Scott Mardis & William Dranginis
Lake Champlain Monster Hunt!
Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 11 pm EDT, Paraversal Universe Radio’s au courant couple of the para-weird, Kevin and Jennifer Malek as they get an official update from Cryptozoologists Scott Mardis and William Dranginis from the ZPS on the 2017 Champ Expedition on Lake Champlain.
Scott Mardis thought he had his life figured out. Fifteen years ago, he was a rock musician in Philadelphia, entertaining bar-goers with his wild guitar riffs.
But a trip to the library one afternoon changed everything. Mardis stumbled upon a book about lake monsters.
“All of the sudden, I found myself less interested in playing music, and more interested in the question of lake monsters and sea serpents,” Mardis said.
Though he couldn’t afford to move to Scotland to pursue the Loch Ness Monster, Mardis decided to pack his bags and head north to Vermont, where there had been stories of a similar creature known as Champ, lurking in Lake Champlain.
The transition from a city to a more rural location has been tough on Mardis.
“I’ve had to suffer through a lot of bad jobs, just to stay here,” he said. “This is a full-time job you don’t get paid for. You do it out of your own love for the work.”
Despite his financial struggles, Mardis has no plans to leave Vermont or leave the mystery of Champ behind.
“One of the reasons I’m here is that I find the case from Loch Ness and the ocean compelling enough to stake my reputation that I think there is a real flesh and blood animal behind this phenomena,” he said. – www.chasingdiscovery.com
William Dranginis knows what you’re thinking, so maybe it’s best to get a few things straight right from the start. He’s not crazy, delusional, some lunatic on the fringe. For the most part, he’s your average suburban family man. Lives on a quiet street in Manassas. Has a great wife and two daughters; just became a grandfather. Has a good job designing surveillance equipment for the Windermere Group, an Annapolis-based technology firm that does contract work for the government.
He can’t help that he saw Bigfoot in the woods near Culpeper, Va., on March 11, 1995. Two witnesses were with him, both FBI agents. It’s not like he imagined the incident. In the 13 years since, he has spent more than $50,000 trying to prove Bigfoot exists. He has created sophisticated surveillance systems—wait till you hear about his new Eye Gotcha system!—and even designed a tricked-out research van with parabolic microphones and thermal and night-vision cameras….
Lake Champlain Monster Folklore
Over the years, there have been over 300 reported sightings of Champ. Legends of a creature living in Lake Champlain date back to Native American tribes in the region. Both the Iroquois and the Abenaki spoke of such a creature. The Abenaki referred to it as “Tatoskok”.
Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Québec and the lake’s namesake, is often claimed to be the first European to have sighted Champ, in 1609. However, this legend dates back to a fake quote published in the Summer 1970 issue of Vermont Life. In the Vermont Life article, Champlain is alleged to have documented a “20-foot serpent thick as a barrel, and a head like a horse.” This quote has often been repeated, but is in fact apocryphal. Champlain did document monstrous, “five feet long” fish in his journal. He described the fish as having snouts and a “double row of very sharp, dangerous teeth.” However, paranormal researcher Joe Nickell writes that this description most likely refers to a gar (or garfish).
An 1819 report in the Plattsburgh Republican, entitled “Cape Ann Serpent on Lake Champlain”, reports a “Capt. Crum” sighting an enormous serpentine monster. Crum estimated the monster to have been about 187-feet long and approximately two hundred yards away from him. Despite the great distance, he claimed to have witnessed it being followed by “two large Sturgeon and a Bill-fish” and was able to see that it had three teeth and eyes the color of peeled onions. He also described the monster as having “a belt of red” around its neck and a white star on its forehead.
In 1883, Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney claimed that he had seen a water serpent about “20 rods” from where he was on the shore. He claimed that he was so close that he could see “round white spots inside its mouth” and that “the creature appeared to be about 25 to 30 feet in length”. Mooney’s sighting led to many more alleged eyewitnesses coming forward with their own accounts of Champ.
The legend of Champ captured the interest of P. T. Barnum. In 1873 and 1887, the famous showman offered rewards for anyone who could bring him the monster.
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