CryptoZoo > Sightings!

Champ did not show up this year


Standing at the end of the Port Henry Village Pier, WRGB TV reporter Stan Monroe looked over his shoulder at the dark, cold waters of Lake Champlain.

It was 5:30 a.m. Thursday, and Monroe was doing his "Stan in the Morning" show live from Port Henry, featuring Champ, the serpentine Lake Champlain creature of myth and legend.

"Champ could come out of the water right behind me," Monroe said. "But I wouldn’t be that lucky."

Standing with Monroe as the camera rolled was Dennis Hall of Panton, Vt., who directs the Champ Quest group, which catalogs the exploits of Champ.

"There haven’t been any sightings yet this year. It’s still too cold," Hall said. "We had 12 sightings last year, though."

Hall brought with him several Champ video clips that Monroe broadcast as part of his show.

"I’ve seen Champ a number of times," said Hall, who’s always on the lookout for the creature.

"I think it’s going to be a busy summer."

It will at least be busy with various competing television programs on Champ.

The Discovery Channel will be in Port Henry at the beginning of June, and the Outdoor Life Network and Sci-Fi Channel have announced plans to visit for Champ shows.

Many Champ sightings have been in Port Henry’s Bulwagga Bay, hence the media interest.

The lake serpent is hot this year, Hall said.

"Every few years, there’s a resurgence of interest. I think people are starting to realize something is out there."

Experts differ on what Champ could be — some say a large sturgeon or a surviving plesiosaurus — but Hall believes it’s a clawed prehistoric throwback called tanystropheus.

He has his own name for it: Champtanystropheus.

"They’re nocturnal, that’s why they’re rarely seen," he said. "They mainly come up at night, and they hibernate in the winter."

He believes Nessie in Loch Ness, Scotland, and Champ are related.

"I’m sure they’re the same animal species," he said.

Monroe said he keeps an open mind on such phenomena.

"This was our ‘Sightings Week,’" he said. "We did Bigfoot one day and UFOs another."

Monroe and his crew went to Whitehall, where they interviewed Bigfoot expert Paul Bartholemew.

"That was fascinating," Monroe said. "I love doing this."

WRGB camera operator Marty Federici said doing the Champ segment made him a believer.

"You look out into the fog on Lake Champlain at dawn, and it’s easy to imagine something is there. It makes you shiver."


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