Champ Video

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 28th, 2008

Champ

Two years ago, in 2006, ABC-TV obtained for screening a video of a large object in Lake Champlain that was said to be Champ, originally taken in August 2005. (Please read more here, here, and here.)

Champ

Now the entire video has become available, via YouTube.

Champ

What do you Cryptomundians see in the video?

(Please, for those that don’t yet understand all the otter jokes, do seriously share your sense of what this might be without a major side trek into otter-this-world humor.)

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.


87 Responses to “Champ Video”

  1. Benjamin Radford responds:

    And as for DWA’s criticisms, I learned long ago that correcting his factual and logical errors is a waste of time. He can make more mistakes in one sentence than most people can pack into a whole paragraph. Most of his statements are clearly and factually wrong; check for yourself.

    DWA likes to take potshots at me; though I have interviewed dozens of eyewitnesses, investigated lake monsters in five countries on three continents, done field investigations, both independently and with National Geographic Television, and written one book and dozens of articles on the topic. I’ve also probably done more first-hand research on Champ than nearly anyone else alive. I’ve tried for nearly 10 years to bring science and credibility to the search for Champ.

    What has DWA done? Where’s his hard work and contributions? Where’s his published work on the topic, his research? DWA hides behind anonymity, taking inaccurate and cheap shots at real experts while doing little or nothing to actually look for these creatures.

    I guess if you can’t actually do any good work yourself, you can always try to tear down others… it’s kind of sad, really.

  2. ETxArtist responds:

    Steering clear of all the unproductive, unscientific and frankly insulting arguments: I’m certainly no expert, being landlocked and having only seen belugas off the Alaskan coast firsthand, but don’t whales usually produce some sort of spray plume when they surface for breath? It seems to me this would be pretty hard to miss in a lake, but I haven’t seen any pics or video of such a thing. Am I way off base, or does this have any RELEVANCE to the DISCUSSION?

  3. jerrywayne responds:

    A few observations from an armchair.

    1. I’m surprised that posters are seeing everything from plesiosaur to mundane fish in the underwater sequence. My first thought was of an inanimate object floating just under the service, perhaps a clump of water flora. Its movement seems similar to an object floating, instead of self-propelled motion.

    2. I see two events here, related but not identical. First, the fishermen see a school of fish on the surface of the lake, perhaps feeding on displaced, floating water flora. They mistake this school as a circling “serpent”. They move in closer and…. Secondly, they see the floating debris (displaced water flora) and mistake it for the “serpent” they thought they saw seconds earlier.

    3. My solution flies in the face of the fishermen’s testimony. If they are as experienced as the news piece suggests, they would know what a school of fish and floating debris look like. Right? Maybe. It is possible they were “spooked” by the water disturbance (and, after all, they were familiar with the legend of Champ), and hence “saw” a “serpent” when there was none.
    Also, and unfortunately, we cannot rule out a “fisherman’s tall tale” pertaining to this story.

    4. If we accept the fishermen’s description at face value, the plesiosaur notion goes out the window. They said they saw a serpent, not a creature with a large body and flippers. (So, the posters who “see” a plesiosaur in the film are mistaken, as well as others who have interpreted the object in the film as having a large body).

    5. Poster hlw gives some very cogent reasons why Lake Champlain is most likely not the home of a population of plesiosaurs, or other related surviving marine reptiles.

    6. It is hard to reconcile the sighting and film here with the notion that Champ is a surviving whale from prehistory. This is a favorite theory among “enchanted” cryptozoologists, but doesn’t seem to square with the “evidence”. (For instance, what known fossil whale looked anything like the “creature” in the Mansi photo?)

    7. Given the fact that Lake Champlain is known to freeze over in the winter, how would an air breathing cryptid the purported size of Champ survive? (Please, no ad hoc explanations, such as the breeding population of Champs find pockets of air trapped under the ice, or the creatures migrate across open land till a thaw).

  4. DWA responds:

    jerrywayne: cherrypicking maybe. But.

    “4. If we accept the fishermen’s description at face value, the plesiosaur notion goes out the window. They said they saw a serpent, not a creature with a large body and flippers. (So, the posters who “see” a plesiosaur in the film are mistaken, as well as others who have interpreted the object in the film as having a large body).”

