On April 21, 1977 at roughly 10:30 PM several sightings took place in Dover, Massachusetts that would set the small town on fire. From the initial sightings during the dead of night to the ensuing investigation, the small town would forever be on the maps of paranormal investigators.
Three seventeen-year-old boys were driving north along Dover when Bill Bartlett, one of the passengers, claimed he spotted a small creature creeping along a low wall of stones on the left side of the road. As the vehicle sped by, the creature turned its head and stared into car's headlights like a started deer. Bartlett claimed to see two large eyes that looked "like orange marbles" sitting within a gigantic watermelon-like head that was at least the size of the creature's body. Standing four feet tall, the biped was very thin and had long peach colored limbs that included larger then would be expected hands and feet. The creature's entire body was hairless and rough in texture. Neither of the vehicles other passengers saw the creature but they later reported Bartlett appeared very upset. After arriving home, Bartlett spoke with his father about the creature and even drew a sketch of what he had seen.
Another young man, fifteen-year-old John Baxter, was walking home from a girlfriend's house when he sighted the creature at about 12:30 AM. As he walked along a deserted road, Baxter caught sight of a small figure that he took to be a friend. After calling out, Baxter received no response and approached the individual. When the two figures came close, each stopped for several seconds before the unknown creature dashed down a nearby gully. After giving chase, Baxter claimed the creature's feet were "molded" to the ground as it leaned against a tree with its fingers wrapped around the trunk. Although Baxter claimed that he had not heard Bartlett's story, the description of the creature was nearly identical.
The next day, Bartlett told his eighteen-year-old friend Will Taintor about his experience. That night, while Taintor was driving fifteen-year-old Abby Brabham home, she claimed to see the creature in the car's headlights. Her description of the creature was exactly the same as the previous reports in most details. A notable exception is Brabham's insistence that the creature had orange glowing eyes.
Loren Coleman, a famous and highly respected anomalist then living in the area, heard of the reports and interviewed most of the witnesses. Walter N. Webb and Ed Fogg, both ufologists, also took part in the interviews. No evidence of a hoax or falsifying of information could be found. The only hole in the story was a teacher who expressed reservations about Bartlett.
Martin S. Kottmeyer later suggested the witnesses had actually seen a young moose. Each sighting, excluding Baxter's, was only for a few seconds and in darkness, Kottmeyer pointed out. The location of the eyes and absence of a nose or mouth fit with the description of the head of a young moose. With lack of evidence, one must wonder if Kottmeyer's theory is correct.