During a basketball tournament for amateur teams, my team the Reading Roughriders had to go to New Jersey back in 2016 for a semifinal game. As we passed Lake Champlain, I thought about the monster that supposedly lived there, named Champ. I told the coach “Wouldn’t it be cool to see Champ?” He just laughed and told me that my flights of fancy were entertaining, but not important. I’m thinking it was.
As we traveled past, I thought I saw some kind of figure poke slightly out of the water. I decided that it was probably a log or hallucination. I thought I heard a teammate say “Did you see that?” a few seats in front of me, but didn’t question them. I talked to a few of my other teammates about it and they told me they had never heard of Champ and didn’t believe there was a monster in there. In other words, they thought I was lying or crazy.
During the game, I was so distracted, I couldn’t do anything correctly. All that ran through my mind was Champ. Things got so bad, I had to sit on the bench. I looked behind me and saw a young woman showing her friends pictures on a digital camera. I heard her mention Champ and asked if I could see the photos. She agreed and handed me the camera. What she caught was the same thing I had seen while cruising by the lake! I told her about my encounter, and unlike my teammates, she believed me. I decided to keep everything else I believed to myself though. Just because someone believes it doesn’t mean they agree with every aspect.
We ended up winning the game, then won another game the very next day to become the champions. As we went by Lake Champlain, we were all gloating about the trophy and admiring our medals when someone on the bus said “Do you guys see that . . . thing?!” All of us turned to look out a window, even our coach. We all saw the same thing, and I doubt it was a mass hallucination. There was a big creature out of the water. I would estimate it to be 15 feet long, brown in color, and it had a really long neck and a small head. The bus driver immediately pulled over and snapped a few pictures on his camera. The other players took out their iPhones and started to videotape it. I just stood in silence with my mouth hanging open. We were all too stunned to speak. We eventually shook off our shock after it submerged again and we didn’t see it come back up. My teammates still have the video on their phones, and the bus driver has his pictures taped to his dashboard. I don’t have photos or video, but what I do have is my memory. The craziest thing is that, though it was all the way out on the lake, I was scared, then awed. I have heard stories about champ since then, but I still get scared if I pass by Lake Champlain myself. Whenever I look at the water, I ask myself “What is in there that we know . . . and not know?”