    Not really. Even accepting the very exact words they said, who died and made them paleontologists? “Sea serpent” and “plesiosaur” mean the precise same thing to a large segment of the non-paleontological public. (My own personal picture of the “sea serpent” has always been a creature with – wait for it – a large body and flippers. One of the problems with the public is, well, we ain’t all zoologists. Or literalists.)

    “5. Poster hlw gives some very cogent reasons why Lake Champlain is most likely not the home of a population of plesiosaurs, or other related surviving marine reptiles.”

    Cogent, maybe. In terms of what we know. Cryptozoology is about what we don’t. He might be right. He might not.

    “6. It is hard to reconcile the sighting and film here with the notion that Champ is a surviving whale from prehistory. This is a favorite theory among “enchanted” cryptozoologists, but doesn’t seem to square with the “evidence”. (For instance, what known fossil whale looked anything like the “creature” in the Mansi photo?)”

    Don’t know what an “enchanted” crypto is. (Is it a crypto who still believes something you did until yesterday? 😀 ) Do know, however, that known fossil whales say nothing about unknown ones, nor about anything else that we don’t know. And that a picture no longer seems to be worth a thousand words.

    “7. Given the fact that Lake Champlain is known to freeze over in the winter, how would an air breathing cryptid the purported size of Champ survive? (Please, no ad hoc explanations, such as the breeding population of Champs find pockets of air trapped under the ice, or the creatures migrate across open land till a thaw).”

    OK, how about a logical one, like breathing holes such as those used by seals? Do you know what this thing is? Tell us! And it simply ain’t kosher to say “no fair using any explanation that does not comport with what I want to believe.”

    Just need to remind you guys occasionally how a skeptic looks at these things. 😉

  5. Awen responds:

    Well, I think it’s an eel and that’s that!

  6. Larry responds:

    I’m still not convinced this is anything more than a couple fish. But, for what it’s worth, the “head” in the second still image looks to have the same general shape as the Nahuelito image posted on cryptomundo here:

    http://cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/nahuelito-pix/

  7. znarf responds:

    I saw this footage when it first came out. While I found it very interesting, there can be nothing convincing in such internet footage. Compression has degraded the image quality far too much.

    What would be far more intriguing would be to see the footage BEFORE it was compressed for the internet. That should be a lot clearer, depending on the resolution of the camera and the lighting conditions. Has anyone petitioned ABC to release the original footage to cryptozoologists?

    But the point I really want to make is about the possibility of plesiosaurs populating Lake Champlain and other lakes. While it is extremely unlikely that a population of them could have existed in a land-locked lake over the millions of years since the extinction of the dinosaurs, Lake Champlain and most, if not all other cryptid lakes I’ve read about are connected to the ocean. While I am skeptical of whether there actually are plesiosaurs still around (and own that I want to believe), I think it is possible because there could be a breeding population in the oceans. These could infiltrate freshwater lakes while they’re still young and small (and think of how much smaller reptilian sea turtles are when hatched than the adults, compared to infant and adult mammals), and as adults might not be as visible as various cetaceans because 1) lower body temp would not result in highly visible water vapor when they breathed at the surface; 2) lower metabolism might allow them to visit the surface less frequently, and allow them to live off a smaller food supply, and 3) they need only poke their nostrils above the surface while the bulk of their bodies remained deep below the surface in contrast to whales which have to have their whole bodies at the surface, and thus more visible.

    There you have my two cents.

  8. Haley Fisher responds:

    I still think that the method used in Tim Dinsdale’s film to enhance the image should be used in this film as well; it could provide a clearer underwater picture. It’s worth a shot, right? Is there any way to do this ourselves?

    Any feedback on this suggestion?

  9. JGreg responds:

    I must respond to an erroneous Radford comment no one else has mentioned. The famous rephrasing of Occam’s Razor (used most famously by physicians) is “when you hear hoofbeats FIRST think of horses.” Radford, like so many, has left out the most crucial word in the phrase. After all there are many hoofed animals in the world besides horses.

    Of course one must start any investigation by looking at the most likely suspects, but if those suspects can be honestly eliminated a proper investigator does not quit looking. There will always be cases where the seemingly most unlikely answer is the correct one. Anyone with any experience in any sort of investigative field (scientific, medical, legal or whatever) has a trove of well documented believe-it-or-not stories.

