ABC Champ Video Resurfaces

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on February 16th, 2012

In the discussion of Loren’s post from yesterday, New “Champ” Videos Need Analysis, several Cryptomundians referenced the infamous ABC Champ video from 2006.

I originally posted about this video shortly after it aired on ABC here on Cryptomundo.

The video was posted here on the site after it aired, but the copy of the video was pulled from youtube and disappeared from sight.

As for Champ, keep shooting and keep looking. The Sandra Mansi photos are rare…and yes, I consider that pretty good stuff. The other video footage for water critters I’m most intrigued and excited about is a piece that ABC nabbed hold of and we haven’t seen since…think it was back in 2002 (ish) of two guys on a fishing boat and something comes up under the boat–I didn’t think it was photoshopped and it looked like some living thing cruising along under the surface. It’s been so long since I’ve seen it, I can’t remember the details of the critter…springheeledjack

@SHJ, I completely agree about the ABC “Champ” footage. I have no idea what it shows but it seems to have really disappeared and never received any significant analysis that I have seen. Now, I say that as a card carrying skeptic. But, I would like someone with knowledge and skill to look at that ABC video and offer a reasoned opinion on what it shows. Here is a link for those who may not recall the video.Larry

Larry provided a link to the video on another website, but that site didn’t allow the video to be embedded elsewhere, so I did a google search and found a copy uploaded last year to youtube.

Here are the video stills I originally posted back in 2006.




What do the astute Cryptomundians think is in the video?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

18 Responses to “ABC Champ Video Resurfaces”

  1. William responds:

    Looks like some sort of fish to me as the tail gives it away.

  2. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    You know…it’s kinda hard to tell just WHAT that is. Might be an eel….they’ve been seen in Lake Champlain.

    Might be a Northern Pike…they, too, live there and grow quite large.

    Which given the size of the image on the ABC video seems to fit better than “Champ”.

  3. ruffready responds:

    Hey, what about the star of “River monsters” Jeremy Wade.

    I wonder what his take on this film and stills would be?

    I sure would like to know. Pike? unknown? what does he see?

  4. Aquahead Dan responds:

    This video has always been one of my favorites since I first saw it. I’ve always puzzled around what it might be. I strongly believe that this isn’t a fish by any means. It doesn’t look like it at all.

    From what I can see, it looks like a small head in the third screenshot. I can’t really make out any eyes or anything like that however. In the first, it looks like you can see indents where one would suspect the eyes to be. On the lower part, it almost looks like a flipper, but that could be anything.

    I’m also having a hard time figuring out what the mass on the top right of all the pictures is. It almost looks like part of the body itself, but it could also be the water splashing or sun reflecting.

    It could be an Eel, but I have no idea. The witnesses described it as Serpentine..

    I’ll admit though, it has a stunning resemblance to Mansi’s 1977 picture of Champ.

  5. chewbaccalacca responds:

    Pretty compelling, I’d say. IMO clearly not a fish or eel, as neither of those are capable of moving sideways in the manner this one appears to do (in the close-up shot). And the tapered far end of it resembles a long neck more than it does a tail. But not a slam-dunk, by any means, since the video is just not very clear.

  6. Richard888 responds:

    The snake-like objects look more like plant life or worn rope swayed by the current than parts of a creature. I am reminded of Pacific Northwest kelp.

    Besides, what is that square object that looks submerged right next to the “kelp” at the top frame? It looks too geometric to be part of a creature. My best guess is ‘buoy’.

    Any suggestions that we are looking at a lake monster come from the narration, not the visual component of the video. Mute the sound and there is nothing interesting.

  7. springheeledjack responds:

    Craig–thanks for finding that! Cool! And thanks for listening.

    AS to the video–obviously not clear, but something larger, and the head seems sizable. It does appear to move side to side…now whether that’s the entire body or a head and neck, who can tell? The side to side would lend itself to a fish or eel, unless it’s a head and neck. 🙂

    What I do like about this incident is that we have two witnesses, video footage, and their testimony. Each by itself does nothing, but together, I think this was something more than a fish.

    As we’ve been talking in the Bigfoot arena, while it certainly is not proof positive, it’s another account for the pile.

