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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?
"I really loved the book, and got some valuable lecture material out of it for my Vermont history course. Just fascinating."
- Dr. Paul Searls, Department of History, Lyndon State College
"Get ready for... [a] thought-provoking ride as Robert Bartholomew guides you through 400 years of facts, fantasy and controversy surrounding Champ.... Like any solid reporter, Bartholomew asks the tough questions. He draws you into the vortex of egos of the Champ researchers. He chides his media colleagues for sloppy reporting.... It's all in here, and more.
- Ronald Kermani, former senior investigative journalist, Albany Times-Union
"...a comprehensive history of a cultural fixture in the northeast. Robert Bartholomew explores the background and development of a media favorite and a scientific controversy. Both believers and skeptics can profit from the solid research and fluid storytelling in The Untold Story of Champ."
- Dr. Stephen R. Whalen, Department of History, Castleton State College
"The book provides a thorough exploration of the Champ tales told through the ages. Dr. Bartholomew assiduously weaves his way through the stories, myths, and legends that surround Champ."
- Mike Winslow, author of Lake Champlain: A Natural History and Staff Scientist
"Bartholomew's study provides a meticulously researched overview of the historical context behind popular fascination with the Lake Champlain monster... Bartholomew makes the subject come alive by carefully documenting the bitter rivalries between competing Champ researchers and by filling in the background stories for numerous Champ witnesses and enthusiasts."
- Dr. Peter Dendle, Associate Professor of English, Penn State University at Mont Alto and coeditor of The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous
"...a scientific detective story of the highest quality. ...This is a book that doesn't disappoint whether the reader is a skeptic, a true believer, or an open-minded explorer of the world's wonders and mysteries. I highly recommend this book."
- Brad Steiger, Bestselling author
"Best lake monster book of the year."
- Loren Coleman, Director, International Cryptozoology Museum