Breaking: New “Champ Video”

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 1st, 2009

There is breaking news from Vermont of new footage of an alleged lake monster (“Champ”?) from Lake Champlain.

This appears to be a developing story in the state, and I will update further details as they make their way to me.

The next stage of analysis must begin now, and, as with all Lake Monster accounts, more investigative work remains ahead.

Please note, if video’s embedding has been disabled, find the video here.

Info from YouTube:

May 31, 2009

I shot this video of SOMETHING in the lake at Oakledge Park on Sunday (05/31/09) early am (0530 or so). I don’t know what the eff it is but it’s definitely not normal…Was anyone else out and about around Oakledge on Sunday just after sunrise?


UPDATE: See here for a variety of videos that may be viewed to compare other animals taped swimming in creeks, rivers, and lakes.

June 3 UPDATE:

The name and background of the 37-year-old individual who took the footage has been revealed and enhanced enlarged photos have been added to the greatly revised posting, “Media and Others Take Closer Look At ‘Champ Video’” of June 3rd. Please examine those images, and leave comments there, if you wish.

June 4 ~ UPDATE: Please click here to view a new stabilization of the video.

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.

28 Responses to “Breaking: New “Champ Video””

  1. Greg102 responds:

    It doesn’t look that big at all. Why can’t the camera operator use a zoom button, that would help. Looks like an otter to me, but then again since there’s no zoom, it could be anything.

  2. shimmeringsoul responds:

    looks like it’s kinda hard to keep a floating log under water to me!

  3. Brothermidnight responds:

    this is a fairly interesting video,Its longer then most sightings and isn’t horribly out of focus but with that said its hard to estimate the size of what we are seeing.It looks like it could be something interesting or it could simply be a large turtle or a beaver maybe a really big water snake ,Its really hard to tell.

  4. SKM responds:

    Except for the head, it looks a lot like a guy just swimming.

  5. graybear responds:

    I’ll have to vote deer or moose swimming on this one. There is even a frame or two near the end of the middle segment where it looks like the head is shaken and ears are momentarily seen. Also, wouldn’t most anyone say something if Champ popped up in front of them? Whoever shot this didn’t even stop chewing! The instance or two where there seems to be a longer body or tail than a deer or moose would exhibit looks like normal lake waves to me.

  6. Richard888 responds:

    The quality of the video is good. If the zooming feature had been used we would have more information. The creature does look unusual because of its hammer-shaped head at 0:27 and its smooth wave-like movements which do not rule out other animals but add to the mystery. It reminds me of that stocky cryptid snake from Japan.

  7. korollocke responds:

    Best floating log video i’ve seen in a while.

  8. jan09 responds:

    Looks to me like a land animal (deer?) who made a not-so-smart decision to take a shortcut through the lake. Maybe close enough to the shore that when its feet/paws/hooves touch the bottom, its head and back are above the water line,. However, when it gets a little deeper, it looks like an animal doing everything in its power to keep its head above water while it struggles to touch bottom again.

  9. Mark Wallbank responds:

    Great footage, however Im kinda on the fence with this one.
    First I thought it was a large turtle (hump and short neck), but then I see its length is extended by something that pops up a bit behind it a few times.
    Then i think, why would there be a long drifting wake/line trailing behind it, when its travelling so slowly?
    Im guessing HOAX on this one for now. The ‘wake’ at the back just screams long air tube hose trailing behind a fake ‘monster’, blowing and sucking air, inflating and deflating, causing it to rise and dip in the water. The bobbing motion also tells me this thing isnt very heavy as the water is perfectly still around it, no waves at all, yet it bobs. Something heavy like, say a Plesiasaur type beast (or whatever similar type beasty these are thought to be) would surely have a bit of weight and bulk to it, and wouldnt bob.
    I really hope I get proven wrong though.
    Nice to see some relatively clear footage though. Was getting tired of blurry blobs of nothingness.

  10. Family Guy is on responds:

    definite an animal like a deer or moose something like that

  11. StinkFoot responds:

    It definitly fits every description. Something about the way it move doesn’t seem natural.

  12. kittenz responds:

    It looks like a deer swimming across a lake.

  13. swnoel responds:

    Interesting video…

    Definitly something swimming, as to what it is, further research will need to be done.

    Could be about anything.

  14. jayman responds:

    Frankly, it could be almost anything, including “Champ” I suppose. It just shows how hard it is to identify something from a picture or video, even a clear one, without bringing in a lot of assumptions.

  15. SamuraiWannaBe responds:

    My vote is for Moose or Deer (I’m more inclined to go for a young moose), around half way through, like others have said, it looks very swimming moose or deer like. All in all it is very good footage compared to most cryptid sighting video or photo 😉

  16. sasquatch responds:

    Check out 1:43….Looks like the tail end(?) pops up for a second, making this animal quite long.
    The head looks way too small to be a deer or moose, but an otter is still possible, however early on in the video it looks like the neck is a little too long to be an otter.
    Maybe it’s REALLY champ!
    Well, I’m like some others here;
    Why no zoom in? It was not moving too fast to find it.
    But I admire the photographer for being quiet…More realistic than most hoax videos-where the perps overplay their hand with cheesey commentary.
    The leisurely pace explains the lack of wave motion if it’s very large…A moose or a deer would most likely be making more of a commotion, an otter maybe not-they are prone to erratic behavior.

