aquatic-enigmasThe Green Clawed Beast is an underwater fiend whose single reported encounter has managed to strike terror in the hearts of anyone who has ever gone for a summer swim in the once peaceful waters of the Ohio River.

On August 21, 1955, Mrs. Darwin Johnson had a terrifying encounter with what she claimed was a hideous creature beneath the surface of the Ohio River near Evansville, Indiana. While enjoying a leisurely swim with a friend — one Mrs. Chris Lamble — Mrs. Johnson claims that she was suddenly clutched around the knee by a large, hairy, claw-like hand.

Only 15-feet from shore, Mrs. Johnson struggled to disengage herself and head for safety. Mrs. Lamble could only stare in horror as her distraught friend was yanked beneath the surface of the river. Miraculously, Mrs. Johnson managed to kick her leg free, but almost instantly she was seized again, this time from behind.

Mrs. Lamble’s shrieks echoed down the shoreline as she helplessly watched her friend being pulled below the river’s murky surface once again. After resurfacing a second time, Mrs. Johnson lunged for Mrs. Lamble’s inner tube and the splash of her impact apparently scared her beastly assailant away.

Once back on shore, Mrs. Johnson was treated for multiple contusions on her leg, at which point it was discovered that she bore a green, palm-print shaped stain. The stain could not be removed for several days.

Although neither Mrs. Johnson, nor Mrs. Lamble, were able to get a clear or sustained look at the creature, it seems to bear an ostensible resemblance to the now notorious THETIS LAKE MONSTER, particularly in regards to its hostile nature. Other researchers have even gone so far as to suggest tha this incident may be related to another aquatic, Ohio area mystery beasts known as the LOVELAND FROGMEN, but reported encounters with these creatures have never proven to be violent.

An interesting footnote to this case was reported by Fortean investigator Terry Colvin. Colvin, who had interviewed the Johnsons, claimed that soon after the incident Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were visited in their Godtown, Indiana home by an individual who claimed to be an Air Force Colonel. Apparently this “Colonel” took extensive notes regarding Mrs. Johnson’s encounter with the Green Clawed Beast and admonished the couple to talk no further about the incident.

This epilogue has no doubt caused more than a few ufologists to prick up their ears as it not only bears such striking similarities to classic MEN IN BLACK scenarios, but also because Mrs. Johnson’s bizarre encounter shares the exact same date — August 21, 1955 — as one of the most terrifying cases ever recorded in the annals of ufology, an encounter with strange beings from OUT OF THIS WORLD commonly referred to as the HOPKINSVILLE GOBLIN case.

Mrs. Johnson herself — who was quoted in stories published in the August 23rd issue of Indiana’s “Vidette-Messenger” and the August 24th issue  of  California’s “Independent” — believed that her leg had been grabbed by: “one of those little green men from a space ship.”

What led her to that conclusion is anyone’s guess — perhaps she had already heard of the harrowing ordeal with alien goblins in the Kentucky farmhouse — still the overwhelming thrust of the evidence seems to link the Ohio River attack to a mere earthbound cryptid.

  • SUE

    Hmmmm, could there be a link here to the film “Creature From the Black Lagoon”” which came out in 1954?

    • admin

      That’s a distinct possibility… it’s been suggested that paranormal and cryptozoological encounters are often influenced by cinematic monstrosities… In fact, rumor has it that Nessie didn’t gain her long necked plesiosaur-like appearance until after the 1925 film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s book “The Lost World.”

      Of course, the fact that these eyewitnesses might well have had “creature features” on the brain when they had their brushes with the unknown, does not negate the authenticity of their encounters… When we encounter something beyond the scope of our understanding, a hairy hominid for example, our brains try their best to sort out the mess of jumbled information by tucking the event into a pre-existing synaptic file… whether these files were made seeing gorillas at a local zoo or the creature from Boggy Creek at a drive-in, is entirely up for grabs.

