Dover Demon

On April 1977, Bill Bartlett was driving through Dover, Massachusetts, with two friends when he saw a strange, thin creature with glowing eyes and a large head crawling along some rocks on the far side of the road. It was visible only for a few seconds, but it terrified Bartlett. Over the next twenty-four hours, there were two other sightings by local teens. The scare began at 10:30 on the evening of April 21, 1977, as three seventeen- year-old boys were driving north through Dover, Massachusetts, Boston’s most affluent suburb. One of them, Bill Bartlett, thought he spotted something creeping along a low wall of loose stones on the left side of the road. As the figure turned its head and stared into the headlights of the car, Bartlett said he saw two large, round, glassy, lidless eyes shining brightly “like orange marbles.” Its head, resting atop a thin neck,was big and watermelon-shaped and fully as large as the rest of the body.

Except for its oversized head, the creature was thin, with long spindly arms and legs and large hands and feet. The skin was hairless and peach-colored and appeared to have a rough, sandpaperlike texture. No more than four feet tall, it had been making its way uncertainly along the wall, its long fingers curled around the rocks,when the car lights surprised it. Neither of Bartlett’s companions,whose attention was elsewhere, noticed the creature,which was visible for only a few seconds. They testified later, however, that their friend had seemed genuinely upset. When Bartlett arrived at his home, his father noticed his distraught state and heard the story from his son,who drew a sketch of what he had seen.

Around 12:30 a.m. fifteen-year-old John Baxter, walking home from his girlfriend’s house, reportedly saw a short figure approaching him. Thinking it was a small-statured friend, he called out his name but got no response.When the figure got closer, it stopped, causing Baxter to do the same. Trying to get a better look, Baxter took one step forward, and the figure scurried off to the left, running down a shallow,wooded gully and up the opposite bank. Baxter followed it down the slope, then stopped and looked across the gulley.

The figure — which looked like nothing he had ever seen or heard of — stood in silhouette about thirty feet away, its feet “molded” around the top of a rock a few feet from a tree. It was leaning toward the tree with the long fingers of both hands entwined around the trunk. Though he would claim not to have heard of Bartlett’s report at that point, his description of it would be exactly the same. Baxter backed carefully up the slope and walked quickly away from the scene.

The next day Bartlett told his close friend Will Taintor, eighteen, about his experience. That night,while Taintor was driving fifteen-year-old Abby Brabham home, Brabham said she spotted something in the car’s headlights. On the left side of the road was a hairless creature crouched on all fours, facing the car. Its body was thin and monkeylike, its head large, oblong, and devoid of nose, ears, and mouth. The facial area around the eyes was lighter, and the eyes glowed green. Brabham insisted on this last detail even after investigators informed her that Bartlett had said the eyes were orange. Taintor said he caught only a brief glimpse.

Anomalist Loren Coleman, then living in the area, learned of Bartlett’s report through an acquaintance who knew the teenager. He dubbed the creature the “Dover demon.” It is an alleged cryptozoological creature that has remained a subject of interest for cryptozoologists ever since then.

Loren Coleman was the initial investigator and the individual who named the creature; it was disseminated by the press, and the name stuck. Coleman quickly assembled and brought into the inquiry three other investigators: Joseph Nyman, Ed Fogg, and Walter Webb. All were well-known ufological researchers in eastern Massachusetts, with Webb being the assistant director of the Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Science Museum.

Subsequently they interviewed Bartlett and the other witnesses, along with their parents, school officials and teachers, and police officers. They uncovered no evidence of a hoax; to the contrary, those who knew the teenagers described them as credible (though one teacher expressed some reservations about Bartlett). The creature was sighted 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, claimed to have seen a similar-looking creature from Traintor's car, on the side of the road. 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."

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 snakes hiss. But all witnesses say it had no ears, mouth, nose, or known sex. Witnesses also agree that it stalks in the trees and waits to scare its next victim. The widespread interest in the Dover Demon has resulted in it being an oft-discussed cryptid in popular culture, and having Japanese figurines of the creature being developed for cryptobuffs in Japan and North America.

The Dover Demon bears similarity to the Mannegishi creature, which is native to the mythology of the Cree Indians in Canada. It is also suggested to be a Backoo, a mythical spirit creature from Caribbean legends due to similarities in the body structures.

Martin S. Kottmeyer has suggested that the witnesses were seriously mistaken about what they saw, and he thinks he knows what the Dover demon may have been: a young moose. He points out that except for Baxter’s, the sightings lasted only seconds. All occurred in darkness. He notes, “Bartlett’s placing of the eyes matches the placement of eyes just above the hip of the muzzle on a moose’s head. The lack of a discernable nose and mouth is easily laid to the fact that nostrils and mouth are very far down on the muzzle. A drawing of a young moose presents the ears swept back along the line of the head and would not discernably stick out, thus accounting for the absence of visible ears.”

Because nothing like the Dover demon has reported since, and all the witnesses were teenagers, many believe it to be a hoax, and suspect that a group of high school classmates were collaborating to make up the story. Kottmeyer’s theory that the incident grew out of a misperception — though not perfect — is hard to discount.

Sources :
Mysterious Creatures : A Guide to Cryptozoology” by George M. Eberhart;
Unexplained! : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark;

Pics Sources :
Mysterious Creatures by George M. Eberhart page 141 (The DOVER DEMON of April 21, 1977. From a painting by Bill Bartlett);
Unexplained! By Jerome Clark page 414
Dover Demon Dover Demon Reviewed by Tripzibit on 06:56 Rating: 5


  1. strange thing huh? i have yet to see this to beleive

  2. (@imelda) A lot of people believe that the creature was an animal. Still, a few people believed that what Bartlett, Baxter,and Brabham saw was no ordinary animal but instead was a monster, or an extraterrestrial.

  3. I wonder if alien is true but looking at many unusual things happening in the past as well as the future, then probably it is true. Hmmm... but I still need to see one. LOL!

  4. I stumbled across this page on an unrelated image search, and I have to say: This "Dover Demon" bears a striking resemblance to a strange creature I witnessed in the summer of 2004 in southwest Michigan, in similar circumstances no less (from a moving vehicle at night). The major difference is the creature I witnessed had very long, shimmering black hair. A couple years later, my cousin witnessed a creature in northwest Michigan, matching the same description (no features aside from the large amber eyes, large head, very slender body.) I have searched various cryptozology resources and haven't found anything that matched the description this closely. It's unlikely that the two events are related. It's so rare to find anything like that I had to mention it


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