  17. fossilhunter responds:

    Greetings All!
    Hmmm. A few things catch my eye (and ear). Don’t think that is “chewing” sounds, sounds like small waves lapping on shore (visible briefly in the first few seconds of . Part of the same shore that the beastie is making a B-line for. Now why would a water creature do that?
    It also doesn’t look to be all that far away from the camera.
    The choppy zoom is a real puzzler for me though. It almost looks and sounds like the camera has a notched zoom dial or something. On my camera, which has the typical “W-T” (wide shots – tight shots) toggle for the zoom you can hear the switch sort of creak when the end of the range is reached. No such sound here, just a “click-click-click” with each zoom.
    The length of the thing in some shots is strange, wrong head-neck-length proportions to be a moose or deer, even looking at the camera. And the shot ends just before what-ever-it-is would be climbing out of the water, if it was a land animal. That and the fact that this was shot by (apparently) the world’s calmest camera operator, who was just out (Dum-tee-dum-tee-dum) filming the darkening eastern sky at sunset, make me suspicious.
    Would love to hear more details about the circumstances under which it was shot, and why it ends when it does. Maybe another 30 seconds of tape would answer some questions!

  18. sasquatch responds:

    Actually around the 29 second point it does look like a deer. I think that’s correct. It’s head must have been angled up looking like an extension of the neck and then when it looks forward you can see it’s profile better.
    I change my mind; DEER.

  19. Ferret responds:

    If it was champ I think it’d have to be a juvenile considering the length of the neck and size of the body if we are to consider the Mansi photo a legitimate standard. The youth of the creature might also vouch for the length of the sighting, too young to have learned to avoid people perhaps? But, the way the body and head moved….I don’t know, just doesn’t scream aquatic dinosaur at me, or much of anything else for that matter. I think I’m on the fence with this one, it very well could be a moose or deer.

  20. KristyBeast responds:

    Hmm. It’s definitely pretty convenient that seconds after the video started, the person with the camera knew exactly where to focus. So it was obviously not like they were just filming the lake and went “Oh look! There’s Champ!”

    Also, the head on the animal makes it obvious (to me) that it’s some kind of land mammal. Like a short eared dog, or possibly a deer or goat? Probably more likely a deer because it does appear to have a pretty long body.

  21. Loren Coleman responds:

    UPDATE: See here for a variety of videos that may be viewed to compare other animals taped swimming in creeks, rivers, and lakes.

  22. joe levit responds:

    I noticed the same thing fossilhunter did. In my mind the creature is heading quite clearly toward what appears to be a small island. If the cameraman had given us more film, I think we would have seen that this ends up being a Young deer that climbs up onto the bank. Take a look at some fawns in the image section of Google. Many of them have a much blockier head than do adults, which fits this image.

    The water splashing is not really an issue in my mind. Animals don’t kick their legs like we do or put their arms over their head in a freestyle stoke so that it comes back down into the water. Animals like deer and moose have all four legs underwater as they swim, and the swimming is actually pretty smooth, not causing much in the way of displaced water.

  23. bamsbocce responds:

    I’ve witnessed a mom and baby moose swim across a lake in Alaska…definitely NOT what I see on the video…the moose I saw never got close to putting their heads under water.

    It did seem like it was quite long…but very hard to judge.

    Champ? Maybe, but it was have to be a young one. Beaver dragging a branch? Maybe. Someone pulling a log via a rope? Maybe.

    That’s what makes interpreting video so tough…something ordinary could look cryptic.

  24. BoyintheMachine responds:

    It’s a deer.

    Video Of A Swimming Deer

    I’m wondering if this might be a hoax. It’s one thing if the filmer didn’t know what it was, it’s another thing if he/she resorted to trickery. If you watch the video the creature is swimming toward shore but it cuts off. Did the filmer intentionally not show the (deer) exiting the water?

    Otherwise, if you notice that most reports of Lake Monsters describe a horse-like head. I never thought of that before but seeing a deer or moose swimm is probably a rare occurance and easily confused as a lake monster. I mean, check out the video of the swimming deer. Under the right circumstances it might be percieved as a horned water monster.

  25. cryptidsrus responds:

    I’m sorry but that does not look like a “moose swimming” to me. I will admit it COULD be a deer but it is just too indistinct.

    The deer I once saw swimming was faster on the water. This thing was SLOW.

    Ultimately I agree with others here. Too ambiguous. But provocative nonetheless. When I first saw it, I did not get the impression of
    “deer” or “moose.” So maybe it should not be so immediately dismissed. Definitely merits further study.

    I don’t think of it as a hoax, either. Could be wrong, of course.
    Good work. Loren.

    If only the person who took the footage had gone closer. Maybe he could be invited to post here??? I would love to hear from Mookiebone.

  26. Loren Coleman responds:

    This comment/question was asked: “If you watch the video the creature is swimming toward shore but it cuts off. Did the filmer intentionally not show the (deer) exiting the water?”

    See my update posting of Tuesday night for more on why this happened and what mookiebone saw.

  27. Family Guy is on responds:

    also you will see there is a buey, no wakezone, not very deep, deer.

  28. Loren Coleman responds:

    The name and background of the 37-year-old individual who took the footage has been revealed and enhanced enlarged photos have been added to the greatly revised posting, “Media and Others Take Closer Look At ‘Champ Video’” of June 3rd. Please examine those images, and leave comments there, if you wish.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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