I swear on my grandmother’s grave that this is the truth. I’m not sure whether it was a Frogman or just a giant frog. Either way, I’ve never seen anything like it.
–Loveland Frog witness Sam Jacobs
Let me start off by saying I have been fascinated with the legend of the Loveland Frog for decades. Not only is it a cryptid that is unique to Ohio, but the stories have grown and mutated over the years to include such things as police officers shooting at a 4-foot tall frog/man hybrid walking on two legs to witnesses continually changing their stories over the years. The legend had everything, it would seem, except for any photographs of the elusive creature. All that changed last week…or so some would have you believe.
According to an article on WCPO.com, a man and his girlfriend were playing Pokemon Go between Loveland-Madeira Road and Lake Isabella on the evening of Wednesday, August 3rd, when they encountered what they believed could have been the Loveland Frog.
According to the e-mail Sam Jacobs sent to WCPO, they “saw a huge frog near the water. Not in the game, this was an actual giant frog.” After snapping a few pictures and taking a video, “the thing stood up and walked on its hind legs.” Jacobs estimated the creature to be “about 4 foot tall.”
Jacobs supplied WCPO with several photographs which alleged to show the creature he and his girlfriend saw:
Jacobs also supplied the following video, which WCPO posted to YouTube:
To be honest, when I first saw the photos and video, I wasn’t impressed. The dimensions seemed way off: it looked way too small to be something that was supposed to be “4 foot tall”. And what was up with those high-beam eyes? But most of all, the whole thing screamed hoax because once again, when someone spots a cryptid, they never attempt to chase it, follow it, or do anything other than take a few dark, blurry photos and a shaky video. Didn’t make sense to me.
It all fell into place a few days later, when my wife, daughter, and I made a trip to a local Big Lots to pick out some Halloween decorations (sidebar: Big Lots has some killer Halloween props for 2016). As I’m wandering the aisles, I hear my wife say “you think this was their Loveland Frog?”. I turned around to see my wife, smiling and proudly holding the Loveland Frog in her hands:
OK, technically it wasn’t the Loveland Frog–it is officially known as the “Wilson & Fisher Solar Frog”. And I’m not saying this is the exact thing that appears in Sam Jacobs’ photos and video. But man, is it close!
Granted, it doesn’t look like much in broad daylight, but get it in dim enough light so that the solar eyes come on and it really starts to take shape. Check out this spooky pic I took of it in my pantry, of all places:
I purposely didn’t kill all the lights so you could still see the frog (as well as the fact that we prefer organic Tostitos). But check out how, the way the statue’s eyes are positioned, the left eye appears larger that the right. Makes me wonder if perhaps the image from WCPO was flipped. Sort of seems that way when I flipped my pantry photo and put it next to one of Jacobs’ photo:
Once I took the figure outside and waited for it to get dark, things really started to get interesting. Here’s the statue lurking in my front garden:
Again, I flipped my image for this side-by-side comparison. Check out how you can make out the same crooked smile in both pics:
The only thing I had a problem with was getting the right angle so that you could see the gap between the eyes. I found this worked best if I took the photo from way back and then zoomed in afterwards. Here’s the statue hanging out on my front steps:
For me the clincher was when I tried to recreate Jacobs’ video. I didn’t bother getting all Shaky Cam on you, but I did attempt to make the frog turn, as in Jacobs’ video. I even tried to do a little super-spooky thing where the frog disappears. How do you think I did?
Couple of things to point out about the videos. If you notice in Jacobs’ video, the eyes never blink. In fact, when the “creature” turns, both eyes still remain unchanged–no blinking or closing. They might look like they are moving, but it’s only because the entire thing is moving.
How did I get my figure to move? It was simple. The figure’s left leg made a perfect handle. During the video, which my wife shot, I was standing behind the figure. When I wanted it to “disappear”, I just bent down, grabbed the figure’s leg, and turned the whole thing towards me, blocking out the light from its eyes.
So does this solve the mystery? Not necessarily. As I mentioned, I’m not saying this was the EXACT statue that was used. To be fair, there were also solar-powered alligators and other critters at Big Lots. But you have to admit that it seems something more than mere coincidence that I was able to recreate alleged photos and video of the Loveland Frog with nothing more than $20.00 and in less than 20 minutes (BTW, it would have been 10, but I had to wait for the sun to set). Heck, I didn’t even try to cover up the statue’s cheesy pink lily pad/flower thing!
My point is, if you’re planning on hoaxing something like this, please put a little more time and effort into it. As a member of a subculture that’s willing to entertain the idea that there are things in this world we can’t explain, it’s a little depressing to think there are people who think we would be so easily duped. Of course, the fact that my wife and I may have figured out this little mystery while randomly roaming through Big Lots seems a fitting end to this tale.
Now, can someone do me a favor and help me get this guy out of my recliner? Or at the very least, give up the remote?
You can read the original WCPO.com article in its entirety by clicking here.
A subsequent WCPO.com article, in which one of the original witnesses from 1972 now claims the story is a hoax, can be read here.
For more information on the Loveland Frog legend, go here.
Want your very own Loveland Frog Hoax statue? They are on sale right now at Big Lots! Originally $30.00, you can get one for the low, low price of $15.00 with their whole Summer Clearance thing going on.