The Kentucky Frogmen
In the mid 1950s, the small town of Loveland, Ohio was rocked with a series of sighting of small, amphibious-looking creatures with leathery skin, frog like eyes, and wide mouths full of sharp teeth. The sightings of the Loveland Frogmen, as they came to be known, are one of the most famous incidents in sightings of unexplained and unusual creatures in America. As the decade moved on, the sightings stopped, and the creatures seem to have disappeared. Or have they just moved further south?
The Licking River flows into the Ohio river near where the Little Miami joins that bigger river just south of Cincinnati. From there it flows through some of the most rural parts of central Kentucky, back to its source in Cave Run Lake, located at the northern end of the Daniel Boone National Forest near Morehead.
Beginning in the early 1970s, up and down the course of the Licking River, sightings of strange, small creatures seen in or near the river have been called in to the police and the local newspapers and television stations. The first such sighting came in 1972, when a fisherman from Butler reported to police that he had seen the heads of three "giant frogs" poking above the river near his boat. The creatures seemed content to stare at him for a few minutes and then disappear beneath the surface of the dark waters.
In May of 1975, a number of farmers in Pendleton County noticed that an unusual number of chickens and dogs were disappearing from their property. On the night of May 28th, Buck Stith, a farmer whose land backed on to the Licking River, heard one of his hounds calling out as if in pain. He rushed outside just in time to see a small, quickly moving dark shape dragging the dog off towards the river. Stith said that the thing was about four feet tall, with a wide head and what appeared to be a ridge of hair or spines running down its back. It moved with a strange, lopsided hopping motion, that nevertheless carried it very quickly over the fields. Stith chased the creature but it easily outpaced him and disappeared into the dark waters of the river.
Similar incidents have been reported all along the Licking River ever since. In the summer months of 1984, residents in Southern Pendleton and Northern Bracken Counties reported seeing a strange creature in the area. One anonymous woman claimed that in the early evening she had seen something moving through the woods on her property that was about 5 feet hight, brownish green in color, with large, jet-black eyes and "a mohawk" running down its back.
The creatures seen along the Licking River in the past 40 years generally match the description of the thins spotted in Loveland in the 1950s. It seems that when Ohio became too developed for the Loveland Frogmen, they retreated to a quiet life in Kentucky.
Sightings have become less common over the years, and the creatures seem to be getting better at avoiding people. Dogs, Chickens, and other small livestock still disappear at unusually high rates along the river where it runs through Pendleton County and into Bracken, and hunters and fishermen often comment that there are certain stretches of the river where there never seem to be any squirrels.
One of the most recent reports of unusual activity in the area may be evidence that Kentucky Frogmen will be around for a while longer. In 2004, a young man named Keegan Reed was fishing along the river when, beside a still area of the bank, he came upon a clutch of what he described as large,transparent blobs floating in the water. These were gelatinous spheres about 6 inches in diameter that broke apart as Reed tried to remove several of them from the water. Returning to the same spot with a friend later in the week, Reed and his friend were unable to find the objects again, but did see what they described as a "giant tadpole" wriggling through the water near the spot. The next generation of Frogmen seems to be on its way.