One night in 1955 in Loveland, Ohio a man reported seeing three strange figures on the side of Hopewell Road. When he approached, the man was shocked by what he saw. He immediately ran to fetch the police, but by the time they returned the figures were gone, leaving behind nothing save for the strong and peculiar scent of “almonds and alfalfa”. The strange figures, according to the man, were frogmen.1
The 1955 case, for all its strangeness, was soon forgotten in Loveland. That was until St. Patrick’s day 1972, when a police officer, Ray Shockey, reported seeing what he initially thought to be a dead dog on the bridge near Riverside Drive. Upon further inspection, and to his horror, Shockey witnessed what he described as a frogman rise up and stand on two legs. Aghast, the police officer shot at it, causing the creature to flee over the guard railing and disappear.2
Shockey related the story to his friend and fellow officer Mark Mathews, who later examined the site of the bizarre happening. Whilst driving along the Little Miami River, close to where the frogman was allegedly encountered, Mathews saw something scurry across the road. As the creature darted under the railings, Mathews fired his gun. This time the bullet hit its mark. Upon retrieving the body, the officier realised that the creature was merely a large iguana without a tail – and not a frogman. Mathews took the body and showed it to Shockey in order to ask if that was what he had seen. Shockey agreed that it was, and with that the case of the Loveland frog seemed closed. 3
However, it was not to be. In the years since researchers have speculated that Ray Shockey, a police officer, did not want to associate himself any further with seemingly ridiculous tales of frogmen and took the opportunity to exculpate himself when Mathews presented the iguana. After all, there is a key difference between the two sightings: Shockey claimed to have witnessed a bipedal creature, which fled over the guardrail, whereas Mathews saw a four-legged iguana scurry under the rail.
Either way, Frogmen are nothing new to the area around Loveland. A folklore professor at the University of Cincinnati, Edgar Slotkin, has stated that such tales predate the 1955 sighting.4
Supposed sightings of the Loveland frogman have even permeated into modern times. In 2016, Sam Jacobs and his girlfriend were playing Pokemon Go by Lake Isabella in Loveland when they saw what they initially believed to have been a large frog. Jacobs stated that he had never before seen anything like it.5
“The thing stood up and walked on its hind legs. I realize this sounds crazy, but I swear on my grandmother’s grave this is the truth.”
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