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!