Lake Champlain’s Champ – Hoax, Legend Or Wild Imagination?
Hoaxes and Legends. What did P.T. Barnum once say? "There's a sucker born every minute." Well now, did he really say that, or is that just a hoax? Apparently, no one has ever been able to confirm that he did.
Speaking of hoaxes and legends, the great State of New York can lay claim to many of both. Can a legend be considered a hoax if it can't truly be confirmed to be such? I say no.
I had the pleasure of visiting the country of Scotland a few times in my life, and with each visit, I was sure to travel around its most famous lake, Loch Ness. This long, deep, and narrow lake is very similar to the Finger Lakes, like Seneca and Cayuga.
Loch Ness is 23 miles long, and 1 mile wide, stretching northeast from Fort Augustus to Inverness. And of course, the lake is home to the Loch Ness Monster. It's a legend but is it also just a hoax where people have falsely claimed to have seen the monster? During my trips to and on Loch Ness, I did not see or hear of anyone witnessing any monster in the lake.
And did you know, that our state has its own version of a Loch Ness Monster? Well, it's not considered a monster, whatever that really means, but a large creature has been supposedly spotted many times in New York State's 3rd largest lake (and largest natural freshwater) - Lake Champlain.
This creature is known as Champ. According to the Lake Champlain Region website, Champ is described to be a large, horned serpent, or giant snake. The article mentions that the year 1873 was a busy year for the sightings of Champ, and even piqued the interest of P.T. Barnum, offering a cash reward for the hide of the creature.
You'll find many attractions related to Champ around Lake Champlain, including a statue in Port Henry. But the question remains. While Champ may be a local legend, is this creature just a hoax or just the wild imagination of hundreds of people who have claimed to witness a sighting?