|Posted by Jim Bevan on October 2, 2012 at 4:50 AM|
You’re likely to see strange things while driving at night. It may be some person who drank too much or got high on some potent drug and went wild on the road. Maybe it’s some bizarre piece of trash like a couch that got tossed out on the side of the highway, or very visceral roadkill chunks. But what if you saw something particularly strange? Like some lights in the sky that were moving erratically, not like any normal aircraft. Or a hitchhiker that seems to vanish as you approach. It may even be something that looks like an animal, but so odd in appearance that it hardly looks like any normal animal. Several teenagers in the town of Dover, Massachusetts had an encounter like this in April of 1977, sparking off one of the biggest paranormal stories of the 20th century.
On April 21, 1977, Bill Bartlett was driving around with his friends Mike Mazzocca and Andrew Brodie looking for some late night fun. Unable to find a good time, they decided to head home. While driving on Farm Street around 10:00 PM, Bill spotted something perched on a stone wall. He thought it was a cat or dog, but something seemed off about the eyes – they were glowing with a greater intensity than normal eyeshine. As he got closer, Bill and his friends saw what the being really was. It was a small humanoid figure with hairless, peach-colored skin. A pair of glowing orange eyes was the only visible feature on its large oval-shaped head. The creature’s limbs were long and spindly, with oversized hands and feet ending in elongated fingers and toes. When he got home, Bill drew a rough sketch of what he saw so he could better explain his encounter to others. This was the first official sighting of the monster that would later be dubbed the Dover Demon.
The creature was spotted again around midnight on Miller’s Hill Road, a mile from Farm Street. John Baxter was walking home from his girlfriend’s house when he saw what looked like, from a distance, a small child. As he got closer, he saw the proportions of its body weren’t right for a kid. The thing ran off into the woods, stopping to grab onto a tree, which provided John with his best look at it. Like Bill, John also drew a picture of what the creature looked like, the image looking very similar to what Bill drew. The final sighting was on April 22 when Abby Brabham and Will Trainor spotted the creature on the side of the road while driving along Springdale Avenue, two miles from where the first sighting occurred. In the span of 26 hours, this strange entity had been spotted three times, all by teenagers, all in the same vicinity. And these sightings would soon explode into something much greater.
News of the teens’ encounters quickly spread throughout Dover, and predictably, the story soon gained national attention. Loren Coleman, a renowned cryptozoologist, came to the area to investigate the sightings. He interviewed all of the witnesses and found them to be credible sources, even though Bill admitted to smoking marijuana prior to his sighting. Coleman was unable to find any traces of the creature he referred to as the Dover Demon, the title which became its official moniker, and no authenticated sightings have been reported since 1977. The monster faded into obscurity, though its presence is still remembered today.
The question still remains – what exactly was the Dover Demon? Several scientists researching UFOs and the possibility of alien existence, such as Walter Webb and Joseph Nyman (both of whom assisted Coleman during his initial investigation) have pointed out the creature’s similarities to reported sightings of “grey” aliens, alleging that it was a being from another planet, or possibly another dimension, which may be why it hasn’t been seen since 1977; it simply returned home. Others have pointed out that the Dover Demon’s appearance resembles that of the Mannegishi, a race of mischievous spirits from Cree mythology.
The more rational explanation is that what the teens saw was simply a newborn moose or deer. Or it may have just been a hoax that they concocted. All witnesses had knowledge of each other prior to their encounters – they could have come up with the scheme as a way to cause a stir in town. But all of their reported descriptions of the creature were inconsistent, varying in some aspects. And if it was a prank, why keep the story going for 35 years? Either they want to keep the hoax going to maintain some form of notoriety (much like Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin), or they truly are convinced that what they saw was an otherworldly entity. There are plenty of explanations, but the truth remains as enigmatic as the Dover Demon itself.
Categories: Manic Expression's Monster Extravaganza