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Monday, December 11, 2017

Crypto-Kid: Jon Downes and Prehistoric Survivors Tonight

From Colin Schneider:

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid I will be joined by Jonathan Downes once again. Jon is a fan favorite guest and is always my go-to-guy when I need a guest. We will be discussing the idea of surviving prehistoric creatures tonight."

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Yetis are Bears (Again)

(Pandy Corona, Wikipedia)

Recently published: DNA analysis regarding samples of "yeti hair."

The Denver Post reports:

"The yeti, or abominable snowman, is one of the most sought-after animals that does not exist. A long line of explorers, including mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillary and Reinhold Messner, reported seeing strange figures and footprints in the Himalayas. Said to walk on two legs through the Tibetan Plateau, the yeti is described as a hairy and humanoid primate, partway between gorilla and David Letterman's beard.
"If you wish to hunt a yeti, there are just three rules to follow. If you find one, no talking to the press, not without permission from Nepali government officials. You can take the animal alive, but you cannot harm it: Shooting is to be done with camera's only, per a 1959 State Department memo (an exception is carved out for self-defense). And you must pay Nepal 5,000 rupees ($48.50) for a yeti permit.
"We would encourage you to spend those 5,000 rupees elsewhere. You won't find a yeti in yeti habitat. But, if you're lucky, you might stumble upon a bear.
"In a new genetic analysis, yeti bones, fur and other biological material turned out to be bear parts. 'All the samples that were supposed to be yetis matched brown and black bears that are living in the region,' said Charlotte Lindqvist, who studies bear evolution at the University of Buffalo in New York and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
"(There was just one exception. A yeti tooth kept at the Reinhold Messner Mountain Museum was a dog's.)
"Lindqvist and her colleagues, the authors of a report published Tuesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, extracted DNA from nine yeti samples and more than a dozen known bear specimens, collected in zoos and a national park in Pakistan.
"The connection between yeti and bear is an old one. Messner and Hillary eventually concluded what they had seen were bears. Biologists have made the link, too. In 2013, Oxford University issued a worldwide call for yeti samples. Oxford geneticists Bryan Sykes said that DNA from hairs revealed the yeti was similar to an ancient, extinct polar bear. For a moment, this biological curiosity revived hopes that an undiscovered animal loped through Tibetan snow.
"'I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive… may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it,' Sykes told the BBC in 2013.
"But other genetics experts, notably Ross Barnett at the University of Copenhagen, contested that finding. Sykes had made an error, partly due to degraded DNA, according to a re-analysis of the research by Barnett and University of Huddersfield bimolecular archaeologist Ceiridwen Edwards.
"It was as off 'Sykes had the letters Y-E-T and, searching for matches, he though he found YETI,' Barnett said. Sykes acknowledged the error but maintained that the yeti hair could have come from a polar bear or ursine hybrid.
"The new work is more robust, Barnett said, probably 'the most rigorous in terms of samples and sequence lengths.' Where snippets of DNA revealed YET, Lindqvist's deep genetic dive produced  'ALL THE SAMPLES ARE BROWN BEARS YET PEOPLE STILL BELIEVE,' Barnett said. 'Very little chance of matching that string to something else by chance.'
"Though Himalayan brown bears are neither abominable nor snowmen, they are still pretty unusual animals, the DNA analysis revealed.
"Brown bears hav conquered the Northern Hemisphere's forests, in Canada, Russia, the United States - grizzlies are a brown bear subspecies - and 42 other countries. (In the United States, sightings of bears on two legs have left observers wondering about the true nature of Bigfoot and Sasquatch, too.) Despite their wide spread across the globe, many brown bears have run into danger. 'There has been a lot of extinction of brown bears around the world,' Lindqvist said. 
"Himalayan brown bears are not exempt from bad news. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the subspecies as critically endangered.
"That loss of life makes it tough for experts to unravel a tangled bear ancestry. But the DNA sequences produced by Lindqvist and her colleagues were sufficient to create a family tree for the Himalayan and Tibetan brown bears. Though it is unclear where brown bears first evolved, Lindqvist said, their evolutionary history 'certainly does suggest that they may come from an area in Asia.'
"The new genetics research indicates that the isolated bears are a 'relic population.' Put another way, these were the first brown bears, Lindqvist said, to split off form all the other subspecies, 600,000 years ago.
"Both researchers predicted that that yeti myth will survive this latest study. The yeti 'is very important to the local culture and folklore,' Lindqvist said. 'Perhaps the Western hype about the yeti, we can put that to rest.'"

