MICHIGAN MONSTER: Creature from the Stearns Bayou, Grand Haven
It has a ten-foot long tail of an alligator, a six-foot body that resembles a soft-shelled turtle, and the head of a hippopotamus. The underbody, or stomach, gives off a flourescent light. It's the Stearns Bayou Water Monster, first spotted on August 8, 1909.
The two men who first saw this beast made the discovery after being told by their wives that they heard weird noises outside. They went down to the bayou and that's when they saw the monster moving through the bay and finally sinking into the depths. They evntually contacted authorities and made their report, which was backed by local citizens "whose reputation and veracity is unimpeachable”, according to the local newspaper, the Grand Haven Tribune.
Of course, the story spread and the locals, farmers and campers all joined together to hunt for the creature. The beast was spotted a second time, and according to the Grand Haven Tribune, “The dark object had assumed a dim phosphorous glow, which distinctly made visible the outline of a monster turtle-like animal. Its huge elephantine head projected out on a long, slim serpentine neck and behind trailed a long crocodile-like tail. The creature propelled itself with huge flippers on each side of its round tub-shaped body.”
The creature was seen crawling up on the beach and digging in the sand. After the monster left its digging spot, the area was searched. A huge egg was found, "almost perfectly round, yellow in color, embellished with bright red spots, and was about the size of a large pumpkin” said the Tribune.
The egg was found, so where is it?
The man who retrieved it said it fell into the water and was lost.
An aerial photo was taken but the plate on which it was taken was accidentally destroyed by a courier who threw the package containing the plate off the express wagon. On top of that, the creature was never seen again. That was back in 1909.
So was this nothing but a hoax perpetrated by town pranksters? The six upstanding, respected and highly regarded local citizens who claimed to see the creature (which included the mayor, print shop owner, machine shop secretary, photographer, candy store owner and local business entrepreneur) all died between 1925 - 1961.
So, we may never know, unless the carcass of a strange creature washes up onshore someday. Or if it decides to rise from the depths to make itself noticed again.