“Maine Mutant” Celebrated

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 17th, 2006

When the media began dealing with the report of a body of uncertain identity in Maine on the 16th of August, they soon went wild with the story of the find and the even older tales of a killing mystery beast in the woods.

For background, see:

August 16, 2006 – Mystery Animal Photos


August 17, 2006 – Mystery Beast Update

Cryptozoology is revealed in many ways. It is intriguing to see what kind of media frenzy is occurring because of this story. For the record, here’s some headlines that were used on the 16th and 17th of August, 2006:

CBS4Boston, Boston: “Mystery Beast Discovered In Maine.”

Associated Press, Drudge Report, Conservative Voice (NC), CBS-News, newspapers nationwide: “‘Hybrid Mutant’ Found Dead in Maine.”

ABC-TV affiliates nationwide, Boston Globe: “Residents wonder if dead animal is legendary mystery beast.”

WMTW, Portland, Maine: “Is Dead Animal Legendary ‘Mystery Beast?'”

In Madagascar, the media decided to go with the headline: “Killer ‘Hybrid Mutant’ Creature Found Dead in Maine.”

Since over 75 media sources around the world decided to use the “Hybrid Mutant…in Maine” phrasology, I present to you an illustration from artist and graphic designer Mike Lemos of Ventura, California, who sends in the following contribution to Cryptomundo:

Maine Mystery Beast

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.

34 Responses to ““Maine Mutant” Celebrated”

  1. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    That’s a really freaky drawing… And a little haughty. The illustration itself is nice, but, it’s kind of foolish in my opinion.

  2. djh5995 responds:

    Oh please. I’ve lived in Litchfield Maine for almost 15 years and I have never heard any of the locals talk about this mutant mystery beast until the media went wild with it. I’ll grant that it does look a little odd but it still looks decidely canine to me.

  3. Senor Chubba responds:

    I would like to order one extra large blue tshirt- 100% cotton. thanks


  4. Kimble responds:

    I think the Legislator should pass a bill and have the Governor tag the carcass as a “Certified Maine Cryptid”. Why should our lobsters be the only special animal?

    For all we know, people might confuse the Maine Mutant with the New Hampshire Hound or a Massachusetts Mongrel. Heaven forbid people think OUR mutant be mistaken for a A Canadian Cryptid!!

    Rob Carignan
    Portland, Maine

  5. msouliere responds:

    Whoa, great image. Very cartoony in the RAW Comix tradition… poor pup!

  6. Brindle responds:

    Ah man, that’s ugly!

  7. mauka responds:

    I think the snout is too short to be a dog or even a wolf.

  8. muzmuz responds:

    So Mauka, are British Bulldogs not dogs because their snouts are too short?

  9. planettom responds:

    Senor Chubba: I like that idea. I would like a t-shirt also! I really would like to have a Cryptomundo t-shirt. Cool. 🙂

  10. LaFlamme responds:

    I’ve seen that thing walking around in downtown Lewiston. It was wearing pants and a ball cap turned sideways!

  11. twblack responds:

    Looks like he just had a rough night out at the local pub.

  12. Zwack responds:

    When I first saw the photos my Heart skipped… It reminds me so much of my dog…

    I’m not in Maine, but I have a dog with a similar coloration, and dew claws…

    She’s a mutt, but her mother was known to be a Chow/Shepherd cross and her father was rumoured to be a wolf… Several people on seeing her know that she’s a wolf dog.

    She has a short, wide muzzle, similar colouring and longer hair…


  13. mse2k6 responds:

    I grew up just across the int’l border from Maine. I wandered our common forests, walked our fields, saw many strange things and heard about even more.

    My first thought upon hearing the story and seeing the images is that this is a “Coy-dog,” a bastard canine resulting from coyotes and wild domestic dogs interbreeding. The “coyote dogs” were a terror when I was young, stealing family pets and barnyard animals alike. They ranged in color from mottled to beige to white and black. The mystery beast could be the spawn of a “wild” dog of the area and some sort of short-muzzled domestic.

    Oh, and as for the “Maine vultures” that disposed of the carcass, you may mean crows. The only vultures in this area are the (rare) turkey vultures, and they are almost a crypto observation on their own this far north.

  14. karmakaze responds:

    Sign me up for one “haughty” and “foolish” cryptid t-shirt, please…

  15. TemplarKnight21c responds:

    How in the world did they get a chow to breed with a german shepherd?

  16. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    it’s possible

  17. Falco responds:

    Fox News reported: “Wildlife officials and animal control officers declined to go to Turner to examine the remains.”

    Why is this always the case? Aren’t interested? Don’t want to get involved in something controversial? Or don’t want to admit they haven’t a clue?

  18. Zwack responds:

    Height differences with Large Chows and small Shepherds are not that big. My wife had a Chow/Golden cross. It’s not like a Chihuahua/Great Dane cross.

  19. kaboobi responds:


  20. khaustic responds:

    mse2k6: Turkey vultures are most definitely NOT a rarity in Turner. I lived in Turner for nearly my entire life (family still does), and there isn’t a single day that you don’t see at least two or three wheeling around in the sky. The vultures outnumber the crows in Turner.

    Also, as a Turnerite, I’d just like to point out that Turner’s “mystery beast” has always been called by the French name for a werewolf, Loup Garou. So that’s either a misnomer or there’s still something out there.

  21. nickkennerley responds:

    This is no canine, look at its teeth, they are squared off at the ends, also the head looks like a goat, this is some kind of flesh eating predatory goat or sheep hybrid, has anybody examined the contents of its stomach?

