- WILLSBORO - A sighting of
Champ - the legendary Lake Champlain monster - this fall in Willsboro Bay
startled a woman as she ate breakfast at her summer home.
- Seasonal resident
Elizabeth Wilkins told the Press-Republican
this week that she saw a
large humped, crocodile-like creature swimming
in the lake Nov. 26 and
quickly grabbed a pair of binoculars to get a better
- "It appeared to
be about 30 or 40 feet long,"
Wilkins said. "After about 20
minutes, it slowly began to move northward,
leaving a fine wake
- Wilkins took a photograph of the creature that shows
dark outline in the water, with a duck swimming off to one side.
- "A large group
of seagulls flying overhead were
very disturbed by this, as were the
ducks attempting to swim near it,"
- "When it got in front of
Klein,s Marina, it slowly
- The 7 a.m. sighting
was one of 16 this year, with the
other 15 tracked by Champ Quest, the
Panton, VT-based non-profit group
that monitors Champ's
- The first sighting was June 12 off Panton, VT. Other
were around Port Henry, Westport and Port Kent on the New York
Ferrisburgh, Charlotte, Savage Island and Isle la Motte on the
side of the lake.
- Champ Quest Director Dennis Hall said he personally saw
while investigating the July 23 sighting near Panton, VT.
- "I was
conducting the search from Button Bay around
5 p.m. My eye picked up
movement between Rock Island and the shore,"
- "The movement,
quick and distant, still stood the
hairs up on my neck. I quickly began
to videotape. Over a four-minute period,
a single Champtany, stuck its
neck straight out of the water and remained
on the surface long enough
for me to zoom in while the camera was on a
- "It bent its
neck and looked like its neck was contracting
in a vertical manner,
like trying to swallow something. The animal, after
a few minutes,
quickly disappeared under the water."
- There was another sighting two
days later, Nov. 28, by
the Essex-Charlotte ferry crew.
- It's not that unusual
to see Champ so late in the season,
Hall said, although he does believe
the creature hibernates in the winter.
- "It was quite a warm
period for late in November,"
- "The past few years, the
lake has cooled to below
50 and then warmed back up, only to cool down
again. Maybe in anticipation
of such an event, Champtany isn't going
into a full hibernation as quickly
as they were able to before global
- There is something in the lake, Hall believes, or so
people wouldn't report seeing it.
- "Since 1609, there have
been over 600 reported sightings.
Samuel de Champlain, while on his
voyage of discovery, reported seeing
a large animal in the lake,"
- "The most frequently asked question is: What is
have described what I,ve seen as a lizard-like, long-necked animal
four legs and feet, a forked tongue, omits a hissing noise, loves
shallow waters, eats small fish and is about 12 inches at birth and
feet or more full-grown. And very ugly."
- Wilkins said the creature she
saw astounded her.
- "What startled me first was the commotion all the
were making out there," she said. "I thought, "What's
going on here?", and I looked out.
- "Then I saw it. Our camp
is directly on the water.
It's elevated; that's how I could see it so
well. He lay there sort of
still in the water for at least 15
- The ducks nearby would not approach the shape, she said.
- "The thing moved
northward in a straight line. It
humped up in the middle. Its skin
looked just like crocodile skin; it was
rough. As it moved, it left a
little wake behind it.
- "I've never seen anything like it."
Site Served by