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Report: The Creature from Frog Hollow

(Tucson, Az) - “It just appeared,” said local four-wheel-drive enthusiast Tim Naylor. He was having lunch with some friends during a recent four-wheel-drive trip when he encountered the creature. “I turned my back and it came out of nowhere. Then it ate my sandwich.” Tim shook his head. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. One minute my sandwich was there, the next it was gone. All gone.” Tim’s eyes turned red with fury. “The creature … it took everything from me. Everything. Except for the bag of chips I had in my hand. And my drink. But I was still really hungry.”

Some of the first video ever taken of the creature

Tim’s experience isn’t all that unusual for those who travel the wilderness areas around southern Arizona. Sightings of the creature come up from time to time and go back as far as the mid 1800s. The first historical account of the creature appeared in 1859. A miner by the name Barthalamule Stevens kept a personal journal of his experiences in the Arizona Territory. On July 14, he wrote, “Took the family out to a wonderful place in the pass east of Tucson called Frog Hollow. There was plenty of water, a wonderful fall and large pools to swim in. It was all fun and games until we saw … it.” He goes on to describe exactly what “it” was. “A furry creature, about the size of a small pig or javelina, but black and tan in color. We had never seen anything like it before. It had bountiful energy as it played in the water and we dared not approach it for fear it may eat us.”

The creature wasn’t mentioned again for almost 50 years, until in 1914, Mary Jane Portland was taking photos in the area when she spotted, “… a creature that seemed to be at as much at home swimming in the water as on land.” She took what is believed to be the first photo of the creature. Mary Jane added that “The creature appeared to be friendly but wild. I thought about trying to tame it, but it had way too much energy. I pity the pour souls who ever try to do that. It’s best for this creature to run wild.”

The creature getting unsuspecting visitors wet

During the next few decades, the creature remained elusive. Then, on August 3, 1942. Army Air Corps pilot, Lt. John Melloncamper, piloting a P-39 Airacobra went down in Redington Pass. For three days, Lt. Melloncamper survived the harsh desert climate by drinking water from a series of pools believed to be Frog Hollow until the rescue team finally found him. The accident report states that Lt. Melloncamper was “visited” by a strange, but wonderful beast during his second day alone the desert. Lt. Melloncamper claims the creature saved his life by making frequent trips to the pools to fill his canteen with water, though it also did steal some of his crackers from him when he wasn’t looking. Army officials claim this to be the rantings of a dehydrated pilot, but could never determine exactly where traces of black fur on Melloncamper came from.” A member of the rescue team was able to capture some strange footage of what many people believe is what people were now calling the Creature from Frog Hollow.

The creature sneaking up on an unsuspecting victim

In the past few years, sighting of this strange creature swimming in the depths of the pools, lounging on the rocks or sniffing the butts of unsuspecting travelers have become more and more common. Tourists travel to Frog Hollow just for a chance to view the creature, which has taken on mythical proportions similar to the Lock Ness Monster. Like Nessy, locals have given it a nickname. Most call it “Gidget” or “Gidgy”. A local family who travels regularly to Frog Hollow is often seen out there calling to the creature, but it appears to ignore them.

Although the creature may not come when it’s called, visitors are cautioned to keep a wary eye out. When you least expect it, the creature will come out of the water and attempt to dry itself off on unwary visitors or sneak up behind them when they are sitting on a rock and try to snag food out of their hands. It has also been known to stalk and want to play incessantly with a local celebrity, Cat-dog, even when Cat-dog is tired and doesn’t want to play.   

The creature attacking Cat-dog

Not all encounters with the creature end badly or with stolen food. In 2013, local hiker Steve Timbal was hiking in Tanque Verde Canyon when he was approached by the creature. “It emerged from the water, shook itself off and I immediately smelled wet-dog. I feared the creature may have eaten one, so I froze. The creature wiggled its butt – it didn’t appear to have a tail – and jumped up on a rock that looked like a king-sized bed. I didn’t know what to expect. Then it lay down and rolled over on its back. To my disbelief the creature wanted its belly rubbed. I cautiously approached and scratched its exposed belly. The creature seemed to really enjoy this and didn’t want me to stop, but I had to get home before dark. I hope to see it again and next time I think I’ll bring it some treats. It appeared hungry.”

Although locals don’t believe the creature dangerous, monster hunters with underwater cameras, sonar and Beggin Strips dog treats have tried to capture the creature, but so far the creature has eluded them. Though in some cases, it has eaten all their Beggin Strips when they looked the other way just for a few seconds.

As more pictures and video surface of the creature, scientists are beginning to take note. They believe it is only a matter of time before this creature is caught, given a bath and taught not to steel food from the counter. Locals don’t believe this will ever happen.

Full-sized old photos of the creature

A few of the more recent pictures of the creature:

Comments

Clint E
Yeah, I've seen the creature a couple times out at Frog Hollow. At first I thought it was a coyote, then I thought it was a deer, then I thought it was a buffalo, then I thought it was a washing machine, then I thought maybe I'd drank a little too much beer and should go to bed.

Anne D
Is this similar to the Creature from Pennsylvania? I've seen one around our house that looks a lot like this one.

James C
I don't believe in the creature. It's all made up crap. Though my sandwich does have a nasty habit of disappearing whenever I'm out four-wheeling.

Steve M
That looks a little bit like my date last Saturday night - only better.

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It is a certainty that most, if not all, of the above information has been made up and is completely false. Mostly.