    Among my favorite (fairly)recent cases of that type was the boy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who seemed to have the measles, except it didn’t respond to treatment and didn’t present quite right. The doctors thought of the other usual childhood poxes, even took a look beyond them to small pox, but went no further because what else could a little boy from Wisconsin have? It took a stroke of luck in the guise of another doctor just back from a working trip to Africa. He recognized the condition as monkey pox and it was traced to an infected monkey at a pet store where the boy had purchased a pet. Do not ever be afraid to look beyond the obvious as long as you have checked the obvious first.

  10. a_mangy_human responds:

    I dont know what’s shown in this footage, but I do know my mother in law claims to have almost been eaten by Champ 50 years ago when she was 8 years old when her friend fell in the Lake on the Quebec side and she couldn’t swim, says her friend was splashing around almost drowning and she dove in to get her and as she reached her this huge snake head came up from under the water and her other friend on the shore started screaming to hurry which she did. I don’t think it was going to eat her or her friend, maybe the splashing attracted it like certain sharks are attracted by splashing. I don’t think she ever reported this incident, but it does make me wonder how many other crypto sightings like this are never reported.

  11. dsands47 responds:

    Very likely a very shy and large, but deadly, species of eel that lives a long time and found though out the world. Indian legends have their Devil’s Lakes where people and domestic animals are known to disappear at night. Surviving the northern winters by hibernating in the lake bottom mud. Possibly related to the large species of eel that lives in the pools at the base of large water falls.

  12. DWA responds:

    “No, Neko’s intent is clear from his words: what the fishermen caught on tape is an “unknown creature.”

    Cool thing about Ben is, all you have to do is read his posts!

    He even quotes something that doesn’t appear in any of Neko’s posts. Who said it was a creature? Not Bake. I believe he did mention it as something organic, which it almost certainly was. (A stump would qualify. An algae-laden stick – heck, just the stick – would qualify. A little Naturalist 101 for our resident ‘psychologist.’) But “unknown creature” is putting words in people’s mouths – something at which Ben takes pretty quick offense when people [don’t] do it to him.

    Ben thinks we don’t read; but we do. What he doesn’t mention is something Bake does say: “I don’t want your bridges as I am willing to bet there are nasty insulting trolls under them just like yourself.” Now nobody says anything like that about ME. 😉

    Speculate all we want, no one will ever know for sure what that is. Even if Champ’s found to be something new, this isn’t clear enough to compare with it.

    UNKNOWN.

  13. MattBille responds:

    I want to know what the guy with the camea was doing between the wake shots” (which could be a large animal, but also might be crossing boat wakes or somethign else) and the couple of seconds of “closeup” video. Were they watchign the creature the entire time between these two events? Were they making any effort to video it? We seem to have two separate instances close together in time, instead of one continuous narrative.

  14. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille:

    don’t know, but good question.

    My bet is we have what we have. This is what generally seems to happen with amateur documentation: key stuff gets left out. (Like, say, adequate space on the video card.) They might have been trying to save space for the “best shots.” There’s not only no “in-between” but no “follow-through” (after it comes next to the boat). Like so many of these, things end just when they seem to be getting good.

    (Hmmmmmm.)

  15. serpent_seeker responds:

    What a great debate, ive seen this footage many times ive come to a conclusion that this animal does look prehistoric just the way it moves its head it does look like the head is attached to a huge body. To say that there are no passage ways is false under many lakes there are caves that lead to other outings, now to Mr.Radford ive have read many books on sea serpents and lakes, inside lochness there have been many reports from many scuba divers that have been training, doing there practice scuba diving training and many of these fellas do not want to dive in lochness because they have seen many strange and ugly looking creatures in which they cant identify, many scuba divers have came up to the surface shaking violently from what they have seen so i think there are animals from mans dim past still living among us.

  16. merchboi responds:

    Just food for thought, but so many point out that they’d have to surface more often if they were plesiosaurs, and what not. Well, if everything ELSE (well, nearly everything) has evolved over time… why not them? Why do we insist on saying a plesiosaur TODAY would have to behave exactly like its ancestors?

    That said, it’s compelling footage.

  17. jerrywayne responds:

    A reply to my old buddy, the Crypt(id) Keeper
    (aka, DWA),

    1. Please read my post again. Watch the video again. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Seriously, go ahead.

    Now, where in my post and where in the video do you find any mention of a “sea serpent”? It is beside the point that you equate a “sea serpent” with a plesiosaur. (By the way, “sea serpent” sightings existed long before the first plesiosaur fossil was recognized).