  • Scopi

    Or she caught her foot on a root, and her imagination made it into a hand, ala the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Given the evidence presented, I’d say that’s the far more likely scenario. “The unknown” is almost always just the mundane + ignorance.

  • admin

    That is true, Scopi. More often than not there are “rational” explanations for seemingly bizarre occurrences, but every now and again something pops up that turns traditional logic on its ear…

    Either way, Mrs. Johnson’s account makes for a helluva’ campfire story!

  • Greetings,
    I’ve heard this story before, but at that time the author had said she thought bigfoot did it. the report is an interesting one, and if not a hoax, i’d have to probably say it was a loveland frog. i have come across a report from a young man who said he was attacked by a creature that i link to the loveland frogs. it was about five or so feet in height, and the creature allegedly was in his house, and had come in through a window. It acted agressively, and was seen for months after stalking around the house, and property. what he say is similar to a loveland frog in every aspect, except he said it was a reddish-brown color. what he saw, and what these women said they saw could be two of a kind, or they could be unrelated. Im not 100% on either story’s truthfulness, but would probably lean hoax for both. good article.

  • admin

    Thanks, JTM! While I must agree that the tales of the “Loveland Frogmen” and the “Green Clawed Beast” do tax credibility, I’ve got to force myself to bear in mind that the same was once true of aboriginal tales of the mountain gorilla or any number of bio-luminescent critters lurking in the abyssal depths. So you never know, the world is always surprising me by revealing just how weird it is!

    I’ve got to admit that I’ve never heard about the reddish, home invading “Frogman” before – fascinating. Apparently there are a lot more accounts of these creatures than we previously assumed. Do you have any more info about who’s, where’s and when’s? Any additional info would be greatly appreciated!

    My first reaction to the report was to think of how Henry McDaniel’s family was allegedly tormented in their home by the so-called “Enfield Horror.” Although the “Frogmen” and the “Horror” couldn’t look any different, the kid inside of me shudders at the thought of being under siege by some unknown entity in what is supposed to be your sanctuary.

  • rllamerson

    Or possibly the victim of the elledged attack, reads Lovecraft, in fact just recently finnished “The Shadow Over Insmouth”
    With all the trouble amongst Amphibeans and Icthyds these past years, it is hard for me to see some sort of Amphi-Hominus or Deep one swimming around in our country, it would more than likely contract the same diseases that are whiping out the Amphibeans And/or face the same problems as our counrties fish, if it did exist we would have had Ichy bodies by now. just my opinion.

  • Greetings,
    Personally all the reports i have (recieved/read about/heard from other source) over the past five years to six years makes me belive that most of what goes on with the Loveland frog men, and company, is just hoaxing, and misidentifications of other creatures, even other cryptids possibly. I had another run in with a hoaxer using this as their cryptid of choice. for months this guy using a username, TALSO, on a blog i frequent said he had proof of his (extremely outlandish) encounters with a creature like this one. After almost four months, he finally has a picture… it turns out it was that newest sasquatch report, which i provide a link to here

    yup, he tried to pawn off a close up of this picture as his lizard/frog-man.

  • truthofitall

    Being as Mrs Chris Lamble is my Grandmother. We were never allowed to get near the Ohio River. To this day you will not catch me around the Ohio River. This day was not spoken about. My Aunt’s and Uncle and my father wont speak of it. Sad they didnt mention the children being with them

  • admin

    Truthofitall, it’s great to hear from someone who knew the eyewitnesses so well. I know you said that the incident was not spoken about, but we would be immensely grateful for ANY additional info you could give us.

    Feel free to e-mail us and we will, of course, keep all personal information private. Thanks in advance!

  • Jp

    Hi, is the a way that I can speak to the administrator, or creator of this website?

  • admin

    Sure Jp, just got up to the “about” tab above, scroll down to “contact” and click. In the Subject just put “attn. admin” and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Thanks.

  • if the creature didn’t exist how do you explain the green handprint?

