Meet the characters

Scott MardisScott Mardis thought he had his life figured out. Fifteen years ago, he was a rock musician in Philadelphia, entertaining bar-goers with his wild guitar riffs.

But a trip to the library one afternoon changed everything. Mardis stumbled upon a book about lake monsters.

“All of the sudden, I found myself less interested in playing music, and more interested in the question of lake monsters and sea serpents,” Mardis said.

Though he couldn’t afford to move to Scotland to pursue the Loch Ness Monster, Mardis decided to pack his bags and head north to Vermont, where there had been stories of a similar creature known as Champ, lurking in Lake Champlain.

The transition from a city to a more rural location has been tough on Mardis.

“I’ve had to suffer through a lot of bad jobs, just to stay here,” he said. “This is a full-time job you don’t get paid for. You do it out of your own love for the work.”

Despite his financial struggles, Mardis has no plans to leave Vermont or leave the mystery of Champ behind.

“One of the reasons I’m here is that I find the case from Loch Ness and the ocean compelling enough to stake my reputation that I think there is a real flesh and blood animal behind this phenomena,” he said.