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Join date : 2010-01-09
Location : USA

PostSubject: "Champ"...   Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:39 am

The Denizen of Lake Champlain
By Craig Heinselman

When one says Lake Monster, the initial response is a connection to the most famous lake creature of them all, Nessie of Loch Ness in Scotland.

However, North America has a rich history of Lake Creatures as well.

Ranging from Ogopogo in Okanagan Lake of British Columbia, to Tessie of Lake Tahoe in California to perhaps the most famous lake creature Champ from Lake Champlain in Vermont, New York and Quebec (Canada).

Lake Champlain has been called the other great lake due to its size and depth. The lake borders Vermont and New York on the American side and Quebec on the Canadian side, and runs from Whitehall, New York to the Richelieu River in Quebec. Stretching 109 miles in length and up to 11 miles in width, the lake boasts impressive depths to 400 feet and a water area of 440 square miles.

The lake itself formed around 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, prior to that the Champlain area (named after the explorer Samuel de Champlain from his exploration in the 1600's) was made of an arm of the Atlantic Ocean called the Champlain Sea.

Early history of the area in relation to the creature now given the moniker of Champ, can be traced back to the original inhabitants, the Native Americans.

At least three bands of Native Americans lived in the area, the Iroquois on the western side (New York side now) and the Abnaki and Algonquin groups on the eastern side (Vermont side now).

These groups of Native Americans had stories associated with a horned serpent which may be a link to reports of the lake creature exhibiting horn like protuberances from its head, or may be but a symbolic term associated with ancestral beliefs.

The other tie to the horned serpent belief may lie within the odd formations of Split Rock (near Essex, New York now) wherein natural forming rock structures resembled petrified snakes.

The tribes of the area revered these snake like formations.
The tribes reportedly had a name for the horned serpents of the lake, chaousarou, but this name may also be linked to one of the fish species of the lake and not the creature itself.

The current interest in the creature of Lake Champlain stretches back to July 1609 when Samuel de Champlain recorded seeing a serpentine like creature in the lake.

However, this is a false statement often circulated.
It is understood more so that Champlain did visit the lake and described some of the native species, including gar, but did not describe what would be called "Champ" today.

His exploration though does mark the beginning of the modern "Champ" era though, and for that he is irrevocably tied to the possible creature in the lake.

The history continues with sporadic reports in the 1800's. Although few to no reports from the early-1700's, with few people in the area until the mid to late eighteenth century the chronicling of events from that time frame is next to impossible.

But, as the area became more populated the reports appeared more regularly, until the mid 1800's when reports were coming in every year.

In the 1970's the Lake Champlain Phenomena Investigation (LCPI) group was formed, headed by Joseph Zarzynski. The formation and active research of this area resurrected the legend of Lake Champlain, and once again brought it into the attention of the world.

What is Champ? Does that really matter? Champ is the creature of Lake Champlain.

Whether it turns out to be a primitive whale called a zeuglodon that some feel it is, or a Tatystropheus (a form of long necked reptiles similar to a plesiosaur) as Dennis Jay Hall feels they are.

The fact remains that there is a mystery present within the lake, that stretches back hundred of years and through hundred if not thousands of people.

The lake itself retains its mysteries, from ancient archaeological evidence of the Native peoples, to the ingenuity of the later settlers who used the resources of the area to support themselves.
From military battles and tribulations, to the current vacation oasis.

In the end the mystery of Lake Champlain has endured, and that in itself speaks volumes.


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Join date : 2010-10-30

PostSubject: "Champ" the sea monster of Lake Champlain    Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:14 pm

Hundreds claim to have seen this serpent, similar to the Loch Ness monster, in Lake Champlain.

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