Or will they?

It seems as though this new analysis may have its own flaws, just like the Sykes study.

Loren Coleman has mentioned the following on his blog CryptoZooNews:

"For decades, cryptozoologists have pointed to there being three kinds of Yetis - a small Yeti, a human-sized Yeti, and a quite large bear-like Yeti. Explorer Tom Slick investigated these three types in the Himalayas in the 1950s. Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as modern researchers this century, including myself, Mark A. Hall, and Patrick Huyghe, called this variety the Dzu-Teh. The recent Bryan Sykes' study confirmed there were bear artifacts behind some of the so-called Yeti samples he studied and which were highlighted by Icon Films. Should we be surprised that 'bear' results are to be found if selections of those samples are retested?"


"Two of the samples (tooth and fur) from Messner's so-called Nazi 'Yeti' were understood to be implanted teeth (Canis) and non-primate fur (Ursidae), already by investigators. Two other samples were misidentified by Sykes as at first ancient polar bear, then the hybrid brown-polar bear, and brown bear, nevertheless, were bear. Icon Films produced several films that funded Sykes to do DNA tests on dozens of samples, and via information from Sykes' book and in Icon's documentaries (also the Bigfoot one), bear results were detailed. If only 'nine' samples are sent along to Dr. Lindqvist, why only those?"
"Who Funded Dr Lindqvist's study, partially? Icon Films."
With Jeff Meldrum

Dr. Jeff Meldrum also had this to say: "…a casual viewing of their [Icon's] documentary makes it apparent that most of the sources were known bear specimens to begin with…"

If most of the "yeti" samples were known to be bears, and - believe it or not! - found to be bears, and then sent to another study and found again to be bears (because they are),  does this completely disprove the yeti? Not really. While some yeti sightings and legends most definitely are bears, there still seems to be, as Coleman noted, a few different "kinds" of yetis. I feel that this study could have been a bit more interesting if the new team examined new samples and not the ones that had already been examined, but it seems that Icon Films only wants to put out this explanation, and I think we can end with some words from Dr. Meldrum:

"The most compelling evidence of a relic hominoid species in the Himalaya remains the footprints documented by the McNeely-Cronin Expedition to the Arun Valley in 1972. The Icon Films producers were not interested in considering this evidence during my interview. Unraveling the bear and hominoid threads remains the challenge before serious investigators. But to ignore the evidence suggesting a possible hominoid, while making dismissive statements based on questionable 'yeti' evidence readily attributable to bears is hardly an objective approach."

Indeed, it is not.

Cronin's photo, 1972, Left foot
Right foot

American Monster Tour

Coming in 2018!

"Join cryptid investigators Ken Gerhard and Lyle Blackburn as they examine amazing legends and mysterious creatures across the American landscape."

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Top" Cryptozoology Lists of 2017

As he does every year, Loren Coleman has started putting up his "Top… 'things' of 2017" lists on is blog CryptoZooNews.   

Check them out:

Gino D/Achille
Passed away Feb. 2017

One of Gino's paintings

Crypto-Kid: Joshua Cutchin Tonight

From Colin Schneider:

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid, I will be joined by author and Fortean extraordinaire, Joshua Cutchin. Joshua and I will discuss cryptids, folklore, and faeries. There isn't a big plan; we are going to see where the conversation goes. This is going to be a fun and fascinating episode, so don't miss it. You can listen in at and don't forget to check out the chatroom!"

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear - Full Trailer

Below is the full length trailer for Small Town Monsters' upcoming documentary The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear. The film takes a look at the famous Flatwoods UFO/monster case from the 1950s and will be released in April of 2018.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Peddling the Paranormal (Guest Post)


Andrew McGrath


1 Born Every Minute

In our present age of tweets and memes, fake news and social media witch hunts, one can be forgiven for thinking that the generations that spring forth from this new cultural self-over-exposure, will be buffeted about on the winds of opinion, no strangers to a change in direction, if only enough righteous tweets and screets are aimed in their direction. It is this culture of amnesiac emotional and moral shifts where we currently find both judge and jury in full swing, operating outside of the authority and safety of the courtroom, where evidence is no longer king and the accused is guilty until proven innocent! This is now our de facto reality in our trail by Twitter world!

