Lake Champlain Research
About Lake Champlain:
Lake Champlain is home to the
which hosts the oldest living reef in which coral occur, coming from the
Ordovician Period, 480 million years ago. Fossils of marine
invertebrates found in the Champlain Valley tell us Vermont was
underwater as well during the Paleozoic Era, more than 300 million years
ago. the last glacier melted away about 12,500 years ago, and the sea
poured in. This inland sea was inhabited by many of the animals that
inhabit the North Atlantic today, including mollusks, sea urchins,
squid, herring, cod, salmon, seals, and belugas. In 1849, while
constructing a railroad, workmen uncovered the bones of a
in a swampy area in Charlotte, Vermont. The fossil beluga is housed in
the Perkins Museum at the University of Vermont. By about 10,000 years
ago, the Champlain Valley had risen above sea level. The Valley’s waters
drained northward into the St. Lawrence River. This river flows north
of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine between the Atlantic Ocean and the
Great Lakes. Over 20 fossils of ancient beluga whales have been found
around Lake Champlain This fact is interesting because of what we found
in the lake...echolocation, even though there are no beluga present
ago we found echolocation in a fresh water lake. A very novel discovery. The
research trip and all about the bi-sonar or echolocation we found is described
below. Pete Bodette's video taken a year later from our research, demonstrated much of what we found by listening,
namely the size of it and the activity of the fish in the area. Because we
were vector sensing it was in 3 different locations, 15 ft long and
trolling at 5 knots. Pete Bodette produced video of a creature that
matches our mathematical description produced by the sensors, so we felt it was vital for people to stop considering this a
"monster", a "myth" or an intoxicated illusion of those that visit the lake.
This creature is unique, possibly critically endangered, and needs to be studied
scientifically. Those that witness something strange on the lake, please don't
be worried anymore about people thinking you are crazy,
e-mail us. We continue to try
to raise the money to fund a genuine scientific investigation, worldwide about
reported sea or lake creatures using vector sensors, advanced heat
and ultraviolet and infrared underwater video and other non-invasive approaches.
Lake Champlain 2009
We have recently received a
grant to study the echolocation anomaly in Lake Champlain.
In July 2009 we hosted
several lectures in Vermont about the Lake and it's environs. One lecture was
held at The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum; another at ECHO the Aquarium and
Science Center. We also scouted out several locations for dropping a ARU
(Autonomous Recording Unit) and found some interesting grottos; biota and
indications that there may be caves below the surface of the lake, as some of it
Is based on limestone which few people knew. It has been speculated that there
may be underwater channels to the St. Lawrence seaway where there are small
populations of Beluga whale. Attending the month long research trip were Liz von Muggenthaler; Scott Mardis and Dennis Hall. We
obtained an entire box from Scott Mardis about paleo interests around the lake;
some paleo indian objects from Dennis Hall, and Gary Mangiacopra supplied us
with his 400 page Masters degree thesis, Mangiacopra, G.S. (1992) "Theoretical
Population Estimates of the Large Aquatic Animals in Selected Freshwater Lakes
of North America." Along with this Gary supplied over 25 videos of Scott
Mardis's TV cable program interviewing witnesses and scientists. Combined,
Scott, Gary and Dennis have over 100 years of combined knowledge about this
THIS is vital: THESE
NATURALISTS HAVE GATHERED SCORES OF INFORMATION FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, HAVE
SEEN THIS CREATURE LIVING IN LAKE CHAMPLAIN, AND SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED BY THE
REST OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY. WE BELIEVE IN STUDYING EVERY ANOMALY WHICH IS
THE TRUE DEFINITION OF SCIENCE, AND WE ARE UNAFRAID OF LOOSING TENURE. WE DON'T
NEED ANY, we already have our degrees.
THE MAINSTREAM SCIENTIFIC
COMMUNITY SHOULD BE ASHAMED AND DEEPLY EMBARRASSED FOR DISMISSING THESE INTELLIGENT AND
DILIGENT INDIVIDUALS, ALONG WITH THE JUDGES; PASTORS; POLICE OFFICERS; FIREMEN;
THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND AVID FISHERMEN THAT HAVE SEEN THIS CREATURE AS WELL.
IF YOU CAN'T GET A PICTURE
OF THE JAVAN RHINO (A 4000 LB LAND MAMMAL) UNTIL 1998, THEN WHY DISBELIEVE THE
NATIVES ABOUT LAKE CHAMPLAIN?
Some of the Lake has been side-scanned, and a
popular argument about not sighting a large underwater creature has been
this...it hasn't been see by side scan. However with side scan a moving
target would simply show up as a blur.
