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Seventeen-year-old William Bartlett claimed that while driving on April 21, 1977, he saw a large-eyed creature "with tendril-like fingers" and glowing eyes on top of a broken stone wall on Farm Street in Dover, Massachusetts. Fifteen-year-old John Baxter reported seeing a similar creature on Miller Hill Road the same evening. Another 15-year-old, Abby Brabham, claimed to have seen the creature the following night on Springdale Avenue. 
The teenagers all drew sketches of the alleged creature. Bartlett wrote on his sketch, "I, Bill Bartlett, swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw this creature." According to the Boston Globe, "the locations of the sightings, plotted on a map, lay in a straight line over 2 miles".
Some suggested that the creature may have been a foal or a moose calf. Police told the Associated Press that creatures reported by the teenagers "were probably nothing more than a school vacation hoax."
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman did investigations and interviews and rejected conventional explanations. According to Coleman, the students' teachers, parents, school principal, and the local police chief spoke highly of the credibility of the four witnesses. Coleman has stated his belief that the creature was an "unknown phenomenon". He wrote about the case in Fate magazine and his 1983 book, Mysterious America and has claimed he was the first to coin the name "Dover Demon". 
- Sullivan, Mark (October 29, 2006). "Decades later, the Dover Demon still haunts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Dover Demon". Animal Planet. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
- "Teeners report 'creature'". Associated Press. May 16, 1977. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Coleman, Loren (2007). Mysterious America.