FAIRMONT, W.Va. – It was a typical Friday night in the summer of 2019. Nate Moreno and Jake Byers would go catfishing on the West Fork river after work with another friend. The water was high, and the sky was dark — the only light came from the moon and their headlamps. Around midnight, Nate recalls in the corner of his eye, he saw something reflecting in the moonlight.
“It was a pretty clear night, so we had good light from the moon. At first, when I looked over, you could see something that is intruding the flow of the water. So, you see the water as if it was going around a rock, and what I saw looked like it was a circle. It was big. So, I just thought it was, you know, possibly a ball,” Nate remembered.
The whole incident, the fishermen said, lasted less than ten minutes but more than five.
“I didn’t really give much thought to it, but then as it kept swimming, I looked back and I could see what looked like a snake — a snake-like movement somewhere behind this ball. So, you know, going through it in my head, I’m trying to think, ‘What am I seeing right now?’” Nate recounted, “And then I realized it’s all one thing. It’s all one creature of some sort.”
As Nate turned to his friends to point out what he was seeing, Jake told him he saw the creature the previous week, when he was catfishing in the same spot around 10 p.m.
“It looked like someone swimming on their hands and knees, crawling across the rocks,” Jake said of the first time he saw the monster.
Jake recalled that he and his friend decided to yell out to the figure they saw that night.
“You know, maybe a bum fell in the water. Let’s go see if we can save him,” Jake explained, “And then, we’re sitting here yelling at this black shadow crawling up the rocks and we realized, it wasn’t even looking— wasn’t acknowledging us.”
Jake said that night, he realized the creature wasn’t human when he saw the snake-like tail.
“We’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a big fish or a muskie stuck on the rocks,’” Jake recalled.
The two began to cast toward the monster to see if they could drag it up with two poles that night.
“We realized that it was actually swimming upstream,” Jake said, “And I don’t know of any kind of fish that would swim on the surface as fast as it was swimming upstream.”
On Jake’s second viewing of the ten-foot monster, the group wanted to get a better look at what it was.
“There was this mad dash to try to get some kind of light on it, so we’re all set up right where we’re standing, and then in probably the window of 20 seconds, we tried to jump into a vehicle to turn it around so we could get some headlights on the river,” Nate described, “By the time we got everything situated where we would have good illumination on the river, it was gone.”
Nate said when he told the story to his friends and family, they laughed and didn’t believe him. Then, they came across last year’s Paranormal W.Va. story on the Ogua monster.
“For so long, there was no way to clearly identify it because we didn’t know what it was. We just knew it was big and it was alive,” said Nate, “and then that’s when we read the story about the fabled Ogua…and it made complete sense.”
Nate said people can believe what they want about the creature, but he knows what he saw, and he believes there’s something living in that river that can’t be explained.
“I know what an alligator snapping turtle looks like. I’ve caught them before, and they do get massive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is just a massive variation, but for how shallow the water is here and just general familiarity with the river, you know that something that is existing and thriving here that otherwise shouldn’t be,” Nate remarked.