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The Champ of the Lake
Like the renowned lake monster of Loch Ness, Champ is another cryptozoological mystery. While Champ is not quite as popular as Nessie, sightings of this lake monster have been traced back to the early 17th century. Residents and tourists of Burlington, Vermont have recorded over 300 sightings for this elusive creature, but no proof has ever been confirmed that he actually exists. Just like the Loch Ness monster, Champ is thought to be an descendant of the ancient Plesiosaurus. The first supposed sighting was actually by Quebec founder, Samuel de Champlain, who was also the person the lake was named after. Although there is no confirmation that these accusations came straight from Champlain himself, the sighting was said to have taken place during a battle versus the Iroquois Indians when Champlain spotted the monster whilst he was near the bank of the lake.
Schematics of Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is documented to be approximately 110 miles long, 12 miles wide in some areas and up to 400 feet deep in parts. There are 6 rivers which flow into Lake Champlain, making it easily accessible to many types of fish if this lake monster was not a herbivore as many scientists believe it is. The lake travels through New York, Vermont and Quebec. Many people are unaware that Lake Champlain was once a part of the Great Lakes, bringing the number of Great Lakes up to 6. The Great Lake status was removed 3 weeks later due to funding disagreements, however funds are still applied for study for Vermont Universities.
As stated before, Champ has been sighted over 300 times. The earliest documented sighting of Champ was by Sheriff Nathan Mooney in 1883, 50 years before the first documented sighting of the Loch Ness monster. Mooney stated that he saw the creature from 50 yards away. His account sparked many individuals to come forward, saying that they had seen the monster also. Over the next hundred years there were many reported sightings, but no pictures surfaced until 1977 when Sandra Mansi took a photo that depicted a Plesiosaur-like creature with it's neck sticking out of the water. Like many photos thereafter it was determined to be a fake, stating that the location of where the photo was taken was only 15 feet deep. Zoology Scientist, George Zug, argued that it was preposterous that an animal of such mass could swim in such shallow water, let alone live in it. The photo was dismissed as a hoax and the anticipation for evidence grew even more.
A few photos and even a video was taken of the monster in the past ten years, but none held any validity to be true. The most interesting evidence that a Lake Monster could possibly exist was actually provided by Fauna Communications Research Institute. During an echolocation procedure, the team recorded echolocations techniques like that of the Orca Whale. The fact that no salt water creature has ever been sighted in the lake intrigued many scientists as to what animal could have produced those echos.
In 2008 a study showed that there were fluctuated levels of certain breeds of fish. Could the scientist's be wrong about the Plesiosaur being a herbivore? After all, fluctuations of species are usually attributed to a certain x-factor. If Champ exists could this lake monster have perished? Maybe that is why certain breeds of fish are now more populated than before.
While there is no concrete evidence that any such monster exists, take into mind that just because we do not see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Many new species are found each year throughout the jungles and rain forests that many scientists did not even know of or thought were extinct. An interesting fact about Lake Champlain and Loch Ness is that both were supposedly formed by glaciers. Could it be that these lake monsters were frozen in time? When these glaciers melted did they release dinosaurs into their waters? Another reason we may not see Champ or Nessie could be that they are indeed herbivores. With the abundance of plant life and reefs around these two lakes it wouldn't be difficult at all to hide one's self throughout the duration of their life. If Plesiosaurs have adapted to being nocturnal they could appear more in the darkness of night, which would make it very difficult to spot their greenish skin against the murkiness of the lake water.
Was the Mansi photo a fake? Some sightings of the Loch Ness monster state that witnesses saw a large monster cross the road in front of them, making its way into the lake. Those such sightings would then point to the lake monster to be an ancestor of a Sauropoda, which is very similar to a Plesiosaur.
Either way if the lake monster exists or not, hiding 30 feet of animal in a 110 mile long by 12 mile wide bye 400 feet deep lake would be like hiding a needle in a haystack.