It is time to revisit the Eric Olsen footage of “something” in Lake Champlain. What’s been happening?
The now-elusive Eric Olsen (pictured above) has refused to give any media interviews after the one and only one he granted to the Burlington Free Press. The ridicule curtain crashed down too quickly for him. He told friends he was tired of being called a “nutjob” because people said he saw the “champmonster,” and due to the fact that “trolls” were bothering him.
Why won’t an eyewitness run and hide, indeed, when this kind of buckshot is coming his way?
“Perhaps he chose to edit out the last seconds of the sequence, when we could all see if it was indeed a deer climbing ashore….The monster looks exactly like a swimming deer.” ~ Ben Radford, “America’s Loch Ness Monster? Or a Swimming Deer?” Live Science, June 5, 2009.
Yes, we all have had a bit of a break and taken a couple distracting sidetreks. But sometimes, for the important investigations, it is best to stay on topic. Despite the quick answers by a few that what was captured on the cellphone camera of the Burlington resident was nothing more than a “deer” or a “moose calf,” those explanations seem too shallow, no pun intended.
In Joe Nickell’s blog, which he entitles “Atheist News And Views,” and says his writings are “posted by god,” all, I’m sure, to raise some folks’ blood pressures, he pens, under “‘Champ’ Sighting Solved?” my unqualified statement from the press without looking at the corrections/clarifications I made here. It is interesting how skeptics use statements in blogs when they want to, and employ incorrect media quotes when they wish to short shift investigators at other times. At least Radford includes a link to one of my blog comments so people can look it up themselves. Nickell does not.
Then Nickell goes on and writes:
“I told the Associated Press my best guess was that the animal was a moose calf….Ellen Marsden, a biology professor at the University of Vermont, concluded likewise. She discounted the seal hypothesis, observing that a seal does not swim with its back out of the water. She thought the video probably did depict a young moose, “swimming as if something was seriously wrong” (Free Press, June 3, 2009).”
Of course, having one “skeptic” quote an “authority” as saying that seals don’t swim with their backs out of the water is a rather scary situation, as well. Deer, moose, tree trunk. As usual, even the debunkers can’t agree on how to debunk a piece of evidence that gives the slippery slope a whole new meaning.
While I readily admit I don’t find the Olsen video ~ yet ~ to be a hoax, a tree trunk or some of the other silly answers, I don’t know what it is. There seems to be something animate that is unexplained, unidentified, and certainly, for now, mysterious, which is visible in this footage.
How about a new look at the images in a new way?
This is a comprehensive patchwork of the object shown in the Olsen moving images taken on May 31, 2009, at Lake Champlain. You can see here, for the first time, what the object looks like against a matched shoreline/background. The progression of the object in the water is intriguing in this view. (Click on the image to enlarge the montage. Appreciation to Yakcam, who is a special effects and prop cinema specialist.)
Next, view again the following map, to orient you.
How about looking at this scene without the “lake cryptid”, to look for the landmarks and how the light plays there?
It turns out that Eric Olsen visited this same area before, as he liked to take images (moving and still ones) of the sunrises and sunsets there. Eleven days before his now-famed footage, Eric Olsen captured this scene from this same spot on May 20th, for example (second video is a lightened version by John Donald Carlucci).
Furthermore, on the very day of the footage, on May 31, 2009, Olsen posted on the Internet straightforward photographs of the scene (without a “something” or “Champ” in the water, of course). His phonecam photography, actually, is quite good, considering the technology he was working with for these shots.
Compare these to the raw footage by Olsen and to E. Shepard’s photos of the same site (one of where Eric Olsen was standing, and the other in the direction of the object in the water):
Next, let me try to line up all the enhancements, frame captures, and stills published in the last few days in chronological order of this object traveling from left to right.
Deconstructing the footage itself, even more than it has been broken down to date, would be good.
As a reminder, here it is again. Will the Oslen footage of “Champ” become the lake monster equivalent to the Patterson-Gimlin film of a “Bigfoot”?
The following stabilized version of the Eric Olsen-obtained video was produced by John Donald Carlucci of Darke Media.
This footage needs to remain in focus, for further analyses, even if the media has lost interest.
Doesn’t it feel as if we are experiencing a nine day wonder, with regard to the seemingly fleeting interest in the “Champ video”?
A “nine day wonder” is an idiom referring to something that generates interest for a limited time (e.g. a week and two days) and is then abandoned.
The origin of this phrase is usually tied to the nine-day reign of Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554) as Queen of England. Lady Jane Grey was reluctant to take the throne of England because she was only 15 years old and she held unpopular Protestant beliefs. Her reluctance was well-founded; the young Queen relinquished the crown after just 9 days, plead guilty to treason, and was eventually beheaded.
What seems mildly strange to me is that despite the existence of a video that would seem to have been shown on television news programs over a few days, except in New England, the footage has not been re-played as much as I expected. Perhaps it is because Eric Olsen has refused interviews? Or is it because the David Carradine mystery death and Holocaust Museum shooting are fulfilling “silly season” and “hot death story” needs for the media?
But compared to “that” story from last summer that was full of bluffs, teases, and, ultimately, a costume frozen in an ice chest, it is rather remarkable to see this “Champ video” story disappear from the media radar so quickly.
There are things that still need to be figured out about this video, even if only a few of us wish to keep looking at it.
Bernard Heuvelmans’ Super-Otter (above) compared to an image from Eric Olsen’s new footage (below).
Thanks for enhancements and photos from Yakcam, Impossible Visits, Sean Viloria, John Donald Carlucci, BoyInTheMachine, Jason Ficks, and, of course, Eric Olsen.
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