Encounter this bizarre CreatureIn 1954 archaeologists on an expedition along the Amazon River encountered a bizarre aquatic biped with gills and scales. In November 1958 a Riverside, California, man driving in a car near the Santa Ana River was attacked by a similar creature, with a "round, scare-crowish head," shiny eyes, and scales. It left long scratches on his windshield, and as he accelerated, he hit it and drove over it.
The first story is from a classic science-fiction film, Universal's The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). The second is supposed to have happened in real life to an alleged witness named Charles Wetzel. The following evening another motorist claimed that the same kind of monster jumped out of the bushes at his car.
Though fairly rare, accounts of reptilian bipeds crop up from time to time, usually in brief sighting reports. But the idea of such creatures was current at least as early as 1878, when Louisville's Metropolitan Theater exhibited the "Wild Man of the Woods," described as six feet, five inches tall and covered with "fish scales." Presumably this reptile man was an ordinary man garbed for the occasion, which was the culling of cash from the credulous, but nearly a century later, in October 1975, residents of tiny Milton, Kentucky, north of Louisville, reported seeing a bipedal "giant lizard."
Both Milton and Louisville border the Ohio River. So does Evansville, Indiana, where on August 21,1955, Mrs. Darwin Johnson was swimming when a clawlike hand gripped her knee from below the water and pulled her under. She struggled with the unseen grabber and managed to free herself, but no sooner had she come to the surface than she was dragged down again. She was able to lunge at a friend's inner tube, and the thump she made on contact with it apparently scared the attacker away. Though never observed, the creature left a green palm stain on Mrs. Johnson's knee and scratches and marks for which she sought medical attention.
Northeast of Cincinnati, in Loveland, Ohio, along the Miami River, reports of more or less reptilian bipeds have been made since at least 1955, when a driver returning home from work at 3:30 A. M. on May 25, reported that he had spotted three grotesque-looking creatures with lopsided chests, wide, lipless, froglike mouths, and wrinkles rather than hair on their heads. One held a spark-generating, bar-shaped device above itself. He watched them from his parked car for three minutes before leaving to alert Loveland Police Chief John Fritz. As he did so, he smelled a strong odor reminiscent of "freshcut alfalfa, with a slight trace of almonds." Fritz found nothing but was nonetheless convinced of the witness's sincerity.
Nearly 17 years later, on March 3, 1972, at 1 A.M., two Loveland police officers encountered something comparable: a four-foot-tall, frog-faced biped with textured leathery skin. They saw it jump over a guard rail and descend an embankment leading to the Little Miami River. About two weeks later one of the officers saw the thing again, first lying in the road, then getting up to go over a guard rail. He took a shot at it but apparently missed. A local farmer also reported seeing such a creature.
In the summer of 1972, at Thetis Lake, British Columbia, there were two reports of a silver-colored creature which emerged from the water, in the first instance (on August 19) to chase a couple of young men from the beach. One supposedly suffered lacerations in the hand from six sharp points atop the thing's head. A witness to the second incident, on August 23, said it was "shaped like an ordinary body, like a human being body, but it had a monster face, and it was all scaly." It had a sharp point on its head and "great big ears."
The following summer, people in the NewtonLafayette area of New Jersey told of encounters with a giant creature that looked like a cross between a man and an alligator.