Thanks for the giving me the opportunity to answer your Champ questions, my responses are inline below.
When did you start getting interested in the lake monster?
I first became interested in Champ when I moved to Vermont and started hearing all the stories about the monster in the lake. Initially I laughed it off but I kept seeing and hearing more accounts. I really began to get interested when I heard about the video that eventually ended up on ABC News. I put up the site within a couple days of seeing the video and have been flooded with traffic ever since.
What kinds of research have you done regarding the champ phenomenon?
I will admit that I have not done enough on-lake research in the last couple years, this is mainly because I had no boat or access to one. I did just purchase a small boat and plan on spending time on the lake this summer. I have spent a lot of time doing research on the web and reading books on the subject. The best information has come from eyewitness reports of sightings from reader of this site, I have been able to learn a lot by discussing the experiences of the dozens of people that have seen Champ in the last couple years.
Have you seen the monster or experienced anything while on the lake that you thought was out of the ordinary?
I have never seen Champ, but I always keep my eyes peeled when I am on the lake. I have seen things that look like they could be Champ, unexplainable waves, things sticking out of the water, etc. They never end up being Champ when I take a second/third glance. I will continue to keep my eyes peeled, and hopefully will spot our friend this summer.
From your experience, do people take this legend seriously or do you yourself often face ridicule from people who don’t believe?
Some people are very serious about Champ and some people see it as a huge joke. That is the main reason that I am so dedicated to finding concrete evidence of this species/creature. If there is something in the lake we need to take steps to protect it and its Lake Champlain habitat. Based on the accounts of others, I am a firm believer in Champ. I try to keep an open mind so that I can be objective on the topic… of course this will all change if I ever see him.
There are several different theories as to what exactly species Champ belongs to, what do you think Champ actually is?
I believe that Champ is a population of landlocked creatures that have lived in Lake Champlain since the time that it was giant sea. When the lake gradually began losing its salinity, this species was able to gradually evolve with the surroundings. From accounts I have heard I would guess that it is related to the plesiousaur and can breathe underwater. I believe that this species spends the majority of time in the deepest parts of the lake which accounts for the lack of sightings.
When did you start your website?
I started my website in the summer of 2005 after hearing about the Champ video that ended up on ABC News. It started as a joke, but it soon became apparent that there were a lot of people who had seen Champ and believe 100% in his existence. I have recently done a total redesign of the site to allow guests to comment and participate in discussion.
I see from your website that you’re offering a $1000 reward for video
or photographic evidence of champ, how has that been going? Have you
received anything that you would say is really conclusive and that
warranted the reward?
I have only received one photo which only showed a large wave on the lake. People that are serious about photographing Champ should invest in a pair of binoculars with a built in camera… your regular digital camera is not going to cut it. The offer still stands and I am looking forward to paying the reward.
Do you think that people are more likely to share their stories if
money is involved, it sounds like an obvious question, but many of the
people I’ve spoken with are not at all afraid to come forward and talk
about sightings even if they think people will look at them differently?
I think that most people that see Champ are quick to tell their friends and others because it is usually a very surreal experience. I put the reward up in the hopes that it might encourage people to bring their camera to the lake with them so that their experiences will be documented. I have received countless sighting reports from people who are frustrated that they were without a camera. If you are a reputable person and have a detailed and consistent account, most people will believe you.
What are the tours you’re giving going to entail? Could you just describe what a standard tour will be like?
The Champ Tour plans have changed a bit this summer so that I can spend more time researching. I am planning to partner with one of the Lake Champlain cruise companies to offer literature on Champ and publicize the $1000 reward. The whole goal is to raise awareness and to encourage people to have their eyes peeled and camera at the ready.
Since you’ve started this website that not only offers information, but
also sells products bearing champ’s image on them and the tours you’re
going to be giving, are there many others out there like yourself?
People who are passionate about the subject but also see this as a
I have been amazed by how many people purchase Champ items from the online store. I use the profits to offset costs and hope to eventually set up a nonprofit organization. It really just goes to show that there are a ton of people that believe in Champ or are fascinated by the legend. When I first set up the site, I was shocked to find that there weren’t others dedicated to Champ, I am sure that once we have proof that will all change.
Charlie Champ Chaser