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A sketch of the Demon's most common description.
|First reported||April 21, 1977|
|Last reported||April 22, 1977|
The Dover Demon is an alleged cryptozoological creature sighted on three separate occasions during a 25-hour period in the town of Dover, Massachusetts on April 21 and April 22, 1977. It has remained a subject of interest for cryptozoologists ever since then. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was the initial investigator and the individual who named the creature the Dover Demon; it was disseminated by the press, and the name stuck. Coleman quickly assembled and brought into the inquiry three other investigators: Joseph Nyman, Ed Fogg, and Walter Webb. All were well-known ufological researchers in eastern Massachusetts, with Webb being the assistant director of the Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Science Museum. Coleman did not feel he was necessarily dealing with a ufological phenomenon, but he wanted to have seasoned investigators with good interviewing skills to do a comprehensive examination of the eyewitnesses and their families, as well as law enforcement, educational, and community members.
The Dover Demon was first seen outside near a bar by three seventeen-year-old boys who were driving through the Massachusetts area when the car's headlights illuminated it. Bill Bartlett, the driver, reported that he saw what he thought at first was a dog or a cat, but upon closer inspection realized that it was a bizarre, unearthly-looking creature crawling along a stone wall on Farm Street.
Bartlett continued to watch the creature, and he reported it to have a disproportionately large, watermelon-shaped head and illuminated orange eyes, like glass marbles. It had long, thin arms and legs with slender fingers, which it used to grasp onto the pavement. It was hairless and had rough, flesh-toned skin, described as tan and sandpaper-like. The creature's appearance was very plain, with no nose or ears, and no mouth was seen. The witness drawings portray its head as having a skull shape, forming the contour of a circle on top with a more elliptical ending projecting down to include where the nose and mouth would be.
Other witnesses have claimed the creature had green eyes and seemingly smooth, chalky gray toned skin, three feet tall, and made a bloodcurdling noise, similar to a hawk's screech combined with a snake's hiss. But all witnesses say it had no ears, mouth, nose, or known sex.
The creature was sighted again an hour later, by John Baxter, 15, and Pete Mitchell, 13, as they were walking home. He said it was bipedal and ended up running into a gully and standing next to a tree. The next day, Abby Brabham, 15, and Will Traintor, 18, driving down Springdale Avenue, claimed to have seen a similar-looking creature from Traintor's car, on the side of the road. Brabham's description matched Bartlett's and Baxter's descriptions, except this time the cryptid had illuminated green eyes. She approximated its height as "about the size of a goat". Investigators attempted to shake up Ms. Brabham by noting she said it had green eyes reflected by car headlights, while Bartlett mentioned orange eyes were reflected back to him by his automobile's lights. Ms. Brabham was steadfast in her description.
Bartlett, Baxter, Brabham, and Traintor all drew sketches of the monstrous sight shortly after their sightings. On the piece of paper that includes Bartlett's sketch, he wrote "I, Bill Bartlett, swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw this creature."
The widespread interest in the Dover Demon has resulted in it being an oft-discussed cryptid in popular culture, and having Japanese figurines of the creature being developed for cryptobuffs in Japan and North America.
The Dover Demon is currently a classic cryptid, with a variety of theories abounding as to what it was or is. One zoological answer that has been proposed is that it was a newborn moose. No conclusive evidence has been found for the existence of the Dover Demon.
In popular culture
- One of the species of alien, the sectoids, in the X-COM games is heavily based on the Dover Demon.