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Home > Archives > Cryptozoology > Loveland Frog

The Loveland Frog
Some rumors are dispelled years after the news of this famous cryptozoological enigma became widespread.
by Davy Russell
POSTED: 1 March 2001

The Loveland, Ohio Creature, also known as the Loveland Frog, was sighted several times near the town of Loveland, Ohio. It has become a famous cryptozoological phenomenon due to the widely publicized account of two Loveland, Ohio police officers that claimed to have seen the mysterious creature in March of 1972. The common telling of this story goes something like this:

On 3 March 1972, an anonymous police officer was driving on Riverside Road at around 1 AM, when he saw what looked like a dog on the icy road. He pulled over, and shone his headlights on it. It suddenly stood up, jumped over the guardrail, and went down the embankment into the Miami River. The officer described the creature as being 3-4 feet tall, about 50-75 pounds, with leathery skin, and a frog or lizard-like face. He called the dispatcher and returned to the station. He and another officer returned to the scene later that night, where they saw scrape marks on the hill going into the river. No official report was filed.

The second sighting occurred two weeks later. Another police officer was driving into Loveland, when he saw an animal in the road. Thinking that it was an animal hit by a car, he stopped to move it. It suddenly stood up, but in a crouched position; then hobbled over to the side of the road, stepped over the guardrail, while keeping his eyes on the officer. The officer then shot at it but missed. His description matched that of the first officer, only he may have seen a tail. Again, no report was filed.


Everyplace you will read about the Loveland Frog, the famous story is similar in that two credible (unnamed) police officers encountered a large, bipedal frog-like creature near Loveland, Ohio. While preparing the Loveland Frog entry for the X-Project Magazine, numerous "credible" sources were consulted. Despite the detailed and mass circulation of this story, it was brought to my attention as being completely inaccurate and exaggerated.

In an e-mail interview with retired officer Mark Mathews, the second police officer that saw the bizarre creature in March 1972, he states, "There is absolutely nothing to the incident that relates to 'monsters' or the 'paranormal'. This entire thing has been habitually blown out of proportion...".

Mr. Mathews continues with his first-hand account of what he saw:

"It was and is no 'monster'. It was not leathery or [had] wet matted fur. It was not 3-5 feet tall. It did not stand erect. The animal I saw was obviously some type of lizard that someone had as a pet that either got too large for its aquarium, escaped by accident or they simply got tired of it. It was less than 3 feet in length, ran across the road and was probably blinded by my headlights. It presented no aggressive action."

Mr. Mathews pointed out more discrepancies in this famous story. He shot at the creature, as no one had believed his partner's sighting a few nights before. Despite being hit, the lizard still escaped and Mathews suspected it either died of the wound or eventually died from the cold weather. The dramatic, commonly described scene of the lizard standing erect and stepping over the guardrail while keeping it's watchful eyes on Officer Mathews in fact, never happened.

Mr. Mathews may have explained away the mystery of his strange sighting 29 years ago, but what about the other numerous reports of a strange reptilian creature in the Loveland, Ohio area such as the 25 May 1955, sighting reported by an Ohio man who was driving along the Miami River in Loveland, Ohio? He claimed to have seen three strange bipedal creatures with frog-like features and wrinkles on their heads instead of hair. According to his report, one of the creatures held a device that gave off sparks.

Mrs. Darwin Johnson had a terrifying encounter of her own while swimming in the Ohio River in Evansville, Indiana on 21 August 1955. Something with a claw-like hand under the water grabbed her knee. She struggled in vain as the thing dragged her underwater twice. She eventually fought off the unseen attacker with a friend's inner tub. The only evidence of Mrs. Johnson's ordeal were some scratches and a green palm print on her knee.

We'll be looking deeper into the "Frog" enigmas and if you have additional information, please send it our way.

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