CLARK. JAMES ALEXANDER (1960-1989)
Jim Clark, one of British Columbia's foremost cryptozoological researchers, amassed perhaps the largest collection of sighting reports and papers on a variety of cryptids in that province. Along with Paul LeBlond and later John Kirk, Clark founded the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BCSCC) in May 1989. Thanks to Clark's vision, the BCSCC is today the second·largest and most active cryptozoological organization in the world.
Clark proved he was particularly adept at finding long-forgotten sighting accounts in a variety of newspaper archives in British Columbia as well as in other provinces. Although he was primarily involved in deskbound research, he also ventured into fieldwork in search of cryptids.
It was on such a fieldwork exercise in July 1989 that Clark fulfilled a long-standing dream: he saw an unknown animal. On an expedition with other members of the BCSCC, Clark and his colleagues sighted Ogopogo, the monster of Okanagan Lake, just a few hundred feet offshore from the beach at Peach Orchard, Summerland, British Columbia. The thirty-five-foot multihumped animal remained in the view of Clark and his team for approximately one minute before submerging to avoid two oncoming motorboats.
Several weeks after this sighting, Clark and his wife, Barbara, resolved to relocate from their home in Coquitiam to Kelowna on the shores of Okanagan Lake, in a bid to spend more time researching and, if they were lucky, observing Ogopogo. Unfortunately, just two weeks after settling into their new locale, Jim Clark suffered a heart attack brought on by a liver problem. He died in September 1989.
Since then, the Jim Clark Memorial Prize commemorating his dedication and achievements has been instituted by the BCSCC for elementary schoolchildren in British Columbia. Students are invited to submit projects dealing with cryptozoo[ogical animals for assessment by a BCSCC panel, and the winner receives a cash prize for his or her efforts. Since the prize was created in 1989, there have been winners every year.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark