The U.S. is filled with legends about strange, unidentified creatures. One of these is known as the Loveland Frog. In the early hours of Feb. 3, 1972, Loveland police officer Ray Shockey pulled over to investigate a strange animal on the banks of the Little Miami River.
The creature stood about 3 feet tall, with dark scaly skin and a face like a frog. Shockey made eye contact with it before it leaped over the guardrail and vanished into the murky water below.
A week later, patrolman Mark Mathews saw a large slithery thing near the same spot. When it made a move towards him, Mathews pulled out his gun and fired at it, causing it to fall into the river. While the remains of the creature were never found.
Then there?s the Pennsylvania Python. Clarence Mitchell said he saw an 18-foot python slithering in his cornfield on June 8, 1944, leaving a track the width of an automobile. Mrs. Vaughn later reported watching in horror as the reptile swallowed one of her chickens whole and then, being too engorged to fit under her fence, climbed over it instead.
A town posse was formed to catch the elusive snake. They found plenty of tracks and broken branches leading to the Cuyahoga River, but the creature itself disappeared and was never seen again.
Don?t forget the Bigfoot-like Minerva Monster. In August 1978, hunters with high-powered rifles, hunting dogs and six-packs of beer saw a creature in a wooded area off U.S. 30 behind the home of Herbert and Evelyn Cayton. It was reported to be more than 6 feet tall and to weigh It showed up so often that their daughter considered it a pet.
One night it stood at their kitchen window, directly under a security light. Stark County deputies who investigated the sightings say they were not a hoax. Years later, they say they still can?t identify the hair samples. The animal was never found.
For centuries, Lake Erie harbored its own version of Scotland?s Loch Ness Monster, the South Bay Bessie. The first known sighting was near Cleveland in 1793 by a group of explorers who ventured to Middle Bass Island. The captain said he was shooting ducks along the shoreline when a monstrous snake rose from the water and chased him for 100 yards.
Similar sightings were reported over the next two centuries, some describing an eel-like creature that was black and 40 feet long. In the 1990s, there were several more reports of the monster, which led to a naming contest. A group of businessmen who were offering an award for the monster?s capture dubbed the creature ?South Bay Bessie.?
In 1995, Bigfoot researchers from Cincinnati came to Akron, Ohio to check out claims of local residents who said an unusual creature lived in a swampy area off Manchester Road. They called it ?The Kenmore Grassman.?
One resident says the creature has been around for at least 30 years, and he?d seen footprints left by the animal many times when he camped by and fished in the canal as a child. Another resident told the investigators that he spotted the creature in 1988 and it easily weighed 300 pounds. Investigators found a three-toed footprint and made a cast of it. An igloo-shaped shelter constructed of branches and brush was found that some believe to be the Grassman?s home.
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Meanwhile, Nessie hunters won?t have to brave beefed-up airport security in order to search for Nessie, now that live pictures from the depths of Loch Ness are being placed on the internet by a company called CamVista.
The broadcasts include underwater pictures from a specially developed camera lowered over the side of the Loch Ness Project?s research vessel Deepscan that could lead to the first confirmed sightings of Nessie.
A pressure-resistant television camera and high-powered lights have been sunk into the loch?s 230-metre depths, and pictures are being transmitted live over the CamVista system. They also have another camera mounted high above Urquhart Castle, on the banks of the loch.
Adrian Shine, the Loch Ness project leader, says, ?With underwater television work so deep down, you can be quite sure that no human being has ever been there before, and we never know what we may see.?
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