Champ Photo Contest

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on August 21st, 2006

Burlington (VT) Free Press columnist Ed Shamy ran a Champ Photo Contest in the newspaper that ended Sunday. The winners were announced in the Sunday edition of the Burlington Free Press.

The article also included the following disclaimer. The Free Press cannot validate the authenticity of these "photos" and "sightings" of Champ, the legendary sea monster.

You would think that they would know that their local monster was a lake monster, not a sea monster…geez.

Below are a couple of the entrant’s photos.



Ian Warda has seen in the span of a few months what most of us will never glimpse in a lifetime.

While in Oregon earlier this year, he spotted Big Foot (aka Sasquatch, aka Yeti).

After learning of the Champ Photo Contest just last week, the 24-year-old events planner for Burton Snowboards grabbed a camera before heading out aboard his paddleboat.

"I figured I’d get a photo of Champ," said Warda, a confident sort.

Lo, just as Warda set out about noon, Champ glided by not far from shore in about 20 feet of water. Sarah Warda, his 22-year-old sister visiting from Athens, Ohio, was able to squeeze off a quick frame, shown at the right.

"He was enormous," said Warda, of Burlington. "And fast. He just cruised right by. Didn’t bother anybody."

The Warda siblings’ image of Champ, which shows Ian in the background, earned them top spot in the Champ Photo Contest.

Below is Warda’s winning photograph.


The slideshow with all of the photographs of Champ submitted is available on the newspaper’s website.

And about Warda’s sighting of Big Foot (aka Sasquatch, aka Yeti) last month? As mentioned in the article, Warda ia an events planner for Burton Snowboards. Last month, they hosted the 3rd Annual Burton Abominable Snow Jam, a snowboarding competition, at Mt. Hood, Oregon. The mascot for the event is the yeti, as seen here in their logo and some photos from the event.

Burton Yeti

Burton Yeti

Burton Yeti

Burton Yeti

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 “Champ Photo Contest”

  1. crypto_randz responds:

    All fake photos, lets see how they would react if thet really did see Champ, theyd be runnin for their lives.

  2. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    I’ve taken the 1st and 3rd Champ photos into a photo program and scaled them together. Unless the ‘monster’ is terribly young, it would never be as small as depicted there.

    Also, the 2nd photo is clearly a digital montage of water and a species of lizard. You can see differences in everything.

    Very foolish. And yes, if they saw ‘Champ’ there would be commotion, not a simple “Hey! Haha, look!” as in the 3rd image of him.

  3. Ceroill responds:

    I suspect that the third photo is intended as a joke about the whole thing. On cursory examination it looks like a stick. The expression on the man’s face is more one of amusement than appreciation. I agree that the first one is an obvious fake, and the second may be just another joke, albeit it more sophisticated than the third pic.

  4. crypto_randz responds:

    I agree dark obsesser they are making light of the champ animal. I would like them to scuba dive underneath lake champlain and see what happens when they see the dinosaur like animal coming after them.

    That would be good videotape.

  5. Scarfe responds:

    All these photos are jokes and obvious digital or practical manipulations. No sense getting all in a tizzy.

    I love the expression of the guy in the winning photo. Classic!

  6. One Eyed Cat responds:

    ‘…aka Sasquatch, aka Yeti?’ It’s always been my understanding the two could be related but are not the same, somebody needs to get their terms straight!

    At least in the second photo sombody had the right idea of a animal with no one hogging the camera.

    As for the third all I can say is so much for ‘enormous’.

  7. shovethenos responds:

    Obvious fakes, of course. The contest is pretty funny but in my opinion it does set cryptozoology back a step or two. There is some very strong evidence that there is an unknown animal in Lake Champlain, and this seems like it would tend to slow down serious efforts to officially document and learn more about them.

  8. MattBille responds:

    That second photo is a pretty good photoshop job. I’m trying to decide what the lizard looks like. Not a Komodo, at first glance. It looks like a blowup of something smaller.

    Matt Bille

  9. Senor Chubba responds:

    The snowboardin’ yeti takes the cake.

    On a related note- I recently went to disneyworld and could not muster the courage to get on the yeti ride, although I was dying to see the”museum” of artifacts that were part of it. I did buy some fake yeti hand/gloves from the gift shop and will be ready now to hoax some “unseen yeti grabbing prey from behind tree” game cam pix.

  10. Trapster responds:

    The one that looks like a lizard is just that.. appears to be a Spiny Tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura similis). In real life they only get 5 feet long and maybe 15 LBS. Also they don’t care much for swimming.

    Google it and see for yourself.
    later- jeff

  11. UberKyle responds:

    Hah, well, I suppose I can now second the identification of the second picture as a Ctenosaur. I’ve been an avid prowler of cryptomundo for some time, and decided I could finally post a relavant comment, so I registered, came back, and the indentification rights were taken right out from under me.

    I’ll get the next one

  12. FreeThinker responds:

    If you look closly, all the heads are diffrent. The first two seem to be photoshopped in. Even I would be able to take a lake, get a dinosaur piture, and put the picture in. The third seems to be a snorkle that the man had changed, threw in, and taken a picture of. Until I see something that looks detailed enough and has a correct proportion, I will still not belive any dinosaurs survived.

  13. quill responds:

    Please tell me those are all joke entries. That third one made me giggle.

  14. twblack responds:

    Oh come on people, sometimes a good laugh never hurts. It was all in good natured fun.

  15. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Hah! I love it, most are just as good as the Champ photos I’ve studied!

  16. hobbyphotographer responds:

    I completely agree with twblack! 🙂 I think that this Photo Contest was a good idea to make fun.

    To my opinion, the winning picture is not a digital montage or something fake like that, but it’s a got-up job – supposedly they made a dummy or a monster-looking puppet, and pushed it out of the water.

    Anyway, congratulations, it’s a really good photograph – good idea, good realization, good composition! 🙂

  17. Zephyr responds:

    The second picture is obviously a fake, it is merely a lizard, photoshopped in a picture of water. Notice there are no circular water ripples, just wind ripplettes. The same is with the first picture, but with a water “trail” perhaps either photoshopped in or from a boat passing by.

    The second one also looks like a fist or some poorly made fake that was just put in the water. It ight have also been photoshopped in, but this one does have the circular motion ripples.

    The first two pictures are still very good fakes.

  18. CryptoInformant responds:

    1+3: Copycat Surgeon’s Photos, based on the assumption that all water monsters are the same.
    2:Can I name the iguana Iggy(unimaginative, I know, but so are 1 and 2!)hmm… let me try that one: !)

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