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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Bluefield Frogoyle

 Bluefield Frogoyle

By Cole Herrold

Green seemingly reptilian or frog-like creatures are perhaps some of the most interesting cases in the world of the Fortean. Who does not love the Loveland Frogmen, either the wand-wielding parachute pants wearing 55' beings or the classic bipedal amphibians from 1972? There are tons of these reports, and each is unique in its own right. One such Cryptozoological Kermit occurred in Bluefield, West Virginia, and its visage and impact were so great that it affected the life of an at the time little boy for the rest of his life.

A boy by the name of Robert S. would write in 2004 at the now-defunct Your True Tales Paranormal Phenomenon. This encounter occurred in Bluefield, Mercer County, WV, after he had moved to the area as a boy. His family had moved into a house on Longview Ave; as a boy, he was noticeably and surprisingly fearless and was exceptionally curious about his new home. One of the things that piqued his interest as a boy was his neighbor's house, which was located two homes down from him. The house had long and huge hedges that surrounded the perimeter of the backyard. One day his curiosity got the best of him, and he proceeded to squeeze his way under the hedge; as he crawled under the greenery, he soon noticed that there was a layer of barbwire intermixed within; due to his size and age, he had no problem maneuvering through the wire. When he entered the backyard, he found a pond that was surrounded by Witching Balls. These witching balls were also darting the yard, and as he examined the confines of the yard, he noticed that someone had seen him from the window and he realized that if he were caught, he'd have to face repercussions and began to run back to the bushes and as he ducked and worked his way through the boughs a man came from the house running towards him and proceeded to yell at him “get out, get out”. Robert would describe the man as looking like” Allen Funt from "Candid Camera” and that he had “a white birthmark on his skin that looked like paint dropped on his head, and a sneaky grin". Robert proceeded to run back to his home after evading the barbwire and low-hanging limbs from the hedge, hoping that the walls of his home would provide him safety from his trespassing. This would not be the case, however, as the man ended up coming straight to his home, knocking aggressively on his front door, and then proceeded to tell his mother to keep him out of his yard.

Robert, for a time, did just that, but he was curious about this strange man, and as time went on, he watched his neighbor intently. He discovered that he and his wife were rather odd, to say the least, his wife would wear a tank top around her waist to show off the scars from where her breasts were removed, and on one winter day when he was out climbing a tree, he saw both the husband and wife sunbathing naked on their property in the snow. During the night, he could hear the neighbors singing Christian tunes for hours, and it was not at all peaceful but instead reminiscent of what one could imagine what playing the piano with a hammer would sound like. The peculiar nature of his eccentric neighbors was not enough, however, to dissuade him from approaching their property, and on one particular summer day, he would come to regret not staying his distance.

One summer day, he decided to go over to the hedges with his matchbox cars. While playing with the small mechanical vehicles, he noticed a rustling in the bushes. Curious by this, he turned to look at the shaking foliage and was surprised to see a face pop out and glare at him. This was no normal face; however, its visage to the young boy would only be comparable to a gargoyle, yet each feature of the strange entity was more perplexing than the last. Instead of human-like eyes, the creature had solid black pointed eyes that were bulging from a face that looked eerily like a frog's except that it had both teeth and ears that "flexed outward like the side of its head two big green gloves on” and a body similar in shape to a bulldog's. Its skin was a vibrant green in color, and while its arms and legs were not described in any great detail, it was noted that the creature had webbed feet that pointed inward as it walked. As it stared at the boy, the creature began to open its mouth and uncurl a loud hiss. Robert would describe this action in the following "He held it wide open as if to taste the air". Robert, as he stared at the creature, was completely paralyzed with fear and attempted to cry out for help, yet not a syllable was able to be uttered. Eventually, however, he was able to get control of his faculties and, at a speed that would rival The Flash proceeded to run as fast as he could back to his home and run straight to his mother. Upon seeing her, he, in excited and terrified bursts of energy, attempted to tell her about the anomalous amphibian that he had witnessed, yet all she could do was point to a series of "Childcraft books" and say, "See if you can show Mommie a picture of the animal." Upon scanning through the various tomes, the closest he came across was even more peculiar as the animal in question was an Australian marsupial namely a Koala and only this because of how the creature’s eyes appeared. Seeing the animal her son had said was the closest in appearance, his mother only laughed and said, "Son, those animals are only in Australia. What you probably saw was a dog". Disheartened by his mother's comment, he never spoke of the creature again.

