An exploration of our Earth's ever-captivating fauna through musings on the bizarre side of Zoology, Cryptozoology, Paleontology, and Paleoanthropology

Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Interview With Chuck Pogan: Cryptozoological Researcher & Analyst of Alleged Lake Champlain "Monster" Footage

Thomas Finley's rendition of the unknown, long-necked turtle hypothesized by Chuck Pogan to account for lake and sea "monster"
As I mentioned in a recent article, I try to retain an open minded approach to the different hypotheses in cryptozoological research. I recently heard about a fellow researcher who has a rather novel hypothesis regarding the allegedly unknown animals reported as "lake monsters" and "sea serpents". The man's name is Chuck Pogan, and he is of the opinion that these animals are an unknown species of turtle. The turtle hypothesis is quite a tantalizing one, as there are several parallels with what the behavior and morphology of longnecks would possibly be (as inferred from reports, although it is important to note that too much speculation as to the nature of unknown animals is very prone to fallibility). The reptilian physiology of many turtle species allows them to retain great stealth through holding their breath for great periods of time, with some having the ability to burrow under the mud and hibernate while underwater. Some species can breath through their skin or cloaca while remaining fully submerged. Thus, the idea of a chelonian longneck would not necessarily be dampened by the common argument against an aquatic animal remaining unknown of its having to regularly surface to breath. However, this hypothesis is not simply based off of reports and the well known photographs which are available for scrutiny. Chuck Pogan has apparently had the ability to view and analyze the Bodette footage, a video which purportedly shows unknown animals in Lake Champlain. This video is popularly referred to as the "ABC Champ Video", and has been of great interest to cryptozoological researchers as myself. The film was taken in August of 2005 by Vermont anglers Richard Affolter and Peter Bodette, who claimed that they were able to move as close as twenty to thirty yards from the animal which had moved in a "serpentine manner". However, only a few seconds of the footage has been publicly shown by ABC News, and there is much more intriguing data in the full footage according to Chuck. I hope you enjoy this interview/discussion between Mr. Pogan and I. My input is bolded and Chuck's is preceded by italicized and underlined text. Please note that these are Chuck's own opinions and thoughts, and thus I am not necessarily in agreement with everything which he has stated. Therefore, if you have a strong disagreement with anything which Chuck has stated here, don't kill the messenger. But remember, if you're going to dispute something, be prepared to refute it.