Available now is the new book from Katy Elizabeth, Water Horse of Lake Champlain: The Search. If you know your Cryptozoology, you’ll know that the title is a reference to “Champ,” the lake-monster (or monsters) of the huge expanse of water. There’s something very special about this book. It’s not just a collection of material from various websites, blogs and so on. Rather, Katy is someone who takes a definitively proactive approach to her work. In other words, for Katy the only way to get the answers is to spend time at Lake Champlain – in fact, a huge amount of time. And that’s what makes Water Horse of Lake Champlain: The Search so important. Katy hasn’t just spent days or weeks seeking for the Nessie-like Champ. And not just for months or years, either. But for decades. That’s right: Katy’s interest in the monster of the lake goes right back to her childhood. Katy knows the lake well; very well. And, her dedicated approach to solving the riddle has served her well, as you’ll now see. The book begins with a Foreword from long-time creature-seeker, Loren Coleman, who says: “We are lucky to have someone like Katy Elizabeth tackling this riddle full-time.” Yes, that’s right: for Katy, this is literally a day-by-day and night-by- night quest. The result: Katy has managed to secure an incredible body of material on the creature(s).
For Katy, the journey began in 1992. At the time, she was a little girl and happened to see an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on television. And what should have popped up? That’s right: Champ. Katy was immediately hooked by the legend of the lake and its resident beast. She made it her goal to get the answers. She demonstrates how a young girl became a monster-hunter and how the enthusiasm for the mystery began. There’s a lot of nostalgia in this chapter, and that’s a good thing as the reader gets to share Katy’s very own, early experiences and memories. And, ultimately, right up to now. Katy provides us an excellent history of the lake monster, the area, and the huge amount of witness testimony. Collectively, this allows us to really delve deep into the mystery, even if (like me) you’ve never been to Lake Champlain. Katy paints the picture for us.
One of the most fascinating chapters is that titled “The Great Debate.” Here we see Katy looking at the various theories for what Champ might be. Here, we delve back into the distant past and into the world of the likes of plesiosaurs, basilosaurus and tanystropheus. We’re talking about creatures that were supposed to have become extinct millions of years ago, but that just might have survived. Long-necked seals, giant turtles, and salamanders are also important parts of the story, as Katy searches for the answers. What I particularly like about Katy’s book – and her search – is that it gives the reader a deep insight into how she approaches her work and research. Science, technology (such as underwater cameras and sonar) and much more come into play. For Katy, this is a serious quest for answers.
The “supernatural perspectives” comes into the story too: the idea that Champ might be something of a paranormal nature. I know from experience that a lot of pursuers of monsters don’t have much time for the “weird” side of all this. The fact is, though, there are some genuinely strange stories out there and that should make people wonder on the nature of the beast. Moving on: Katy shares with us excellent photos and artwork of Champ – and she is careful to analyze those same photos. Part-adventure, part-quest for the truth of a genuine enigma, and part-lifelong passion for answers, Water Horse of Lake Champlain: The Search shows how investigations of the cryptozoological type really should be undertaken. Congrats to Katy for giving us the most important study of Champ.