The Mansi photograph is considered by many to be the best piece of evidence for the existence of an unidentified species in Lake Champlain.
The incident which produced the photo allegedly occurred on July 15th, 1977, when Sandra Mansi and her family were visiting the lake shore, either at St. Albans or North Hero. According to Mansi, she and her husband removed their children from the shallow waters when they noticed a plesiosaur-like animal coming to the surface of the water. Mansi claimed she then snapped the iconic photograph and proceeded to watch the animal move in the water for a short while before it submerged.
Mansi died in 2018, never admitting to any hoaxing and verbally showing support for the protection of the species she believed to have witnessed. Analysis of her photograph supports it is not an optical illusion, but rather, an independent object. Some analysis suggests the object is a log propelled to the surface of the water, while other analysis suggests there are, in fact, animal-like features on this object.
The Montagne photos are a set of several photographs taken in St. Albans in August of 2020.
Melissa Montagne, the main photographer, claims that while overlooking the water she witnessed an object seemingly raise a head and long neck out of the water in the distance. Subsequently, Mrs. Montagne photographed and filmed the incident. Interestingly, her husband corroborated her story from the opposite shoreline, with a photograph of a wake he claims the object produced as it moved.
The Montagne photos are the only alleged Champ photographs to be taken of the same incident from different angles. In many respects this also makes them the most tantalizing from a testimonial perspective. Unfortunately, the quality of the photographs and corresponding footage do little to expand on the understanding of the incident.
The Reap photo was shot by Bill Reap in September of 2020 just off the shore of Woods Island near St. Albans. According to Bill Reap, the photographer, he was working along Lake Champlain when he noticed what resembled a school of fish making a commotion near the surface.
As he continued observing, Reap claims he noticed a "black mass" come up out of the water and submerge again several times, moving along with the commotion. At one point before the object submerged once again, Reap took the photograph.
The photograph likely does not show an optical illusion created by waves, and does seem to show a real object. Whether or not this object is debris is another question. Theories on the object's identity range from driftwood, to a humped back of an animal, to even the orbital ridge of an animal's head.