The Leeds Loki
by Loren Coleman © 2010
Dateline: Leeds, Maine – February-March 2010
A weird creature is the talk of a tiny town in Maine.
In the midst of the boggy lands that are the Turner Triangle, in Androscoggin County, Maine, containing the little towns of Turner, Turner Center, Greene, Leeds, and farther south, Durham, there exists a hodgepodge of reports of cryptids, creatures, and critters. Some appear to be black panthers, others are of hynea-like animals, and a few tell of mountain lion/cougars. This is the county that has given us the “Durham Gorilla” of 1973, the “Maine Mutant” 0f 2006, and the backwood’s “Turner Beast” or “Greene Monster” of the last dozen years. The same area also hosts historical and new accounts of Bigfoot and Bigfoot-type creatures. Leeds, a name more associated with the Jersey Devil, in New Jersey, than monsters in Maine, nevertheless, appears to have its very own Windigo, of sorts.
I shall overview the results of the recent investigations of myself, Loren Coleman, director, and Jeff Meuse, chief docent coordinator of the International Cryptozoology Museum. I shall attempt to make some sense of all of what I am calling the accounts of the Leeds Loki.
“Loki” – a hairy wild man trickster who sometimes appears as something else entirely – is a handy label as the body of accounts is a swirl of confusing descriptions that are hard to nail down. Furthermore, as it turns out, there is a decidedly Norse coincidence to the region’s 25 year old sightings, as was uncovered during our investigations.
The people in the area know of the news that has spread throughout town, and yet the news media are totally unaware that the folks of Leeds are abuzz with current reports of a large hairy creature having crossed a local road.
The newest eyewitnesses’ close encounters for February 2010 are, generally, said to be of a hairy hominoid seen crossing the Line Road between Leeds and Greene, Maine. Nevertheless, sightings of recent and the not-too-distance past have described, along this very same roadway, mystery cat encounters, too.
In Leeds, Maine, one of the local gathering spots for talk of the new Bigfoot sightings is the Red Roof, a gasoline station-convenience store-eating establishment on Route 202, seen in the background of this Loren Coleman photograph.
This video spotlights the exact location of the February 8, 2010 sighting, and associated activity.
The most recent full-view sighting of the Leeds Loki took place on Monday, February 8, 2010, at 8:50 am. The creature was said to have crossed north to south, which would be from Leeds to Greene. It reportedly moved at a fast clip and crossed the road in a short amount of time. It’s arms hung quite low, and likewise swayed low. The witnesses noted that it did not peer in their direction. Both agreed it was tall, with eyewitness #1 saying it was perhaps six and a half feet tall, and eyewitness #2 reporting it as seven feet in height. Each eyewitness said it was extremely dark in color, with the hair covering the entire body and head. (Due to privacy issues, the eyewitnesses do not wish to be identified, at this time.)
Jeff Meuse and I timed our trek to the area after a fresh fall of snow, so conditions would duplicate those on the day of the sighting. Warm days since the February 8th sighting had caused the snow in the sighting location to melt. Thus, when we searched the area on March 1st, the landscape looked as it did in early February. Above you see, only a few feet into the woods at the spot of the sightings, Meuse disappears into the darkness of the forest at high noon on March 1, 2010.
Here Loren Coleman tests the ground for impression depths and impact in the snow-covered boggy ground. (The fact he appears to be imitating the posture of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot is purely coincidental.)
Coleman and Meuse had permission from the land’s owner to investigate the area, off the road. We caution against any searchers trespassing, going onto private property, or otherwise disturbing the privacy of property owners in the area.
[Sites described in this descriptive material may be on private property or border landowners’ property. The author and blog owner advise readers not to trespass on private property and disclaim any responsibility for those who are prosecuted for trespassing.]
Tracks of an unknown origin, at the exact site where the Bigfoot crossed the road, were found and photographed ten days after the sighting. They are posted below, with permission.
During the Coleman-Meuse investigations, locals told us often and openly of tawny-colored mountain lion/cougar encounters and black panther sightings, people being followed, and cat screams heard in the night around the surrounding Greene-Leeds area. Others told of Bigfoot-type sightings in the same specific area.
For example, five different individuals (Graham, Robert, Eric, David, and Tom – last names on file) all stopped to discuss with us what they had heard had been sighted along Line Road within the last month. We interviewed them without telling what we were investigating, letting these contacts and others lead us in whatever direction they wished. Graham told of Bigfoot sightings being reported in the River Road area in Leeds. David was well aware of the local Bigfoot reports, when I merely asked about any “unusual animal activity in the area.” Tom told of cougar signs being found in the boggy area. Two searchers from a lumber company had been in the area a week earlier looking for cougar and Bigfoot signs. Eric had heard strange animals himself thereabouts, and felt like animals often followed him and others in the area.
Indeed, Eric’s brother Leif had one of the best close-up sightings of a smaller version of a Bigfoot over 25 years ago, in the “flats” area off Turner Center’s Bridge Road, near Allen Pond Road.
(Interestingly, Turner Center’s Bridge Road is exactly on the line between Turner and Greene, just as the Line Road of the recent sightings are on the exact border between Greene and Leeds. It will also be recalled that the “Durham Gorilla” accounts of 1973 took place exactly on the River Road in those incidents, which is the dividing line between Durham and Brunswick, Maine. In September 1999, tracks were found of a Bigfoot next to the road at the town line between Sidney and Manchester, Maine.)