    No, the fishermen said they saw a “serpent” and it was about the width of a man’s thigh. Now, if we take their account as gospel and do not allow for mistaken perception, then they most certainly did not see a plesiosaur or anything like a plesiosaur.

    This fact is interesting to me, at least, because some of our fellow cryptomundians are apparently quite sure they are seeing a plesiosaur or plesiosaur like animal in the video. And this fact is interesting to me because it is a demonstration of the power of suggestion. (Inconclusive video of purported lake monster transmutates into a video representing the popular notion of what a lake monster supposed to look like, i.e., a plesiosaur). The power of suggestion is an element of cryptozoology that deserves more research and interest.

    (BTW, if the fishermen’s account is accurate, an eel would be a likely candidate, as Awen succintly suggests. For me, however, the thing just doesn’t look animate at all).

    2. “Cryptozoology is about what we don’t [know]”.
    Yes, to a certain extent. But we mustn’t ignore what we do know in order to champion what we don’t.

    3. I mention prehistoric whales in connection with Champ only because some researchers have suggested “lake monsters” may be of the ancient whale family, including Champlain’s alleged “monster”. I wonder why this is the case since the “sightings” of “lake monsters”, by and large, do not describe anything resembling whales, ancient or modern.

    4. Your “breathing holes” suggestion is a possible solution to the frozen lake conundrum. Of course, if we have herds of plesiosaurs or “waterhorse” long neck seals breaking for air on a frozen lake, the mystery of Lake Champlain would have been solved long, long ago.

    5. I use the term “enchanted” in describing an element of cryptozoology in which folks take a possible cryptid, Champ for instance, and in the absence of hard evidence, believe in its existence as if it has already been proven to exist. (Sort of like your belief in a continental bigfoot).

    Till next time, amigo.

  18. DWA responds:

    jerrywayne:

    ——————————————-
    “Now, where in my post and where in the video do you find any mention of a “sea serpent”? It is beside the point that you equate a “sea serpent” with a plesiosaur. (By the way, “sea serpent” sightings existed long before the first plesiosaur fossil was recognized).

    No, the fishermen said they saw a “serpent” ….”
    ———————————————-

    OK, OK, maybe you didn’t say “sea serpent.” Sheesh, if a self-proclaimed EXPERT like Radford can misquote people, *I* sure can. (Difference? I can admit it. 😀 ) Which doesn’t really change my point. Which is that a lot of people say “serpent” and don’t mean snake. I don’t know how anybody could say what that is, or even speculate, personally. (Although BN came as close as I’d like to.) But something “as thick as a man’s thigh” COULD be “a plesiosaur or – key qualifier here – “something LIKE a plesiosaur.” Those things had young; and who knows whether all the species there were (are?) are represented in the fossil record? We don’t. And some of the ones we know about weren’t very big, even as adults.

    Too many people, if you ask me, “want to believe,” and Make Stuff Fit what they want to believe. We certainly agree there.

    ————————————————–
    ““Cryptozoology is about what we don’t [know]”.
    Yes, to a certain extent. But we mustn’t ignore what we do know in order to champion what we don’t.”
    —————————————————-

    No, you don’t. But you allow that there may be things you don’t know; and you don’t presume that everything you find will comport, exactly, with what you know. All animals are similar in fundamental ways. But each one is unique. In other words, you don’t ignore what you don’t know to insist it can only be what you know.

    ——————————————
    “Of course, if we have herds of plesiosaurs or “waterhorse” long neck seals breaking for air on a frozen lake, the mystery of Lake Champlain would have been solved long, long ago.”
    —————————————–

    If they broke the ice. An animal can make a breathing hole without busting through. Didn’t say it happened, or that it’s likely. It is, though, a possibility. I’d sure hate to find an animal that did it after insisting there could be no such thing. Which is not the same thing as scanning Lake Champlain in winter for breathing holes, though I will stop no one who tries.

    ————————————-
    “believe in its existence as if it has already been proven to exist.
    (Sort of like your belief in a continental bigfoot).”
    ————————————-

    Now how many times have I told you that I don’t believe in anything? It’s just that when bigfoot sightings and trackways, across the continent, act statistically like they are produced by a natural source, and have hardened scientists, practicing good science, saying either we have the most amazing hoax in history or an uncatalogued animal, and the numbers say so, well, it should just give anyone who respects science – and I do – pause to wonder what’s up here.

    Like I said, I’m a skeptic, an enemy of comfortable assumptions.