As a good friend of mine who works
on building side scan said, "to get a good scan you would have to tie an
elusive sea creature to a buoy."
In addition it was discovered
that the blue-green algae in the lake is actually very toxic, and although the
Vermont State Health Department has warnings on their website, few people know
about it. Most Lake residents now should only drink bottled water, or certainly
have their wells checked, as they may be contaminated.
Pete's video is in the process of being forensically analyzed, to make certain
no one can ever call it a "fake", and to also attempt to determine what the
creature is, if possible, and if not possible, to rule out fish, otter and other
creatures. It is costing us out of our own pockets $4000 to do this. But we feel
that this creature needs protection, to be studied, and hopefully it will give
those of us that live by the lake, that visit it, more respect for our beautiful
Does the American equivalent of the
creature in Loch
Ness exist? Is there a large carnivorous creature living in Lake
animal in Lake Champlain produces echolocation or bio-sonar...only whales and
dolphin are known to do this...so what is making this signal?
Using 4 laptop computers, two with sound
analysis software, Digital audio recorders, data-loggers, GPS software on
computer, 2 portable analyzers, amplifiers, 2 vector sensors (which measure
vibration) and two hydrophones (underwater microphones) and other equipment we
visited sites on the lake where the "CHAMP" creature has purportedly been seen.
Due to thermoclines, sometimes we could hear several miles away. (In lakes
usually there is a warm layer of water and a cooler layer. Where these layers
meet is called a thermocline. The depth and thickness of the thermocline can
vary with the season or time of day).
It was vitally important that we search using passive means
(receiving a signal), so we could not use sonar (which is active or sending a
signal). The premise is that any large predator that is searching for food in a
deep and murky lake would probably need to be using their own type of
echolocation. Searching for an animal such as this is purported to be, using
sonar, unless it is highly specialized form, would be not be valid protocol from
an animal behavior standpoint. The creature could hear the boat’s sonar or
fish-finder and it would be scared away, especially if it is thought to be timid
would watch the signal scrolling across our computer and analyzer screens and
record onto hard-drive and Digital audio recorder. Most of the time we could
hear fish, crayfish, and the occasional turtle, and boat engines. We once even
heard music coming from a boat moored several hundred meters away. Ironically,
it was the song "When the levee breaks" by Led Zeppelin. We also could hear the
"plop" made by fisherman's lures as they hit the water, even 500-600 hundred
feet away. That should tell you how sensitive the vector sensors are. Whales and
dolphin search for food using a high frequency sonar signal called echolocation,
or "bio-sonar." The only other known aquatic animals that echolocate are
dolphins and whales (marine, although there are freshwater dolphin in
China, India, Pakistan, and Brazil.) Echolocation (biosonar) is a high
frequency signal mostly above our hearing range that bounces off objects. The
animal can hear the return signal and thereby know what it is. Some call it
perfect underwater sight. Average echolocation signals vary, but go up to
200,000 Hertz (cycles per second) or expressed differently, 200 kilohertz (kHz).
The human ear can only hear to 20,000 Hertz or 20 kHz. Man-made sonar or
fish-finders send out a signal that is very regular, and entirely different then
biologically produced sonar.
At three different sites, on the 3rd, 4th
and the 10th we picked up an echolocation signal. We picked this up
on Digital audio recorders or DAT (7 Hz to 44.1 kHz ) and computer analysis
data-loggers (DC to 240 kHz) which stores onto hard-drive. The PCMCIA card that
allowed us to data log was donated by National Instruments, and is the very
latest in technology. It allows us to analyze sounds 20 times higher then the
human range of hearing. The data on Digital audio recorder has been analyzed,
and the data-logging sent to a member of our software team at National
Instruments. We captured the echolocation signal on our hard-drive, analyzed it
as it was happening, and the signal goes up to 140,000 Hertz, or 140 kHz. The
echolocation signal under analysis is similar to Beluga whale and killer
echolocation, yet different enough so that we can not make a positive
identification. Methods such as cross-correlation, where one compares the
properties of one sound to another, can usually tell us what type of creature it
is, but not in this case. It is significantly different from both whale and
dolphin, but it is echolocation.
Dolphin and whale have extremely advanced auditory and sound
production capabilities. Very specialized, that is what makes our finding so
interesting. Whatever was in the water in Lake Champlain has to have the same
type of advanced faculties to produce the signal we got.
feel that the effort was a technical success as we were able to conduct far
reaching, low-noise sound measurements and, indeed, were able to detect signals
the nature of which suggests the presence of some interesting, unexpected
phenomena." Dr. Joseph Gregory, a former member of our team who was a professor
of sound and vibration engineering at North Carolina State University. Joe
passed away November 2003.
