Have you ever heard of the Loveland frog? This is a legendary humanoid frog that was first reported around 1952 – 1955 in Loveland, Ohio. It’s probably one of the lesser-known Ohio cryptids (perhaps because it isn’t as interesting as the Mad Moose of Mansfield or as scary as South Bay Bessie). However, like those other creatures, there are several accounts of the Loveland frog being seen by multiple people in Ohio. Keep reading to learn more about what this creature is and where it came from.
It’s said to be a monster with the body of a frog and the head of an unidentified humanoid reptile. The beast is described as being “about four feet long” (1.2 meters) with mottled green-grey skin and bulging eyes that reflect red at night.
All sightings have been made along the Little Miami river between Lake Isabella and Chateau Laroche (Loveland Castle). This is a distance of less than four miles. See the map below:
Loveland Frog – First Sightings
The first sighting of The Loveland Frog, according to the author Michael Newton, (no amphibious puns intended) was a businessman by the name of Mr Robert Hunnicut who was motoring home from work on his way to Loveland through Branch Hill, when he saw three bipedal, green-grey reptilian beings, each between three to four feet tall under a (railway) bridge next to the river. The incident took place during March of 1952 (some say 1955). According to the witness they seemed to be able to talk to each other and one of them held a cylindrical or wand-like device the issued blue sparks and frightened Mr Hunnicut so much that he fled the location. He later reported the incident to police chief Fritz of the Springfield station. Fritz is said to have investigated the area but found nothing to substantiate the story.
Allegedly, later that year during the Spring of 1955, a group of boys were fishing near to Loveland Castle, (Chateau Laroche*1), when they claimed to have seen a three-and-a-half-foot tall frog-like creature swim across their path. The boys described it as having a wide mouth, “green-grey skin” and four legs, two of which look more like arms They reported that it made hissing noises while swimming towards them before disappearing under water. (It’s worth noting that Chateau Laroche is the worldwide headquarters of the Knights of the Golden Trail.) this was likely the second main sighting of the Loveland frog.
Ray Shockey and Mark Mathews
In 1972, police officer Ray Shockey was driving down Riverside Road when he saw something so weird that it would change his beliefs forever. The officer said he was driving slowly due to the icy conditions when he spotted what looked like a large dog by the curb.
The animal sprinted in front of the vehicle and forced it to come to an immediate halt. Once the cruiser came to a stop, its headlights revealed the crouching animal which looked like a giant frog with human-like features. The animal’s eyes reflected red in the cruiser’s headlights and seemed to be staring back at the officer before running off and leaping over the guard rail before vanishing into the water below.
Two weeks after officer Ray Shockey’s sighting, police officer Mark Mathews experienced his own odd encounter. While motoring into Loveland, he spotted what he believed to be an animal carcass lying on the tarmac. He got out of his vehicle with the aim of removing the carcass from the frozen road when the beast abruptly lurched upwards into en erect position—and began moving toward him. Mathews realised he was looking at something other than an ordinary animal and fired his weapon at the beast which quickly dashed for the river and vanished with a splash.
The oddness does not end there: both Shockey and Matthews also recorded that their frogman was “greenish black or grey” with “round bumps or protrusions on its head.”
The event attracted a fair amount of publicity which neither officer welcomed. Sometime after their original claims the policeman changed their stories to the effect that the creature they had seen was nothing more than a tailless iguana – a pet that had obvious escaped from its owners. In fact, during a much later interview Matthews clearly stated that the whole incident had been exaggerated out proportion.
Not all researchers were convinced by the change in the narrative and believe that officers were compelled to change their story due to unwanted media attention and hostile local attitudes.
Other Eyewitnesses See the Loveland Frog
Other eyewitnesses who saw the frogman include Mr Chalfant, who told reporters that he saw the creature from his car on East Loveland road close to the bridge. He said it was “about five feet long, with dark skin and green stripes.”
As recently as 2016, two teenagers claimed to have seen the creature between Loveland Madeira Road and Lake Isabella. Sam Jacobs and his girlfriend witnessed the creature and were shaken by what they saw. According to Jacobs, who is the first to admit how weird the story sounds, the Loveland frog stood up to a height of 4 feet and walked on its hind legs. The teenagers even managed to capture a quick if indistinct video on their phones.
Unreported Sightings and Ongoing Rumours
Researchers believe that there have been numerous other sightings of these creatures but now that the Loveland Frogmen have become the subject of fun and frivolity, they are reluctant to come forward for fear of being ridiculed. Still, it is remarkable that a handful of sightings can so successfully keep the story going without something else stoking the fire. That fact that all the sightings, when mapped out, depict a distinct territory that was and still is near to woodlands and nature reserves is worth noting.
Finally, according to researcher, R. W. Benjamin, prior to the region being settled by Europeans, the local Indians of the Shawnee tribe recorded the existence of a ‘Shawnahooc’ or ‘River Demon’ that would retreat into the river when spotted. Makes you wonder.
It is also worth noting that the idea of a frog-humans was not a new one. In fact there was a well document case of a man who was known as American Jack who took part in carnival shows and was eventually displayed (live) as part of the American Museum in London during 1888.