    Water cryptids are certainly the most difficult to track down–sure we’ve got an isolated body of water, but we’re talking a huge area physically and it’s also not an environment we can easily spend a great amount of time in–we can go out on boats, but that’s only the top layer of the surface that can be scanned, and being in the right place at the right time is one of those lottery things. You can scuba dive, but it’s still a matter of being in the right place at the right time (and yes, I am going on the belief that they are real and exist…I crossed that line a long time ago for a variety of reasons). Sonar is not the exact science we all hope, and so I and others are relegated to sightings, blob-osaurs, and the occasional scrap of video evidence–though most of these turn out to be blobs too–taking pictures or videos on the water or of something in the water is pretty touch and go. Ever tried it? Even on a human being in a pool or lake…give it a shot and you’ll see what I mean.

    Still, I keep track, and as time and money permits, I’ll hunt Champ, Nessie, Caddy, Ogopogo and all their cousins…

  8. Larry responds:

    @Richard888, I think the geometric object you see in the first screen grab is a reflection of the bow of the boat. The image I find most interesting is the last screen grab. I understand pareidolia, so I may be seeing patterns that do not exist. (Like seeing animals in clouds or rock formations for examples of pareidolia). But, it looks to me like a head connected to a very long neck, which curves under the boat and emerges at the top right where it connects to a body (or at least gets wider). If I were a kid drawing the front end of a plesiosaurus, that’s how it would look. In the middle screen grab, it looks like the mouth is open but the “neck” seems less connected to anything. That image could certainly be a fish and a reflection from the boat where the apparent “body” seems to be.

  9. champ_is_real responds:

    This is exactly what I saw when I witnessed a champ creature. Same shape, head, and color. Fwiw I have seen this video before but I never could look at it again and again.

    I am an avid fisherman. I have caught many large and small pike. Sorry, no the subject in the video is not a pike. It is not an American Eel either. Keep in mind. When looking at something underwater. In general, the water gives the optical illusion of whatever subject you are looking at is smaller then the subject really is. This illusion also seems to appear on pictures and video as well. Countless times I have seen fish underwater that don’t look so big but when you pull them out of the water they are a lot bigger then they appeared underwater. This video imo is giving off the optical illusion that subject is smaller then it really is.

    Look at the subject next to the boat in the picture stills. My estimation is the subject would be the width between the boat deck and the rail. Taking account the distance and the illusion of underwater effect. If pulled aboard that boat the subject might barely slip between the deck and the rail to slip back into the water. Thus making it a whopper of a “Pike” or what I think it is, is an unidentified species living in the lake.

    Look for something to come out soon on these Champ creatures. Sometime this year. You will see people like myself who believe these creatures do exist and are 100% real. Aren’t so crazy. Apparently National Geographic will be releasing something soon based on the echolocation findings in Lake Champlain.

  10. hockeybear responds:

    This video fascinates me completely. I can’t keep my eyes off of it. I think we have the real deal here, folks.

  11. aaronlife responds:

    it’s bigfoot’s pet bobofish

  12. springheeledjack responds:

    I’ve watched the video a few times again, and poured over the stills. I do not think it is a fish (pike, eel, sturgeon, giant blue gill) for two reasons. 1) The “head” and “neck” portion looks to move away from the boat like a pole…not quite, but almost straight, and if that were a fish, we would see more of that sideways sway of a fish skeleton bending. This doesn’t do that.

    2) In the first still–thanks again to Craig W.!–the “neck” portion looks like its extending further back under the boat, implying to me that there’s a lot more to the creature. Whatever this thing is, its sizable. It doesn’t appear flat enough or wide enough to be a sturgeon.

    And with the visible portions (and yes, I understand water distorts what we’re seeing, especially at the angle), what follows behind the “head” is smaller in proportion–certainly not fish like which are much more water dynamic in shape.

    Again, not conclusive proof by any means, but the video and stills coupled with the testimony is good enough to be thrown into the Champ pile for me.

  13. Aquahead Dan responds:


    There’s no doubt in my mind that this is real. I just wish we had more footage of this. From what we’re given, its unclear what it is. I again, strongly believe that this isn’t a fish or eel, but more like something that isn’t supposed to be in the lake.


    Is there anything more you could use to describe the creature you saw? It sounds very interesting. And does it bear any resemblance to the Mansi photo? Personally I think this creature in the video looks a LOT like what she caught on photograph.

