Manipogo Eye Witness

Interview by Russ McGlenn




Here is part of the transcript from our videotaped interview. If you'd like a copy of the video, e-mail Russ McGlenn and the cost is $15.00.

Russ McGlenn: Well, tell us a little bit about what you were doing here. I am just going to let you tell it. I have read one newspaper article, but you know how they do with newspapers and things. You said there was a sand spit here you were working on.

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 Knicknack and we were down there shoveling 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 shoveling 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.

R: With its head, kind of slapped its head down.

L: Yes, he hit the water with his head, you know. But, I guess the bumps it must have been about 25 feet long and it had, I guess it was just like in the water, out the water. I tell you it was just like a, it wasn't flat, like it just kept like a snake, like to was...

R: Now, did it seem like it was going in and out this way or this way?

L: No, to me, if I remember right, it was going like this.

R: Up and down?

L. Yes, up and down.

R: You see, that is one characteristic of mammals. A mammal-like creature will tend to go this way where as if it is a reptile, it goes this way.

L: No, it wasn't going sideways. It was going up and down.

R: Now, you said its head was kind of like a horse. In other words it would be like a horse's head is long this way.

L: Well, it wasn't all that wide that I can recall, but it was fairly long. The head was more like a, it is hard to explain. The head on a horse is not that wide but longer going downwards. It had a head something like that.

R: Then, could you estimate, now you said about 25 feet long. The head, could you estimate this long or this long?

L: Oh, I would say the head must have been about, when it got out of the water a couple of times, it must have been at least 3 feet.

R: Now, was the head sticking straight out or kind of down again like a horse would have its head down?

L: Down, yes.

R: Did you see anything that looked like hair or sometimes they talk about a mane or a tuft of something behind its head?

L: No.

R: Anything look like ears or horns?

L: No, I can't say I seen anything that looked like ears.

R: Did it open it mouth at all so you could see teeth or anything like that?

L: It opened its mouth, but I didn't see teeth.

R: Maybe too far away?

L: Just too far away and I don't remember seeing teeth. It opened its mouth but not very wide, you know.

R: Now, as it was moving along, do you think you could, could you see its tail at all or rear end or something back there?

L: As it went along, I would say 20 feet was bigger and then the last 5 or 10 feet was smaller.

R: Thinner.

L: Yes, thinner.

R: Because in the newspaper article, it talked about it looked like the back of a tea kettle. Now are [you] saying like a tea kettle is fat and then the spout comes up? Is that what they maybe meant or maybe those weren't you words?

L: No, that wasn't my words. I don't recall seeing that.

R: Maybe that was another report, somebody else's.

L: To me it was just like it was pushing itself, like the tail, the back end, the rest of it was smaller but just it could have been up like a tea kettle but it was in the waves.

R: Could you see anything in the rear as well as a fin or a fluke like a whale? You know how a whale has flukes that spread out like this. Did you see anything like that?

L: No.

R: Anything in the front or sides that might look like fins or paddles or anything like that?

L: I can't recall that I saw anything like that, no.

R: Ok, how far then, Ok it [was] coming towards the shore then what finally happened?

L: Well, when it was coming toward us, then after that it started turning the other way again. I remember over there it starting going towards the southwest and then when it raised its head I would say it must have been from here to the end of that thin willow tree. So, that wasn't that far and then it kind of turned because we were looking and kind of making noise I guess. It kind of turned and started swimming.

R: Turned like broadside to you?

L: Yes, broadside. Like it was coming and just when of turned that way and it went that way. It didn't go any faster but we watched it for a little while and we were about that distance, about a quarter of a mile where we were with the truck, so we just left everything there and we took off with the truck and we came across here and we come to get these people that were living here.

R: Ok, that house was still there.

L: It was a house and not a cabin and we came to get them to see what we had seen and they did not want to come. They thought we were completely crazy. They said, you know, you are stupid, you a dumb, we are not going. So, ok that's fine, don't come.

R: Now as it was leaving it would be going almost south?

L: Well, it kind of turned and went like you know away from the shore and it just kept going south.

R: Do you know right out here does it drop off pretty fast in 10 or 15 feet?

L: Well, you don't have to go very far for the water to be deep. It you go 20-25 feet the water is deep.

R: Then, did you go home and tell your parents? How old were you then? You were in high school then?

L: Yes, that was in 1957 and I was born in 1941, so I would have been about 18.

R: Then you told your parents about it?

L: Oh, definitely I told my parents and they got all excited about it and from there it went to.....The man that was looking over Manitoba beach was Tom Locky and he, I don't think he is living anymore, but he was the main like the supervisor of all parks and I told him and he right away got ahold of the media, the CTDM in Daufin, the Winnipeg Free Press and in a day or two the Winnipeg Free Press was here and Winnipeg TV and it was on the radio and all that. Then, later on in life he seen it himself. Mr. Locky, yes, he seen it but he passed away.

R: Before this time, before you saw it had you heard stories about it or were you aware of it at all.

L: Yes, I was aware of it. There was Pete Adam and there was a Carl Adam and his sister, Lucille Adam, had seen it in Crane River. There was not too many people had seen it so far. There was maybe two, three. Then after that, when I seen it then after that there was a few more after that and that was it.

R: It seems like there have been a few sightings every year off and on for a few years.

L: There hasn't been for quite a few years now. I don't know, someplace.

R: Now in the newspaper it says they went over to Eagle Point and hiked back into Steep Rock Lake. Do you know why they decided that was the place to look for it?

L: Well, Eagle Point I think there is a cave there or something.

R: Yes, they said there was, well the newspaper article seemed to indicate that the cave was back at Steep Rock Lake, but you are thinking maybe the cave is right there a Eagle Point.

L: Well, one or the other because I remember them going to look out there and there is a cave and it is still there but I am not sure if it is Eagle Point or Steep Rock Bay.

R: Oh, maybe Steep Rock Bay, because it sounded like they walked up the creek to Steep Rock Lake, that bog back there.

L: There is a big stone ridge there. It is all stone in there and that is why they call it Steep Rock and it just drops right down.

R: At the bay though, so maybe we are still looking at the wrong place. Maybe Steep Rock Bay is where we should look. Maybe a cave along the edge of the cliff there.

L: My cousins know all about that. Clemon Bretecher lives just the other side of the lake there and he has got cattle. They use that Steep Rock for pasture.

R: The bay area or up to the lake too?

L: Yes, up to the lake. He would know more. He lives just the other side of the lake there.

R: He might even know where the cave is.

L: Oh yeh, I think he does, yep.

Tricia McGlenn: Did you want to ask about the weather and the time of day?

R: What was the weather like?

L: It was nice and sunny.

R: Was it very windy or was the water fairly calm?

L: The water was, I would say, about like right now. Not calmed down but it wasn't the waves where you see the waves.

R: Was it morning or afternoon?

L: It was later on in the afternoon, I would say about 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon. We had been hauling gravel most of the afternoon because I remember going to see these people and they were going to just have supper before too long. That is when they told us to get lost.

R: Now, the man who was working with you, how did he respond? He saw it too, right?

L: Oh yes. He was quite excited and then he was from Stonan Manitoba, which was about 40 miles north of here and he took his story home. He was an Indian.

R: Now he was an Indian. Do you know if the Indians had any stories or legends about this creature?

L: There were some that had some stories but then the one or two that I know off have passed away already too.

R: The newspaper said there was a LaFleur, an Indian man that took them over the Eagle Point. I can't remember his name. Fleury I think it was.

L: Marshtan Fleury. He passed away too. That is the one that I was thinking of that saw it a long time ago.

R: Did you have any other questions?

T: What time of the year?

R: Oh, do you know what month that was? Was it September? The newspaper article was dated September, but I didn't know if thatů

T: It might have been before if he was working and not in school. It could have been in August because they came a couple weeks later.

L: Yes they came a couple weeks later, well a couple days later. They came as soon as Tom Locke told them and really Tom Locke, he was a nice guy but he told them about it and he teased me because I was fairly young at that time, about 18 or 19 and every time he would see me he would like of laugh at me about the Monapogo and I kind of laughed at him because about 4 or 5 years later he was fishing with his wife and some friends and they spotted it.

R: Did you write down Tom Locke?

T: He passed away, right?

L: Yah, I don't know if Mrs. Locke is even living anymore, but he passed away. He was in ......ok River.

R: Did you talk to him after he saw it then and what did he say?

L: Well, we had kind of the same story. They were in a boat and they were fishing and they seen it out at Crane River also. There is a little bay in Crane River there and people fish off the bridge, but I remember him saying that he was out in the bay and they were fishing and all of a sudden they noticed this thing coming towards them. Then the same thing, it kind of got out of the water a little bit and then it took off.

R: Did you have any theories about, maybe it is just curious do you think and maybe he was attracted by the noise of you working or them fishing or something.

L: I don't know what made it come this way, really. I don't know if it could have been the noise. I doubt it very much. I think it was just the way it was traveling and then when it heard us I think that is when it turned away from us.

Mary: It didn't make any noise that you heard, huh?

L: No it didn't make no noise. It just lifted itself out of the water, you know, maybe I would say it was a good 10 feet out of the water, yeh, 10 feet of the whole thing. We could see it real good. I can still remember just like the day that I seen it.

R: He lifted his head over 10 feet up?

L: Yeh, the body and the head and then he just let it go down.

R: He kind of slapped the water when it came down?

L: Well, yeh, with the weight it kind of slapped the water. I knew it was a big reptile or something pretty huge because when it was going sideways. We couldn't see it this way. We thought it was ducks coming. Little ducks sometimes follow each other in a row, but they kind of spread out and make a V. When it was straight and raised itself out of the water, I could see that it wasn't duck anymore because it was going like this. That is when I could tell the length of it because it had about 6 lumps in there, at least 6 humps.

T: What about Bird Island?

L: Oh, Bergs Island?

R: Well, there is an island up here, a pure white island with all the birds on it, is that called Bergs Island? Now, as we drove up there, we were over at Eagle Point.

L: You went to Eagle Point already?

R: Yes, today and we hiked clear back to Steep Rock Lake thinking that is where they hiked and we followed the creek up there but we could not find any cave. So, maybe it is Steep Rock Bay that is where we should be looking.


Sketch of Manipogo


Sketch by Louis Bretecher, who saw the creature in the 50's when he was about 18. We interviewed him in August of 1999.


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