Several years later, after his strange and eccentric neighbors had left the area, a preacher and his wife moved into their house. Robert was then hired by the couple to do some maintenance on the property, like mowing the grass and taking care of the home in general and on one occasion, he had to go down into the basement of the home, and while there, he felt extremely terrified of being down there as though there was some dark energy in that room. Robert proceeded to tell the preacher about his experience with the previous owners of the house and about the time the husband chased him out. The preacher explained that the man did this because a little girl in the area drowned in the pond, and the girl's family proceeded to sue the family. Yet Robert felt that there was some strange connection to the previous owners, the strange creature, and the dark energy he felt in the basement, but he could not figure out just how or what it could be. Robert's final remarks on the creature, however, were the following “I have never seen a creature like the one I'm about to tell you about since the day I laid eyes upon it, and till this point, I have never seen it again… Because of that experience, I have always been scared of the dark because I know there are monsters. I saw one."

With this case, there are several avenues to go down in analyzing this case. Perhaps the most obvious is the possibility of a hoax, seeing as this was an online uploaded report with no follow-up. The strange details in the case could be examples of elaboration to make the case seem stranger, and there are certain details that definitely seem unrelated and raise the question as to why they'd include that in the report. This almost seems like a slight wink towards absurdity, something a hoax claim would usually do. Yet with that said, there's a lot in the description that seems to be reminiscent of other more obscure cases that, to me, at least seem to point to something more tangible than a wild false narrative.

The next possibility still on the skeptical side would obviously be a misidentification. One could point to an exotic pet such as an iguana or basilisk lizard as being the culprit of what he had seen. The barbwire could possibly have been some idea of the couple's to keep the animal inside the area of the yard. Yet, with most cases of a reptilian or frog humanoid, there are problems with this; for one thing, the boy got a very good look at the creature, and upon trying to find something similar in a book, the closest he came to and only because of the eyes was a koala. If this was a reptile of any variety that we are currently familiar with, he would have found something similar, so I have to say that a misidentification is extremely unlikely. This unlikeliness is added to the fact that similar types of creatures have been reported elsewhere, often times in and around water.

Now this curious creature does appear to be a cryptid as from the very brief encounter that was described, it seems to indicate something that can interact with its environment and has a kind of behavior that is extremely similar to reptiles and amphibians, especially when the creature opened its mouth wide and taste the air. This behavior has been reported in other seemingly reptilian and amphibian cryptids, such as Lizardmen reports and the Franklin Township Frogman case. In comparison to other reported cryptids, this particular cryptid is actually very similar to another cryptid reported in New Kensington, PA, on February 28, 1981. This being known as the New Kensington Green Thing was described as a green-skinned entity with strange ear-like protrusions and webbed feet. The creature was seen by a group of boys who attempted to capture it but were unsuccessful, and it ran into a sewer drain. There are other similarly described small frog or lizard-like creatures reported elsewhere, and with this and the New Kensington Green Thing cases, I have to wonder if what these creatures are is the juvenile versions of larger cryptids. As a researcher, we go off the assumption that cryptids are, for the most part, biological in nature and origin, and if this is to be the case, there must be both a decently sized population and young. While with some cryptids like lake monsters and sasquatch young are reported with reptilian and amphibian cryptids, there are seemingly no reports in the record. Yet looking at cases like this, it could be that is exactly what we are looking at, and it would make sense as well. In nature, there are what is referred to as r and K-selected species; in r-selected species, such as sea turtles, there is no care for the young due to the fact that in species of this variety they tend to release a ton of offspring at once and very quickly whereas K selected species tend to raise young for longer periods of time and have fewer numbers of offspring. Some species, like certain dinosaurs, had intermediate traits between the two types of r and K selection. With aquatic humanoids or reptilian humanoids, it would seem that they would be either in the intermediate category or r selected, and if their behavior is like frogs or sea turtles, this could explain why there are never any reports of juveniles with adult lizardmen or frogmen yet why there are tons of seemingly unrelated reports of lizardmen, frogmen, and these frogoyles and green things. Yet, of course, this is all mere speculation.

