Cryptid Casefile: The Loveland Frogman
Updated: Mar 3
Type: Humanoid / Amphibian
Height: 3-4 feet tall
Appearance: Hairless, wrinkled & frog-like skin, frogs face, webbed fingers & toes
Location: Loveland, Ohio
Abilities: Evasiveness, weilds technology or magic
In the Midwestern river lands of the United States, strange and unexplained encounters with fortean beasts have been reported for decades. These stories have sometimes made headlines of newspapers and filled the pages of countless novels leading us to wonder what is left waiting to be discovered.
Mid 20th Century America is a window of time, wrought with activity of the high strangeness variety. Lets travel back in time to 1955 to a small town outside of Cincinnati, OH called Loveland. When we arrive, we find ourselves witnessing a scene of a lone businessman traveling late one night in the month of May. Driving down a desolate road that followed the Little Miami River, which cut through the town, the man suddenly spotted a strange looking creature. This is the story of the Loveland Frogman...
The man, whose identity remains unknown to this day observed not one, but three bizarre creatures for several minutes. He went on to describe them as bipedal, quasi-reptilian or perhaps amphibian in nature. These diminutive beings were estimated to have a three foot stature, no hair, wrinkled skin. Moreover, they dawned the faces of what could only be described as frogs. After going about their business, the creatures eventually noticed the businessman staring at them from his vehicle. One of the creatures was then pulled out a wand-like device that shot out sparks. If that fact that freakishly large and bipedal frogs wasn't enough to unnerve someone, certainly one of them pulling out some kind of technology would be a reality breaker. This detail suggests that whatever these creatures were, could have been some kind of technologically advanced species, perhaps even aliens or ultraterrestials (beings that share Earth with Humans, but for reasons unknown mostly hide their presence). Terrified for his life, the businessman jumped back in his car and fled the scene.
For almost 20 years, there were no further reports or sightings of these strange frogmen. However, in the early 1970's a string of encounters with the local police led to widespread knowledge and belief in a creature that would become known as the Loveland Frogman. The first encounter happened on a cold late winter night at 1:00AM, March 3rd, 1972. Officer Ray Shockey was on patrol near the Little Miami River driving slow when suddenly he spotted a mysterious animal in the road. At first he thought it might be a dog, however Shockey's patrol car headlights illuminated the animal and witnessed some oversized amphibian-like creature crouched like a frog, right in the middle of Riverside Ave. This thing then stood up on its hind legs, barely reaching three feet in height. The being stared at Shockey's patrol car, its eyes glowing bright as it reflected the cars beams. Moving with ease, the creature made its getaway, quickly climbing over the nearby guardrail, escaping to the river below.
Two weeks later on March 17th, another officer, Mark Mathews had his own encounter with the creature. According to his report, while driving into Loveland, Mathews spotted what he thought was roadkill in the middle of the road. He pulled over and stepped out of his patrol car to remove it from the road, but as he got closer to it, the body sprang to life, landing in frog-like crouching position. this startled Mathews leading him to draw his sidearm and fire on the creature. Some reports say he hit the Frogman, but others others say he missed. Either way, the creature quickly made an exit and headed towards the Little Miami River. It is important to note here that Mathews alleged description of this creature matched the description that Shockey gave two weeks prior.
Years later in a 1999 interview, a now retired mark Mathews, tried to clear the air about his story from the widely known reports of his Frogman encounter. Mathews claims the stories of a large anthropomorphic frog were simply fabricated. In the interview he said what he dealt with that night was blown out of proportion and went on to state:
"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."
Though skeptics would seem to have their answer to the Frogman question, there are a couple of things to highlight here. First, there were two separate sightings in 1972 by different officers reporting the same thing. If it was an iguana or some type of lizard, it would surely die from quicker than 2 weeks considering the winter temperatures that time of the year. Secondly, there is a sketch of the creature done by officer Shockey's sister drawn shortly after his encounter that depicts an upright walking frog creature based on his descriptions. This begs the question of why Mathews would be changing the story after so many years.
Despite this story being 65 years old, sightings of the Loveland Frogman are still being reported to this day. As recently as 2016, Sam Jacobs and his girlfriend claimed to have spotted a huge frog at Lake Isabella in Loveland. The two claimed to have witnessed it rear up on its hind legs, similar to descriptions of the Loveland Frogman in decades past. Jacobs even managed to get some pictures and a video, though with the low light situation, you can't make out anything in the video other than what appears to be large glowing eyes. Jacobs says knows what he saw, and though people think he's crazy, he was willing to stake his reputation on the validity of the encounter.
Fun Fact: this interesting and skiddish cryptid has inspired a local annual triathlon event called the Loveland Frogman race that happens every August. If you ever find yourself in Loveland, Ohio, be on the lookout for the Frogman, who still may be lurking in the local lakes and waterways, waiting to give passersby a fright they'll never forget
• A simple hoax or blown out of proportion story
• Misidentified lizard such as an iguana
• Mutant frogs
Thanks to my Amazon Affiliate partnership I'm able to provide links to great reads about fortean subjects. As mentioned and linked above, James Renner's book, It Came From Ohio is a great collection of strange and wild stories that been reported over the years in Ohio, and if you want to read more on the Loveland Frogman and the weird state it lives in you should check this book out! If you follow through my link it helps me out and keeps the lights on with a small commission from Amazon. Thanks for reading! Buy the book here (or click the book image)!