TURNER, Maine —Residents are wondering if an animal found dead over the weekend may be the mysterious creature that has mauled dogs, frightened residents and been the subject of local legend for half a generation.
The animal was found near power lines along Route 4 on Saturday, apparently struck by a car while chasing a cat. The carcass was photographed and inspected by several people who live in the area, but nobody is sure exactly what it is.
Michelle O’Donnell of Turner spotted the animal near her yard about a week before it was killed. She called it a “hybrid mutant of something.”
“It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget,” she told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. “We locked eyes for a few seconds and then it took off. I’ve lived in Maine my whole life and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
For the past 15 years, residents across Androscoggin County have reported seeing and hearing a mysterious animal with chilling monstrous cries and eyes that glow in the night. The animal has been blamed for attacking and killing a Doberman pinscher and a Rottweiler the past couple of years.
People from Litchfield, Sabattus, Greene, Turner, Lewiston and Auburn have come forward to speak of a mystery monster that roams the woods. Nobody knows for sure what it is, and theories have ranged from a hyena or dingo to a fisher or coydog, an offspring of a coyote and a wild dog.
Now, people are asking if the mystery beast and the animal killed over the weekend are one and the same.
Wildlife officials and animal control officers declined to go to Turner to examine the remains. By Tuesday, the carcass had been picked clean by vultures and there was not much left of the dead animal.
Loren Coleman, a Portland author and cryptozoologist, said it’s unlikely that the animal was anybody’s pet.
After reviewing photos of the carcass, Coleman said he was bothered by the animal’s ears and snout. It reminded him of a case years ago in northern Maine in which an animal shot by a hunter could not be identified. In the end, wildlife officials got a DNA analysis that showed the animal was a rare wolf-dog hybrid, he said.
Mike O’Donnell, who is married to Michelle O’Donnell, said the animal looked “half-rodent, half-dog” to him.
It was charcoal gray, weighed between 40 and 50 pounds and had a bushy tail, a short snout, short ears and curled fangs hanging over its lips, he said. It looked like “something out of a Stephen King story.”
“This is something I’ve never seen before. It’s an evil-looking thing,” he said.
On another website run by Cryptomundo these comments offered perspective of the media frenzy associated with the discovery. –
It is intriguing to see what kind of media frenzy is occurring because of this story. For the record, here’s some headlines that were used on the 16th and 17th of August, 2006:
CBS4Boston, Boston: “Mystery Beast Discovered In Maine.”
Associated Press, Drudge Report, Conservative Voice (NC), CBS-News, newspapers nationwide: “‘Hybrid Mutant’ Found Dead in Maine.”
ABC-TV affiliates nationwide, Boston Globe: “Residents wonder if dead animal is legendary mystery beast.”
WMTW, Portland, Maine: “Is Dead Animal Legendary ‘Mystery Beast?’”
In Madagascar, the media decided to go with the headline: “Killer ‘Hybrid Mutant’ Creature Found Dead in Maine.”
Mike Lemos of Ventura, California, a graphic designer and artist came up with the famous picture which circulates the internet currently.
Within months a website sprang up to meet the demand of “Maine Mutant” merchandise, http://45742.spreadshirt.com/us/US/Shop/
Sadly the animal was not studied by any authorities in Maine (strange). A DNA study would probably have allowed us to see the true identity of this “monster”. It probably is as well. Maine is a state whose forests can easily hide a “monster” for many years, in fact most of the state is woods. Maybe another lurks in the woods of Maine only to resurface in our near future.