  • DJLamble

    The event in the Ohio River is TRUE. I was there the day it happened.

  • I think the lady scratched her leg on a submerged tree or bush. When I was a kid, my daddy took me fishing on a big lake outside Orlando. It was one of those typical Florida winter days when the sun was shining, the sky was so blue and not a cloud in the sky but it was cold. All of a sudden th boat was surrounded by millions of tiny bubbles rising to the surface. My dad thought we had drifted over a spring. Suddenly – without any warning whatsoever – an old, gnarled rotten tree rose to the surface amid a swirl of mud and sand. It almost hit the boat. As we were moving across the lake, Daddy said, “Look, doesn’t it look like a monster?’ As I looked back, sure enough it looked like a dinosaur with its branch reembling a net. Sometimes I wonder what if that had happened at night – that would have scared a fisherman to death! That’s how lake monster stories get started.

    • American Monsters

      Great story! I’m sure that LAKE MONSTER lore is chock full of late night misidentifications, but every now and then, perhaps, there’s something more animalistic living in the murky depths — even if it’s still unknown.

  • Alix Bernard

    Saw a recent show on t.v. about the Ohio River creature/event. The show claimed that some of the mud(bluish in color) on the womans leg was tested at a lab.The mud was said to be from the deepest part of the river,probably mud from an underwater cave.Sounds interesting if this was true.

  • In Europe there are giant catfish called ‘wels’. These HUGE fish have been known to swallow children and were once found throughtout the rivers of Europe. I was born in Winchester. Kentukcy which is only a few miles from historic Boonesboro. Years ago, they were saying swimmers were disappearing near the dam. This aquatic monster could very well have found its way to Boonesboro since all of the rivers in Kentucky flow into the Ohio River.

  • ct

    Sound like this could be just an large catfish

  • UP

    I was not an eyewitness to this event, but Mrs. Naomi Johnson was my grandmother-in-law so I do want to make a couple of clarifications. This incident happened in the Ohio River in Henderson, Kentucky which is right across the river from Evansville, Indiana where Naomi lived. “Godtown” in this report should actually read “Dogtown.” Dogtown is just a name locals use to describe a neighborhood in Evansville (in its early days, Evansville was made up of several smaller “towns”).

    I believe the print left on her leg was a bluish color and, by all accounts, was tested and revealed to be mud from some very deep river caves. Her husband, Darwin attested to the fact that whatever stained her leg was impossible to wash off and remained there for quite some time.

    I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Naomi for very long, but from the stories that are told about her, she is legend worthy in her own rite. In other words: she was not exactly an easy lady to scare or be told she couldn’t do something. Whatever happened that day was enough to keep her from ever swimming in the river again for the rest of her life and her children were given a stern warning to stay away from it as well.

    As I understand it, Naomi was quite certain the “loud thump” from her frantically grasping for the inner tube is what scared the creature away.

    I did hear about the “man in black” visitor, but I don’t believe he was referred to as a Colonel in any version of the story ever told to me.

    I have never heard that Naomi thought it was Bigfoot as indicated by a previous comment. The newspaper we have from the story also has a story about the Hopkinsville incident. I believe Naomi heard about the Hopkinsville story after this event and thought the two could be connected thus the “little green men” comment came out when she was asked about the incident at a later date.

    Her children, Darwin, Sandy, and Darrell were with her that day playing on the shore. Darwin is my father-in-law. He would have just turned 13 at the time. I believe the three of them recently gave their stories for a show that aired on the Destination American channel.

    I am not sure what actually happened that day. There could be a logical explanation that does not involve a mysterious creature, but I do want to make it clear that this was not any attempt to create a hoax. She was telling the truth as she saw it.

    • American Monsters

      Thank you so much for the feedback and updates on this absolutely fascinating case. It truly is one of the most terrifying and intriguing potential encounter with an American cryptid on record…. thanks again! Rob

  • Saxon_Wulf

    Since you make notations of it, do you have a article about the Hopkinsville Goblins?