Lake Worth Monster
The Lake Worth Monster is a cryptid many people reported sighting in the summer of 1969 at Lake Worth and Greer Island, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States.
People alleged seeing the monster roaming on Greer Island in the middle of the lake.
According to local folklore, the monster lived along the shores of the West Fork of the Trinity River, where it flows into Lake Worth.
The first reports of the Lake Worth Monster in July 1969 described it as a powerfully built, 7-foot-tall, goat-man or fish-man creature weighing about 350 pounds.
Lake Worth Monster had white fur
Some said it had a long neck, floppy ears, sloped shoulders, and horns on its head. Many witnesses added that it had scales, white fur, or hair. It also had long fingers ending in claws.
A few witnesses noticed it was somewhat pot-bellied.
It had Superman strength and could toss a pickup truck tire and wheel more than 500 feet as if it was only a flimsy frisbee.
Lake Worth Monster attacked dogs and livestock
According to some reports, the Lake Worth Monster was a powerful swimmer and could shimmy up trees like a monkey. It fed on fish and poultry.
There were also reports that it attacked dogs and livestock, such as sheep and cattle. It ripped animal victims to pieces or mutilated them.
Based on the eyewitness descriptions, cryptozoologist Craig Woolheater of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center told the Dallas Morning News he believed the Lake Worth Monster was a new bipedal primate species.
Sightings and Tales
The first reported sighting of the Lake Worth Monster occurred in July 1969. Many people reported seeing a strange creature described as a half-man, half-goat creature with fur, scales, and claws.
Local newspapers published various eyewitness accounts.
‘Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth’
Forth Worth Telegram’s Jim Marrs broke the news about Lake Worth Monster under the catchy headline: Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth.
The first reported sighting on July 9 involved John Reichert, his female partner, and two other couples.
They drove to Greer Island for a lonely spot to enjoy quality time together. They parked their car at a clearing. Around midnight, a strange creature interrupted their retreat when it jumped down a tree and landed on their car hood.
The monster tried to grab Reichert’s female partner. Terrified, the driver started the car and sped off. But in the ensuing confusion, the car swerved and sideswiped a tree.
The collision left an 18-inch gash on the side of the car.
The incident caused a stir following sensational reports by the local media.
Goatman hurled a wheel 500 feet like a frisbee
A day after the incident, a small crowd, including a group of Sheriff’s Deputies, saw a 7-foot monster standing on a cliff.
The creature seemed angry and agitated. It uttered a cry and hurled a pickup truck tire on a metal wheel about 500 feet at them. The group, including the Sheriff’s Deputies, dispersed in terror.
It appeared people had been reporting sightings before the July 9 incident, but police did not take them seriously. They ascribed the incidents to pranksters. However, after the incident on Greer Island in which the monster landed on a car hood, police started taking the reports seriously.
Police search for Lake Worth Monster
Police responded by sending armed men to the island to find the monster. However, they found no evidence of a monster living in the area.
People flocked to Lake Worth to see the monster
Newspaper coverage helped to generate public interest in the alleged sightings. People in the Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington metropolitan area and beyond flocked to Lake Worth, hoping to see the creature or join the police search.
According to a witness, locals were excited that their area now had its Sasquatch.
Sallie Ann Clarke was among the curious people who flocked to Lake Worth to satisfy their curiosity.
She investigated the sightings and interviewed people who saw the monster. Later in September 1969, she published a book, The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island.
Allen Plaster photo
Allen Plaster caused a stir in November 1969 when he claimed he saw the cryptid and captured a photograph.
The blurry photo showed a bright patch with a vaguely hominid shape against a dark background.
Plaster claimed it was the furry white beast walking through an area of high grass.
Plaster said he was driving on Shoreline Drive with some friends when, at about 1:35 a.m., they saw the monster standing on the side of the road.
However, in a 2006 interview with Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he dismissed the legend, saying he believed it was only a prankster.
Lake Worth monster explanation
Skeptics have proposed several theories to explain the sightings.
Some media sources claimed the folklore originated in stories summer camp instructors shared in jest with the children at the camps. They told the kids that a monster or goatman lurked around the campgrounds at night.
Dallas Morning News writer Charles Shudder reported that when he was at Camp Carter in the summer of 1999, the camp counselors told them stories about the legend of Goatman.
The stories scared the younger kids, but the older ones assured them that the counselors told Goatman stories to make the kids behave. They claimed the counselors made the noises they heard at night.
High school pranksters
Another theory suggested that the monster sightings were due to teenage pranksters trying to scare people.
Schools were on summer holidays when the first sighting occurred. High school kids on holidays were attending summer camps around Lake Worth. Thus, the monster might have been high schoolers pranking their mates.
Some sources suggested the pranksters might have been high school students at Brewer, Castleberry, or North Side High Schools.
Teenage pranksters in gorilla suits
Police reportedly questioned several students at Castleberry High School after they found them hurling gorilla outfits and masks around.
Newspaper reports claimed some school kids confessed to police they participated in pranks to scare people by wearing gorilla suits.
The claims seemed supported by the observation that monster reports subsided after the summer camps broke up when kids returned to school.
Forth Worth Star-Telegram reported in 2005 that one of their writers received a letter from someone who claimed they were part of a group of kids from North Side High School who staged pranks to scare people at summer camps.
The person claimed they used tinfoil masks to disguise themselves as monsters and scared a group of teenage girls.
The tire-hurling incident was allegedly a prank
Later in 2009, a media report backed up the earlier story with the claim that someone who identified as Vinzens admitted that he was in the July 10-11 tire-throwing incident.
He said that he and an accomplice rolled a tire from a junkyard down an incline. It went airborne after hitting a bump and flew off the cliff edge.
|Other Name/s||Lake Worth monster, Lake Worth Goatman, Fishy Goatman, Goat man, Goat Man of the Lake, the Island Monster, Fort Worth Bigfoot, Hairy Horror|
|Type||Humanoid, Hybrid, Lake Monster|
|Habitat||Cities, Countryside, Lake, River|
Where to find
Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, Eberhart, George M. (2002)
http://tchj.com/category/the-lake-worth-monster/, “The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island,” by Sallie Ann Clarke (1969).
https://tpwmagazine.com/archive/2003/oct/legend/, “Legend, Lore, and Legacy: The Lake Worth Monster,” accessed on March 8, 2023.
http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/goatman/, “Greer Island’s Goatman,” accessed on March 8, 2023.
https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/tarrant-county/tracking-goatman-the-story-behind-the-lake-worth-monster/287-526680734, “Tracking Goatman: The story behind the Lake Worth Monster,” accessed on March 8, 2023.
https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/bud-kennedy/article3866750.html, “1969: The moon landing, UFOs—and the Lake Worth Monster,” accessed on March 8, 2023.
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/fort-worth/article252652773.html, “‘Goatman’ mania overtook Fort Worth in the summer of 1969. The mystery was never solved,” accessed on March 8, 2023.
Featured Image: The Lake Worth Monster was a cryptid many reported seeing in the summer of 1969 in the Lake Worth area. Pic credit: Pixabay.