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Scotland may have Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, but we have Champ, the legendary serpent-like monster of Lake Champlain. The first recorded sighting of Champ, in 1609, has been attributed to French explorer Samuel de Champlain. This is pure myth, but there have been hundreds of sightings since then. Robert Bartholomew embarks on his own search, both of the lake firsthand and through period sources and archives – many never before published. Although he finds the trail obscured by sloppy journalism, local leaders motivated by tourism income, and bickering monster hunters, he weighs the evidence to craft a rich, colorful history of Champ. From the nineteenth century, when Champ was a household name, to 1977, when he appeared in Sandra Mansi’s controversial photograph, Bartholomew covers it all. Real or imaginary, Champ and his story will fascinate believers and skeptics alike. The final chapter weighs the evidence of the ultimate question: does Champ exist?

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