In 2009, four Panamanian teenagers had a terrifying encounter with a pale, spindly armed, hairless being, which they claim they were forced to kill after it attacked them from under the water.

Also known as the “Blue Hill Horror,” “Panama E.T.” or the “Panamanian Blue Hill Monster,” the first known encounter with this ostensibly aggressive creature occurred on September 12, 2009, when a quartet of teenagers (all reportedly between the ages of 15 and 16,) while exploring a creek near the Cerro Azul region of Panama City, had a run in a creature that was so bizarre they all agreed that it must be extra-terrestrial in origin.

Although there are a multitude of contradicting stories circulating around the web, there are some irrefutably intriguing facts surrounding this case. According to the first account, the teens were playing near a cave beneath a waterfall on the Blue Hill Spurt, when something unbelievable emerged from the under fall’s murky maw and began to climb the rocks toward them.

They described the beast as a hairless, pale skinned creature that appeared to have an almost turtle-like head, with long skinny arms that tapered off into a curved claw.

Yet another, presumably more accurate, account comes from one of the eyewitnesses himself. He claimed that he and his friends, presumably prompted by terror fueled adrenaline, subdued and eventually killed what they perceived to be the attacking beast by pelting it with a barrage of sticks and stones. The youth described his harrowing encounter to a local television program, Telemetro Reporta, a few days after the event:

“I was in the river and I felt something grabbing my legs. We took it out of the water and started throwing rocks and sticks at it. We had never seen anything like that.”

Following this violent encounter, the teenagers threw the “thing” back into the water and speedily returned home. Soon after the boys screwed up their courage and returned to the scene of their brutal attack in order to gather photographic evidence to support their bizarre tale. They snapped a series of photos of this extraordinary entity lying dead on a rock and posted pictures. They posted the images of what they claimed to be a dead alien online where it hastily earned the nickname “Panama E.T.”

It wasn’t long after the images hit the web that the news of their encounter spread throughout the neighborhood. Panama’s Channel 13 broadcast the pictures of this strange beast and alarm – if not downright horror — rippled through the community of Cerro Azul. News agencies across the globe, including CNN and the Huffington Post were quick to pick this story up.

Some thought it was an unknown animal that emerged from the jungle and others believed that anything so weird must be an alien. An unnamed Panamanian zoologist was consulted and, although he was unable to identify the beast, claimed that it appeared to be a dead fetus of some kind. Other conclusions have included everything from the almost plausible genetic mutation to the totally ludicrous dead dolphin.

According to National Geographic, Panamanian officials recovered the “alien” four days after the teenagers had thrown it back into the creek and sent it to the National Environmental Authority of Panama (ANAM) so that a biopsy could be performed. Not surprising to any conspiracy buffs, the conclusion made by the scientists was that the creature was a male three-toed sloth.

There are some, however, who have not been swayed by the “sloth” argument, citing that the pigmentation and general features of the creature are unlike those of the common Central America sloth.

They also contend that whether or not this creature is from OUT OF THIS WORLD or simply a mutation spawned in the heavily polluted waters surrounding Panama City, it would be in their best interest to quell the growing unrest brewing in the Cerro Azul area by dismissing the creature with the most mundane explanation available.