    As is science. (Not, unfortunately, scienTISTS.)

    Ciao, amigo.

  19. Kushtaka responds:

    This screams “Otters!” to me. The only thing that surprises me is that my opinion appears to be in the minority here. The shape is right for otters. The colors are right for otters. If we want to make it more fantastical than mere otters, we can call it a Kushtaka — the evil shape-shifting were-otter from which I took my name. :) Although, I’ve never heard of a Kushtaka ‘shifting into a plesiosaur — but, if it’s going to happen anywhere, it’ll happen here on Cryptomundo!

  20. rbhess responds:

    jerrywayne:

    Just correcting one fallacy: I live in Upstate New York. To my personal knowledge, Lake Champlain is NOT “known to freeze over.” It’s simply too large for that, in surface area. I’m even more familiar with the Finger Lakes – none of which are as large as Champlain… though many are far deeper… and only the smallest can be relied upon to freeze over, and then only in the coldest winters. The larger lakes haven’t frozen over, as far as I know, in living memory.

    Benjamin Radford:

    While to a certain degree I as ever agree with your skepticism, I feel I must point out (and I grant this is entirely unscientific) that we cannot dismiss the *context* of a sighting such as this with such blase ease. As someone who lives on and has grown up around large lakes, I know that locals plying such “home waters” are used to seeing all kinds of fish and other animals that are typical residents. Such people are VERY unlikely to mistake a common or even fairly uncommon animal (who nevertheless is known to reside in a given body of water) for something else that is mysterious and unknown and doesn’t belong there. Could it happen? Sure. But it’s more than a little hard to swallow.

    And it’s one thing for such a person or persons to be caught momentarily off-guard. It’s quite another for them to be so struck by something–an object or animal–that they are utterly unable to identify it or associate it with something *known*–even in only a few moments of clear sighting of such a thing. I’ve seen many an odd thing in the water, myself. But only for an instant, and a barest instant at that–before I am able to identify it or at least make an assumption as to what it MUST have been.

    The object in this video can’t be *dismissed.* Neither can it be guessed at.

    But having lived here all my life–I frankly know of nothing that resembles that thing in the video enough that can make me assume, reasonably, that these fishermen simply got caught with their pants down by a *known* animal. A couple of tourists from Manhattan? Sure… maybe. But two guys who know the waters, and know the life living in them? I find that a bit too difficult to buy with any glib air of certainty.

    It’s not that WE can’t say, viewing the video, that it couldn’t be something as simple as a fish–it’s the fact that these guys were THERE and were seeing it in REAL LIFE, and THEY were baffled by it. *That* lends credence to the sighting, in my eyes.

    Of course, I concede that this is unscientific. But science doesn’t reward the nay-sayer always, either.

  21. jerrywayne responds:

    DWA,

    Thanks for setting me straight on your view concerning a continental bigfoot. Your words were succint and well put. (I mistook you for a “true believer” mainly because of your ever present, rough and ready rebukes to the skeptics that post here, including myself).

    My own view concerning purported cryptids such as Champ is this: we should always be open minded concerning the possibility of such cryptids, but we should always, as a rule, seek the most mundane explanation workable.

    I should also comment on the Ben-Bake teapot tempest. I also thought Bake was saying the fishermen had captured a cryptid on film. Why?
    After stating he was “certain” the fishermen had filmed “something unknown”, he concluded “And that alone puts a smile on my face regardless of whatever it may be.” I could see why a person
    would smile if he or she discovered a real picture of a cryptid, but why a smile because someone filmed a “whatever”?

  22. Loren Coleman responds:

    Lake Champlain does freeze over. The rarity is when it does not. The lake largely or completely freezes over most years. Most quote the following as the major source on this fact:

    Zug, George. “Does Champ exist?” Seminar in Shelburne, Vermont, August 29, 1981.

    The last time the lake didn’t freeze across its widest part was 2000, according to records kept by the U.S. Geological Service.

  23. Rillo777 responds:

    Jerrywayne’s comments about the power of suggestion is very interesting. I was thinking something along the same lines. It is not surprising that people would gravitate to the Plesiosaur or sea serpent label as they have been done to death in the literature. The difference is the Plesiosaur was a real creature and the sea serpent is a generic term for any large unknown aquatic creature. But what really fits the facts of Champ? The lake is frozen over at times, the creature is normally seen near or just at the surface. The head is sometimes described as “horse-like”. An air breathing creature doesn’t seem to fit the general description. It seems to occasionally feed near the surface just as a fish will often do. It would seem to be a creature with gills that might be dormant during the winter. An unknown type of cephalopoda, probably a coleoidea species would seem to be the most likely creature to fit the greater number of descriptions. The “head” or “humps” might even turn out to be tentacles. This would also explain why no skeletal remains have ever been found. But there again, I am reaching for the known to explain the unknown. Perhaps Champ will turn out to be something completely new to us after all.

