Lake Worth Monster – A.K.A. Goat Man

possible goat man pic

Greer Island, a small patch of land close to where the West Fork of the Trinity River flows into Lake Worth, is heavily shaded by tall oaks, cedar elms and cottonwoods.

One of the quietest spots in Fort Worth, the island is home to egrets and owls, perhaps an alligator or two.

And maybe, just maybe, the Lake Worth Monster.

The Lake Worth Monster — aka Goat-Man — hasn’t been seen regularly at the Fort Worth Nature Center since a very memorable summer 40 years ago when all of Texas seemed to buzz with the news that a hairy, scaly 7-foot man-goat-beast was terrorizing the good citizens of Tarrant County.

“Every so often, it will come up in conversation,” said Suzanne Tuttle, manager of the Nature Center. “Somebody will say, ‘I remember when that happened.’ ”

Perhaps the monster moved on to less-populated environs, and maybe it’s dead by now, his bones to be discovered decades later by a lucky anthropologist.

Or, as more people actually suspect, the monster was really several creatures, all hoaxes carried out by enterprising and opportunistic mischief-makers from Brewer, Castleberry or North Side high school.

No one is exactly sure.

Mystery still cloaks the legend of the Lake Worth Monster and his tire-chucking, hair-raising appearance in July 1969.

Spreading terror

On the afternoon of July 10 that year, the Star-Telegram’s front page carried a headline above the fold — “Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth.”

Reporter Jim Marrs broke the story to the world.

“Six terrified residents told police early today they were attacked by a thing they described as being half-man, half-goat and covered with fur and scales.

“Four units of Fort Worth police and the residents searched in vain for the thing, which was reported seen at Lake Worth, near Greer Island.”

John Reichart told police that the creature leapt from a tree and landed on his car, and he showed them an 18-inch scar down the side of his car as proof.

The police officer told Marrs that “we did make a serious investigation because those people were really scared.”

The police also revealed that they had received reports in the past but had laughed them off.

The next night, the monster, in front of a couple of dozen witnesses, was said to have uttered a “pitiful cry” and hurled a tire from a bluff at them.

The police weren’t laughing anymore. Hundreds of amateur trackers descended on the area with all manner of Remingtons, Brownings and Colts.

“I’m not worried about the monster so much as all those people wandering around out there with guns,” a police sergeant was quoted as saying in Marrs’ second-day story.

One of the curious who went to Lake Worth that summer was Sallie Ann Clarke, an aspiring writer and private investigator who dropped everything to interview people for what would become her quick-draw and slightly tongue-in-cheek book, The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island, self-published in September ’69.

During the weeks of summer, people saw the creature running through the Johnson grass, found tracks too big for a man, and reported dead sheep and blood.

Soldiers and sailors in Vietnam wrote their parents in Fort Worth and asked for more news, and reporters from far and wide wrote stories about it. The authorities continued to blame either a bobcat or teenage pranksters.

Then, about the time school resumed, perhaps not coincidentally, the Lake Worth Monster furor largely disappeared.

A photo and doubts

Clarke is 80 years old now and still lives in Benbrook, but, regrettably, she can’t talk much about that summer.

A series of strokes greatly damaged her memory and her health, said her husband, Richard Lederer.

Clarke has always regretted the way she wrote her book, he said, because after she published it, she saw the monster on three occasions.

“If I’d seen it before I wrote the book, the book would have been quite a lot different,” she told the StarTelegram in 1989. “It wouldn’t have been semi-fiction. It would have been like a history.”

She has the most famous, perhaps the only, photograph ever taken. It was given to her by Allen Plaster, who snapped it in October 1969 at 1:15 a.m. near Greer Island.

Both her descriptions and the photo show a large white something, though it doesn’t seem to favor a goat at all.

Plaster, interviewed in 2006, said he doesn’t buy the monster story now.

“Looking back, I realize that when we drove by, it stood up,” he was quoted as saying in the Star-Telegram. “Whatever it was, it wanted to be seen. That was a prank. That was somebody out there waiting for people to drive by. I don’t think an animal would have acted that way.”

For his part, though, Plaster isn’t talking anymore. He declined an interview request.

Possible explanations

In 2005, a reporter at the Star-Telegram received a handwritten letter, with no name and no forwarding address.

“One weekend, myself and two friends from North Side High School decided to go out to Lake Worth and scare people on the roads where there were always stories of monsters and creatures who would attack parkers,” the letter began.

The writer claimed to have used tinfoil to make a homemade mask to scare a truckload of girls.

When the friends were finished, they went to a Dairy Queen on the north side.

“I had a Coke float. The goatman had a parfait,” the letter said. “The goatman turns 55 this summer and resides a peaceful life in the hills outside of Joshua.”

Except that whoever wrote the letter — a man who lives somewhere near Beaumont, based on the postal cancellation — isn’t the only person to make such a claim.

Marrs, the reporter, told the newspaper in 1989 that police questioned several Castleberry students who were found with a faceless gorilla outfit and a mask.

Fort Worth, Texas magazine outed a man this month — identified only as “Vinzens” — who admitted being involved in the infamous tire-throwing incident of July 11.

