One of the most intriguing cases we here at American Monsters have encountered during our many long hours of cryptozoological research is that of the Loveland Frogmen. The story of these unique creatures begins in May of 1955, on a lonely stretch of road that runs along the Miami River in Clermont County, just on the outskirts of a small town known as Loveland, Ohio.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., an un-named business man claimed to have witnessed three, bipedal, quasi-reptilian entities congregating by the side of the road. The man pulled his car to the curb and observed these creatures for what he estimated to be about three minutes.
During this time he noticed that these strange beings stood between 3 and 4-feet tall, were covered with leathery skin, and had webbed hands and feet. Their most distinguishing characteristic, however, was their distinctly “frog-like” heads, which the man claimed bore deep wrinkles where there hair should have been.
Just as the man was about to steal away, one of the creatures suddenly held what the witness could only describe as a “wand” above its head. The anonymous source further claimed that sparks spewed out of the end of this device. He left posthaste.
Thus begins the bizarre legend of the Loveland Frog Men. This tale would be fascinating enough if it ended there, but the two most significant encounters in this case – and indeed two of the most significant encounters in the annals of cryptozoology – were yet to come.
At about 1:00 a.m., on March 3, 1972 – nearly 17 years after the first report – a police officer (who understandably chose to remain anonymous) was traveling along Riverside Road heading towards Loveland when he saw something that would forever change his life.
Suddenly, the animal darted in front of the cruiser, forcing the officer to slam on the brakes in order to avoid a potential collision with the creature. Once the police cruiser came to a halt, its headlights fell upon the prone animal; at this point the officer describes something that seems literally too bizarre to be true.
In the span of seconds this crouched, frog-like creature, stood on two legs, stared back at the police man, then scrambled over the guard rail and scurried down the embankment, finally disappearing into the Ohio River.
The officer in question described the creature as being 3 to 4-feet tall and weighing in the area of 50 to 75 pounds. He also claimed that its skin had a leathery texture and that the animal’s features resembled those of a frog or lizard. Another officer investigated the scene later that evening. He saw no sign of the creature, but reported that there were distinct “scratch” marks on the guard rail where the animal purportedly crossed.
The second sighting occurred two weeks later while police officer Mark Mathews had an encounter of his own. According to the report officer Mathews, while driving into Loveland, spotted what he believed to be an injured animal lying on the pavement. Mathews climbed out of his cruiser with the intention of removing the carcass from the already ice slicked road, when the creature abruptly lurched upwards into a “crouched” position.
Taken aback by the Frog Man’s Reptilian visage, Mathews unholstered his revolver and took a shot at the creature, which then proceeded to hobble over to the side of the road and step over the guardrail – all the while keeping a watchful eye on the trigger-happy officer. Mathews’ “Frogman” matched the first officer’s description down to the last detail, with the exception of a tail, which was absent in earlier reports.
In the years which have followed these events, Officer Mathews has reneged somewhat on his tale. He now claims that the animal in question was nothing more than a large reptile which escaped from its owner. He further insists that the only reason he shot at the creature was to help confirm a fellow officer’s story – a story which was, of course, being met with predictable skepticism by their superiors.
Whether or not Mathews’ change of heart was inspired by ridicule or the fading memory of an event from which he was 30 years removed, the fact remains that his own testimony counter indicates his later retraction.
Later that same year an anonymous farmer reported sighting four bizarre creatures while inspecting his fields, which were located adjacent to the Ohio River. The farmer claimed that the eyes of the Frogmen were large and circular, their skin was a pale greenish gray and, perhaps most disturbingly, that their mouths were wide and filled with sharp teeth. Thankfully, instead of attacking the poor man the mini-monsters stayed true to form and made their escape back into the river, from where they have yet to be seen again.
Arguably the most intriguing aspect of this case is the apparent use of a technological device (the sparking wand) in the earliest reported encounter with these creatures. It has led some investigators to suggest that these beasts many not be just anomalous animals, but intelligent beings — possibly from OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Although there have been no confirmed sightings of the Frogmen in almost 40 years, the Ohio River area remains one of the most prolific cryptozoological “hotspots” in the continental United States and investigations into creatures such as the Loveland Frogmen, the THETIS LAKE MONSTER and the GREEN CLAWED BEAST should and will continue into the foreseeable future.