Vermont’s Champ

World history has a number of mysterious and elusive monsters that remain unseen. More often than not, these renegade creatures are photographed blurry and out-of-focus. Everyone is familiar with Bigfoot and Nessie. These two creatures have inhabited blurry photographs for decades. It’d be challenging to find someone who didn’t know about these famous monsters. Legend has it that Bigfoot walks the wilderness in North America and Nessie lurks the murky waters of Loch Ness. But what about Champ, the sea creature of Lake Champlain?

What’s the History of Champ?

Vermont is well known for their progressive laws and illustrious scenery, but many do not realize that within Lake Champlain is the mysterious sea-creature, Champ. Well, maybe. There have been decades of sightings, though no concrete evidence has ever proven the existence of a giant creature within Lake Champlain. Aptly named after the lake, Champ was first photographed in 1977 by Sandra Mansi. The photo is what you might expect. The silhouette of some kind of sea creature, perhaps just a log, though most noticeably this object does heavily resemble the humped back and long neck we’ve come to associate sea creatures with. The photograph is telling enough that it makes you wonder.


The photograph is the best evidence for Champ. Sandra noted that the photo was taken on a summer day. She noticed something dark in the lake and realized she was staring at a head and a hump. Field investigators would later identify the object in the water as a tree, though many people are convinced otherwise. If you’re stretching your imagination, the photograph could be either one of these things.

A few locals caught video footage but it’s fairly unclear. The creatures in the video are likely just fish. Most sightings of Champ are really observations of unusual waves and movement in the water, hardly anything that can offer up solid proof that there really is a creature in Lake Champlain. However, sociologist Robert Bartholomew notes in his book, “The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster,” that Native Americans living around Lake Champlain reported stories of a ‘horned serpent’ supposedly residing in the lake. It’s an interesting piece to the puzzle, to say the least.

The Real Meaning

Despite the existence of the monster being true or not, Champ has added an air of mystery to Lake Champlain that cannot be matched. For those cruising the water of Lake Champlain, this has to be worth something. Neighboring cities hold parades and embrace the identity of the lake monster. In fact, there’s even a billboard in New York that lists famous sightings. Whether or not the monster exists is fairly irrelevant, in the grand scheme of things. It’s the mystery beneath the lake that keeps everyone looking and watching. It acts as a bridge that brings people together and excites the mystery in all of us. Does something pre-historic or alien-like cruise the depths of Lake Champlain? Something we’re unaware of? In a way, Champ is bringing communities and people together, forging bonds that otherwise may have never existed.

This article was written by Carl Jenks. As a retired freelance writer, Carl devotes his time to blogging on the subjects he is passionate about.