Fauna Communications presented their scientific findings at an
Acoustical Society of America (American Institute of Physics) conference
fall 2003. We also will prepare the paper for publication in a peer reviewed
scientific journal later this year. The paper will largely talk about the
technology we used, and will not be a speculation about whether champ exists.
What we can say, is that there is a creature in the lake that produces
bio-sonar, and we have no idea what it is. Proving or disproving the existence
of Champ would require a massive and non-invasive search using acoustics,
optics, etc. Most importantly, animal behavior research requires a great deal of
patience, so it would be a long term study. We would love to do this, so
This is a spectrograph of the
biosonar, taken off of the Dat recorder. The color section: x-axis = Frequency
(pitch) 4.50E+4 = 45,000 Hz or 45 kHz; y-axis= Time, Color = loudness
(amplitude). It looks like the signal does not go any higher than 45 kHz,
but that is only because the DAT recorder's upper recording limit is 48 kHz. To
get this off of the dat we sampled at 96 kHz. To compare this chart with a
dolphin echolocation go to
Similarities between dolphin echolocation and Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain Echolocation (0-44
kHz, 1602 ms)
dolphin, from the Southern Thyrrenian Sea, from the University of Pavia Italy’s
Interdisciplinary Center for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research (0-21 kHz,
Please see Gary Burton at
your side scan sonar needs.
trying to fool us...Was it a hoax?
1. The only individuals that knew the dates we
were planning to be on the lake was the film crew, who notified us of the date
range June 2nd-11th on March 3rd.
2. The boat we were using was only secured in
3. On June 2nd, the inverter on the boat we were
planning to be on could not handle the power supply we needed for some of our
equipment, so at 9:30 PM, June 2nd we switched to a new boat. The sounds were
recorded early morning June 3rd.
4. The signal did not come from above the water.
5. The signal was less then 30 feet away, and we
were 200-500 yards offshore, in three different locations, 24 +/- feet in two
locations, 68 in another. No one ever knew our destinations until we had left
the harbor. One or more of us was always with the captain (Al Martin, Point Bay
Marina) because he is a fascinating authority on Lake Champlain, and an
amazingly honest and very kind individual (we liked his company). Hence, no one
radioed anyone. The boat owner, Randy (who was kind enough to let us use his 54'
ft motor cruiser was the same.
6. Discover channel was not aboard the day we got
the signals. If they had set up a hoax you can be assured they would have been
aboard. They also had left the area when Liz recorded the 3rd set on a friend's
small boat. Again, and even more so, absolutely no one knew of the destination.
7. The echolocation we recorded goes up to 140
kHz, this is 7 times beyond our hearing range. There are no underwater speakers
capable of creating this high frequency sound, indeed there is only one or two
that can accomplish this is air, and are not commercially available to our
knowledge. Although a reciprocal transducer might be able to handle this still
would have a high (or low) frequency roll-off. One of the best recent
publications on playback of dolphin (who create these high frequency sounds)
is: "Sayigh, L.S., P.L. Tyack, R.S. Wells, A. Solow, M.D. Scott, and A.B.
Irvine. 1999. Individual recognition in wild bottlenose dolphins: a field test
using playback experiments. Animal Behavior 57:41-50." In this paper is the
" The underwater speaker was the greatest
constraint on the frequency response of the system, as it produced sounds
faithfully only up to about 11 kHz." If you do a Yahoo search for
underwater speakers you won't find any that create signals above 20 kHz.
8. We feel it would be technically possible to
recreate the signal underwater. Indeed using classified technology one could
probably do it. Even so, there are sincere differences between a playback
signal and an original, our analysis would see this. If you even want to attempt
it you need:
A. A team of specialized underwater
divers (location, location is everything!) They had to be there when we were,
swim beneath the boat while producing the signal.
B. Two expensive reciprocal transducers,
with power supply.
C. A personal underwater transportation
device (submarine) with no sound producing engine (to get from Button to Hunter
Bay in 1/2 hour), and in and out of Thompson's Point without us hearing or
But then......Our analysis, indeed any
commercially available signal editing or analysis program (like Sound Forge)
could detect the difference between playback and an original signal.
We welcome anyone that
feels they can produce a 140 kHz+ biologically created (playback) signal
underwater. If you think you can, send us an
e-mail. If you can, then you will be (almost guaranteed) invited
to pay for it!