J.A. George enjoys ranking things. Samantha does it sometimes too.
Love 'em or hate 'em, let us know using #Shamelist
Episode 3 - 10.30.17: Obscure Cryptids (J.A. George)
What's a cryptid? It's a creature whose existence has yet to be definitively proven. Cryptids are usually the stuff of myth or folklore. Think Bigfoot, or our Scottish friend in the background there, Nessie.
Believing in things that other people consider unbelievable is kind of a job requirement for speculative fiction writers. So this episode's Shamelist is all about my favorite "impossible" creatures.
5. Big Bird
Not that Big Bird. Cryptid Big Bird was a bizarre amalgam of simian and avian that was spotted near the Rio Grande for about a week in early 1976. It was described as around five feet tall, with a long beak, no feathers and a face like a monkey.
So why fifth place? Because it was only seen for about a week. I'ma need a more substantial reign of terror if you want a higher place on this list, Big Bird.
4. Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp
The Lizard Man terrorized South Carolina's Scape Ore swamp, most notably by chasing a 17 year-old kid and damaging his car. He makes the list because an angry, red-eyed lizard man who jumps on cars and scratches them up is fairly terrifying. He didn't rate higher because there just aren't enough documented sightings to warrant taking one of the top spots.
Pukwudgies are the Native American equivalents of European fairies or gnomes. They're forest creatures, and they make the list because of the variety of ways they're viewed by different tribes.
To some, the pukwudgie is a mischievous prankster. To others, they're more likely to steal a child. That uncertainty ups the terror factor enough to come in third place on the Shamelist.
2. The Pope Lick Monster
The Pope Lick Monster is the only entrant on this Shamelist that I'd consider truly malicious. The Pope Lick Monster is found near the Pope Lick Trestle in the Louisville area, where it's said to use hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure people onto the trestle's train tracks in the hopes of killing them. If that doesn't work, it's also been claimed to jump on top of cars passing beneath the trestle and to attack people with an axe.
And if that's not enough, one version of its origin asserts that the monster is the reincarnation of a farmer who sacrificed goats to Satan. All the way around, this guy is bad news.
1. The Frogmen of Loveland
The Frogmen of Loveland top this Shamelist for multiple reasons.
- Longevity: The Frogmen were first spotted back in 1955 by a businessman who saw them congregating on the side of the road. They've been spotted multiple times since then, with documented sightings as recently as 2016.
- Credibility: The first witness was a businessman. The second and third times were by police officers. In all three of these cases, the witnesses were individuals who had reputations they needed to maintain to keep their credibility, but risked it because of what they'd seen.
- Mystery: The Frogmen are intelligent enough to communicate, watch and avoid a police officer they interpreted as a threat, and in their first sighting, used some kind of spark shooting wand. What are they? Do they have a society? Technology? Like learning how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.
- Proximity: I live near Loveland. This is a cryptid mystery in my own back yard. That makes this personal! Maybe one of these days, I'll take a trip across town and perform an investigation of my own. The fact that I could do that so easily, makes this particular cryptid far more fascinating.