  22. trogmundo responds:

    Go to my blog for a link to buy a t-shirt.

    Thanks, Mike Lemos
    This is the artist who supplied Cryptomundo with the illustration.

  23. shovethenos responds:


    If your dog looks similar maybe Cryptomundo could post a picture of it. It might be interesting to get a look at what different kinds of short-muzzled dogs and hybrids look like.

  24. brainracker responds:

    love the illustration

    – would make a great t-shirt!

  25. Hawgzilla responds:

    Got to be some sort of canine hybrid/mix/mongrel. I’m getting the whole “mountain lions don’t live in Maine” vibe by the reported lack of interest on behalf of IF&W and ACOs when asked to come out to have a look. Wonder if the state already knows what it is? Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies, type deal….I’m sure some of you remember back a few years ago when that was the by-line from the state regarding mountain lions. They swore up and down they were not in the state despite some very credible sightings from experienced outdoors people. Also, a Warden not wanting to make the what, 20 +/- minute trip from Poland to Turner seems kind of lame to me.

  26. stroel responds:

    To me it looks like a cross between a goat and a wild dog.

  27. Jay responds:

    I’m amazed at the irrational responses to this “story.” The photos on this site clearly show a dog of some unknown breed or mixed breed, possibly with a deformity of the mandible. No mystery. The AP story appeared in my local newspaper, and the photo they chose to include was the worst of the lot and made the animal look truly alien. I’m sure some folks in my neck of the woods declared it a chupacabra!
    As for why local wildlife officers showed no interest, my guess is they knew better!

  28. crypto_randz responds:

    The short muzzle on the beast is very interesting is small and tight to me it looks like a werewolf like dog. It sure is a mystery animal. Finally a cryptid body to analyze. Great job LOREN on getting this story.

  29. TemplarKnight21c responds:

    Yes, but still. A rather odd combination.

  30. boreddvm responds:

    Squared-off teeth in canines is a feature of advanced age. They are commonly seen in geriatric domestic dogs.

    This was a poor mixed breed dog with a rough life.

  31. orionsbow responds:

    It’s interesting, revealing maybe, to me that crypto_randz, et al, said the deceased looks like a “werewolf like dog” as if a “werewolf” were a REAL thing, which, of course, it absolutely is NOT. Perhaps the addition of a qualifier or two such as “alleged” before werewolf or “of legend” after the word would have made the comment seem more succinct. I’m just wondering if it is necessary for us to idle our brains from processing scientific fact in order to discuss the possibilities of cryptozoological oddities. What I mean is that you can’t compare a known element (the dead doggy) with an unknown element (the alleged werewolf or any other creature not proven to exist) using the scant, truly marginal “evidence” currently passing as “proof” throughout the crypto community.

    As proffered by many wiser than me, the expression “Just the facts, maam” seems
    apropos to this discussion.

  32. TheWolf responds:

    One or two pictures can never give a great example of any dog, wolf or other creature. These are no exception, but there are a few things you can see.

    1. The eyes are shaped very oddly. They are horizontal, like a human’s, as opposed to almond-shaped or rounded. The skin may have pulled back as the dead creature dried, though.

    2. The lower jaw is extremely thick. Again, might be post-mortem, or damage done by the car. But it’s thick, blunt, and if natural, not at all of any wolf or dog breed’s natural shape.

    3. The muzzle. It’s turned downward as opposed to parallel with the plane of the skull or upward-turned, as in almost all dog breeds. An akita would have a blunt but parallel muzzle. Only Bull Terriers really have that (not the same breed as American Pit Bull Terrier).

    4. The fur. The fur is very soft-looking all over the body, but very long and wolf-like over the tail. This is a very odd combination, almost like the dog had a puppy-coat on the body. An Akita would NOT have that fur type on the tail unless it were longhaired, and this creature is not.

    5. HIND Dewclaws: aside from what the article claims, only a few dog breeds regularly have hind dewclaws. Dingos also do–but this isn’t a dingo.

    6. Shape: short legs, long body. Wolves and coyotes have long, narrow legs; this creature’s are short and blunt.

    So I’m guessing:
    Wolf/Bull Terrier mix, if not some kind of crazy Dire Wolf remnant–or a somehow faked animal altogether.
    Bull Terriers are fighting dogs and will attack other canines. This creature has wolfish fur and a wolfish color (black phase, which is not the same as black and not found in any domestic breed I can think of), a downturned muzzle, and oddly-shaped eyes (which Bull Terriers also have, btw).

    By the way, folks: as wolves and dogs are technically the same species (dogs are a subspecies of wolf), two notes:
    The term Wolfdog “hybrid” is incorrect, and a DNA test may not be able to determine what this is, other than Canis Lupus or subspecies thereof.

    –The Wolf

    Credentials: ex dog trainer, behaviorist, studied wolves, wolfdogs and dogs

  33. logisch responds:

    thanks for orionsbow contribution, i’m happy about seeing that sort of statements here.

  34. Willi_Jac responds:

    hmm, if you look at the head, doesn’t it kinda look like a wolverine? would it be possible if it was a wolverine/wolf hybrid made by the government or something? or maybe its just a descendant of that extinct wolf with that snout like a hog, maybe it mixed with a regular wolf.
    p.s. if you watched that MonsterQuest episode, then is it possible or natural for an animal to be GASPING for breath? especially a dog thing, they’ve got more stamina, right?

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