It is therefore no surprise that the philosophy one ascribes to, even in our very own slightly 'south of heaven' genre of the unknown, can make or break your acceptance into the higher echelons of the initiate opinion makers of cryptozoology and the paranormal. Historically those who have risked a defined opinion outside of this scope have been summarily discredited or ignored by a historic culture of mystery crusaders and paranormal propagandists. This can be seen in a reticence to identify reported cryptozoological creatures as defined animals, based upon corroborative anecdotal, photographic and film evidence; and a default position which attempts to identify all uncomfortable creatures of cryptozoology as either monster impostors, or in cases where the eyewitness is very credible and descriptive, as paranormal in substance and therefore out of the scope of explanation by natural means. Thereby closing down all discussion upon the zoological nature of these creatures and effectively handing over the investigation to the department of the paranormal for further 'study.'

2 Sides to Every Coin

In fairness to pursuers of the paranormal there are certainly enough mysterious reports out there to be rightly and justifiably 'passed' on to them and even some of the more ambiguous cases could easily belong to their camp. However, being of a practical nature myself and having grown up in a religious environment, I see clearly how one's personal philosophy, or faith, can have a significant effect on the perception of what one sees, or believes to see and how personal desire can imprint its own interpretation on to what we observe.

In more ancient times, in the west at least, we projected our superstition on to the things around us and imbued their wondrous physiological traits with supernatural meaning. I personally lean towards the philosophical position that ancient societies spiritualized animal traits that they could not understand, and I see that in our modern times we have slid towards a position of selective belief in the unknown. This seems to manifest itself as either a desire to discredit those that witness creatures whose existence we do not accept ( i.e. - yes to Bigfoot, no to Nessie!) or conversely seeks to attach a personal spiritual or supernatural significance to their abilities (i.e. - camouflage and infrasound as spiritual power!) This particular DIY pseudo-spirituality being something that has seen a resurgence in recent years, due largely to the influential absence of organized religion on western societies.

3 Sides To Every Story

As the old adage goes however, there are of course always 3 sides to every story, My side, your side and the truth! Therein enters the spectre of perspective and the ugly ogre of subjectivity to which every scientist and layman alike must give deference and bend the knee. Anyone who thinks he is above this particularity is simply fooling himself; and is hopelessly shackled to the notion of his fallacious philosophy as fact, which of course as we all know, is inadmissible evidence when it comes to explaining  the unknown.

How Do You Describe A Sight Never Before Seen?

When interpreting the extraordinary, we would do well to remember those dumbfounded souls who have gone before us and similarly to ourselves, have used a religious perspective to interpret the seemingly unexplainable sights that assailed their otherwise acute senses. One thinks of the Aztecs seeing the ships of Cortes in the distance and imagining them floating mountains  or in their ruler Moctezuma the 2nd, who thought Cortes to be the god, Quetzalcoatl, returning from the east; and thus saw the arrival of Cortes and his men as sacred. This blind belief, sadly signaling the beginning of the end for the Aztec nation.

Yet another lesson in the paucity of perception can be found in the first descriptions of the former cryptid and original wildman of the woods, the Gorilla, which is a wonderful example of an ill fitting substitute being used to describe that, for which we have no applicable comparative reference in nature. This 'Hairy Man' of the forest, originally known to the Mpongwe people as the shy, yet ferocious Enge-ena, may in fact stand as a template for the modern day Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Wodewose, Yeren, Almas or Yeti) in that its folkloric reputation and characteristic ape-like features and behavior, mimics those reputed to belong to our mysterious wood apes. Even the name Gorilla, meaning "tribe of hairy women" in an ancient Greek, Γόριλλαι) was reputed to have been given to a savage tribe, who confronted the Carthaginian, Hanno The Explorer, when he travelled to what is no Sierra Leone in 500 BC.

