CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. (AP) – Five vacationers from Maryland claim they’ve seen Champ, the mythical Lake Champlain monster.

Bob Gload and four of his grandchildren said they saw a dark, black, snakelike creature while bass fishing Wednesday afternoon. Gload said there was an “explosion” in the water, and then he saw three humps, two-to-three-feet tall, four-to-five feet apart.

“I was born in Champlain. I never believed in Champ or the Loch Ness monster,” Gload told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh. “I believe now.”

Last year, the Skeptical Inquirer, a publication that routinely challenges such things as UFOs, Bigfoot and other mysterious claims, disputed the existence of Champ.

The story by Joseph Nickell and Benjamin Radford was based on a visit they made to the lake as part of a Discovery Channel production.

They swept the water with sonar and watched – unsuccessfully – at locations alleged to be particularly good for Champ sightings. In reviewing eyewitness accounts, the team noted “widely inconsistent” descriptions.

Lake Champlain is home to lake sturgeon that can grow to 7 feet in length and in some cases weigh up to 300 pounds.

But Gload is convinced that what he saw was a creature like no other.

“All I know is I’ve been fishing for a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said.

AP-ES-08-02-04 1607EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.