  24. springheeledjack responds:

    I am glad this footage finally surfaced again!!!

    As for the above stuff, all good thoughts and posts—well—Ben, I have news for ya, it ain’t a horse or a unicorn, nuff said.

    What I find good about the footage is that the object under the boat is animate and moving with enough speed to make me think it is animal. The footage is grainy, but you are going to have that in the water. Cameras just can’t cut through waves like that and give you clear footage. I agree with someone up there who said that the fishermen definitely had a better view of what was going under/alongside their boat than the camera did.

    As for what it was, they described a serpent shape and that does jibe with a lot of Champ sightings. The whole plesiosaur dilemma is ongoing, but honestly, I do agree with the bulk of the naysayers that whatever is in Champlain, Loch Ness, and other lakes is probably not a plesiosaur. However, having said that, I would not rule out something along the same evolutionary track. Perhaps something that may have once been related to the plesiosaur evolved and changed enough to become something more akin to what is being seen.

    That’s my speculation for the post. I am not limiting my view to that, but it is another possibility. The serpent shape is a common one in lakes and the open ocean and it may be indicative of an entire undiscovered species altogether, and only time will tell.

    Back to the discussion at hand–the video footage–there definitely seems to be a larger head and thinner neck/body behind, and to me that rules out it being a fish, or rather a standard fish. Sturgeon are big, but they are also pretty solid from head to tail and what I see on the footage does not scream “big fish”, but rather something sleeker in design.

    I’m gonna pass on the “log” idea too because there is way too much animate movement and just plain old directional movement for a log to be cruising along under the surface without coming to the surface to say hi. I just don’t buy it. Most of the logs I know are not that interested in keeping a low profile or camera shy.

    I am with others, this is one of the best video shots that we have to date of a cryptid.

  25. springheeledjack responds:

    With the lake freezing thing, seals do breathe through holes in the ice, and they don’t have to be all that big to do it either. If we are dealing with an air breather, and it is mammalian, then it could do similar things. If it is somehow more fishlike, then obviously it wouldn’t, but I guess we’re gonna have to go ask Champ how it does what it does.

    And the reptile card doesn’t stand up too well in this scenario, though I think it was last year that fossil remains of plesiosaurs (uh-oh I said the buzz word) were discovered way down south in the Arctic, in areas colder than what it was believed they could or would have been living in (Loren or somebody clean up my facts if I am askew on this. Oh I know you will. :)

  26. rbhess responds:

    K… I stand corrected on Champlain freezing over. I thought it was simply too large for that, but I confess it’s not as deep as I thought, either, so presumably that explains it.

  27. DWA responds:

    rbhess says:

    “While to a certain degree I as ever agree with your skepticism, I feel I must point out (and I grant this is entirely unscientific) that we cannot dismiss the *context* of a sighting such as this with such blase ease. As someone who lives on and has grown up around large lakes, I know that locals plying such “home waters” are used to seeing all kinds of fish and other animals that are typical residents. Such people are VERY unlikely to mistake a common or even fairly uncommon animal (who nevertheless is known to reside in a given body of water) for something else that is mysterious and unknown and doesn’t belong there. Could it happen? Sure. But it’s more than a little hard to swallow.”

    This neatly points up – as is all too rarely done – a critical weakness in the scofftical viewpoint of cryptid accounts. The public are frequently presumed to be pretty much all ignorant about everything going on outside their front doors that isn’t plugged in to a iPod or PlayStation. They are presumed to be very easily gulled, fooled and suggestible.

    Now I must admit, the public seem, to me, generally to be so pretty durn ignant, about nature and its specifics. However, there are exceptions, many of them – and these are people who are very likely to be around the more or less remote places where cryptids tend to be seen (hunters; loggers; geologists; fishermen; etc.) These people, as rbhess points out, know what they’re seeing. And it is not a “mundane” explanation to say that they simply saw something known to science, i.e., to them, and went off with, sea monster. (Or sasquatch. Sorry, had to get that in.) It requires one heck of a stretch.