He said the tire went airborne only because it hit a bump after they rolled it. But he had no interest in naming more names or publicly taking credit or blame.

The owner of a kennel near Lake Worth has also said that he lost a macaque monkey that summer and that perhaps the primate was responsible.

All of it could be true. Or none of it.

Who knows?

Clarke’s husband maintains that the monster was definitely not pranksters.

“She offered a $5,000 reward for any person who could pass a polygraph that they were the monster,” Lederer said. “She never got a call.”

The Nature Center is holding its own monster revival celebration Oct. 3, a date selected for the temperate Texas autumn rather than any connection to the events of 1969. It will have canoe rides, guided hikes around Greer Island, live music, food and drinks.

For those who belong to the Friends of the Nature Center, Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy Chairman Craig Woolheater will speak at a private dinner that night.

Tuttle said the Nature Center’s staff is skeptical of the existence of a monster.

But . . .

“You never know,” she said. “He may hear about it and just turn up.”

Source: star-telegraph

Whatever happened to old Caddy?

Cadborosaurus willsi, affectionately known as “Caddy,” was last spotted several years ago off the shores of Galiano Island, according to Paul Leblond, a retired University of British Columbia oceanography professor who wrote a book on the Cadborosaurus in 1995.

“The search is still ongoing,” he said.

Leblond said Jason Walton, vice-president of the B.C. Scientific Cryptozoology Club, keeps a video camera at Telegraph Cove monitoring the waters for a hint of the sea serpent.

Leblond said his threshold of proof for Caddy sightings are higher than those who documented the Ogopogo or Loch Ness  sightings. He needs specific details, like a hump, an eye or a head, he said.

“Hell, waves are all over the place,” he said.

The first sighting of the leviathan dates back to 1932, just off Chatham Island. Since then, there have been hundreds of reported sightings among the waves of Cadboro Bay, which sparked the name Cadborosaurus.

People who say they have seen it describe a serpent-like creature with a long neck and horse-like head.

Tammy Voak, who grew up in Oak Bay, says she used to hear stories about a creature lurking in the waters as a kid, but has since dismissed it as Island folklore.

“You’d think you’d see more of it if it was out there,” she said, as she watched her kids play on the only likeness of the Caddy which can be seen now, the 100-foot-long play structure in Gyro Park modelled after the green serpent. “Yeah, you need proof,” piped in her 11-year-old son Dustin.

But Victoria’s version of the Loch Ness monster did carry enough credence to spark a short-lived tourist attraction, Caddy Tours, which operated from 2003 to 2005. The tour’s former operations manager, Eric Hildebrandt, said there was not a sea monster to be found during any of his tours, which also included viewing of other marine wildlife around Discovery Island.

He doubts the serpent exists, but said his riders enjoyed getting lost in a tale of mystery at sea. “There’s not a lot of mystery left in life,” said Hildebrandt. “So for people to believe in something mythical like that, it makes them feel kind of good.”

While Leblond likes the idea of the homegrown, entrancing tale as much the next Islander, he wants scientific proof to either validate or repudiate the murmurings about the monster.

“We hope that eventually it’s going to be cleared up. Either someone is going to catch one or it will be stranded somewhere or someone will get a photograph,” he said. “Until then, it remains a mystery.”


On the hunt for Bigfoot

He spends his days walking, searching for the unknown along the Great River Trail.

Ed Welch put his foot in the door of Crypto Zoology when he retired.   In other words, he’s a researcher, on Bigfoot.

His passion stems from a Bigfoot sighting he had in northern Minnesota.

I saw Bigfoot within a three to four second period of time,” Welch says.  “I remember it was albino or grayish-white in color, because the sun was reflecting off it.  And I remember seeing the muscles rippling in the upper back as I was moving.  I panicked.”

He’s originally from La Crosse, and he says a few reports of Bigfoot sightings in Holmen and La Crosse pushed him to investigate.

Now he walks and walks, hoping to see a creature known to most only as a legend.

“You could be walking, and there could be one right by this tree over here.  You wouldn’t even notice,” Welch says.  “You’re not paying attention.”

Ed says the creature stays well off the trail, so he’ll walk miles into the woods to find it.

Every now and then, Ed breaks stride to do what he calls ‘wood knocking.’

“This creature will do something that’s called tree knocking.  I don’t know if it’s a communication between them or a warning towards us,” Welch says.  “When you’re out there and you hear this, it’s very awesome to hear.”

And even if his feet tire, he keeps walking, because a quest for truth can only be taken one step at a time.

“I thought of it more as a legend or Native American lore.  Other countries document it the same way,” Welch says.  “After actually seeing this creature for myself, I know for sure this isn’t a legend or a myth.  It’s a reality.”

Source: wxow

Journalist to embark on hunt for Mongolian death worm

death worm

Two New Zealanders will leave for Mongolia’s Gobi Desert next week on an ambitious expedition to find the fabled acid-spitting and lightning-throwing Mongolian death worm.

The worm has never been documented but some Mongolians are convinced it exists. They call it Allghoi Khorkhoi, or “intestine worm” because it resembles a cow’s intestine and is about 1.5m long.

