Dedicated believers in Champ, the legendary sea monster reputed to be inhabiting Lake Champlain, sit patiently monitoring high-tech surveillance equipment in hopes of recording an indication of its presence. They may have finally picked up its sound and that sound may help determine its real identity.
The tales of Champ date back to legends passed on by Abenaki and Iroquois tribes, but the first recorded sighting was in 1609 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who gave the lake his name and claimed to have seen a 12-meter-long giant snake-like creature in it. Other well-known sightings were made by steamship passengers in 1870, S.S. Ticonderoga passengers in 1945 and about 80 passengers on a sightseeing boat in 1984. The last group saw 3 to 5 humps rising about a foot above the surface. Most of these sightings and possible photographs lend credence to the belief that Champ, if found, would be a plesiosaur species similar to the Loch Ness monster.
Dennis Hall may now disagree with that. He claims to have first seen Champ in 1985 and has since dedicated his life to it and attests to a total of 19 sightings. Recently, while using underwater audio testing equipment, he picked up a sound he’d never heard in Lake Champlain before but one he could easily identify. His partner, Katy Elizabeth, described the sound:
I was listening with the hydrophone and all of the sudden I started hearing ‘eekeeekeek,’ like monkey noises and it was strange and then clicking like ‘click, click, click.’
Hall recognized it.
Everything is pointing toward belugas or some other animal, not native to this lake that is in here feeding.
A beluga whale in Lake Champlain? Is that possible?
Fossil remains of a beluga whale were discovered 1849 about 8 miles from where the sounds were heard and came from a prehistoric era when the lake was part of the Atlantic Ocean. To get there today, a beluga whale would have to leave the Atlantic and swim both the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Richelieu River to get to Lake Champlain. Oh, and adapt from sea water to freshwater, something belugas have never been known to do.
Is Champ a beluga or has a whale joined it Lake Champlain? Hall sent the recording to be analyzed and will keep on listening and looking.
Which is more far-fetched– champ or beluga? Something is making the noise.