Maine Mutant: Photos Posted Again

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 21st, 2006

Michelle O’Donnell has changed her mind. She has given her permission directly for Cryptomundo to post the following:

Maine Mystery Beast

Please click on image for full-size version

Photograph by Michelle O’Donnell. Used by permission.

Maine Mystery Beast

Click on image for full-size version

Photograph by Michelle O’Donnell. Used by permission.

Maine Mystery Beast

Click on image for full-size version

Photograph by Michelle O’Donnell. Used by permission.

Ms. O’Donnell writes late on August 19, 2006:

Loren, I read the article posted on cryptomundo and was moved by your thorough understanding of my frustrations. I am sorry for having attacked you, I was very angry and was on a rampage sending numerous letters to various agencies who posted my photos without my permission. It’s a good thing that you are doing and you have my utmost respect. My original intention was to find out what this animal was and wasn’t planning on “getting rich” But other used this as an opportunity to do so. It made me Angry!! I am just an average citizen of this country. If this situation hadnt gotten out of control, I would have been perfectly happy with a local “celebrity” status. Maybe that’s a bad word but I can’t think of another one at the moment. There were others, my family and neighbors also responsible for this incredible find. I don’t assume the total spotlight for this. It might turn out to be nothing that special even though we’re all hoping it is. Either way, I will respect your findings in this issue. Again I am sorry. You have my permission to publish this letter on your site if it will help you. Thank you. Michelle O’Donnell

and later,

Loren, Again I am sorry for the things I said to you in my emails and comments on your blogs….As far as the pictures go you have my permission to post them again on your site If it will help you and for free like everyone else is….Good Luck. Sincerely, Michelle O’Donnell

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

21 Responses to “Maine Mutant: Photos Posted Again”

  1. mooppoint responds:

    I guess 15 minutes wasn’t enough, huh?

  2. moregon responds:

    Personally I applaud Ms. O’Donnell’s change of heart and her apparent interest in finding out what this animal is. I don’t see anything in her above message to Mr. Coleman that she even suggests this is something extraordinary, simply that’s she’s not positive of it’s identity. I can understand how under the circumstances, living in an area with reports of a “Mysterious” animal might trigger her to question which some of us may think is obvious. Regardless of the DNA results, I hope Ms. O’Donnell continues to search for the answers.

  3. harleyb responds:

    That’s cool of her to change her mind, I guess she’s just a normal person that got caught up in the moment, carry on.

  4. Michael Anissimov responds:

    Any word back on the DNA test?

  5. aaha responds:

    Ain’t no dough in cryptozoo……..

  6. talthar responds:

    It’s a nice change to hear of someone who is more interested in finding a solution to a puzzle than making a quick buck. I’m glad that, after a chance to reflect, Ms. O’Donnell did the right thing.

  7. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    That’s nice of her. I never thought she planned to make money, though the implication was there.
    Even if the animal turns out to be normal, it was bold of her.

    Kudos to her.

  8. crypto_randz responds:

    I to think Ms. O’Donnell should be applauded, she didn’t take the rich way out. It was nice of her to apologize to Loren Coleman, and to continue to see what kind of dog it is. But i still say from my observation, it looks like a werewolf. I know it sounds farfetched but the eyes on that thing look sinister. It’s just my opinion, this story is tricky, it looks cryptid.

  9. planettom responds:

    Best Regards to Ms. O’Donnell!

  10. Icafred responds:

    Hello ,

    I am a Chow-Chow owner and breeder here in Canada, and I assure you this is a simply a black chow, maybe not pure, but definitely a black chow. The long claw on his paw is not uncommon. If I don’t trim those on my dogs they will look exaclyt like this. This is simply an abandoned dog who probably had many diseases. To me there is absolutely no mystery here.

  11. kidkarysma responds:

    Good for Ms. O’Donnell. That was amazingly mature and honest of her. She really should be applauded. None of us knows how we’d act in such a situation and I’m sure some level of frustration would set in for us all.

  12. spazel1 responds:

    I think this was very interesting. Wolf? nah, I can’t see it, but it does kinda remind me of the hyena due the the way the long hairs pattern from the head to the neck. Most unlikely though. Stormkloud has a site on her lab/chow mix and that really does seem to fit.

    Back in the early 1990’s it was a real big fad to breed husky/timberwolf. They tried this with many other breeds as well. Unfortunately it turned out to be a very dangerous idea and it was stopped. I would also like to comment that I have a Shiba Inu and that would be a horrible combination with a chow. Possible, but I don’t see a resemblance to my shiba at all. Maybe it’s cousin the akita as that has a shorter snout.
    I’ll be interested in the DNA results, if any on this pup.
    BTW as far as animal control and the dep are concerned. Last week my hairdresser told me that a squrrill was sitting next to her salon door for no less than 4 hrs., worried for her customers she contacted both agencies and their responce was “you need to call the state police for that.” Well they didn’t because they would feel embarresed to call the police on such a matter. Talk about a waste of tax dollars. That’s just the tip of the ice berg in CT as far as the dep are concerned.

