Saturday, February 4, 2012

What's that in the water?!

We all love ghosts! Me more than most, I'm sure, but I thought I'd change things up a little bit this week. Instead of focusing on the paranormal by way of ghosts, poltergeists and the unseen, I thought I'd highlight some of the creatures lurking in our lakes and rivers. The Loch Ness Monster isn't the only thing lurking just beneath the water. There are hundreds of sightings every year in the US claiming something unusual in the water. This week's blog will focus on just one of these elusive creatures- New York's very own Champ!

What goes on here?

Let's start with the country's most well-known lake monster- Champ. Champ hails from Lake Champlain, located on the border between New York and Vermont. The legend of Champ starts all the way back with the Iroquois who were settled on the land by the lake far before any Europeans got there. Some say the first sighting of Champ by aa European was by Samual de Champlain, for whom the lake was named, when he wrote a report of the land in 1609. From around the late 1800's and on, there have been reports of Champ all along the lake.

The creature is described much like Nessie: a serpent-like thing with a long neck, arched back and flat, long tail. Stories of appearance have been surprisingly consistent through the centuries. Although, the description changed a little with the popularity of the Plesiosaur theory.

And then came the Mansi Photograph in 1977. gives a particularly good account of what happened that day:

"During July 1977, a couple in Connecticut was spending vacation time in the Vermont area. Anthony and Sandra Mansi were positioned a little past St. Alban's Bay, which can be found close to the Canadian border. The family stopped in this area so that the children may take a break in the waters of Lake Champlain.

Parked close to the lake, the family walked about 100 to 200 feet away from their car, traveled down a 6-foot bank and reached the waterline. The children dove into the water and Mansi hiked back to the car to grab his sunglasses, as well as his camera. During his absence, his wife spotted bubbles forming in the water about 150 feet away from where they were. She then recalled sighting a large animal lift its head from the water, displaying a small head, long neck and humped back. She would later describe the creature as something that belonged in prehistoric times.

Mr. Mansi returned just in time to view the creature with his own eyes. The children, who had their backs turned towards the creature, were called out of the water and never spotted the creature. Sandra retrieved the camera from her husband and was able to take one picture before the creature sank back into the water. The couple claimed that the sighting lasted for about 2-4 minutes."

Some people think this photograph is still the epitome of evidence proving Champ exists. Obviously, there are nay-sayers and doubters. But, it hasn't been either proven or disproven as a hoax, so.. who knows? 
(the Mansi photograph. Decide for yourself!)

Of course it's all still up in the air about what exactly is swimming around in Lake Champlain, if anything is there at all. The lake is very similar to Loch Ness in many respects. It's incredibly deep and cold. It might be big enough to hold a breeding population, and the fish there are nothing to laugh at. If anything managed to survive extinction, lakes like these have the best chance of that. If anyone of you has ever witnessed Champ, or any other lake monster for that matter, let me know! I'll be doing a few more of these in the future, and I'd love to include some more personal stories! 

Here's where the info comes from!

And the photos:

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