; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, June 11, 2012

The 'Sykesville Monster': Bigfoot...or Something Else?

Many of the readers of 'Phantoms and Monsters' and listeners of 'Beyond the Edge Radio' can recall my description of my 1981 encounter with a Bigfoot type being. If not, here are a few links:

My Bigfoot Encounter - Spring 1981
Man witness confrontation between Bigfoot and stray dog, near Sykesville, MD
The 'Sykesville Monster'

At the time, I called it a 'Bigfoot' because, frankly, that was the only way I could have described it. It wasn't human...it wasn't an ape. For over 30 years my encounter with this being has left a strange hole in my understanding of nature and reality. I have tried to comprehend exactly what it was I witnessed.

Over the years, I have tried to gather more information on my sighting as well as other sightings in the general area. Since my sighting in 1981 there have been two (2) more BFRO 'Class A' reports along the Patapsco River Valley and another four (4) general reports and sightings in the same area from 1972-1979.

I interviewed and got to know several of the witnesses of the 1972-73 flap after my personal encounter in 1981. Many of these witnesses have since passed away. There were other unreported incidents in the general Sykesville and Gaither, MD areas. I personally took statements to eight (8) more sightings / encounters between 1972-1979, including a home invasion on Norris Ave. and a utility shed break-in on Oklahoma Ave...both in Sykesville. There were also several chicken pens broke into up and down the South Branch of the Patapsco River in Gaither, MD - Sykesville, MD - Woodstock, MD - Daniels, MD and Ellicott City, MD. Most of the sightings have been within the Patapsco State Park...which has a history of unusual activity (UFO, paranormal and cryptid) throughout the park. I still live within 15 miles of all the locations.

Over the past few months, I decided to come to grips with my encounter and have a sketch or image of the being's face created. I knew that if the image was similar to what I actually witnessed there would be controversy and doubters...but I can't let that bother me.

After making a few inquiries, I was directed to a retired police forensics artist who is now a private investigator in Florida. The image would be created digitally. I forwarded all the facial descriptions that I had gathered from the witness' sightings and subsequent interviews.

On Saturday, I received the image with a note from the artist that read 'are you sure this is what you witnessed? It looks like a rendering of early man except for a few features'. I called him and assured him that this is what I witnessed...this is what we all witnessed. This was the 'Sykesville Monster'. Lon

Hunt Still in Progress

Baltimore Afro-American - Jun 9, 1973

Sykesville, Carroll County, Maryland

Sykesville, Maryland - The fear and uncertainty that has gripped residents here the past two weeks has been intensified by two new reports of monster sightings received by police Friday.

The "Sykesville Monster" was seen Friday evening by an out-of-state truck driver who described him vividly.

Of high significance is the fact the 1,400-population town, 20 miles North of Baltimore, Maryland in Carroll County, has jumped into nationwide headlines in the National AFRO and other news media. Following the Baltimore zoo assistant director Dr. Ted Roth called to say that he went to Sykesville and determined the footprint is by a large human foot "with fallen arches." He said he would report after he takes another trip to Sykesville to determine "what the balance of the body may be."

A Baltimore scientific research firm is also in Sykesville checking AFRO caller's from 'educators to the man-on-the-street' are on their way to the small town.


According to the truck driver, (who requested anonymity), the "it" stood approximately seven to eight feet tall and appeared to be dark brown in color." It could have been a man on stilts." he said.

The driver stated that whatever it was seemed to be "caked with mud from the waist down."

Although he was unable to pinpoint the exact location of the sighting, the driver said it appeared to be sitting down. According to the driver, the "thing", which was evidently minding its own business, stood, turned around and sensing danger, dashed into the woods.

As the result of the AFRO story Friday, an investigating organization, Odyssey Scientific Research, Baltimore, is on the scene. John Lutz, director of Odyssey, talked to the truck driver, and said there is an additional witness in Anne Arundel who reportedly saw the monster.


Although reluctant to classify the "thing" which has been running loose in Sykesville, Mr. Jutz did state that at the present time, his corporation is, "listing the incident as an unidentified prowler until more information is gathered and more positive identification was made."

Mr. Lutz added that tape recordings are being made of each witnesses account in order to form verbal records, which will be studied, by veterinarians, zoologists and biologists.

According to Mr. Lutz, the entire incident could be the work of a prankster. "It's very possible that a prankster will call the police department and say it was all a big joke," he said.


As of Sunday, when two AFRO reporters returned to Sykesville's "Oklahoma Hill," citizens were hardly joking about the situation, which they feel is very real.

Mrs. Agnes Dorsey, mother of the' young man who first saw the "thing" said she thought more should be done to effect its capture and or destruction. They should have- -gangs of men out looking for it," she said, "I hope it's caught!"

According to Anthony Dorsey, the monster has also been seen in Woodstock, and Marriotsville, Md., located 6 miles from Sykesville, Md.

Lon Strickler - My Bigfoot Encounter - May 9, 1981 and BFRO report

Michael Frizzell - A Synopsis of the History, Reports, and Investigation of Claims of Unknown Hominids in and about the State of Maryland

History of the Maryland Bigfoot

BFRO - The Woodstock, MD Encounter

Carroll County Times
Baltimore Afro-American
Baltimore News-American
Mark Opsasnick - The Maryland Bigfoot Digest: A SURVEY OF CREATURE SIGHTINGS IN THE FREE STATE
Mark Opsasnick - "Monsters of Maryland: Bigfoot" - Strange Magazine 3 (1989)

NOTE: I am not going to place a copyright on this image. I sincerely hope that those people who wish to use it will include the actual story behind the rendered image. I think the big question is 'are these natural beings or are we seeing interdimensional examples of early man or other hominids from another time?'...Lon Strickler