Account of 1974 sighting of Champ [...]
Retold- June 21, 2000
An old timer told me this account many years ago and I know the man wasn't lying. He asked that I never repeat it to anyone, using his name. He's dead now, so I don't think he'd mind. Anyway, he said that many years ago (I think in the early 1970s) he and his granddaughter were fishing from shore near the "cow banks," which is on South Hero.
It was very early morning, in July I believe. He said suddenly they heard loud "breathing sounds." When they looked down the shore they saw a huge animal pull itself up onto the shore. With binoculars he observed it, from about 150 yards away. I am enclosing a sketch I have done from memory, of the sketch he drew for me, of what it looked like and it's approximate size. He did say it was VERY big, weighing tons. He said steam-like breath came from two appendages on it's nose, which retracted even, as it was breathing. He said he could hear the breath sounds, even from that great distance! He said it had two large "flappers" for front feet. As they rose to try to get a little closer, it saw them and quickly backed back into the lake and was gone. He said it was the 2nd time they had seen it there, once a couple years previously, but well out into the lake, swimming, then sounding. He said he KNEW "Champ" existed, as he'd seen it twice with his own eyes. He swore to me he was being honest, and I never knew this man to even lie about the size of the fish he caught. He was a retired school teacher and a respectable man, in my opinion. Attached is my rendition of his
(from Champquest archives at the Wayback Machine).