Posted by: codsow | October 11, 2010

Frogs in Loveland…

Around 15 miles Northeast of Cincinnati lies the town of Loveland. Just a small town, like many other smaller suburbs in the greater Cincinnati area. What sets this town apart though, is it’s history with frogs.

The most famous of the Loveland frog stories is from March of 1972. One night, on a patrol, an officer driving down Riverside road spotted what he thought was a dog in the road. The witness slowed down to a stop and when he did, the assumed dog stood up on two feet and ran past the front of the police car. He described the animal as being around 3 feet tall and 50-75 pounds. The officer then went for backup. Around two weeks later, another officer spotted a similar animal on the same road, this time getting out of the car and firing his weapon at it. Nothing was ever found from either incident. Many years later, one of the officers in an interview, stated that the whole incident was blown way out of proportion. His story was that it was a large Iguana, or another reptile that could have been kept as a pet. This almost puts the story to rest. Almost…

Before these sightings, a man was driving around Loveland area close to the Little Miami river. He noticed something strange towards the water, pretty close to a bridge. He decided to pull his car over to get a better look. He saw three human like creatures, with bodies like amphibians, huddled together near the river. He even described one of the creatures holding a devices that emitted some sort of spark or electricity. This was in May of 1955, almost 20 years before the police officers’ encounter.

Even before these more recent sightings, the Shawnee Indian tribe had witnessed what they called the “Shawnahooc,” or River Demon. Supposedly, as the legend goes, a group on a hunting trip spotted a large, bipedal frog on the banks of the river. Once it was noticed, it fled into the river. The Shawnee tribe was so spooked by this random encounter, that they never went to the river alone. They even sent out their bravest warriors to go look for it to kill it, to keep their villagers at ease. If you are noticing, there seems to be a long history with this cryptid.

So lets look at all of this information. The Shawnee legend reports a large, frog like creature that can stand upright. In 1955, a man sees three similar creatures huddled by the river, one of which is holding a wand of some sorts. And then in 1972, two different police officers see what they describe as a 3-4 foot tall frog like creature. This account seems to be the easiest to debunk, but think of this:

At the time of the sighting, it was March, the 3rd to be exact. The road conditions were described as icy. One of the officers who witnessed the animal, in a later more recent interview, states that it was just a reptile that someone had as a pet. So say this is an iguana of some sorts. How does an iguana, or any pet reptile for that matter, get up from an icy road, and run away? Reptiles are cold blooded, in those conditions they would not be able to move as fast as it was originally described. Have you ever seen a snake on a cold morning? They do not move too quickly. In my eyes, this description does not make much sense.

I find it hard to discount the Native American legend. The Shawnee were some of the fiercest warriors that have ever lived, and they were afraid of something in the Little Miami river. The other part of this story that stands out, is the account of the three creatures by the river, and one of which holding a wand of some sorts. This makes me think of the fabled “Bridge Trolls.”

Luckily this creature is local, so there are many opportunities to go and look for the Loveland Frog. One of my favorite things to do, is take a night bicycle ride down the Little Miami bike path, find a place to stop, and turn off my headlight. Hopefully someday, I will be able to tell my own account of this amazing creature.

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