Montauk Monster: Raccoon?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 30th, 2008


Something strange indeed did wash ashore at Montauk Island, New York.

Is the “Montauk Monster” nothing more than a raccoon without an upper jaw, as proclaimed by local officials? See below.


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.

28 Responses to “Montauk Monster: Raccoon?”

  1. captiannemo responds:

    That sure looks like it could be a pug dog.

    The eyes face forward and the general shape of the body.

  2. Krisspy Boy responds:

    Looks like a wingless Griffin to me.

  3. Sunny responds:

    Okay, I could see raccoon (but this thing still ran through my dreams).

    Anybody considering DNA testing, maybe?

  4. Sunny responds:

    Sorry to double post — google an image for ‘raccoon skull’ — there are a few sites that show raccoon skulls in various stages of decomposition, and it becomes pretty plausible.

    That plus the slightly stocky build (even accounting for bloating), long tail (which would be very ratlike without fur) and short folded ears.

    Still want to hear about any testing or other further research.

  5. Sordes responds:

    Given the general appearance of the body proportions I could also imagine that it is a decomposed badger. The hindquarter seems too massive for a dog, so I would say either a racoon or a badger.
    The teeth shows clearly that it is or was a Carnivore, so there are not much possibilties for its idendity.

  6. sluggo responds:

    I don’t “see” a raccoon at all. Those elongated legs for one, the raccoon also has a slightly humped back. What is the strap like thing on the front right leg, some sort of tether? The funny thing is the “looking for a restaurant’ ad on the newspaper page below the story. After looking at the body pic you hardly think of fine dining.

  7. Richard888 responds:

    I like the raccoon and pitbull hypothesis. (I lean more towards the pitbull one.)

    I’m still curious why everyone proceeded to identify the carcass instead of question the authenticity of the picture.

    Questioning the picture is the usual line of thought in the rare event that a clear picture of a hominid, felid, canid or lake monster emerges.

    Was this choice due to cognitive psychology, a feature in the picture or the circumstances in the story?

  8. Erin responds:

    A new Gawker post suggests it’s viral marketing for The Cartoon Network’s new show Cryptids Are Real. It’s not without precedent for the network…remember the Aqua Teen Hungerforce “bomb” in Boston a couple of years ago?

  9. Sunny responds:

    I think that skipping the veracity of the photo is because not a single person (including a number of folks who follow this and write extremely convincing analyses of photographs) have said a peep about why they think it’s Photoshopped. Lots of cries of Photoshop! but not a single thing about what makes them think that.

    There’s always a healthy dose of reality that suggests that it COULD be photoshopped — but I’m no expert at photo manipulation, so I must rely on others to tell me that it is.

    Death and decay do things to bodies that are more hideous than what most people can imagine, so my honest feeling is that it is a known species, warped in death to appear to be something completely different. (Google ‘raccoon skull” images again — some of the photos publish are pretty freaky looking, even though you KNOW what it is! More than one of those is close to looking like the stuff of nightmares)

    @Sluggo — I’d like to know what that strap thing is on the front appendages, too — I really, really hate to think that whateverthisis died at the hands of some sick freak who tied its legs together and sent it for a swim. Hard to tell from the position of that carcass whether it would have had a humped back or not (it’s not laying in a very natural position) – and the same decay/damage that made the nose look like a bill could very well have damaged the legs/arms/paws, as well.

    Not saying you’re wrong and I’m right, only that it’s hard to tell from that photo. (I was only going by the shape of the head compared to photos of raccoon skulls and the long skinny tail, as both of those are fairly clearly visible).

  10. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    I still don’t think it’s a dog, even if the front is starting to decay I looked up pictures of canine skulls through google and found some that are angled about the same and they just don’t look similar except for the lower jaw, maybe it had a deformity? Who knows, I’m starting to lean towards the viral marketing suggestions (even though I would love to be proven wrong).

    Maybe this is a specimen of a subterranean society of rodent like human creatures hence accounting for the beard. This one broke the laws of the society and had its front limbs bound and they were cast into an underground lake, little knowing that the corpse would wash ashore into our above ground world… or maybe I just made that up :p

  11. big d responds:

    It sure looks like the sea turtles that I saw lying in the middle of US rt 113 just south of Dover Delaware. Just without their shells. They would frequently come ashore at Kitt’s Hummack and wander across the highway and get hit by cars and trucks. Ugly to behold shell-less. The strap and mane looking things are the remnants of skin that used to connect the extremities to the shell

  12. Lightning Orb responds:

    If it were smaller I would suggest some sort of embryo – even birds can have tooth-like structures as embryos. Hey, maybe it is just another mangey cyote… But I agree the bonds look suspicious. Escaped experiment gone horribly wrong?