Leif reported this circa 1985 “small Bigfoot” was not tall, but more like 5-6 feet in height, and was observed kneeling down, perhaps over a dead animal. Local high schoolers who had to walk across the “flats,” to and from school, would frequently report sightings and a sense they were being followed. The “flats” are described locally like they are the moors of the northlands of Europe. The two brothers with the Norse names, Eric and Leif, are bookends to over a quarter of a century of accounts of these borderland creatures.
The Leeds Loki seen up close in 2010 and by Leif and others in 1985-1986, seems to have been around a long time.
The surrounding area is ripe with a long list of sightings and stories. The one dead roadside “Maine Mutant” of 2006, popularized by news reporter Mark LaFlamme, was revealed to be of a dead dog found on Rt. 4 at Turner. However, as was mentioned often during the media madness of that summer, the “Turner Beast” back story was that a real creature or creatures, never caught, never identified, had been reported in the local woods for over 12 years. It has been variously described as hynea-like, panther-like, and wolf-like. It regularly disturbed livestock and viciously attacked domestic pets, especially large dogs.
Here’s what I wrote about this beast years ago:
During the summer of 2004, Lewiston Sun-Journal reporter Mark LaFlamme covered the story of a strange creature that was killing dogs. “It began in mid-August ,” wrote LaFlamme, “when a Wales [Maine] man reported that an unknown animal crept out of the woods behind his house and mauled his Doberman pinscher….Since that attack, people from Wales, Litchfield, Sabattus, Greene, Turner, Lewiston and Auburn have come forward to speak of a mystery creature.”
During the wave of sightings in 2004, one animal control officer sighted the cryptid along Sawyer Road in Greene, Maine. Although the officer had years of experience with animals, he could not identify it. He told reporter LaFlamme only that it looked like a hyena to him, just as more than a dozen others had described it.
In the most recent  incident, it happened again in Greene, a rural town outside of Lewiston, Maine. Reporter Mark LaFlamme recounted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005, in the Lewiston Sun-Journal:
“A dog found with a 10-inch gash across its throat in Greene on Monday [November 14, 2005] may have been attacked by a wild animal, veterinary officials said Tuesday. The collie-shepherd mix was found wounded and bleeding on a porch at Allen Pond and Hooper roads. On Tuesday, the dog was recovering at the Lewiston Veterinary Hospital, but no one had come forward to claim it. And the nature of the animal’s wounds remained a mystery.
“We can’t say for sure that it was a wild animal,” said Margaret McCloskey, a co-manager of the animal hospital on Stetson Road. “But something big and bad got at this dog.”
In addition to the gash around the animal’s neck, the dog’s left front leg appeared to have been chewed on, McCloskey said. There was no indication that it was a person that caused the wounds.
“We’re pretty convinced that it’s a large-animal wound,” McCloskey said.
I did an update of the story in 2005. Investigative reporter Mark LaFlamme wrote again of Maine’s mystery beast with a new article published in the November 18, 2005, Lewiston Sun-Journal, in which he told of…
Joanne D’Unger, who lives in Leeds, stated in an e-mail that she saw such an animal on Quaker Ridge Road in Greene [six weeks previously].
“I saw an animal standing, broadside, in the middle of the road ahead and thought it must be a dog, as it appeared rather small for a deer,” D’Unger wrote. “I quickly realized that I was looking at a cat. … The hindquarters were taller than the forequarters as the back legs appeared to be longer.”
The cat ran back into the woods, D’Unger added.
In 2010, Meuse and I were told that on farms in Leeds reports of panthers and mountain lions have circulated for years. Individuals in local businesses (e.g. the Red Roof and elsewhere) related similar stories.
The BFRO’s Report # 859, submitted by a witness on December 5, 2000, contains details of two men in a car (one is identified in the report as the driver, a “Tom Drottar”) seeing a six-ft-tall, light brown, hairy, upright animal on the side of Rt. 127, off Rt. 4, near Turner, Maine. The sighting took place on October 15, 1986, thus overlapping with Leif’s sighting.
The BFRO account reports: “So many other sightings of the animal caused people in the area to give it the name ‘Loopgaroo.'”
The local name given as “Loopgaroo,” appears to be a corrupted spelling of, as the BFRO also discovered, loup garou, which is French for werewolf. The same undercurrent is reflected in this name, as it is in my pick, loki. There is clearly a local realization of the many and varied creatures or the multi-descriptors for what is being seen.
As recently as last night, March 6, 2010, I was told by a local in Leeds that a large animal has been “heard” all week, screaming in the woods up and down the Line Road that splits Leeds/Greene.
If you have more information on the Leeds Loki, please contact me, or, if you wish, share what you’ve heard or seen in the comments section below.
Thank you for your support so that I may investigate ~ and keep the museum alive.
Patience and passion, with a little funding, and I have much to do in the next 50 years!!
Sites described in the above descriptive posting are presented as a historical record of local testimony, legends, and folklore tied to locations in central Maine. Many of these legends, sightings, and stories cannot be independently confirmed or corroborated, and the author and Cryptomundo owner make no representation as to their factual accuracy, other than as collected and reported information. The reader should be advised that many of the sites described in this article may be located on private property and should not be visited, or you may face prosecution for trespassing.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.