  13. Benjamin Radford responds:

    A breeder says it’s a black chow… Let’s find out. If it is, the question will be why it took so long to identify the animal. Perhaps people are looking for cryptids and monsters where none exist?

  14. youcantryreachingme responds:

    On the one hand, this really is quite a funny story! 😀 In all liklihood we have here a dog. We have also had an international kafuffle with the photos coming down then being put back up.

    Ms O’Donnell, I thank you for your generosity in allowing Cryptomundo to republish the photos as a part of the community discussions (regardless of final outcome!)

    Being open enough to publish your accompanying letter is also courageous. Don’t take any negative commentary on any of the Cryptomundo posts to heart; it’s far too easy to be quick of pen.

    Looking forward to DNA results, and looking forward to hearing more about the other beast that has, in fact, attacked some variety of canines.


  15. lgailbreath responds:

    I have to tell you my professional opinion is that this is most likely a second generation coydog. I believe the mother was a coydog and the father most likely a farm dog/pet.

  16. mainiac responds:

    I lived in that area for a while and I must say, I would hear awful screams @ night. It was creepy and I always wondered what it was. My friends said it was nothing. But the screams…they were terrible! Did anyone ever think that some mad scientist in a back-woods lab might have been doing some cross breeding? That would be my theory. It looks like it could be a cross between all kinds of things. Look at the eyes. Don’t they look human? And don’t dogs have the 3rd eyelid that closes when they die? This dog dosen’t have it.

  17. animal responds:

    I also noticed the eyes. They just didn’t seem like dogs eyes. I had a chow mix and she didn’t look anything like this animal. I have no idea what this animal is but I know if I lived in the area, I’d keep all my animals locked up just in case this animal isn’t the mystery beast.

  18. sweetypie responds:

    That animal looks sooo scarey…to me it looks like a mixture between a Capybara and a fox or coyote. I lokked at the feet of the mutant and the feet of a capybara. It looks like a half rodent and the only rodent big enough to make something like that is a capybara. I’m not an expert so I am probably wrong

  19. kittenz responds:

    I am a former veterinary technician. I have been grooming and caring for dogs for many years. I also raised a litter of wolf-dog hybrids and I kept one to maturity. I have seen the business end of a lot of chows. They ranged from pampered housepets to “summer dogs” that were shaved down once a year to poor 5-or 6-yr old animals who had never seen a comb in their lives. Chows are powerful out of all proportion to their size, and I can well envision one killing an aging larger dog.

    Chows also have several unique features, some of which are rarely found in any other breed besides Shar Peis. They have blue-gray or black tongues, a convex forehead, and very straight back legs. This animal was probably not a purebred chow, for one thing, it does not appear to be solid color. It looks like it had sort of a merle color, blue-gray with what looks like black markings and splotches, and silvery-gray fur in the tail.

    This dog also seems to have some features of a Samoyed; it has a similar pattern of fur growth although they have white fur & their fur is longer. They do have wickedly long, curved canine teeth (though they are usually very friendly animals). Who knows – maybe this dog had long fur in winter.

    If the eyes were indeed blue in life, it could indicate a husky, collie, Australian shepherd, or Australian cattle dog (blue heeler) cross. Wolf crosses can produce blue eyes, amber or greenish eyes too. Also, many kinds of dogs can be born with extra rudimentary toes known as dewclaws; they are quite common.

    I believe that this “creature” was a chow mix. They closeup picture I first saw clearly shows a bluish tongue. Chow crossed with what? Probably has more than one breed in its background. I have seen chow-husky crosses that looked almost identical to this (we called them Chowskis). They were cute little pups which grew up to be compact adults that were powerful and aggressive.

    Feral dogs can be very dangerous animals, especially when they gang up to form packs. They are medium-to-large, powerful carnivores, and they are much more dangerous to people than wolves or coyotes because they are more aggressive. Was this dog a male or a female? Can’t tell from the photos. I wonder if it has offspring running feral in the Maine woods?

    I doubt that all the sightings and doings of the “mystery beast” can be attributed to this one individual. Maybe the officials in Maine SHOULD start taking a closer look at roadkilled canines.

  20. cynocephali76 responds:

    Well, from the looks of it … it looks like the misfortunate love between a werewolf and a regular wolf …. I dunno. Seems that way, anyway.

  21. franvaarg responds:

    Hi ,

    Im 100% this is a chow chow, i have one, and the look and the back legs are the same and the face also

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