On December 18, 2014, the Highland County Press of Hillsboro, Ohio, published an account by Mutual UFO Network investigator Ron McGlone regarding a strange report of a bizarre, bipedal beast that was almost struck by a motor vehicle just six days earlier in Carmel an unincorporated community in Highland County.
The event in question concerned a 59-year-old former Marine who was driving his wife home on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. The anonymous eyewitness set the scene and explained that the thing he had seen was not his first local brush with the inexplicable, stating:
“We recently bought a place in the Fort Hill area (in southeast Highland County). We first noticed after about 30 days of living here that we suddenly have a perfect circle that stays fresh green, no matter what weather, in our front yard.”
Whether or not the snow-defying patch of vegetation is related to the other anomalous events in the area is a matter of speculation. What is established as a fact, however, is that the allegedly alien animal that the driver nearly hit was unlike anything the veteran had ever seen before:
“On Friday night we were driving home. After turning on Carmel Road, which leads to our road, we went around the curve by the Carmel church and then up a small incline and approximately 10 feet over the incline and in front of our truck, the ‘alien’ ran across the road and into the woods.”
This unquestionably crazy critter was described as grey in pigment and approximately 7-feet tall, with gangly muscular legs that bent backwards at the knees. The thing had a narrow torso and appeared to lack both arms and a head.
Although she was apparently looking down when the swiftly moving monstrosity narrowly avoided their car, the unnamed Marine’s wife confirmed that her husband was a credulous witness and further described what he had seen:
“My husband saw it. He is a skeptic – almost 60 years old – and a proud Marine. He wouldn’t have admitted to seeing it if he hadn’t been in shock. I had him draw it for me when we got to the house. He says it was asphalt gray (our asphalt is gray) and about 7-feet tall, no arms that he could see, but muscular in the legs area; no jawline, and its legs were bent backward and it leaned forward as it ran.”
On a personal note, the eyewitness sketch resembles, to me anyway, the head of a giant squid connected to the lanky legs of a large bird or ungulate; hence our designating the creature the Carmel Walking Squid.
Wildlife biologist Kurt Broz presented the website Doubtful News with his hypothesis regarding what he believed may be the true identity of this “alien” life form. He proposed that what the Marine actually saw was nothing more than a common forest dwelling critter striking an unusual pose. According to Broz:
“While the description of the thing does sound like a hideous creature from the game Silent Hill, I propose a very normal explanation. Assuming that the witness actually saw something, and that the description matches what the witness saw, my educated guess is that the witness saw a very real animal acting in a way that, while not peculiar, isn’t something most people commonly observe. It was a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) walking on its rear legs.”
“Deer will rear up and even walk on two legs for a few reasons, mostly relating to male competition or reaching food. They don’t normally walk that far but there’s no reason to assume a male couldn’t at least appear to have walked upright as far as the witness claims.”
While it would almost certainly be disconcerting to see a deer perambulating bipedally across an empty stretch of road, I think it would be difficult to mistake its distinctive brown and white coat for grey skin and even less likely that any observer would neglect to note its head or forelegs.
Others have suggested that the real culprit might have been a large bird such as a great blue heron or an egret, but it was Broz himself who contradicted such arguments by stating that:
“…egrets do not normally overwinter in Ohio and are small, whitish birds. A great blue heron would certainly match the color of asphalt gray mentioned by the wife of the witness but would not be anywhere near 7 ft. tall. Based on what I know of their behavior, I would also assume you wouldn’t find one running across a field quickly. They tend to walk slowly in a bobbing manner or to fly.”
Broz also felt that although emu, rhea, or ostrich might match the general height, color and weird leg hinging described, they were likely too bulky to be the culprit. He also noted that the nearest Ostrich Farm was about 174-miles away and that any escapees would have had to make the treacherous journey through Columbus and the freeways around it where it is unlikely they would have gone unseen.
Those with less academically bound perspectives have pointed out that the fact that the Carmel Walking Squid bears an uncanny resemblance to a series of creatures that have been filmed in both Fresno, California and Yosemite National park, which are colloquially referred to as the “Fresno Night Crawlers”, “walking pants” or “walking sticks”, respectively.
In the end, the eyewitness, like so many others who have experienced something that exists beyond their accepted view of the world, wants nothing more than an explanation that will ground the unexplained event in good, old fashioned reality. In the veteran’s own words:
“I would like to get this information out in your area in hopes that maybe someone else has seen it – or that their giant cross-bred ostrich got loose – or something!”
Perhaps the answer to this ongoing mystery is as prosaic as a large bird or oddly walking deer, but there is also the very real chance that on that otherwise nondescript night Ron McGlone had a face to faceless encounter with an unidentified entity that may or may not hail from this world.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / graphic designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters, Cryptopia and Cryptonaut Podcast