Now while this creature does appear to be a cryptid, it's not the only possibility of its origin of existence. The next possibility, as unlikely as it sounds, is that this entity could be some sort of demon or supernatural entity. While this seems like a clear departure from sanity, I say this for the following reasons, and it's entirely in regard to the Robert S. neighbors. In myths, there are entities known as familiars, and interestingly enough, familiars often take the forms of owls, crows, cats, and for this possibility, frogs. These entities often change into intermediate stages of a demonic entity, and the animal they appear as to the witch who owns them. Robert was quick to point out that the neighbor's behavior was rather eccentric, and so it's possible that some of this could have been due to practicing Magick of some sort or another. This, too, added to the strange drowning of a girl in the couple's pond, could all be connected to them summoning some sort of entity, and on this particular day, Robert had happened to see it. Or alternatively that the couple was attempting to rid their property of some malevolent entity as witching balls which were seen in their backyard traditionally were used by farmers to scare witches and other malevolent entities away. This could be the more likely option since if they were malevolent magicians of some sort, the husband would not have told Robert to get out, and he would be in the basement being used in some arcane ritual. Again, there’s not much to go on and certainly not much to connect without wild speculation, but it should be noted that even towards the writing of his encounter, Robert felt there was some connection to all the strange things with the couple, the creature, and the house. Or, more than likely, they are all separate phenomena.

The Bluefield Frogoyle is an interesting addition to a wide pantheon of seemingly aquatic-looking cryptids. The fact that it was seen so close to a pond, albeit in someone's back yard, is interesting as depending on the layout of the house and the yard, one has to wonder just how the overall setup of the area is. There is a hypothesis that I've been a firm supporter of proposed by Cryptozoologist Rob Morphy that aquatic humanoids may migrate from one watery locale to another. I find this extremely likely since oft times these creatures are not seen regularly in such locations and often disappear for exceptionally long periods of time only to occasionally reappear. Often times in some locations, there are islands and rocky areas that rise out of the water; these would be ideal locations for the creatures to live momentarily as they go from water source to water source, and it could also explain how and why similar creatures are seen in completely different locations in the US and if these creatures have life cycles like an amphibian then there will be all sorts of different stages reported hence why someone might see a frogman or Fishman and someone else in a different location might see an Armless Horror or Charles Mill Lake Monster whereas others might see Frogoyles or Green Things. Obviously, this is just a theory based on the pattern of sightings of these types of creatures, yet it's interesting to think about. Either way, this is a fascinating case and one that I'm sure we will more than likely never find a definitive answer to but until the day we know this is a hoax or a real creature, it's best to stay away from the strange property in Bluefield.

Quick Facts:

Species/Potential Species: Reptile, Amphibian, Paranormal Entity

Location: Bluefield, Mercer County, West Virginia

Sighted: Undisclosed

Works Cited:

Monsters of Virginia by L. B. Taylor Jr.

Mack Maloney's Haunted Universe By Mack Maloney

Strange Tales from Virginia's Mountains: The Norton Woodbooger, the Missing Beale Treasure, the Ghost Town of Lignite and More By Denver Michaels



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