At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Saturday 24 May 2014


Port Henry on Lake Champlain
Probably one of the most famous of North American lake monsters is that of Lake Champlain, nicknamed "Champ".  There is a mistaken belief that Champlain himself saw this monster, but in fact he saw another mystery creature, referred to as the chaousarou.  Indian tradition knew of a monster in the lake called the tatoskok.  The first white man to claim a sighting was Captain Crum and this trusty salt averredd he saw an animal 187 feet long in Bulawagga Bay in 1819.  The monster is supposed to have started coming ashore in 1873 and it started feasting on livestock.  Hunters tracked it to a cave, but were too frightened by it to do anything about it when they arrived there.  Gunfire from a ship later wounded the beast.  In 1883 Nathan H. Mooney, a sheriff, reported seeing a monster 26'-30' in length.

In 1887 a group of picnickers, relaxing on the beach, saw Champ heading in their direction.  The monster did not come ashore this time.  In 1915 it stranded itself in Bulawagga Bay, but managed to regain the water.  There were sightings in 1939 and 1945.  However, the monster really hit the headlines when Sandra Mansi's photograph was published.  This apparently showed a head and neck and behind it a hump.  B. Radford suggested it was a log with tree stump.  It has been said that the neck and back are not actually joined to one another, the neck being further away.  In all, though at first glance the photograph looks convincing, it cannot be said to 
prove the monster's existence.  However, publication of the photograph led to a flood of sightings.

In Port Henry (NY), they hold a Champ Day each year.  The town has a sign listing 132 alleged sightings.  In 2003 sounds of what resembled whale communications were heard by echolocation in the lake.

As to what the monster could be, although a plesiosaur has been put forward as a candidate, it seems unlikely that this saurian could actually raise its head out of the water, because of the stiffness of its neck.  A eunuch eel, of the type Richard Freeman suggests is in Loch Ness, is more plausible.  A completely unknown animal cannot be ruled out.  That there is or at least was something menacing there would seem to be almost established because of the multiple witnesses of the early encounters.

Strangely enough, in 1775 there was a boat called Lake Monster plying the lake.  

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