Searches for Britain’s Loch Ness monster have so far proved unsuccessful – but a team of Vermont scientists have captured tantalising ‘proof’ of the existence of one of his cousins, a long, slithery lake-dweller called Champ.
Champ, from Vermont, is a long, reptilian creature not unlike the one supposed to dwell beneath the surface of Loch Ness – and has been sighted more than 300 times over the past century.
A team of amateur zoologists seems to have ‘proved’ that the 300 sightings are no mere coincidence – by capturing weird clicking noises made by some large, underwater creature, in the lake where Champ is reported to dwell.
The ‘Champ’ legend is hundreds of years old – the indigenous people, the Abenaki, had legends about a huge, serpent-like creature which they called Tatoskok.
In more recent centuries, travellers have spoken of a 30-foot-long sea serpent, and one witness claimed to be so close he could see light spots in the creature’s throat.
Naturally, as with the Loch Ness Monster, clear, definitive photographs have been thin on the ground.
The clicks are thought to be echolocation – the system sea mammals use to navigate, by sending out pulses of sound, and listening for the echo.
No whale or dolphin species are known to frequent the area – and Mrs Elizabeth claims the sounds are quite distinct from those produced by Beluga whales.
She also rules out the idea they could have been created by someone else using a fish-finding device – she and her colleagues were alone on the lake
The researchers claim that the series of clicks – recorded in three separate areas of the lake – are proof that something large, and unknown, dwells in Vermont’s Lake Champain.
‘Cryptozoologist’ Katy Elizabeth believes Champ s actually a dinosaur – a Tanystropheus, a dinosaur that lived 232 million years ago.
She said ‘We don’t know if these reptiles could echolocate, it’s one of those things that no one really knows, but something [in the lake] is echolocating.