Sam Hemingway writes in The Burlington (VT) Free Press that researchers have recorded underwater sounds from Champ, the Nessie of Lake Champlain, using sonar equipment. They’re a rapid series of ticks similar to sounds made by whales or dolphins?only ten times louder.

“What we got was a biological creature creating biosonar at a level that only a few underwater species can do,” says Elizabeth von Muggenthaler. Champ’s existence has been debated since the publication of Sandra Mansi’s 1977 photograph of a serpent-like creature. Over the years, hundreds of Champ sightings have been reported by fishermen and boaters.

Von Muggenthaler was skeptical about Champ while growing up in Vermont. “I was sort of a scientist at an early age,” she says. “To me, you had to see it to believe it.”

There are a lot more mysterious critters in America than you’d think.

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