    And as to the rest of the ignant public: they may not know a marten from a fisher, or that the latter doesn’t fish and the former isn’t a “martin.” But they do, generally, record pretty accurately what they see. They would be unable to feed or dress themselves, much less, say, drive, if they didn’t. This doesn’t mean they unerringly identify everything of which they catch a glance. This morning I saw a tundra swan…OK, wait….maybe a goose…nah….but….never got a true bead; couldn’t see anything but an oblique, backlit shape. But I’m not going to a swan-count website and saying, I know what I saw! And I tend to think they sure aren’t running back to town and saying I-saw-Champ unless their sighting is unlike anything else in their experience. Some might jump the gun. But a significant percentage? All of them? THAT – as rbhess rightly says – is very tough to swallow.

    When people know, they KNOW. Even if all they know is: that looks like NOTHING I know.

  28. twas brillig responds:

    Wow what huge load of wild speculation and wasted space in this thread.

    Consider OTHER POSSIBILITIES, not just focus on pleisiosaurs, PLEASE!!! for the love of diversity.

    First off, to be so bold, it’s almost certainly NOT a sturgeon, as they are a very rigid/heavy fish built like a tank and do not swim backwards. Yes US sturgeons can grow to 20 feet, 30 in Russia (if any still exist that large it would be a miracle), and they do develop an undulating dragon like ridge along their backs. BUT they exhibit none of the swiftness, and even more so, the flexibility that the witnesses describe and footage seems to corroborate.

    SOME IDEAS TO CONSIDER:

    A large EEL such as a massively overgrown Anguillidae (American CONGER eel) or a possibly related yet undiscovered species can grow and grow and grow and live 20 years plus migrating from fresh water to salt and back again or some never leave the freshwater. If what we were seeing was the head, and it was backing away, that would jive, as many eels species have a knack for backing up at nearly the same speed as they can move forwards, and as someone who had one in an aquarium years ago, I can attest that it was hardly ever seen as it buried itself in the gravel it came out ONLY at night, and was slippery as all heck.

    Hard to tell but at a glance it reminded me in some aspects some tropical species of freshwater eel such as the electric eel or some other species of eel or fish (IE – a giant HAGFISH) or some giant unknown aquatic WORM or even a freshwater squid. One of the fastest evolving animal groups at the present are Cephalopods – and may have adapted to fresh water assuming it’s fresh in the lake).

    An animal that size escaping detection and capture should be considered a likely candidate for the ability to use sonar and/or ability to bury itself in the mud for very long periods of time. Whatever it is, it’s almost a given that it comes out at night mostly and only rarely ventures to the surface especially during daylight.

    I hope it’s something more magical but all things should be considered.

    Just hope it’s NOT C’thulu.

  29. springheeledjack responds:

    It’s a shocker, I know, but I’m with DWA on that one too.

    People may not always know what exactly it was that they saw, and their experience or education may not be suffiicient for them to know what they saw, but people DO know when they see something outside their experience.

    Does it always mean it is a cryptid? No. Sometimes people do mistake known animals and other things like rocks, trees, and (otters:) for cryptids.

    And that is where you have to take some of the background of the people phoning in these reports. If you have two fishermen who know the waters, have fished on it for years and are used to seeing all the usual wildlife and inanimate objects, and they say they see something outside their realm of experience, then you have to look farther than the typical scoftic response of: oh they are eye witnesses they don’t know what they are seeing, it had to be this that or the next thing.

    Learned people like to pull Occam’s Razor out every now and so do I: Often the simplest answer is the correct one…and in the case of cryptids, sometimes the simplest answer is that there is a creature present that has not been identified.

  30. springheeledjack responds:

    I am a believer in cryptids…we just keep finding too many things in the oceans and jungles and forests where people do not get on a regular basis (if ever).

    I do not want to pound down the people who do not believe in them…I think those that do not believe have a solid basis for why they do not believe and sometimes they do have a more objective eye because they do not “want” there to be a BF or a loch ness critter out there.

    On the other hand, the best stance is keeping an open mind. We are all skeptics on this site–it is an integral part of being interested in cryptozoology. If we weren’t skeptics, the hippo umbrella stand at Loch NEss or the youtuber BF stuff would fool us all and we’d just believe ad hoc. Just because you are a skeptic does not mean you won’t fall for a good hoax now and then…that goes with the territory, but being open minded and being skeptical will allow you to eventually weed out the hoaxes and the miscalls from the real stuff that is in there.

