Create Your Very Own Loveland Frog Hoax For Under $20.00!

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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:

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–Via WCPO

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–Via WCPO

 

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:

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–Via Big Lots

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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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?

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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.

 

 

 

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I’ll Be Part Of An Author Panel At The Ohioana Book Festival

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I have officially been added to an Author Panel for the Ohioana Book Festival. It looks like it will be taking place at 12:45. No word yet on if hoagies will be made available for all to enjoy. But feel free to bring along one for me as I often get a bit peckish at these types of engagements.

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New Addition To The Strange & Spooky Museum: Loveland Frog Action Figure

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So I recently moved my wife and daughter from the hustle and bustle of Columbus to a more rural setting. We love it, although there are some things that take getting used to. Deer that refuse to move out of the middle of the road, for example. Or the mailman. That’s right, the mailman.

See, unlike our former mailman, who would stop their truck and chat with us, our current mail carrier apparently doesn’t like to stop. Or even slow down, for that matter. He’s like that mail guy from the movie, Funny Farm (which features a writer moving his family to a new house in the country. Coincidence?):

Steph is convinced our mail guy does actually stop from time to time, but she’s basing that solely on the handwritten, ransom note-like “give me money” pieces of paper we sometimes find stuffed in our mail box. Since the notes were always scrawled on plain white paper, we initially thought it was some sort of bizarre form of extortion. Turns out it was our mailman’s way of letting us know the United States Postal Service won’t forward “book rate” packages from your old address to the new one. At least not for free, anyway.

Needless to say, when Steph told me she had bought something cool for me and it was shipping from Japan, neither one of us thought it would actually make it to our house. But lo and behold, after only one cryptic note in our mailbox, a phone call to the post office, and then a trip down to the local branch, Steph presented me with the latest addition to The Strange & Spooky Museum: A Loveland Frog action figure!

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The picture above was taken from the Japanese manufacturer’s website, which shows that this figure is actually part of a 12-figure series featuring monsters from around the world. For now, I’ve decided to keep mine in the original packaging. I made my decision partly because it’s from Japan and I have no idea of the value of this thing or how rare it is. I mean, it does seem pretty random that of all the cryptozoological beasts in the world, the Loveland Frog (or “Frogman”, as the box refers to him) would rank in the top 12.

My other reason for keeping it in the box is because I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to open it! I think I can figure it out, but the directions for opening it are in Japanese and it appears that it has to be done a certain way in order to create some sort of diorama to display your figure in.

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So there you have it; a genuine Loveland Frog(man) action figure from Japan! Feel free to visit him at his new home in the Bizarre Beasts wing of The Strange & Spooky Museum.