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Two People Encounter ‘Monster’ at Lake Champlain

CHARLOTTE, Vt. — Two people in Chittenden County on Saturday said they saw a dinosaur-like creature swimming in the waters of Lake Champlain.

champ lake monster

71-year-old writer Lisa Alther told Cryptozoology News she was with her friend Ina Danko, a 72-year-old school superintendent, when the animal showed up on Sept. 1.

“We were riding in a jet boat across from Charlotte. The water was glassy and there weren’t other boats around. We saw what first appeared to be a swimmer some 50 feet away,” explains Alther. “Ina saw it first and was alarmed thinking it was a swimmer too far out from shore for safety.”

The surprise came when the two women realized what they were looking at had a head that wasn’t human.

“Its head was attached to a long body. It began making swirling waves that broke with a white froth.”

They reportedly observed the unidentified being for about 3 minutes. As the creature went under water, recalls Alther, the swirling continued for a few minutes until the water became “glassy” again.

The women described the creature as having a dark and long snake-like body with a roundish head. Alther estimates the animal was about 30-feet-long. They were not able to see whether the creature had scales on its skin.

“The water was too stirred up for us to tell,” says the writer.

But Alther says she saw this same creature a few decades ago. She says she thinks the animal could be a plesiosaur, an order of Mesozoic marine reptiles believed to have gone extinct about 66 million years ago. However, continuous reports describing a similar creature have made some researchers wonder whether some individuals could have been able to survive in places like Loch Ness in Scottland, Lake Champlain in North America and the Okanagan Lake in British Columbia.


Alther explains that the first time she spotted the alleged dinosaur, also known as Champ, she was with her family at Fort Cassin.

“It was 1980. We were where the Otter Creek flows into Lake Champlain, in Ferrisburgh. There were 14 of us, my parents, ex-husband, brothers and sister and their spouses. We heard waves crashing on the rocks along the shore and ran out of the cottage.  Maybe 15 feet off the shore we saw a long, dark, snake-like creature winding through the water, so that 3 or 4 humps broke the surface in a rolling movement.  The skin appeared to be scaly and the light reflected jaggedly off the scales.  The wake was quite large and broke like small ocean waves.  It wound along the shore and then headed out to deeper water,” she said. “I feel the creature Ina and I saw was similar to the one I saw with my family in the 1980’s. I’ve extensively researched large marine creatures past and present. I think the animal we all saw most closely resembles a water reptile called a plesiosaur.”

Last year, a Canadian man released a series of photographs containing what he claimed to be the Opogogo monster.

In August, a park ranger at Lake Tele, Republic of Congo, said he had spotted a dinosaur-like monster and was able to watch it for over 5 minutes.

Lake Champlain is a freshwater lake located between the states of Vermont, New York and part of Quebec in Canada.

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  1. Sean A. Elliott

    September 5, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Unlikely it would be a plesiosaur. Marine reptiles ( they are not dinosaurs ) were air breathing animals. There would need to be a breeding population, and one would tend to see them surfacing for air at regular intervals. It is also worth noting that the body of a plesiosaur is not snake like, and the neck not flexible enough to undulate. Current thinking on plesiosaur has the neck out in front of the animal, not framed upward in the fashion of the famous surgeons photo of Nessie, which we now know to be a hoax anyway. Whatever people are seeing, it is not a plesiosaur.

  2. daniel clavette

    September 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    The lake champlain monster is not a plesiosaur but a unknown creature just like nessie and other lake monster aswell.

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