The sightings of the Loveland Frogs are some of the strangest in American cryptid history. Sometimes referred to as frogmen, these strange creatures were often spotted near water and, in particular, bridges. Sometimes witnesses described seeing these creatures as trolls or reptilians, but the defining features is that the Loveland Frogs are, without a doubt, frog-like.
One of the first times the Loveland Frogs made their way into the National Cryptid Narrative was in 1955 when a traveling salesman happened upon a crew of them. He was headed down a quiet road late at night and slowed when he saw three figures standingly strangely in the dim glow of his headlights. As he approached what he thought were people, it soon became apparent that these creatures were not like him. He described the figures as standing bent over slightly on their hind legs, reaching about 4 feet tall, with leathery skin and, most shockingly, faces like frogs.
As the salesman approached cautiously in his car, he claims he saw the creatures seeming to engage in conversation. Then, as if out of a movie, one of the Frog People grasped a stick like a wand, and held it over its head as it emitted sparks. This frightened the salesman so completely he sped past the strange moonlit gathering.
Frightened and unsure what to do next, the salesman figured out where the police station was and quickly and strangely told his tale. The policemen seemed to have believed him enough to drive with him back to that lonely stretch of road...but they found nothing. However, it was noted that there was a strong, odd scent of alfalfa and almonds.
This story would fall into folkloric memory for over twenty years until another major sighting occurred in 1972. On St. Patrick’s Day, Ray Shockey got the shock of his life. As he was cruising, he noticed what he believed to have been a dead dog on a bridge near Riverside Drive. However, when he approached the dog-like mass it rose and bore a frightening resemblance to a man-crossed-with-a-frog. Unsure of how to proceed and shaken up about what he had witnessed, he told the tale to fellow officer Mark Matthews who, later on, decided to investigate the scene.
Matthews was driving near the scene, along the Little Miami River, when he saw something strange and unnatural scurry across the road in front of him. He decided to shoot at the creature and even hit it. Matthews walked over trepidatiously to the body and realized the strange creature was simply an iguana without a tail, not a frogman at all. Shockey confirmed that the strange creature was exactly what he had seen and the case of the Loveland Frogs seemed to be solved.
However, the folklore continues and sightings do crop up now and again. So, are the Loveland Frogs simple misunderstandings of animals? Or, are there really strange frog-like people hidden away in Ohio?
This photo is of an Artist's impression of a Loveland frog at the side of the road and is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.