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Lake Champlain Monster / Lost Sea Treasure

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Date Host Connie Willis
Guests Katy Elizabeth, Martin Bayerle

Katy Elizabeth joined Connie Willis (info) to discuss her underwater adventures trying to capture images of the Lake Champlain Monster. Nicknamed "Champ," Elizabeth has been researching the animal since the age of 21, when she first visited the area with a group of friends who were Bigfoot researchers. Champ is a flesh-and-blood animal, but she believes it also has "a spiritual aspect," which she's experienced. Elizabeth refers to the creatures (she suspects there are many breeding pairs in the lake) as "Champ animals" or "Champ creatures" rather than "monster," which she views as a negative connotation.

She mentioned that they may be able to breed on their own without mating, such as the Komodo dragon has been observed to do, and could exist as "exotherms," or creatures that rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. As evidence for this, she noted that almost no sightings have occurred in the winter, when exothermic animals usually hibernate. She has heard of sightings in smaller lakes in the area as well, and described a witnessing of a possible anomalous animal that she picked up on sonar. Elizabeth concluded that Champ is "a reptile or an amphibian" and not any sort of surviving dinosaur. Related images.

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The lost luxury White Star Liner known as the "Millionaires' Ship" sunk in 1909 with a lost treasure. Capt. Martin Bayerle shared his 30-year quest to find the fabled haul, and how rumors of "riches beyond most men's wildest dreams," were published the day after the sinking of the RMS Republic and have persisted for more than 100 years. Bayerle said he has confirmed that the ship was carrying a payroll shipment for the US Navy, which included $800,000 in face-value coins, some of which were gold in denominations of up to $20. There was also a shipment on board of gold payments from the Russian government, which may total up to $25 million. Bayerle said that it is now a "billion-dollar wreck" and could be worth up to $8 billion. After 35 years of litigation, Bayerle's company is now the sole owner of the shipwreck.

Although it sunk three years before the more famous Titanic, the Republic was the first accident in which all of the passengers (except 6 who died in a collision with another ship) were saved due to the new invention of the wireless, and the first to send out a distress call. Bayerle said that when he first started looking for the wreck, no one had actually done the research into the cargo it was carrying and its value. Because of the Russian money that was on the ship, Bayerle said that the Czar's government was not able to make good on loans, and this directly contributed to his downfall at the hands of the Bolshevik revolution. Bayerle and his crew located the wreck in 1981 using side-scan sonar on a rare calm day on the Atlantic and described the experience as "almost as if she was beckoning, saying come get me." Related images.

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