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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Lake Worth Monster, Hoaxes, and a Movie



A while back I put up a post about some stories of people who say that "they" were the Lake Worth Monster in 1969. Why am I bringing this up now? Well, its because Nick Redfern has a new article up on Mysterious Universe on this very subject - and a horribly bad monster movie that may have inspired the monster of Lake Worth.

The article in question is called "Did A Movie Inspire The Goat-Man Legend?" It starts out like this:

"A couple of nights ago I had the distinct misfortune of watching what was probably the worst movie I have ever seen. If not, it's certainly near the top of the list. It's title: Night Fright,  which was filmed in 1967 and released in 1968. It's an extremely unimpressive piece of very badly acted, laughable hokum - but oddly watchable and even a bit engaging. Night Fright starred John Agar, a man for whom B-movies were made. He appeared in such unmemorable pieces of work as Zontar, the Thing from Venus; The Brain From Planet Arous; The Mole People; and Women Of The Prehistoric Planet. The movie was actually a reworking of a 1964 screenplay written by Russ Marker and titled The Demon of Devil's Lake. 
 "The location of the filming of Night Fright was just outside the city of Dallas, Texas. Most of the 'action' takes place in thick woods and on the shores of a local lake (in The Demon of Devil's Lake, the location was Lake Texoma, which borders Texas and Oklahoma). As we learn very quickly, something monstrous is lurking in the woods and near the lake. But, what is it? Well, this is where things become not just strange, but downright deranged. It turns out that NASA has been secretly dabbling with cosmic-rays and animals - an operation called 'Noah's Ark.' Of course, the project goes awry (how could it not?) and a monster is unleashed.
 "As the death count rises, the local police are determined to solve the mystery (Agar plays Sheriff Clint Crawford). Strange tracks are found in the area. They resemble those of alligators, but are much larger. Chris and Judy - two of the main characters, who are boyfriend and girlfriend - are hot on the trail of the beast, too. We see lots of Austin Powers-style dancing near the lake, we hear lots of 'groovy' '60's music (baby), and we catch brief glimpses of the monster that lurks around the lake and in the woods. 
"In typical B-movie style, NASA's dastardly experiments with cosmic rays have led to the creation of a strange monster with the feet of an alligator, the body of what looks just like a Bigfoot, and a head that... well... we never really get to see the head too clearly, which is probably not a bad thing. It's a distinctly bad-tempered beast that spends most of its time killing the local kids - in classic 'Lover's Lane'-type scenarios. Of course, the day is finally saved when the half-Bigfoot/half-alligator gets blown to pieces and out heroes escape unscathed."

Now why did Redfern bring this up? And why am I also bringing it up?

Well, it's because in my other post I wrote about some people who claim that their family members were the Lake Worth Monster, and that they were seen and thought to be it, because they jumped on some cars in a "rabbit coat" and rolled a tire down a hill, which then bounced on something and flew through the air (to explain the sighting by 30-40 people, some of whom were police officers, who said the LWM hurled a tire towards them from on top of a bluff). Now, if this movie, which was filmed in the area, was seen by people there, could it have inspired them (the ones mentioned above, or others) to creature some real life "monster" sightings, which were in reality nothing more than someone in a costume? In his article, Redfern mentions quite a few parallels between the Night Fright movie and reported sightings of the LWM.

To conclude, he says: "If not a literal monster, I think there is a good chance that at least a significant portion of the Goat-Man saga might have been born out of a bunch of kids watching Night Fright and, in the wake of its release, having a bit of fun." Maybe he's right.

Me with Nick Redfern, Mothman Fest, 2016

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