Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, myths, religion, strange facts or just the plain unexplainable.
This week: Cryptozoology
The Loveland Frog is a creature (frog-like, obviously) that's been sighted in Loveland, Ohio on multiple occasions. It has the face of a frog and crouches like a frog, but has the ability to stand upright. The sightings are generally of the creature scared and running away, but on at least one occasion, the witness claimed to be have been physically attacked.
The Loveland Frog (AKA the Loveland Lizard) is a bipedal 50 lb. frog-like creature who's been seen on several occasions in or around Loveland, Ohio. One sighting occurred on March 3rd, 1972, by a police officer. The officer was on duty cruising in his patrol car, when on the side of the road he saw what he first thought to be a dog lying there. Conditions were icy, and to avoid possibly hitting the animal, the officer slowed down and came to a stop.
As he did, the 'dog' got up on two legs and sprinted past the front of the patrol car. In the headlights the officer got a decent look. Rather than searching for such a strange creature alone, the policeman left the scene and returned with backup. This time they didn't see the creature, but did find signs of it leading into a river. The sighting by the officer is described by him as follows:
"The creature was three to four feet tall, 50 to 75 pounds, leathery skin, possibly wet – matted hair on its body that made it look textured, possible tail, a head and face like a frog or lizard, and could leap over the roads' guard rail."
In 1955, another Ohio man claimed a sighting. He said he was driving along the Miami river, and saw three of the creatures congregated together. He also claimed they had wrinkles on their heads instead of hair, and one was holding a wand-like spark-emitting device. This is the only sighting thus far implying the creatures to be technologically sophisticated.
Another woman, Darwin Matthews, claimed that in 1955 she was swimming in the Ohio river when an underwater claw-like hand grabbed her by the knee. She was dragged under twice before fending off her attacker with the help of an inner tube. The woman was reportedly left with scratches and a green palm print on her knee.
The case for the lizard seems pretty weak. Two of the witnesses so far are vague and nameless, and a Google search for – "Darwin Matthews" Loveland – turned up zero results. Credibility here is pretty low, and it's about to get lower.
Another police officer had a sighting. This officer was a coworker of the first policeman in today's telling, and had a pretty similar encounter just a few weeks later. This time the cop originally thought he was dealing with roadkill. As the story goes, he got out of his car to drag the carcass to the side of the road, and it stood up right there in front of him. The description here is said to be the same as the other officer's, and the creature is said to have had a very similar exit, but limping as if it'd been hit by a car. The creature is said to have meandered off, stepping over a guard rail and heading towards the river below.
As the story goes, the officer actually got off a shot or two.
This time though, the policeman actually has a name – Mark Mathews. Davy Russell of XProjectmagazine.com conducted an email interview with Matthews, and this interview may just dash the hopes of giant frog-loving cryptozoologists everywhere. A section of the officer's responses are as follows:
"There is absolutely nothing to the incident that relates to 'monsters' or the 'paranormal'. This entire thing has been habitually blown out of proportion. It was and is no 'monster'. It was not leathery or [had] wet matted fur. It was not 3-5 feet tall. It did not stand erect. The animal I saw was obviously some type of lizard that someone had as a pet that either got too large for its aquarium, escaped by accident or they simply got tired of it. It was less than 3 feet in length, ran across the road and was probably blinded by my headlights. It presented no aggressive action."
Mr. Matthews did, however, admit to firing shots – he even claimed to hit the creature. What we'd like to know is, if it was just someone's discarded pet that made no aggressive action, why draw a gun at all?
hecklerspray loves a good yarn, and that's probably all this is. The four stories we related are the only ones usually cited, and none of them (barring the second officer's rebuttal) seem credible at all.
Don't get us wrong – we hope the Loveland Frog exists but we're not about to mount up an expedition.
[story by Shawn Lindseth]