Interposing Personal Preferences on 'Paranormal' Pareidolia

Staring with popular TV shows like Finding Bigfoot and its many comical spin offs (Killing Bigfoot) and then spreading out to various social media sole practitioners; The 'Squatch' truly has become a western hemispheric phenomenon! This in itself has brought to the field of 'Bigfootery' a rather divergent and loosely connected crowd, simultaneously incorporating many faiths, that includes anything from the underwhelmingly mystical to the overtly scientific and more besides, each in turn staking a claim to owning superior theory, but being just as reliant as the others on faithful disposition to prove their conclusions. I have, for example, lost count of just how many red circled blurry bushes I have had to stare at, out of politeness, whilst being fed some unlikely tale of a trusted daily communion with the alleged creature/s that somehow fails to yield any clear pictures! Or conversely, how many pseudo-empirical brush offs of corroborative physical and photographic evidence do we have to endure, to offer up a pleasing and scientific atonement, to prove the existence of what appears to be a very shy and intelligent animal? Finally, the finical reward of chasing the beast that is Bigfoot seems to be too lucrative to dissuade the entrepreneurial kind from plundering the pockets of the naive or even just the nostalgic pilgrims of the paranormal, to whom the possibility of the unknown overrules the probably and paves the way to poorer probity.

Who Are Woo???

Again, the absence of corporate religion and the search for spiritual importance in our modern age has led to all types of paranormal pursuits that feel as though they have been forced upon cryptozoology like an ill fitting shoe. We hear much about Bigfoot 'cloaking,' much like the creature, the Predator in the 1980s action movie turned franchise; and immediately have to wonder if indeed life apes film or is it more likely to be vice versa; that our mentally ingested creatures of the stage and screen are brought forth in unusual and stressful circumstances, in which we find ourselves lacking a descriptive reference to provide and easy in and out explanation for what he have just experienced? Many animals that change their color, camouflage or 'cloak,' like the Octopus or Cuttlefish, are well within the boundaries of natural science, but may not have been perceived as otherwise by those uninitiate natives who first beheld their magical abilities centuries ago!

Indelibly Impressed Upon The Mind, The Awesome Inaccuracy Of Anecdote

So what can we conclude? Simply that anecdote is more oft than not an accurate portrayal of experience of the witness, but fallible due to its subjectivity to the comparative mental library stored within the witness's own mind and of course their ability to respond and function in highly stressful and confusing situations. This is the reason that even witnesses of the same phenomena are treated piecemeal and preferably separated one from the other in order to gain an uncontaminated rendering of the experience. There are of course several threats to genuine reporting in the current climate of commercial bigfoot, which undoubtedly pose a threat to unimpeded scientific study. Albeit, there is much that needs to be done to restore the credibility of the much maligned witness. I personally feel that  a wholesale rejection of 'draw a circle around it' evidence and the fanciful fantasies of 'the monster whisperers' who seem to be able to simply assert that they are chosen, and perceptive and communicating on a higher plane as proof beyond doubt that their blurry bush buddies are ultimately deserving of a red circle and a whole host of happy devotees, is at last a start on the road to real discovery, whether those discoveries be of the conventional persuasion or the paranormal.

Written by Andrew McGrath

Beasts of Britain is now available in Paperback and Kindle.

Follow 'Beasts of Britain' on Facebook and Twitter

Check out Andy's blog here.

Cryptid Culture #7

The 7th issue of Cryptid Culture Magazine is available now. I have an article in it called "'Sea Monsters' of 2017." It's a look at some strange marine remains that were said to be Sea Monsters that were found this year.

Other contributors include:

  • Colin Schneider, "So, You Want to be a Cryptozoologist?"
  • Rob Menzies - "Alaskan Monsters"
  • Scott Marlow - "Red Haired Giant"
  • Brian Parsons - "Black Panther Sightings"
And more!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"Bigfoot Sighting or Tourism Boost?"

That's the title of a new article up on the Fort Worth, TX Star-Telegram website.

It reads:

