Dover Demon

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Bizarre humanoid EnTTY of Massachusetts.

Etymology: Name given by Loren Coleman and picked up by local newspapers.

Physical description: Height, 3 feet 6 inches-4 feet. Hairless, peach-colored, sandpapery skin. Large, watermelon-shaped head. Eyes, orange or green, shining, round, and lidless. No nose,

140 dorsal finner

ears, or mouth. Thin neck. Spindly arms and legs. Long fingers and hands.

Behavior: Bipedal.

Distribution: Dover, Massachusetts.

Significant sightings: At 10:30 pm. on April 21, 1977, Bill Bartlett was driving through Dover, Massachusetts, with two friends when he saw a strange, thin creature with glowing eyes and a large head crawling along some rocks on the far side of the road. It was visible only for a few seconds, but it terrified Bartlett. Over the next twenty-four hours, there were two other sightings by local teens: About two hours later, John Baxter saw a humanoid creature run away from him down a wooded gully, and Will Taintor and Abby Brabham spotted an orange-eyed, monkeylike apparition crouching on all fours on the night of April 22.

dover demon 141

Possible explanations:

(1) A hoax by the teenagers, though the initial investigators (Loren Coleman and Walter Webb) thought the youngsters were sincere.

(2) An escaped laboratory monkey, though none was reported lost.

(3) A Red fox (Vulpesfulva) that had lost its hair due to sarcoptic mange.

(4) A newborn horse.

(5) A yearling Moose (Alces alces), suggested by Martin Kottmeyer. There is a permanent breeding population of 200-300 moose in Massachusetts, mostly west of the Connecticut River, though some have wandered close to Boston. In 1996, a young moose cow crashed through some fences around row houses near Boston College. A calf would make an unexpected sight in the darkness; however, some of the characteristics do not match, and moose were not as populous in 1977 as they are now.

(6) A Merbeing, according to Mark A. Hall, though it was seen in the woods.

(7) A paranormal apparition or unidentified flying object (UFO) entity.

Sources: Jerome Clark, "The Dover Humanoid," Fate 31 (March 1978): 50-55; Joseph A. Citro, Passing Strange (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997), pp. 136-147; Martin Kottmeyer, "Demon Moose," The Anomalist 6 (1998): 104-110; Loren Coleman, Mysterious America, rev. ed. (New York: Paraview Press, 2001), pp. 42-61.

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