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The Tale of Maumee River Monster



The Maumee River Monster, also known as the river dragon, was first reported in Napoleon, Ohio. Many people saw the animal on September 13, 1902, and its appearance is accurately described. The creature’s appearance is said to be similar to that of a river lizard, albeit much larger. It has been spotted on the Maumee River’s banks and appears to move as easily on land as it does in water.

The main feature of the animal’s body is a massive tail covered in minute scales like a fish. It also has two small, web-shaped feet that are possibly six inches long. Its eyes are small, set far apart, and a strange greenish color. The creature’s entire body appears to be covered in a coarse, heavy hide of a dull brown color.

It is difficult to give exact measurements of the creature, but it is estimated that it is nine or ten feet long, 24 to 30 inches tall, and 14 inches across. “If there is such a thing as a cross between an alligator, a lizard, and a snake, I believe our river monster would exactly fill the bill,” one witness said.


Maumee River Monster depiction.

Parts of the animal’s body are out of proportion, giving it a squatty appearance when viewed in full length. Water and land characteristics are mingled at times very noticeably together, making it impossible to classify the creature accurately. It has come to be known as the “river Dragon” along the river, though who first suggested the mystic creature of superstition as its namesake is unknown.

The animal’s home is on Savage’s Island, about 12 miles below here. The Maumee River has a series of rapids at that point, and it is assumed that the animal was washed into the river from Lake Erie, which the stream empties into a short distance below. The island is covered in thick shrubbery in places, reaching all the way to the water’s edge, but despite careful exploration, no trace of the animal’s hiding place could be found. The creature is now thought to live in a cave on the island, with access via the river, with the water concealing any trace of it. The pioneer of this section proposed that there is a vast honeycomb of caverns in this area, many of which are beneath the riverbed, and that the animal makes its home among these passages.

At the time, a group of fishermen was rowing home from their day’s sport around dusk when, in the vicinity of Savage’s Island, one of them let out a low exclamation of terror and dropped his oars. His actions drew the attention of the others, and the boat’s course was altered. An animal lay directly on a jutting point of the island, only 40 feet away, which could easily inspire fear.

The strangeness of the creature’s appearance was heightened by the gathering gloom. “It reminded me more of a huge snake than anything else,” one of the party members later commented. Its head was turned toward the boat’s occupants when it suddenly raised itself, giving the startled onlookers a good idea of its size, and plunged into the water with a huge splash. This was enough to get the men bent over their oars. But the creature clearly had no intention of attacking them, because that was the last time it was seen that night.

River monster/Lochness Monster

The story the party told of their encounter with the strange river creature piqued everyone’s interest, but despite keeping a close eye on that section of the river, nothing more of the animal was seen until nearly a month later. On this occasion, the view was obtained in much the same manner as before, and the creature dived into the water almost immediately upon being sighted, but the previous story was confirmed, and the existence of a strange sea creature in the Maumee River was no longer questioned.

There have been no sightings of other animals of the same kind in the area, and it is widely assumed that the creature is alone, though what happened to the former “dragon” and how this one managed to enter the river unseen remain unanswered questions. However, there appear to be several of the creatures in existence somewhere, as the two encounters here cannot have been with the same one. [Bay City (MI) Times, June 14, 1903, p. 18]

Sam McConnish, who claimed to have seen the river monster and a Thunderbird in the 1970s, was the man who reported it. It is said to resemble Nessie or a giant catfish, though it is more often described as a serpent than a giant catfish.

In 2009, a man near the mouth of the Maumee River reported seeing a large sea serpent-like monster that quickly vanished into the water.


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‘Queen’ Founding Member Shares Crop Circle Picture



On May 24th, Brian May, a founding member of the rock band Queen who later earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics, posted several images to Instagram of a crop circle seen near Marlborough, England.

“Have you noticed anything out of the ordinary here in the English countryside?” The photos were captioned by May. “I’d never seen a crop circle before. As a result, I’m always skeptical of them. But yesterday, as we flew back from our production rehearsal space, over a location near Marlborough, there was this. […] Who creates these fascinating works of mathematical art? Is it a hoax? Are they created by extraterrestrials? And… how…? And what is their goal?”
Responses to May’s post have been mixed, with some claiming that the phenomenon is paranormal, while others believe that hoaxers are to blame.

Crop circles have sparked speculation in the modern era since at least the mid-1970s, with theories ranging from hoaxers to otherworldly beings to “earth energies.”

Despite the fact that people have claimed responsibility for certain crop circle formations, mysterious circles of flattened plants discovered in fields date back much further than modern-day hoaxers.

W.Y. Evans-Wentz recorded folktales of faeries coming in the night to thresh farmers’ grain in his 1911 book The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. Similarly, in 1678, an English woodcut pamphlet depicts ‘The Mowing-Devil,’ who is shown mowing crops in a circular pattern.

While some dismiss these as folkloric inspiration for modern-day hoaxers, others see them as proof of a phenomenon that predates man-made imitation.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the crop circle photographed by May.