  13. Lightning Orb responds:

    BTW the arms are the wrong shape for a turtle

  14. cryptidsrus responds:

    I’m sorry, but there is no way that thing (whatever it is) is a racoon. It could be a dog, but then it would have to be a totally deformed dog. In all, I’d rather go for canine than a raccoon.

  15. Erin responds:

    It can’t be a shell-less turtle, I’m afraid. Turtles’ spines are attached to their shells, and therefore they can’t be de-shelled.

  16. lumbarjack03 responds:

    just my 2 cents,
    I saw a show on racoons and there not very stocky at all there hair makes them appear too be bigger then they are and they can squeeze through the smallest spaces. on that note i’de lean towards a dog and a lil photoshopping if it is a hoax. if not im not too sure what it could be

  17. red_pill_junkie responds:

    LOL Those poor fellows should demand a refund for their ad! After watching that gross photo, who in his right mind would be in the mood to look for a place to eat?? 😉

  18. daxx responds:

    The right front paw seems to be making a defiant gester. Maybe someone will be curious enough to provide futher testing. Either way, it should not be all that difficult for trained person who can get their hands on it to make a determination.

  19. Aphyllos responds:

    As i’ve already stated I’m firmly in the canine camp on this one…

    …and on that front I stumbled upon this (quite possibly ludicrously overblown and scare-mongering rather than based on ANY facts whatsover…) group in Facebook… an interesting aside i thought.

  20. red_pill_junkie responds:

    You probably solved this mystery Aphillos.

    That image on the Facebook page will haunt my dreams tonight 🙁

  21. mystery_man responds:

    I agree with captainnemo, I think that this could very well be the body of a pug. I have two pugs, and it is the first thing I thought when I saw this picture. They are fairly deformed looking dogs, skull wise, and the body shape is just like that pictured. If the upper lip was to rot away, I imagine a dead pug would look very much like this. The only problem I have with this idea is the tail. Pugs have very tightly wound, curly tails, however they CAN straighten it out when they want to. I’m not sure what happens to their tail when they die, maybe someone here can tell me. If a pug’s tail relaxes upon death and straightens out like we see here, then I’d propose a pug as a candidate for what this creature might be. Those paws don’t really fit in, but as others have said, sun and decomposition can do strange things to a carcass.

  22. clancyryan responds:

    I found a pic of a pug skull on google, and while theres a few differences, mainly the forehead on the mystery creature slopes a bit too much, i think it’s kind of probable that it is a pug or some sort of crossbreed.

  23. tbuck23 responds:

    Im no expert but couldnt this be a turtle without a shell????

  24. Braindead responds:

    A turtle can not crawl out of it’s shell (because the shell includes portions of the ribs.

    Still think it’s a pitbull or some other kind of dog. (


  25. springheeledjack responds:

    All I have to say is it looks real…so if it is photoshopped, we have come to the point in technology where pictures can no longer be evidence of anything…

  26. Sordes responds:

    There seems to be very long claws and at front paws. Such claws are not seen in canines (only pathological) and also not in raccoons, but they look exactly like the long strong claws of a badger (which would also fit overal body-shape, limb proportions and dentition).

    For comparison the shorter and curved claws of the raccoon which is much more a climber than a burrower.

  27. camp hero responds:

    listen people Watch THE MIST this thing can no way be a raccon or dog or even a turtle without its shell look at it does look like decomposing raccon dog turtle everyone here has seen a dead raccon on the side of the road ok this thing is no dog look at the ears and turtles dont have ears and look at the paw then look at the back legs they dont match at all this thing is not of this world Everyone Look up Camp Hero same idea as the “MIST” this thing escaped from another dimmension

  28. camp hero responds:

    Thank you Sordes no dog has no paws like that second its not a turtle without ears cause turtles dont have the cartlidge like mammals and plum island probablly did have something to do wit this thing but 4 all you reading this comment LOOK UP CAMP HERO this thing is not of this world no matter what anyone says think logically here for 1 minute

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