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Was this fuzzy giant the legendary ‘Lake Worth Monster?’ The truth is — well, blurry

·4 min read

More than 50 years after a furry, scaly creature emerged from a boggy lake, scared us all and then vanished forever into urban legend, the readers of one California newsletter still think the Lake Worth Monster was real.

However, I’m not too sure about their research.

They also think I’m dead.

The October issue of the Bigfoot Times — slogan: “Where You Go When You Need to Know!” — raises questions about a grainy photo of the “monster,” described by various witnesses in the drowsy summer of 1969 as a Bigfoot or “Goat-Man” who terrorized fishermen and teenagers on Greer Island or Shoreline Drive.

That August, the Lake Worth Monster made headline news in the Star-Telegram, alongside the moon landing and above Woodstock.

The following November, a 22-year-old Fort Worth man out with friends at 1:35 a.m. along Shoreline Drive saw a large, white, furry shape in tall grass off the lakeshore. He took a photo.

It’s just a big white shape, like a huge chamois or maybe a giant labradoodle.

But the Bigfoot Times is curious because some published versions of the photo, taken by the late Allen Plaster, show the “monster” alongside a tree.

It looks — big.

“It’s a mystery, and no one has solved it — nobody has shot one or killed it,” said Daniel Perez of the Anaheim Hills-based Bigfoot Times (yearly subscription, $18.50).

One of two versions of a grainy Polaroid shot at 1:35 a.m. Nov. 19, 1969. This appears to be an original.
One of two versions of a grainy Polaroid shot at 1:35 a.m. Nov. 19, 1969. This appears to be an original.

The Times quoted a 2006 column saying Plaster “told the reporter, the late Bud Kennedy, he felt the matter was a ‘prank.’ “

Perez said he heard about my death from Dallas supernatural author Lyle Blackburn. He is the author of “Boggy Creek Casebook” and producer of documentaries on mysterious monsters tormenting small-town America.

In August, Blackburn emailed looking for Plaster.

I wrote back, “Died 10/25/19.”

One of two versions of a grainy Polaroid shot at 1:35 a.m. Nov. 19, 1969. This appears to be retouched.
One of two versions of a grainy Polaroid shot at 1:35 a.m. Nov. 19, 1969. This appears to be retouched.

Plaster (1947-2019) was a Graford native who owned a fashion boutique at the time of the monster’s rampage. He went on to manage local hotels and then worked as a bail bond agent.

In 2006, when his 1969 photo emerged on hobbyist websites and in a San Antonio museum exhibit, he said the idea of a real monster is “silly.”

“When we drove by, it stood up,” he said. “Whatever it was, it wanted to be seen. That was a prank. That was somebody out there waiting for people to drive by. I don’t think an animal would have acted that way.”

He went on: “I don’t know what gets in people’s heads.”

He gave his Polaroid instant print to Sallie Ann Clarke of Benbrook, who had seen a “goat-fish-man.” She wrote a homespun book, “The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island, Ft. Worth, Texas.”

(The asking price for a used copy is now $150.)

Based on the photo and book, Blackburn, Perez and others now lump the Lake Worth Monster in with legendary sightings of a Sasquatch beast or Yeti, even though our Goat-Man was a very different creature.

In 2010, a Lake Worth Monster Bash featured a Monster/Goat-Man in costume, here hugging Anna Sparks of Bedford.
In 2010, a Lake Worth Monster Bash featured a Monster/Goat-Man in costume, here hugging Anna Sparks of Bedford.

Blackburn said Plaster’s photo is analyzed as if it’s Abraham Zapruder’s film of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The Bigfoot industry is going “better than ever,” said Blackburn, a rock musician who now makes a living writing books, producing documentaries and doing talks about the paranormal.

Our own little Lake Worth Monster now rises to the category of “Bigfoot classics,” he said.

The photo and book made our monster high-profile.

And questions remain.

“Who were the other two people in the car [with Plaster]? Would they talk?” Blackburn asked.

Even if the sighting in the photo were a prank, there was this other sighting in which a Sansom Park man, Jack Harris, said the monster threw a tire 500 feet.

The owner of a nearby kennel said in 2006 that a 40-pound macaque monkey escaped that summer and was running loose.

“How can we explain a tire being thrown that far?” Perez asked.

Ever since 1969, different residents have claimed the “monster” as a prank.

If someone was out there as a prank, Perez wrote in the Bigfoot Times, “it was done at a huge risk to their life.”

Blackburn paraphrased Mark Twain to offer this one nugget of fact.

“Yes, your death has been greatly exaggerated,” he said, apologizing.

Always check it out.

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