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



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