The scene is the early hours of March 3, 1972. A police officer is cruising on Riverside Ave., which runs for a few blocks along the Little Miami River in Loveland, Ohio. On the side of the road he sees what he at first thinks is a dog lying there. He slows his vehicle on the icy road to avoid hitting the animal should it get up and run in front of him. He nears the animal and stops his patrol car, at which point the creature quickly stands on two legs to a crouching position. Illuminating the creature with his headlights, the officer can now clearly see that it is not a dog at all, but something he cannot explain:
- three to four feet tall
- 50 to 75 pounds
- leathery skin
- possibly wet, matted hair on its body that made it look textured possibly a short tail
- a head and face like a frog or lizard
Whatever this creature was, it looked at the officer briefly, then leapt over the road's guard rail toward the river. The officer reported the odd sighting to the police dispatcher, then later returned to the scene of the incident with another officer. All they found was evidence that something had scraped the hillside as it made its way down to the river.
The creature may have been completely forgotten had not a second police officer seen it again two weeks later. The second officer also at first thought the thing lying in the middle of the road was a dog or roadkill. When he got out of his car to haul it to the side of the road, it got up, climbed over the guard rail this time, all the while keeping its eyes on the officer, and disappeared toward the river. His description of the creature pointed out the same frog-like characteristics. A subsequent investigation uncovered only one other possible sighting around the same time; a farmer claimed to have seen some kind of large, lizard-like creature. It thereafter became known as the Loveland Lizard or Loveland Frog.
What was it? Good question. If is was a frog or similar amphibian, it's the largest one ever recorded - and the only one known to get up and walk away on its hind legs.