They say it jumps out of the sand and kills people by spitting concentrated acid or shooting lightning from its rectum over long distances.

Auckland-based journalist David Farrier, who is organising the expedition, and Motueka-based cameraman Christie Douglas, leave on Tuesday to spend two weeks in the Gobi, trying to verify the worm’s existence and making a documentary about it.

They will hire local Mongolians to help them; a guide, translator and cook.

Farrier, who works for TV3, told NZPA he had always been fascinated by cryptozoology, or the search for hidden creatures.

The expedition and documentary, which would cost him between $15,000 and $20,000, would take a serious look at the worm and what it was, Farrier said.

He said he was interested in the death worm because it was one of the most outrageous creatures that were rumoured to exist.

However, it was also one of the mythical creatures that had a better chance of being real.

Rumours could inflate the reputation of things such as the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot, but sparsely populated Mongolia was not a place where rumours were going to propagate, Farrier said.

“If a Mongolian says they have seen a big worm-like creature out in the desert they haven’t really got any reason to lie.”

A number of experts have dismissed the worm’s existence, putting it down as a rumour, but Farrier was not put off.

“I think it won’t be a worm, obviously a worm can’t survive in a desert. I’d say it would be some sort of snake that’s not meant to be there. It’s very out of place and a bit new.”

Farrier said there been up to four unsuccessful expeditions searching for the death worm in the last 100 years, the last two in 2003 and 2005, which had used night vision goggles to look for the worm.

However, the New Zealand team planned to bring the worm to the surface with explosives, as it is said to be attracted to tremors.

Farrier put his chances of finding the worm at between 5 and 15 percent.

“They are high for a ridiculous creature like the death worm but the area I am going to is a very specific place in the southern Gobi where all the sightings have been.”

He only plans to capture the worm on film.

“I have no intention of grabbing it, capturing it, stuffing it, or anything like that. I just want to prove its existence and if I can get it on film, that’s all I need to do.”

Source: 3news

Cryptozoology and reappearing species


Cryptozoology can be a lonely hobby. Cryptozoologists are often the butt of significant ridicule from both inside and outside the scientific community.

While not every cryptozoologist thinks critically or is scrupulous about methodology, most are quite serious about what they are doing. The periodic reappearance of species formerly thought to be extinct is the kind of event that keeps cryptozoologists going.

The truth is, whatever might be said about cryptozoologists and their quirks, ancient animals and plants really do vanish and the reappear with surprising frequency. Such animals and plants are discovered so often, in fact, that paleontologists have a term for them: They are called ‘Lazarus taxa’ (after the man raised from the dead in the Gospel of John), meaning they were thought to be extinct for some extended period, then suddenly reappeared, alive and well.

Many people believe that cryptids may actually be extinct species that have found a way to survive. Lake Monsters are especially likely to be attributed to an actual reappearing species, most often, specifically, the Plesiosaur, an aquatic dinosaur with a long neck and fins that lived during the Cretaceous period and disappeared from the fossil record about 65 million years ago.

Could a 65 million year old dinosaur have survived undetected in landlocked glacial lakes?

The Plesiosaur was a carnivore and a large one, so it does seem to be fairly unlikely. Such lakes usually do not have enough fish to support a huge predator. (Lake Okanagan, the home of the ‘Ogo Pogo’ lake monster is one notable exception).

Still, weirder things have happened.  Here are ten of them:

The Coleacanth. This large prehistoric fish was thought to have gone extinct 80 million years ago until a live specimen was found in 1938.

Monoplacophora Mollusks. These innocuous shellfish from the prehistoric Devonian period (circa 380 million years ago) were found happily alive (well, however happy a mollusk can get) in deep waters off Costa Rica in 1952.

The Pygmy Tarsier. This odd, gremlin-like animal was thought to have gone extinct 80 years ago until a Texas A & M researcher found three of them alive and well in Indonesia.

The Laotian Rock Rat. Thought to be extinct for 11 million years, this early mammal was discovered in 1996.

The Lazarussuchus. This very small crocodile was common the late Triassic period and was assumed to have gone extinct about 170 million years ago. So far two living varieties have been discovered, the first in 1982.

Gracilidris. This species of 20 million year old ants, thought to be extinct, was discovered by a team of scientists in Brazil in 2006.

The Dawn Redwood. A small cluster of this extinct prehistoric redwood tree was discovered in 1944 in China by Zhan Wang.

The Wollemi Pine. This tree was only know from fossils between 2 and 90 million years old until it was discovered alive in 1994.

The Chacoan Peccary.  This small piglike animal was only known from the fossil record until scientists discovered living specimens in 1975.

The Mountain Pygmy Possum. Australia’s only hibernating marsupial, this little animal was only known from fossils until its discovery in 1966. It is currently facing extinction once again due to global climate change.

Are all cryptids examples of reappearing animals? It is completely possible that no cryptids are examples of reappearing animals.

It’s just as possible, however, that at least some of them might well be living examples of animals thought to be long gone from planet Earth, animals that may well one day turn up as live specimens.

In the meantime, just knowing that such animals are regularly found is enough to keep cryptozoologists actively looking for more of them.

Source: examiner