    My salute to all of you out there who strive to find the truth, believers and non, and to those who can admit when they are bamboozled by a slick video or photo or who can admit that yes what was seen was not a garbage can floating in the water at just the right light.

    Alright, putting the soap box away, bringing out the gloves…let’s rock.

  31. springheeledjack responds:

    My biggest problem with the eel theory…and there is merit to it…many of the lake critters are long and have basically thin bodies which does seem to fit the eel shape…however, most people who describe these things note a distinct head–if you look at an eel’s body, it’s head is more of an extension of the body, and does not have a head that is that distinct from the rest of the overall body.

    Second, many times the critters when they do surface, raise their heads out of the water and have been described as turning its head from one side to the other…not in all cases, mind you, but several…and while there have been theories that an eel could surface, it is basically built along the lines of a snake and could not effectively raise its head and neck out of the water without looking like an odd sight indeed, and definitely something that people would remember.

    In the footage above, the image under the water does not make me think “eel”…there is a distinct mass/head at the front and a neck or thin body and it moves in such a way that I would not characterize as eel like…

    So, like I said, I won’t rule out the eel theory completely, but there are an awful lot of things that don’t add up in the eel category either…I do agree with you that we need to start looking beyond the plesiosaur possibility…

    AT BEST, whatever these lake critters are, they may be descended from something that was plesiosaur-like but it’s going to be far different than the ones I grew up reading about–and I still have a huge problem with the reptile/cold water thing…like I said, if it is really a water-dino, then it had to somehow adapt to cold water environment and no reptiles I am aware of can stand that (okay this is your chance to enlighten me oh Crypto readers…)

  32. Colpittsdragon responds:

    This is a great video and parts of it are really convincing, right up until 2:46 in the video. The older gentleman says, “Boy that looks like a serpent.” That seems to me to be just a little staged. The reaction of the younger guy around 2:56 is a little more believable. And, just as an aside, there is really no proof that these guys are “not crackpots”. Just because they’ve lived around Lake Champlain doesn’t mean anything. In fact it seems like people who know the lake well would be better able to form a hoax of this nature.

    I will admit though, that the underwater part of the video definitely seems to be something. What? I don’t really know. It actually looked a lot like lake grass to me. As for the wakes in the video, I’ve seen the wind do the same thing on the water, blow in just one place like that producing the same result.

  33. springheeledjack responds:

    I’ll buy the wind on the water with the wakes…I have seen that too–the wind just hitting one section of water and making odd wakes…however, that combined with the rest of the video leads me to believe there is something more.

    And whatever it is that is under the boat is moving with speed–it comes close to the surface, and then ducks away from the boat and down, and some inanimate object is going to be at the mercy of the wakes and movement of the water…I just don’t think something inanimate is going to be able to move like that.

  34. Colpittsdragon responds:

    If it is something under the water, and that is entirely possible, if not probable, it looks more like (as I think someone has said) the grasping arms on a squid than the head of a watergoing dinosaur.

    If only the cameraman had lifted the camera just a tad we could have seen the mass at the end of the tentacles/head/flippers/whatever. That’s just a note for anyone who happens to be in the same position at some point.

  35. cryptostefano responds:

    To me it looks closer to the head and neck of a tanystropheus than the fin of a plesiosuar. Take a look at the following digital animation of a tanystropheus:

    Compare this digital rendering to the animal in the ABC video.

    Stefano

  36. G. Lawliet responds:

    The video doesn’t entirely convince me since it’s so short and ‘pixelly’, but I’m not saying that it doesn’t look convincing; my dad and brothers sure thought it was.

    I do believe that there -is- something in Lake Champlain…but I highly doubt it’s a ‘monster’. Then again…I have 0% faith that Nessie is still around; probability of her being a hoax is about…89%? I’ll go with that.

  37. Nasser responds:

    How I would love for it to be a plesiosaurus. But the chances of such an animal living in such a populated area like Champlain are slim. However I am surprised no one has mentioned the near identical similarities between the photograph of Champ with its neck turning out of the water to this footage. The photo was taken many years ago.. I doubt this is the same animal if it is real. I believe that the tradition of lake monsters including Loch Ness was begun by sturgeons. I saw some scary images of these fish growing to imense sizes some to the size of whale sharks.




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