have been released, and it is also home to specialists in the field.

Previous post:

Expedition Team To Search Lake Cameron, BC For Evidence of Monster - People have reported seeing what they can best describe as a creature in Cameron Lake, just 30 kilometres west of Parksville, and John Kirk wants to find out what it is.

Kirk co-founded a B.C. group dedicated to hunting unidentified animals, or cryptid, and said he and his fellow members of the Scientific Cryptozoology Club have been fielding calls from people who say it's time to take a closer look. The author of In the Domain of Lake Monsters plans an expedition to Cameron Lake to look for scientific evidence on Sept. 19.

This initial inspection will determine whether or not people are mistaking natural phenomenon for a cryptid, Kirk explained.

Once he and his team rule out things like submerged rocks or logs, they will return for a more in-depth analysis. So far, people have described the creature as long and serpent-like.

One woman captured a photograph of a similar silver shape, an indication that it could be a fish, which would be just as interesting for Kirk because there are no known species of fish in the lake that can get that big, he explained.

The 70-member club has experienced field researchers from all around the world but its small size and small budget often limit the expeditions they can go on. Oceanside Tourism, which represents both Parksville and Qualicum Beach, contacted the group and offered to sponsor the trip.

"We've gotten some feedback from people who are concerned that if we find something it will stop people from swimming but it doesn't stop people in Okanagan," Kirk said. "There are no reports of anyone getting attacked at one of these lakes. In fact, it's a great tourist attraction. People make an absolute fortune on this type of thing."

Lakes in the province are notorious for creature sightings, according to Kirk, who said there are 39 lakes with some sort of sighting reports. With very few of these sightings confirmed, Kirk does not expect to find anything in Cameron Lake his first time out.

Posted 9/12/07

Cryptozoologist Follows the Clues - Cameron Lake Monster

Scientific cryptozoologist John Kirk intrigued by sightings at Cameron Lake

“There is definitely something in the water and it is moving.”

That’s the opinion of John Kirk, the president and head field researcher for the B.C. Scientific Cryptozoology Club, about a photograph of a strange wake in Cameron Lake.

He says what he saw was convincing, and now he’s considering an expedition to Cameron Lake to look at the situation first-hand.

The picture, taken by Brigette Horvath, reputedly shows evidence of something unusually large swimming in the lake. A TV segment featuring Horvath’s story and photo caught Kirk’s attention and a subsequent Internet search by his team pulled up the story in The News.

It wasn’t the first time they’d heard about this creature. In fact, he said his group first heard about the cryptid — the name given to unidentified species — in 2004.

“We have been aware of the Cameron Lake cryptid for a long time,” Kirk said.

Kirk and his team studied Horvath’s image. They have since been in contact with her and he said he’s contemplating an expedition to the shores of Cameron Lake. If he does come, Kirk will bring with him a wealth of experience spanning 20 years that has seen his search for strange creatures take him from the shores of Vancouver Island lakes to the jungles of the Congo.

He leads a group of about 70 members — among them, he notes, two members of the prestigious Royal Society. He plans to bring some of them with him, and he has invited Horvath.

The sighting, he said, fits in with a surprisingly large and widespread body of local lake creature lore. In fact, he said, British Columbia is number one in the world for lake monster sightings, beating out Norway and Sweden.

“There are 39 lakes in this province where some type of creature has been seen,” he said. “These phenomena happen all over the province.”

Other Island sightings, he said, include giant salamanders in Nitnat Lake, and an Ogopogo-like creature in Cowichan Lake.

“There’s a story of a guy fishing there in the 1950s or ‘60s being towed around the lake for an hour when his fishing line snagged on something very large.”

Tales of lake cryptids on Vancouver Island, he said, go beyond the 20-odd year history of the Cameron Lake creature, noting another lake may provide a clue about the history of lake creatures.

“Sproat Lake is also a body of water with an unknown animal inhabiting it,” he said. “In April, 1987 my family and a friend saw two large black humps swimming parallel with the shore at the northern end of the lake. We watched it for about minute. At Sproat Lake there are famous pictographs depicting an unknown creature known in the rest of the province as a Naitaka. This is the same name given to Ogopogo.”

An author and law enforcement support worker, Kirk has travelled to Scotland, Ireland and parts of the United States in his cryptozoological investigations. However, he said for him, his adventure in Africa stands out.

“We were looking for a semi-aquatic creature in Congo and Cameroon, called Mokele-mbembe, which is described as a long-necked animal with a body similar to a hippo and elephant-like legs,” he said. “It sounded like a sauropod. We heard reports of Pygmies seeing the creature.”

One father and son, he said, reported watching a Mokele-mbembe for three hours when its bulk blocked their passage on the river, and they were able to describe it in detail. Some of the locals, he said, were able to pick out a picture of the creature from a book — a picture which turned out to be of a plesiosaur. Interestingly, he added, the Pygmies described dermal quills on the neck of the beast — a feature of plesiosaurs largely unknown until very recently, and which weren’t in the pictures.

While Kirk said Mokele-mbembe could be some sort of holdover from another time, the Cameron Lake cryptid appears to be something different.

“Someone said it was silver coloured and looked like a fish,” he said. “I don’t think this is a pleisiosaur or something left over from he age of dinosaurs. I think it could be an undiscovered species.”

Cryptozoologists Back to Search for Cameron Lake Creature