"Troopers responded to an alleged Bigfoot sighting off the shoulder of a major highway in Nebraska Saturday evening.
"Nebraska State Patrol posted the report on Facebook and wrote that a trooper responded to the sighting in Hastings, Neb.
"The trooper reported back that 'Sasquatch remained elusive,' sate police said on Facebook. 'Must have just missed him.'
"Harriett Mcfeely told the Grand Valley Independent that she called police Saturday evening to report the sighting as she and her friend Robin Roberts were on their way back from Colorado. She said her friend spotted the 'big, heavy and stocky' creature off the shoulder of I-80.
"'I said, 'Is this considered an official sighting of a Bigfoot? They said definitely,'' Mcfeely told the newspaper.
"Mcfeely is CEO and founder of the Nebraska Bigfoot Crossroads of America, according to her Facebook page. She said she started believing in Bigfoot at the age of 8 in 1953 when mountaineer Edmund Hillary saw Yeti footprints while climbing Mount Everest, according to the organization's website. She's been researching and chasing after Sasquatch rumors ever since.
"She told the Grand Valley Independent that she's never seen Bigfoot in Nebraska before, but her friend saw the creature in an area next to a river and Bigfoot tends to hang out by rivers.
"Some people on Facebook said the reported sighting was fake in an effort to boost tourism. The Nebraska Bigfoot Crossroads of America is hosting it's next annual conference next February.
"'This might make a big Nebraska tourism campaign,' one person wrote. 'We had the total eclipse last summer. Let's promote Bigfoot hunting in 2018.'
"According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, there have only been 14 other Bigfoot sightings in Nebraska.
"The most popular state for Bigfoot sightings? Washington has more than 600 sightings, according to the database.
"Recently, the Carolina region was in the national spotlight for an alleged Bigfoot sighting in August outside of Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer reports. The Greenville, S.C., police department posted a warning not to shoot at Bigfoot because 'you'll most likely be wounding a fun-loving and well-intentioned person, sweating in a gorilla costume.'
"Bigfoot has been a prominent figure in pop culture recently, as the movie Son of Bigfoot was released in November and new series, 'Killing Bigfoot,' premiered earlier this year on the Destination America channel." 
Not too sure on this story, though it lost credibility to me when it was mentioned that the witness was head of a Bigfoot group and was hosting a conference in the area.

On another note, just because the BFRO only has 14 reported sightings in Nebraska doesn't mean there have only been 14 ever. Those are just the ones reported to the BFRO that they decided to put on their website, and many are probably never reported.

Also, "Nebraska Bigfoot Crossroads of America" isn't that great of a name.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Flatwoods Monster - Teaser

Here's a short teaser for Small Town Monsters' upcoming documentary The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear, 1950s horror movie style!
Full-length trailer comes out Friday.

Cryptid U.S. for Christmas

Need a good Christmas gift for a cryptid fan in your life? Head on over to Amazon and get them a copy of Cryptid U.S. so they can learn more about all of America's most mysterious monsters!

"Do you believe in monsters?
"On October 20, 1967, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin encountered a large, man-like creature in Bluff Creek, California. Point Pleasant, WV, was terrorized by a flying monster in 1966. Sandra Mansi saw a 'monster' rise out of Lake Champlain in 1977. A strange creature called the 'chupacabras' attacked many helpless farm animals in Florida, Arizona, and Texas in 1996. These are just a few examples of sightings of strange monsters, called cryptids, seen in the United States. Reports of these creatures, which range from Bigfoot, to lake monsters, black panthers, Thunderbirds, werewolves, and even an occasional live pterosaur, come from every state. This book is a compilation of five years of research on strange, unidentifiable creatures. Other creatures covered include: -The Ohio Grassman - The Bishopville Lizard Man - The Dover Demon - The Beast of Bray Road - Giant Snakes - The Green-Clawed Beast - Flathead Lake Monster, and more!"

Monday, November 27, 2017

Crypto-Kid: Sharon Hill Tonight

From Colin Schneider:

"Tonight on the Crypto-Kid, I am joined by author and skeptic Sharon Hill to discuss her recent book Scientifical Americans and her research into the culture of paranormal and fortean investigators. Sharon's book is my favorite upcoming release and will undoubtedly lead to some fascinating discussions tonight."

Listen live on WCJV Radio at 8 pm.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Legend of Kentucky's Pope Lick Monster

Yesterday, I looked at a ghostly goatman said to haunt Old Alton Bridge in Texas. Like I mentioned in that article, stories of goatmen come from all over, and there are many legends similar to the one concerning Old Alton Bridge from various places in the United States.

Perhaps the most famous goatman legend is that of the Pope Lick Monster.

Like the Old Alton Bridge creature, the Pope Lick Monster is said to be a part-man part-goat monstrosity. It is said to live under Pope Lick Trestle, in Louisville, Kentucky. Descriptions of the monster say it has the body of a man, legs of a goat, and horns on its head as well as long, disheveled hair.
Pope Lick Trestle
(lhcoyc, Wikipedia)

Just like the Old Alton Bridge monster, there are several stories about the origin of the Pope Lick goatman. Some say it is a goat-human hybrid (though that would be genetically impossible), others that it was a circus freak that vowed revenge for being mistreated, or that it is a farmer who was reincarnated as a monster because he sacrificed goats in satanic rituals.

