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Beware The Lake Worth Goatman!


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As a former resident of New Jersey I sometimes grow nostalgic for all the strange creatures, demons, and phenomenon that seem unnaturally compressed into that small corner of the world. That's why I'm an avid fan of Wierd NJ, the web site that became a magazine, a song, and now a book.

Well, they've expanded the operation to encompass the entire country as Wierd US. The latest issue of their newsletter talks about something I've never heard of before.


Beware the Lake Worth Goatman!

Though not well known in the history of sasquatch-like, hairy biped reports, the summer of 1969

in Lake Worth, on the edge of Fort Worth, Texas produced one of the most well attested events

of that nature. In the wee hours of July 10th, Mr. and Mrs. John Reichart and two other couples

showed up at the Fort Worth police station. They were so plainly terrified that, as unlikely as their

story sounded, the officers had no problem believing the six had seen something well out of the

ordinary. As their story went, they had been parked along the edge of Lake Worth around midnight

when a huge beast leaped out of nowhere and landed on the Reicharts' car. It was, they related,

covered with both fur and scales and looked like a cross between a goat and a man.

Four police units raced to the scene only to find nothing. However there was an eighteen inch

scratch running alongside the witnesses car, who swore it had not been there before and was sure

it was a scratch from the monsters claws. In the preceding couple of months other reports of a

monster had been received but were attributed to pranks. The officers assumed that the Reicharts

had been similarly victimized, but the frightening, aggressive nature of the attack made them take

the incident much more seriously.

Almost exactly twenty-four hours after the incident, Jack Harris, driving on the road to the Lake

Worth Nature Center said he spotted the creature crossing in front of him. It ran up and down a hill

and was soon being watched by thirty to forty people who had come to the area hoping to catch a

glimpse of it after the Fort Worth Star Telegram had run a front page story "Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies

Couples Parked at Lake Worth." Within moments police from the sheriff's office were on the scene as

well observing the fantastic sight. But when it seemed as though some of the spectators were going

to approach it the creature threw a cars wheel at them, wherefore it escaped into the thicket once


In the weeks ahead parties of armed searchers made nightly forays into the woods and fields near

the lake. Most thought it resembled a "big white ape." It left tracks that were unfortunately not

preserved, that were reported as being eight inches wide at the toes and sixteen inches long. On

one occasion when men fired on it they followed a trail of blood to the waters edge. Another three

men claimed the monster jumped on their car and only jumped off after the vehicle collided with a

tree. A different three people spent a week tracking it without ever seeing it, although they heard

its cry and smelled the foul odor that was associated with it. They also came across several sheep

half eaten with broken necks that they felt was the handiwork of the monster.

Reports of the creature continued for years after but the last sighting of 1969 came from Charles

Buchanan. He said he had been sleeping in his sleeping bag in the back of his pick up truck when he

was attacked by the monster. Buchanan shoved a bag of chicken at the creature. The beast stuffed

it into its mouth and jumped into the lake and swam towards Greer Island. This occurred on November

7th. Several theories were offered from the preposterous to the problematic. One given by park ranger

Harroll Rogers was that the creature was a bobcat -- absurd by any stretch of the imagination. Others

say it was a prankster, yet considering how many gun toting people were looking to bag it, and the fact

that it had been most likely shot at least once leaves this theory with a hole or two in it as well.


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I remember stories of the Lake Worth goatman from my days as a prosecutor in Ft. Worth. A fellow prosecutor lived in an old house on the shores of Lake Worth. After several drinks, he could always be counted on to dredge up the story of the goatman, though he had never seen it, nor knew anyone who had.

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