What Happened to the Lake Worth Monster? The Summer of the Goat-Man
Editor’s Note: This is a post by Bigfoot Evidence contributor Vicki W.
Back in 1969, the residents of Ft. Worth, Texas experienced a wave of sightings of a 7 foot tall white Bigfoot type creature which came to be known as the 'Lake Worth Monster, aka the 'Goat-Man'. Described as tall, furry, and covered with scales, (yep, scales), the local newspaper headline read, "Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth". Some witnesses said that it had the head and hooves of a goat, bringing to mind images of a satyr, a half-man half-goat from Greek mythology. They insisted it also had scales and was an excellent swimmer, often making its retreat by way of Lake Worth to Greer Island, where it was thought to live.
The story spread quickly, and led to an all out hunt by armed townsfolk along with police. Several people claimed to have seen the beast, and one man managed to get a shot, with a Polaroid that is. Allen Plaster snapped two pictures depicting a white furry something, one came out fairly clear while the other is motion blurred, taken while the subject was running away.
It was an exciting summer to say the least. Witnesses reported that the Goat-Man scratched a car and actually jumped on the hood. The most incredible incident involved the hurling of a heavy tire and rim over 500 feet, sending the crowds of monster seekers and looky-loo's scrambling to their cars in haste and speeding away.
Aspiring writer and private investigator Sallie Ann Clarke self-published a book entitled, "The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island, Ft. Worth, Texas". She admits writing it with a tongue in cheek feel, however she later claimed to have seen the 'goat-man' with her own two eyes three times over a four year period. “If I’d seen it before I wrote the book, the book would have been quite a lot different,” she said. “It wouldn’t have been semi-fiction. It would have been like a history.” Ms. Clarke passed away in 2009. Her husband, Richard Lederer says she staunchly maintained that what she saw was the real deal, insisting it absolutely could not have been someone in a costume. In fact, she posted a $5000 reward for any person who could pass a polygraph confirming they were responsible for the hoax. No one ever claimed the reward.
Later, reporter Jim Marrs, who covered the story for the "Star Telegram", says police told him the sightings were the prank of local teenagers, donning a gorilla costume and home made mask. The tire tossing incident was said to have been in reality a trio of teens who had rolled the tire down the bluff and hitting a bump, it became airborne. Allen Plaster, who took the two famous snapshots, now attributes the whole affair to teenage hijinks, saying, ""Looking back, I realize that when we drove by, it stood up," he was quoted as saying in the Star-Telegram. "Whatever it was, it wanted to be seen. That was a prank. That was somebody out there waiting for people to drive by. I don't think an animal would have acted that way."
Either way, the story is now a local legend in Ft. Worth. Whatever it was, it seems to have disappeared. Through the years, an occasional sighting has popped up, but nothing like the summer of 1969. The town keeps the legend alive by celebrating the sightings at the annual "Lake Worth Monster Bash" held in early October. Sponsored by the Ft. Worth Nature Center, the fun-filled family festival returned for its 3rd successful year on October 1, 2011.