  14. peteyweestro responds:

    I agree with other posters here that in the last still shot it really appears to me to show the head and the very long neck as it curves under the boat back to the tan looking mass that to me is a body. I also think it appears just like the Mansi picture. I like this alot!

  15. PhotoExpert responds:

    I’m with the former FBI agent, there is not enough information there to know exactly what this is. I do not think it is an inanimate object like the recent cold water serpent video. I do believe the various videos here show some type of animal but not necessarily a cryptid.

    Is it a musky, sturgeon, giant eel, giant lake trout, etc? Or is it a new cryptid? I don’t think we’ll need a body to find out eventually what is active in Lake Champlain. There seem to be a lot of videos popping up and a very active interest in the “monster” by many people, with a few pretty good videos being taken. Very interesting!

    I am still trying to figure out what type of fish is on that old post card that Loren posts every so often. Man, that thing has got me stumped! This Champ thing is just as perplexing!

    Springheeledjack–I really enjoy your posts. I can see the thought process that you go through in trying to figure these videos out. You have a great analytical mind! I am just not sure I would throw it in the “Champ” pile yet but I do not think this is any kind of hoaxed video at all. I am willing to throw it in the “Unknown” or “Needs More Video for Analysis” pile. Anyway, I definitely enjoy all of your posts and your thought processes! Keep up the great work!

  16. champ_is_real responds:

    @Aquahead Dan

    June 14, 1995 – My best friend (who wishes to remain anonymous because “people will think he is crazy”) and I were traveling up to Highgate, VT. We stopped off at the lake to take a break from the long drive. We started in NJ earlier that day. While I was looking at boats and scanning across the water with binoculars. Unfortunately at the time I only had a junk pair of binoculars and of course I had no camera to take a photo either. I happen to notice the creature pretty far out from the shore. I am guessing it was at least 2 football fields (maybe more) out from shore. I had to look for awhile before saying anything to make sure it wasn’t a rogue wave or row of beavers or ducks etc. I was not the only person who witnessed the event.

    There was also at least 2 couples that were there too who also witness the sighting. I said something to my buddy. “Hey look at that. That isn’t no wave or row of beavers or birds. Check that out. Wow there it is. It’s Champ!” My friend was grabbing for my binoculars. Everyone started looking at what I was seeing. My friend confirmed it wasn’t a wave or beavers. He even said. “Wow I guess it is true. Champ is real. People aren’t making that sh*t up! Wow!!” Then he said Wow a few more times. In fact a female witness became so upset or unnerved she started to scream and then ran away as fast as she could from the shore.

    My hair was standing on end. I had goose bumps.

    The creature I saw in Lake Champlain looked like the Mansi photo and the subject in this video. The head was exactly same shape and color. The creature had a very long neck as well. I did not get the opportunity to see the creature’s entire body but it did show humps as it swam (very fast). It looked like a serpent or a water type dinosaur. I did not see flippers or anything like that. Only head, neck, back, and tail. At one point it did raise its head and partial neck out of the water completely. It made a wake like a boat would. I am guessing it was around 15-30 feet long. It is very hard to say because it was pretty far out and there were no boats around to compare it to. It definitely was bigger then any freshwater fish I have seen.

    The sighting lasted for 2-3 minutes. Maybe more or maybe less. I didn’t sit there with a stop watch and time it. I was not prepared at all for it. I did get a very good look at it before I handed my binoculars to my friend. I consider myself lucky to have seen it.

  17. flame821 responds:

    The video quality is so poor its hard to tell much of anything, except that it does not swim like a mammal. I think the ‘body’ that some people are referring to is actually a reflection of the ship’s prow on what I have to assume was a rather calm surface.

    I do think there is something in Champlain, but I doubt it is a dinosaur in any real sense of the word. Perhaps a new species of large sturgeon with diminished fins? A horse-headed eel? Snakehead? Whatever that video shows it seems to be a predator (shape of head, not afraid of larger object) and it is something that seems comfortable in shallow depths.

  18. therapsid responds:

    We have a lot of large sturgeon swimming around in lake champlain, I recall a local guy coming across one he claimed to be around 14 feet from tip to tip, living under a bridge. I think our big sturgeons (as well as logs) are responsible for many sightings.

    That said, lake champlain is a big body of water (sometimes referred to as the “other great lake”) and it was once part of a larger prehistoric sea. Not expecting to bump into Champ on my kayak, but I wouldn’t count him out either.

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