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DoD Announces Expanded Effort to Investigate UFOs



According to a press release issued by the Department of Defense (DoD):

Due to the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), amended her original directive to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security on July 15, 2022, by renaming and expanding the scope of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group (AOIMSG) to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).

USD(I&S) Hon. Ronald S. Moultrie informed the department today of the establishment of AARO within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, and named Dr. Sean M. Kirkpatrick, most recently the chief scientist at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center, as its director.

The AARO’s mission will be to coordinate efforts across the Department of Defense and other federal departments and agencies in the United States to detect, identify, and attribute objects of interest in, on, or near military installations, operating areas, training areas, special use airspace, and other areas of interest, and, as needed, to mitigate any associated threats to operational safety and national security. Anomaly, unidentified space, airborne, submerged, and transmedium objects are included.

Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (USD(I&S)) Ronald Moultrie will lead the AARO Executive Council (AAROEXEC), which will provide oversight and direction to the AARO along the following primary lines of effort:

1. Surveillance, Collection and Reporting
2. System Capabilities and Design
3. Intelligence Operations and Analysis
4. Mitigation and Defeat
5. Governance
6. Science and Technology

This newly reported expansion of the Pentagon’s UFO investigation program follows low congressional trust in their investigative efforts.

Following the release of the much-anticipated preliminary assessment report on UFOs by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year, many in the intelligence community were critical of what they saw as the report’s failure to offer any concrete explanations for most of the incidents examined, particularly in light of concerns about secret Russian or Chinese technology.

The Pentagon then promised to revamp the task force in charge of investigating UFOs, which resulted in the formation of the AOIMSG, which has since been renamed the AARO.

This reflects Congress’ growing interest in UFOs, which was most recently demonstrated during a House Intelligence Subcommittee hearing on the subject last May—the first of its kind in more than 50 years.

The congressional hearing allowed lawmakers to question the Pentagon about unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP)—the current government term for UFOs—and for government officials to explain their current position and outline plans to investigate the issue further.

During the hearing, there were few mentions of extraterrestrials, though the Pentagon did express a particular interest in reports containing unusual flight characteristics such as incredible speed, transmedium capabilities, and undetectable means of propulsion.

Since the existence of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which reportedly ran from 2007 to 2012, was made public in 2017, congressional interest in UFOs has skyrocketed.

Interest in the encounters between Navy pilots and UFOs grew, and in 2019, several senators, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), then vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were briefed on them.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, led at the time by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), then included a directive in their Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 ordering the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to create a report on “unidentified aerial phenomena” in consultation with the Secretary of Defense.

That bill resulted in the formation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), which was in charge of producing the aforementioned preliminary assessment report.


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The Marlborough Monkey is a Cryptid Fans Classic



The latest documentary by researcher and filmmaker Karac St. Laurent, The Legend of the Marlborough Monkey, takes a fresh look at an older and often overlooked series of cryptid sightings in New Hampshire.

Most people don’t think of Bigfoot sightings in the northeastern United States, but St. Laurent has made a compelling case for taking the subject seriously while still having fun along the way.

The film is a tribute to the classic cryptid documentaries of the 1970s, and it was shot to look like an 8mm film being watched on a VHS tape. With thematic music and Robert Ready’s absolutely perfect deadpan narration, viewers could be forgiven for not immediately recognizing this as a documentary shot in 2021.

Despite its aesthetic, the film is very much a product of modern investigation, and St. Laurent conducts field investigations using equipment anachronistic to the 1970s, both solo and in collaboration with Small Town Monsters alum Aleksandar Petakov.

When some filmmakers might have been content to show only the interviews with researchers and witnesses included in the documentary, the field investigations were a nice touch. Folklorist John Horrigan is an especially bright addition to an already entertaining documentary, and his unique blend of wit and historical storytelling could have carried the film on its own.

Horrigan, interestingly, coined the term “The Marlborough Monkey” to describe the hairy humanoid being reported by New Hampshire residents in the 1990s, based on one account in which the witness said the creature looked like an orangutan. Those reports never stopped, and sightings of ‘The Marlborough Monkey’ are still being reported today.

St. Laurent, however, does not stop with stories; similarly to his first documentary, Release the Bodette Film, a variety of evidence is presented for the viewers to peruse. Much like that film, the viewer is ultimately left to decide what to believe, despite the fact that the vast majority of the film approaches the subject from a staunchly materialistic standpoint. Petakov makes a passing reference to high strangeness during an interview late in the film, but otherwise the assumption is that if something strange is going on, it’s most likely an undiscovered primate. This isn’t necessarily a negative, depending on your point of view, and those who prefer materialist science in the hunt for cryptids will appreciate the film’s mainstream take on the phenomenon.

That viewpoint is consistent with the 1970s-era documentaries to which it pays homage, and given the evidence presented, there’s never any sense that the investigation should be taking a different path. If The Legend of Boggy Creek is one of your favorite documentaries, check out The Legend of the Marlborough Monkey.

The Legend of the Marlborough Monkey has a run time of 43:14 and will be available to watch for free on the Crash-Course Cryptozoology YouTube channel starting at noon on September 12th. Expect it to be available on DVD around Thanksgiving.


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