April 03, 2016

The Frogman of Silver Lake: A Truly Mysterious Monster

I purchased a bunch of new paranormal and folklore books just the other week, including Monsters of Massachusetts: Mysterious Creatures of the Bay State by Loren Coleman, one of the superstars of the cryptozoology scene.

I guess I should have had that one on my shelf earlier because while Coleman discusses lots of the famous local monsters, like the Dover Demon and the Gloucester sea serpent, he also mentions one that's pretty obscure: the Frogman of Silver Lake. He's not just obscure, he's downright mysterious.

I'm a sucker for any monster that has "man" as part of its name, whether it's the Mothman, the Goatman, or the Lizardman. I think it's because I read too many comic books when I was a kid and now my mind is drawn to any creature whose name reminds me of a superhero.

Sadly, most of these "(insert name of animal here)man" monsters tend to live outside of New England, with the Vermont Pigman being the prominent exception. And it is true that a goatman has been seen in Maine, but only once. So I was pretty excited to read about a Frogman right here in Massachusetts.

Coleman doesn't include very much information about the Frogman. Here is what he writes:

For instance, the 'lakemonster' accounts from Silver Lake in Plymouth County tell of a 'Giant Frog' or little 'Frogman' being sighted.

But unfortunately he doesn't give any more information. He then goes on to discuss how two police officers encountered a four foot tall froggy humanoid on the outskirts of Loveland, Ohio in 1972. One of them even shot at the creature but missed. One of the police officers later said he probably just saw an iguana, not a monster, but a local farmer also reported seeing a weird little humanoid around the same time.

Coleman suggests that the officer probably changed his story because people made fun of him, and then writes:

Can anyone blame the folks who saw the Frogman of Silver Lake, Massachusetts, for wishing it never happened to them and thus never fully was detailed in the record?

So in other words, there might not be much written about our local Frogman because the witnesses were afraid how others might react. I suppose that's a legitimate concern. The Ohio farmer who saw the Frogman reported that the creature was riding a bicycle, a claim that I'm sure was met with some derision. He was probably teased down at the grange hall until his dying day. (If I knew the farmer I would have asked what type of bicycle the Frogman was riding but would not have teased.)

The Loveland frogman as seen in 1972.

That's all the information about the Frogman in Monsters of Massachusetts. However, Coleman did provide a little more in an October 25, 2013 Boston Globe article titled "Monsters of New England." Here he notes that:

In the 1940s and 1950s, there were reports of a “lake monster” — said to be a “Giant Frog” or little “Frogman” — in Plymouth County’s Silver Lake that were talked about around general stores and mentioned in passing in old newspaper articles.

So at least here we get the years when the Frogman was seen, and information about how the stories were reported. I did some searching online, but unfortunately The Boston Globe archives didn't have any further articles about the Frogman, and neither did Google books or Newspapers.com.

That's why the Frogman of Silver Lake is so mysterious: because there's so little information about him. Who saw the Frogman? Were the witnesses scared? Did they shoot at him? I have a lot of questions but no answers, at least for now. I've written to Loren Coleman to see if he has any more information, and if he writes back I will be sure to give an update. (Note: Loren Coleman did write back to me - thank you Loren! - but said he didn't have any more information about the Frogman.)

I don't know much about the Frogman, but here's what I know about Silver Lake (thanks to Wikipedia). It is a freshwater lake, covers over 600 acres, and provides drinking water to the city of Brockton. It sits within or touches the following towns: Pembroke, Kingston, Plympton, and Halifax.

You can hike around the lake, and fish in it, but swimming is not allowed. That's probably a good idea, just in case there really is a Frogman lurking somewhere its depths.

*****
Speaking of monsters, this past summer I filmed a segment about the Melonheads for the Travel Channel's show Mysteries at the Museum. That episode is going to air on Thursday, April 14 at 9:00 pm. Did the segment I filmed make the final cut, or was I edited out because I am scarier than a frog monster on a bicycle? We'll all just have to wait and see!

8 comments:

bairdduvessa said...

how lovecraftian

Peter Muise said...

Hi Bairdduvessa!

Yes, very Lovecraftian. And you comment has given me an idea for next week's post!

wolffyy said...

Are or were the Kalapuya Indians in that area I remember hearing about a story they had sometime back about the frog people

wolffyy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter Muise said...

Hi Wolffyy!

Thanks for the comment. The Indians in that area would probably be Wampanoag, and happily they are still around. You do make a good point though. A lot of local Indian myths talk about giant frogs that existed in the past, and while I don't know if the Wampanoag have that myth it would be interesting to investigate. I know that the Penobscot legends talk about a creature called Toad Woman, which isn't too far off...

Anonymous said...

I grew up a few miles from Silver Lake, but never heard of any associated local legends. It was just one of the nicer swimming holes for kids who didn't pay attention to "No Swimming" signs. Interestingly enough, I had my own strange sighting as a kid on the nearby lake I lived on (West Monponsett): two large, brownish-black humps surfaced a few dozen feet from shore behind my house and then slowly submerged as it moved away. Its a swampy area, with a lot of wildlife (beavers, large snapping turtles) and you'd see the occasional log floating by. But whatever I saw didn't seem like any of the obvious explanations. Then again I was young, and my excited imagination could've clouded my judgement at the time. I've done some research to see if anyone else has ever reported anything strange in that lake, but haven't found anything along the lines of what I saw.

Peter Muise said...

Hi Anonymous! Thanks for the comment. That's really interesting and kind of creepy. When I was a kid we used to swim in a pond inhabited by at least one large snapping turtle and we occasionally saw it swimming out away from the shore. But this sounds more mysterious since you already were familiar with the animals that lived there...

Anonymous said...

Hey this is a bit different but might be related. I read a book back in the early 80's about frog people. It starts with these Native Americans go hunting I think caribou. They're on a lake hunting when they get lost in a mist. Once it clears they are taken hostage by these frog-people. They captives are brought back to this village on the top of a mountain and kept like beast of burden. Their was an image of the natives being rode upon by the frog people and using their hair as reins. Has anyone heard of this story? I have been looking for it for ages. If you do please contact me. bamphaknee@hotmail.com name is Anthony