Champ Witnessed by Family of FIve

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 25th, 2013

News account of Champ sighting last month:

It was getting dark when the Joneses spotted the creature.

Martin Jones, husband and father of two, says he has heard stories about a lake monster before.

“I’m aware of the Champ legend, but I always dismissed it as silly tales that are good for tourism,” he said.

Jones wasn’t the only one person to witness the incident. His wife Tamara and his two children were also present at the lake.

“We thought we’d spend the day somewhere nice, let the kids do some fishing and eat some, you know, but you never expect something like this,” she said.

The event took place after one of the kids reeled in a largemouth bass. A splash turned their heads away from the fish back to the water: a big, greenish thing came up through the surface. At first they weren’t able to make out the shape. There was another man fishing next to them.

“I was like, is that an alligator? But right away I saw the round head and big black eyes, kind of an empty look, there was nothing that resembled a reptile of any kind” said Peter Clark, 48. ” I could make up some scales on the side of the head, but most of the skin I’d say looked like that of a catfish. Then, some sort of horn or spike or something, that was freaky, really. It was there for 20 seconds and then it left.”

But what makes this sighting different from the others is that the beast produced a sound. The five witnesses agree that it reminded them of a whale’s noise followed by a splash.

Read the rest of the article here.

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.

10 Responses to “Champ Witnessed by Family of FIve”

  1. dconstrukt responds:

    interesting story….

    i keep thinking champ, if its real, was a whale or something that was stuck in the lake when it started to branch off from the sea.

    maybe a pod of these whale things got stuck, then as they evolved, they were forced to adapt over the years to fresh water…

    but then if they were whales, they’d have to be seen more to get air…. so that could debunk this theory…

    cuz ppl would see them more often.

    would love to find out more about champ…

  2. springheeledjack responds:

    It’s the round head and large black eyes that have my interest–the detail about the round head tells me it’s not a whale–not the same shape–whale heads extend from the body without a neck and a round head suggests something different–they never mentioned a whale shape nor similarities to a whale.

    They also talked about seeing scales on the side of its head–again suggesting the head and the body were separate…no neck mentioned though.

    Making a noise that reminded them of a whale but that was the only comparison to a whale–I’d think if it looked like a whale, they’d have said so.

    So, what was it? As people like to point out, air breathers need to come to the surface often to breathe–as far as we know. A lot of whales can hold their breaths for a long time, and that’s also assuming that we’re dealing with a true cetacean. Also, if a critter only had to stick its nose to the surface to breathe, it wouldn’t present that big of a physical target and could easily avoid boaters and tourists.

    Also, there have been accounts of echolocation being picked up within Champlain. If Champ has that ability, it could easily detect and avoid boats and swimmers.

    I’m not sure what’s there, but I find this sighting very intriguing and just one more piece of the puzzle.

  3. cryptokellie responds:

    If we are to take Mr. Clark’s statement at face value – a big if I realize – than I don’t dispute his first assessment, that of a large catfish. Catfish can grow to enormous size, they tend to surface and gulp air now and again, they have barbs and spines and can make a wide variety of vocalizations and they really do have empty eyes. I live next to a lake with some large catfish in it and have seen them do all of this. They can be very startling if you’re not expecting it. Does this mean that Champ is actually a large specimen of catfish? Who knows.

    On a whole other note, the unidentified echolocations in Lake Champlain are very interesting.

    As of yet I have heard no more about them or further research results.

    I have been to Lake Champlain a number of times and saw nothing unusual but it is a huge body of water. You can be swimming in Champlain and be in New York, Vermont or Canada. It’s probably a 98% chance that wherever you are on the lake – Champ, if it exists, is somewhere else.

  4. Peltboy25 responds:

    20 seconds is a long time for a visual encounter. I’m surprised we don’t have more details. If the head was visible for such a good description, why not more of the body? What was the overall body shape? Did it have a neck, tail, fins? I would not question this if the author had stated that he only had a quick glimpse of something, but if you have almost half a minute to observe, wouldn’t you have more to relate? Also…. who goes on such a trip without some sort of camera? 20 seconds is more than enough time to snap a shot or two.

  5. cryptokellie responds:

    Unfortunately, during an experience with stress or excitement involved, time can be a very relative quantity. People, including myself, who have been in serious accidents sometimes will experience the event in slow time although the actual time elapsed was very short…maybe a few seconds at most. Conversely, many people experience longer events much more quickly as in “it went by in a blur”. For example; my cardio-emergency, a horrendous event where I wasn’t breathing on my own, lasted 11 days while my mind has compressed the event into 3 days at most and a traffic accident (unrelated) lasted a few seconds yet seemed to go on forever…such is perception. Peltboy25 is correct in saying 20+ seconds is a long visual encounter but was the actual time elapsed 20 seconds? Since he was watching an exciting event unfold, it’s a good guess that he wasn’t checking his watch for time elapsed. I would postulate that the sighting lasted a much shorter time but his memory is lengthening the event to allow him to pull more details forward and make more sense of the event…a very typical human thing to do. All that being said, my first guess remains the same…a large gulping catfish.

  6. corrick responds:

    Catfish or Bowfin. No size is given or estimated.

    And the echolocation stuff would be interesting except for the source, Elizabeth von Muggenthaler. Not exactly well-respected in the echolocation scientific world.

  7. cryptokellie responds:


    The Channel Catfish among some others live in the Champlain system. Channel Cats can reach 50 lbs. but that would be an exceptional specimen. Still, a 40 lb. catfish being almost 4 feet long, surfacing close by would be enough to unnerve almost anyone except the very experienced local fisherman. Could be…

    Now as to the echolocation samples acquired by Ms. von Muggenthaler, I hadn’t heard or come across any negative views of her or her reputation in the scientific community. If you might, please post a little recap on what you have discovered so I can feel that I’m up to date on this matter for I found the echolocation findings very intriguing if not only for a Champ type animal, but any animal (mammal supposed) capable of such living – not just visiting – Lake Champlain. .

  8. corrick responds:


    You only need to read pages 140-143 in Bartholomew’s “The Untold Story of Champ” to understand how bogus her Champlain research was.

    By the way, did you know Dennis Hall now works at her “Institute?”

  9. dconstrukt responds:

    if its an air breathing animal, why isn’t it seen more often?

    if it has to breathe to live, it would be coming up very frequently, like a whale or dolphin.

    but… if its a fish, then we’d have to re-look at the mansi photo, cuz last time i checked, fish don’t come out of the water like that.

    the echolocation thing is only done by mammals…. NO FISH have this ability…. none.

    so this is odd.

    could it be a GIANT catfish? who knows. possible… but we still have unanswered questions.

  10. cryptokellie responds:

    Well, I cannot speak to Ms. von Muggenthaler’s research having no experience of any kind in acoustics, no my band back in the late sixties/early seventies doesn’t count, but things do look at bit muddied. As for Mr. Hall, I find his “Champstropheus” campaign a little silly. The actual Tanystropheus was surely a shoreline/shallow water predator and unlikely to exist today in a deep fresh water lake created by glacial retreat some 230 million years after the creature left the fossil record. Perhaps the lack of acceptance for this inane theory has caused him to join Ms.von Muggenthaler’s institute for animal healing through acoustics. Hey – sounds good to me, it probably beats working for a living…

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