The Gift: Lake Champlain's Mysterious Photo
“I’ve learned patience. I’ve learned humor through it. And I’ve learned tolerance. If you want to ridicule me, that’s okay. It’s fine. But I think I opened the door for others to come through and tell. To me that was the biggest success: that people were now comfortable enough to say, ‘I don’t care if you believe me or not. I’m telling you I saw something.’ And that’s why we have so many eyewitnesses now. And I’m not taking all the credit. I’m just saying that it takes only one person sometimes to open the door. And it takes guts to follow through that door.”
I ask whether she’s had one moment of doubt since that day. “The doubts are that if I hadn’t taken that photograph, would it be as big as I remember?” she tells me. “Would it be as prominent? Would I have dismissed it as just something else? The photograph is what grounds me to the fact that this is what I saw, period, the end. Nothing else. This is what I saw.”
I ask whether she loves the photo. She laughs: “I don’t even have it hanging in my house. I’m not emotionally attached to it. What I have is here,” and she touches her eyes and her heart. “That I love. I love that a lot. I know it’s there. I will go to God and stand before Him and say, ‘God, why me? Now tell me what it was.’ The photograph keeps it there. So I know I saw that.
“I know this: Lake Champlain has something–a secret, a hidden treasure. And it’s wonderful and it’s magnificent, even if you don’t believe it’s there. Someday I’ll be vindicated. And people will say, ‘Remember that old lady from Vermont?'”