Friday, April 20, 2012

The Dover Demon, a New Illustration From a First Hand Account

Were it not for the alliteration of the words, it is doubtful the cryptid known as The Dover Demon would ever have been called The Dover Demon at all. Another case of a short-lived, or hit and run cryptid, like The Enfield Horror, on April 21, 1977, the sightings of something otherworldly forever changed a small suburb of Boston, Mass. Four teens witnessed a creature — labeled the Dover Demon by locals — at different times within a 25-hour period. Their descriptions and accounts seemed to confirm there was a new resident in Dover.

Witnesses described this alienlike creature as having a watermelon-shaped head and a body like a lanky monkey. The demon also had very large eye sockets with glowing eyes, but no other perceptible facial features were reported. The demon appeared to stand no more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall with a hairless body and a bright orange skin tone. What exactly could this creature with such strange features be?

The Dover Demon 1977
The Dover Demon, most probably one of the most misnamed cryptids in history. What the witnesses from Dover witnessed that night was clearly an alien creature. But he who names it claims it. I know of no variety of demonic creature that vaguely resembles this rendering of what was seen near Boston on April 21, 1977.

One's first intuition might be to assume the witnesses had just returned from a matinee of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but that movie didn't open until November of 1977, I therefore conclude this must be confirmed as a legitimate sighting of a real space alien.

The Dover Demon was first sighted 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. 

Here's a rendering of The Dover Demon that might be considered more "demonic," but it's not what the witnesses actually described.

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."

Jenny Mathews' illustration of the Dover Demon
Illustration of a first-hand account of the Dover Demon by artist Jenny Mathews
Exclusive. I sent a Zombie Logic Press reporter over to Dover last week, and he reported back that the 1977 sighting turned out to be a guy named Artie who had been drinking at the same bar, the El Dorado on Sixth, for 33 years before those kids saw him come stumbling out. Sure, he was a little orange, Joe Pozlanski, the owner/operator of the El Dorado stated, but so is Mike Ditka, and that's what 33 years of sitting on the same bar stool drinking Cutty Sark and rooting for the Bruins will do to you. Case closed. (Artist rendition of the actual Dover Demon, Artie Schneider, by Tiny Drawing artist Jenny Mathews).

More Tiny Drawings by Jenny Mathews
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  2. I saw the Dover Demon eating a corn dog at Trader Vic's.


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