Monsters of New England – The Boston Globe


DEMON OF DOVER

Dover, Mass.

A 4-foot-tall bright orange creature was spotted for a week in April 1977 by four people, first near a stone wall along Farm Street and two more times over the next 25 hours. Eyewitness Bill Bartlett reported seeing the creature bathed in the high beams of his Volkswagen. Bartlett said the creature grabbed a boulder with long fingers, slowly turned its head towards the oncoming car, and peered into the light. He realized it wasn’t a dog or a cat. The entity had a large head in the shape of a watermelon. In an interview, Bartlett told me that in the center of the head shone two large round, glassy, ​​eyelid-free eyes, shining brilliantly “like two orange marbles” in the headlights. There was no discernible nose, mouth or ears. The head seemed to rest on a slender neck. The creature’s body, according to Bartlett, was slender with long, slender arms and legs, and large hands and feet. The shape reminded him of a “baby’s body with long arms and legs.” His skin was hairless and appeared to have the rough texture of a shark. Then he disappeared into history. Bartlett then drew a picture of the creature on top of a stone wall. John Baxter, an eyewitness to the second sighting, drew the demon leaning against a tree.

Loren Coleman / International Museum of Cryptozoology

Various sightings in rural New England

These erect, hairy creatures, in human form, are commonly referred to as Sasquatches or Bigfoots. The Algonquin tribes of the region knew these forest creatures as Windigo. There have been sightings in a number of rural areas across the country. Here they have been seen in the Berkshires, Hockomock Marsh, and other swamp and woodland areas of Massachusetts and the mountainous areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. If you’re looking for a special place to search for Bigfoot in New England, head to October Mountain in the Berkshires. The mountain, near Lee, is in a state park covering 16,500 acres of some of the state’s most wild and natural lands. It seems the natural habitat of a band of Bigfoot, and indeed, sightings have been recorded there for over a century.


Loren Coleman / International Museum of Cryptozoology

SEA SERPENTS

Cape Ann and Gloucester

17th-century Massachusetts settlers wrote about the sea snakes they saw from ship and shore. There have been reports along the coast from northern Maine to Massachusetts and southern New England. Whether called “Cassie, the Casco Bay Sea Serpent” around Portland or the “Gloucester Sea Serpent” in Bay State, sightings of a giant serpentine creature have emerged regularly over the years. centuries to the present day. Perhaps the best-known sightings occurred off Cape Ann and Gloucester in 1817-19. The accounts of August 1817 were so numerous that General David Humphreys, a former member of George Washington’s staff, compiled the observations and published them in the 1817 report of the Linnean Society of New England. He noted that the head, visible above the surface of the water, was described as being “much like the head of a turtle” but as wide as a horse with horns a foot long on. the top. The body would be 80 to 100 feet long, like a “row of barrels” or like a “chain of buoys on a net”. Over a two-year period, hundreds claimed to have seen the snake. Since then, others have reported seeing similar sea creatures, not even later than last August off Mount Desert Island in Maine.

thunder bird

Easton, Mass.

There have been many reported sightings of giant condor-like birds from the Native American tradition. One of the most dramatic incidents happened at 2 a.m. on a summer night in 1971. Norton Police Sgt. Thomas Downy was driving along Winter Street in Mansfield towards his home in Easton . As he approached a place known as Bird Hill in Easton at the edge of Hockomock Marsh, he was confronted by a huge winged creature over 6 feet tall with a wingspan of 8 to 12 feet. When I interviewed him Downy told me that by stopping at the intersection the bird flew straight and disappeared above the dark trees in the swamp. Downy reported the sighting to Easton Police. A patrol car searched the area but found nothing. For weeks after, his fellow officers nicknamed him “The Birdman,” but Downy has stuck to his story.

BEAST OF TRURO

Cape Cod

One of the most famous mysterious cats in modern Massachusetts history is the “Beast of Truro”. In September 1981, an unidentified predator began killing pets and livestock. The first domestic cats were attacked, killed and maimed. An eyewitness was later quoted in The New York Times as saying the killer had a long, curved, rope-shaped J-shaped tail and weighed over 80 pounds with short ears. Others said the predator looked like a cougar. A New Yorker visiting Truro in December 1981 reported to city officials that he had seen a puma. All are names for the same kind of animal, of course. But wildlife officials said they believed mountain lions were extinct in the east. In January 1982, a mysterious predator, suspected of being the Beast of Truro, mutilated penned pigs in two incidents. And then the attacks stopped.

MONSTERS OF SILVER LAKE

Plymouth and Saugus County

In the 1940s and 1950s there were reports of a “lake monster” – believed to be a “giant frog” or a small “frogman” – in the so-called Silver Lake of Plymouth County. in general stores and that was mentioned in passing in old newspaper articles. . Years later, wildlife officials were on the hunt for an alligator that had taken up residence in a pond of the same name but different from Massachusetts. Officials from the Department of Conservation and Recreation searched Silver Lake in the Breakheart Reservation Park in Saugus on July 28, 2011, after sighting two alligators. No alligator was found.

Loren Coleman / International Museum of Cryptozoology

MOOSE SPECTRUM

Northern Maine

From the 1890s to the 1930s, there were reports in areas around Bangor of a large moose over 2,500 pounds and 15 feet tall, with 10 foot antlers and a dark white color. Hunters set off in search of the so-called Giant Specter Moose (due to its coloring), with reports of sightings of one or more beasts around Lobster Lake, but no one brought the white trophy moose back. . In 1917, New York hunter JG Sullivan reported seeing a giant white elk near Mount Katahdin, an incident reported in The Evening Post of New Zealand. Sightings continue periodically today along the coast of Maine. And, in an interview, reporter Ric Oliveira and his wife reported seeing a giant moose in Southeast Massachusetts in 1999.

PUKWUDGEES

Bridgewater Triangle

In the 1970s, I defined a specific area of ​​dread and strangeness in Massachusetts, which cryptozoologists known as the Bridgewater Triangle. Abington, Freetown, and Rehoboth form the corners of the triangle, and the area has been the site of reports of many bizarre creatures, perhaps none as strange as the Pukwudgees. The word Pukwudgee is a Delaware and Wampanoag word meaning “little wild man of the forest”. The creatures were part of Native American traditions and are said to be dwarf hominids with gray skin and large ears, fingers, and noses. They have all kinds of magical powers, abilities, and traits associated with them, including behaviors like vanishing and shapeshifting. Some said they had poison arrows and were able to start fires. Look behind you: According to tradition, the little beings will push people out of Assonet Ledge in the Freetown State Forest if they have the chance.

GIANT SNAKES

Bridgewater Triangle

Several other creatures that appear repeatedly in human folklore and legend have manifested in the Bridgewater Triangle, including huge mysterious snakes. As a policeman told reporters at the Brockton newspaper in 1970 about strange events in the area: “Nothing surprises us much more. Last week, a motorist crashed into an eight-foot boa constrictor. We still haven’t learned where it came from. In 1939, Civilian Conservation Corps workers completing a project on King Philip’s Street at the edge of the swamp reported in Depression-era press articles seeing a huge snake “as big and black as a pipe. stove “. The snake curled up for a moment, lifted its spade-shaped head, and disappeared into the swamp. Local legends claim that a huge snake like this appears every seven years.


Loren Coleman, a former professional researcher, is director of the International Museum of Cryptozoology in Portland, Maine. His latest book is “Monsters from Massachusetts”.


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