The first sightings for Champ began in 1609 and since that time, there have been more than 300 sightings of the elusive sea creature. Said to be the sister monster to Scotland's Loch Ness, or "Nessie", Champ is just one of the many strange things people believe can be found underwater. Who knows, it could even be possible to see this beast while diving for wrecks in Lake Champlain! Or, if scuba is too intense, freshwater snorkeling is pretty easy for beginners.
Regardless of how one seeks out Champ, there's no proof or evidence that this sea monster actually exists. However, there are many eyewitness accounts and even some interesting photo footage that does make a person scratch their head and wonder if such a creature could actually exist. This is everything we know about the beloved Champ.
The Early Sightings And Encounters
Samuel de Champlain, a French cartographer and also the founder of Quebec, is said to be the first to have ever seen Champ. The reason this is interesting is that due to his job as a cartographer, he wouldn't have been unfamiliar with new landscapes and exploring new territories - thus making his credibility even more believable. According to his account, Champ was roughly 20-feet long and described as a serpent that was "thick as a barrel" with a "head like a horse."
Granted, this description is somewhat terrifying considering the fact that nothing quite like this has ever truly been seen before. The fact that a person can see from one side of the lake to the other from either Vermont or upstate New York, the thought that there could be an animal of such great lengths is tremendous. Whether or not this was accurate remains to be seen. Champlain did, however, include additional notes about the sheer size of the fish he had witnessed in the lake's depths, which could also be in part what fueled his legend.
Interestingly, the sightings continued for hundreds of years following Champlain's. In 1819, there's an issue of the Plattsburgh Republican that tells about the account of one Captain Crum who was said to have seen a 187-foot creature swimming in the lake's waters. According to his very descriptive account, the "serpentine monster" followed him even as he tried to evade it. He also added that it appeared to have eyes the "color of peeled onions", "three teeth", and a "belt of red around its neck."
Many decades later, in 1883, Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney claimed to have seen a similar creature that was almost 30 feet in length. According to him, the creature had white spots on the inside of its mouth and after his report, many more soon stepped up to detail their own Champ encounters.
These days, the closest anyone is getting to Champ is by attending a Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game. While the sightings might not be as well-known or seen as often, there are still those who believe the monster exists. So much so, that there are some who actively scan the water seeking out a creature that could be big enough to raise the question of, "what is it?"
There may never be any solid definitive proof of a sea monster such as this, but it's a legend that has been kept alive by locals and will likely continue to be a debate for years to come. And for those who don't believe in Champ? It couldn't hurt to keep an eye peeled on the lake the next time around.