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The Lake Worth Monster
by Frank Brooks

12:05 July 17, 2007

Many critics will say that there is 'no such thing' as a monster, though they would have a difficult time trying to convince residents and former police officers of Lake Worth, Texas. The summer of 1969 brought a sense of love and peace for many in the nation, but for John Reichart and his wife there is only a sense of fear and wonder. The Reicharts were one of three couples who happened to be parked at Lake Worth on a warm July night when they received what could only be considered terrifying.

According to Reichart, a fur and scale covered creatured leapt from a tree and onto one of the vehicles around midnight. A creature that appeared to be part man and part goat was said to have made an attempt to grab Reichart's wife, though all three couples managed to speed off before the beast could do any harm. The couples made their way to the Fort Worth police station and did their best to describe what had occurred. Four patrol cars were dispatched to the scene.

Upon reaching Lake Worth, no evidence was found other than a nearly two-foot long scratch running down the side of Reichart's vehicle, presumed to have been made by the terrible beast. Other than the unexplained scratch, no trace of any monster had been found.

In what might be described as unusual, the Fort Worth police actually took the story seriously. Partly because the three couples seemed genuinely terrified and partly because there had been earlier reports of a strange beast sighted around Lake Worth, a case was opened and actively investigated. While they turned up no evidence, The Fort Worth police concluded that either someone had been dressed up to resemble an ape or other monster, or someone had thrown a dummy or some sort of hide onto the vehicle. Whichever it was, the police noted that while a perhaps dangerous hoax, it was a hoax indeed.

The July 10, 1969 edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram recounted the incident under the headline of "Fishy Man-goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth,", which sparked a wave of excitement and fear over the possibility of such a creature's existence.

And almost as if the monster had been reading the paper and wanted to show off for the public, reports began filtering in after midnight on July 11, the very next day. The creature was said to have been seen crossing the road around the Lake Worth Nature Center. Local resident Jack Harris happened to see the creature and twice tried to photograph it. His camera's flash failed the first time. He made a second try at capturing the thing on film, and was once again unsuccessful.

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