It is said that the goatman can lure people onto the bridge and to their deaths. Some claim it uses hypnosis or can mimic voices, luring people onto the bridge and into the path of an oncoming train. Others say it jumps onto cars from on top of the trestle, or that it attacks people with a blood-stained axe.

There have been many times when people have gone to Pope Lick Trestle in search of the goatman. However, the bridge is still used and freight trains regularly cross it to go to Louisville. Because of this, many people have lost their lives atop the bridge when a train comes rushing towards them while they are searching for the monster.

The most recent death occurred in April of 2016, when 26-year-old Roquel Bain was killed.

"If you believe the legend, Kentucky's 'Pope Lick Monster' has claimed another victim.
"An Ohio woman was looking for the mythical creature - half man, half goat - with her boyfriend Saturday from atop the Pope Lick railroad trestle outside of Louisville when she was hit by a train and plunged at least 80 feet to her death." [SF GATE]
Bain's boyfriend managed to save himself by hanging off the edge of the trestle as the train passed.

As already mentioned in this article, some think that the goatman can somehow lure people atop the trestle, where they will inevitably be hit by an oncoming train. Other stories say the sight of the goatman causes people to leap off the edge.

Strangely, this incident with a survivor hanging off the edge of the bridge is similar to a 1988 film called The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster, made by Louisville filmmaker Ron Schildknecht, in which a character avoids death on the trestle by hanging off the edge. Railway officials were upset by the film when it premiered, saying it would encourage people to go onto the bridge, and that someone could not hold onto the side of the trestle as a train rumbled past. They warned people not to go onto the bridge, but that has not stopped people like Roquel Bain from doing just that. And for those who believe, the goatman's death toll has not stopped rising, either.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Flatwoods Monster - A Legacy of Fear

Coming from Small Town Monsters in April of 2018…

Old Alton Bridge - The Goatman's Abode

One of the weirdest cryptozoological creatures is a strange hybrid monster known as the goatman. Tales of goatmen come from all over the world, and quite a few places in the United States have their own goatman legends. Perhaps the most famous is the Pope Lick Monster of Kentucky, which supposedly lures people to their deaths on old train tracks, or the Lake Worth Monster of Texas, whose descriptions sometimes sound goatman-esque, but more like Bigfoot in others.

Another famous Goatman legend is, like the Lake Worth Monster, also from Texas. This goatman supposedly haunts Old Alton Bridge, located in Denton County. The bridge was built in 1884 and is named after the town of Alton, a community which existed between 1850-1856.

The legend says that an African American man lived near the bridge and became a successful goat farmer. Local KKK members were not happy with the man's success, and one night in 1938, they kidnapped the farmer to hang him on the bridge. After they had tossed him over the side, the looked to see that the noose was empty and that the farmer was nowhere to be seen. In a panic they went to his home and killed the rest of his family.

Since that time, there have supposedly been many odd occurrences and encounters on Old Alton Bridge. People have reported seeing a strange creature that seems to be half-man half-goat, a ghostly farmer leading goats, or a headless ghost holding two goat heads. Strange noises are also reported, including horses galloping along the bridge, sinister laughter, splashing in the water below the bridge, and terrifying growling sounds from the woods around it.

Like most legends of bridges and specters, there is a way to see the goatman as well. Supposedly, if you drive along the bridge at night with your headlights off, you will see the goatman on the other side.
Some people have reported that their car doors lock on their own or that their cars will break down on the bridge. Only in Your State also mentions that "since 1967, police have discovered countless abandoned cars and investigated a number of missing persons cases where their last known location was this very bridge."

Is the legend of the goatman of Old Alton Bridge true? Or is it just that, a legend? Either way, it does have similarities to other stories of haunted bridges from around the United States and is very well known for its resident monster.

Old Alton Bridge - home of the Goatman
(mahanga, Wikipedia)

As a side note, a recent episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved covered the goatman of Old Alton Bridge. While not really a thing to watch for "real research," it is quite funny and a little spooky at times. I recommend it!