Beth, who was kind enough to grace us with details of her son’s wedding, has previously written a Night Owl about the Loch Ness Monster. While Nessie has received a great deal of attention, all of it deserved, it’s worth recognizing that she’s not the only lake monster out there.
North America has some too. There’s Manipogo in Lake Manitoba, Bessie in Lake Erie, Tessie in Lake Tahoe, and Cammie in Cameron Lake, among other lesser-heralded beings. And then we have Champ.
Champ is the lake monster of Lake Champlain. There are hundreds of recorded sightings – although not everyone agrees on what they’ve seen. Champ is apparently very old, just like Nessie; sightings go back for about two hundred years. Champ’s also been fairly prominent in the history of American folklore; P.T. Barnum offered $50,000 reward for Champ’s hide, and that was back in 1873, when $50K would render a person wealthy for life.
Perhaps mindful of any modern-day Barnums, New York and Vermont both passed state legislation in the 1980s protecting Champ from hunting or being harassed. The laws remain in effect. If Champ exists, the monster should breathe a sigh of relief. If Champ is a fiction, then the legislatures merely spent the people’s time and money on nothing at all… which bears great resemblance to most other days in state capitols.
The creature has been the focus of many television shows and documentaries; as an example, this one from Discovery Canada:
So, maybe the next time Beth takes a road trip, it’ll be to snap pictures of Champ. You never know….
Question of the night: What’s something that has tempted you to make a long road trip?