Dover Demon

Dover Demon is a bizarre humanoid Entity 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,ears, or mouth. Thin neck. Spindly arms and legs. Long fingers and hands.

Behavior:

Bipedal.

Distribution:

Dover, Massachusetts.

Significant sightings:

At 10:30 p.m. 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.

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 (Vulpes fulva) 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.

FURTHER READING:

  • 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.

SOURCE:

Mysterious Creatures – A Guide to Cryptozoology – By George M. Eberhart

The Dover demon was a mysterious creature reported by teenagers in Dover, Massachusetts, on April 21 and 22, 1977. The first to see the creature was seventeen-year-old Bill Bartlett, who described the creature in much the same way as alien abductees describe extraterrestrials: 4 feet (1.2m) tall, with a humanlike but abnormally thin body, a huge head, skinny arms and legs, long fingers and long feet. About two hours later, fifteen-year-old John Baxter, saw a creature fitting the same description, as did fifteen-year-old Abby Brabham the next night, through the window of a car in which she was riding. However, Brabham said that its eyes were green, whereas the other witnesses had described them as orange. After the local newspaper reported on the sightings (and gave the creature its name), many people in Dover dismissed the demon as nothing more than a teenage prank. However, because those reporting the sightings seemed sincere, other people suggested that the teenagers had simply mistaken a wild animal for something mysterious. Still, a few people believed that what Bartlett, Baxter, and Brabham saw was no ordinary animal but instead was a demon, a monster, or an extraterrestrial.

SEE ALSO:

  • Descriptions of Aliens

SOURCE:

The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

Related Articles

Big Bird

The “Big Bird” that overflew the Rio Grande Valley in January 1976 got its name from the Sesame Street character. Witnesses described it as, however,…