Mystery Beast Thrice on Top Ten

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 19th, 2007

Maine Mystery Beast

The Lewiston Sun Journal has posted, in the midst of their current home page, a new listing (with links) of their most viewed news articles for 2006. Their earlier listing of the general story of Turner, Maine’s mysterious monster as number six was based on unknown criteria. This new online-based ranking of individual articles reinforces the common knowledge of those working at the paper – the Mystery Beast stories last summer sold the most newspapers for the L/A media organization over the most days in the reporters’ recent memory.

As you can see below, story numbers 1, 5, and 9, were about the so-called “Maine Mutant,” in articles by Mark LaFlamme. Crime beat reporter LaFlamme also wrote articles #8 and #10, so he actually was responsible for half the top ten.

Loren on the Scene

Click on the Lewiston Sun Journal photograph by Douglas Van Reeth, to enlarge it. Reproduced with permission.

Here’s the full list:

January 19, 2007

Top Ten Stories of 2006

#1 Mysterious beast

#2 Flying object spooks man

#3 Why are sex words our worst swearwords?

#4 Nude teens test Vt. limits

#5 “Like horns of a devil”

#6 Infant left inside car; 2 charged

#7 ‘Sorry… my baby needs diapers’

#8 City man slain; son charged

#9 Verdict: It’s a dog

#10 Car crash kills teen

Maine Mutant

Goofy as the Maine Mutant by Peter Loh.

Maine Mystery Beast

The illustration, then his tee-shirts’ logo, by Mike Lemos.

Cryptozoology rocks. It also sells newspapers.

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Update: January 20th – Mark LaFlamme has written a new blog, “Above the Fold: You can’t handle the truth,” about this.

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.


5 Responses to “Mystery Beast Thrice on Top Ten”

  1. kittenz responds:

    That first photo that I saw of the Maine “Mutt”ant, the foreshortened closeup that sort of made it look like a werewolf, was what led me to post a comment on the Lewiston Sun Journal’s website and eventually led me to discover Cryptomundo.

    For that reason, that little mashed mutt will always have a place in my heart!

  2. LaFlamme responds:

    Justice is served. The top ten, year in review list we ran on New Year’s day was compiled through voting within the newsroom. I didn’t vote. But if I had, it would have been for His Beastliness.

  3. BadState responds:

    More press for the world’s most famous rotting dog carcass. Great.

  4. LaFlamme responds:

    Listen, 98 percent of what I report is hard news, with no fancy and no absurdity. But on occasion, absurdity itself is news. If it didn’t happen now and then, we wouldn’t need blogs, discussion forums or an imagination. To the unimaginative, this was nothing more than a low dog at the side of the road. The more inspired sorts, it was a chance to rally around and examine several issues on the periphery. The animal had more to say in death than it did in life. This was the Jim Morrison of dead dogs.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Of course, what Mark LaFlamme did was take an old-fashioned mystery, used shoe leather to track down all the details, talked to all those involved about those angles, and revealed some deeper truths, tales, and terrors still out in the woods. He also combined it with the new technology of DNA analysis.

    Mark wasn’t afraid to be open to discovering the “mystery” was less about the animal found on the road and more about how people reacted and the “tip of the iceberg” hints it pointed to of the real “mystery animal” that remains roaming in central Maine.

    I fully appreciate being pulled into the story, meeting Mark, and being able to share from the beginning what many of us, including Mark, thought – this thing was a feral dog. He did not stop there, however, and never neglected the backstory it revealed. (“Feral” stories, as we are seeing from Asia this week, can have more behind them than meets the eye.)

    Obviously the fine people of Lewiston-Auburn would be interested in this melodrama unfolding on their doorsteps, which became an international story, and luckily the Sun Journal was there to cover it so fully and honestly. There never was any hiding the true nature of what was found, but instead, it was a gateway for the other wonders linked to the story.

    Thank you Mark LaFlamme for being a very good reporter.




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