It was the summer of 1969.
Hippies were groovin' at "An Aquarian Exposition in White Lake, N.Y.", better known as Woodstock.
Three fellas who had trained in Houston took a different kind of trip that culminated in a giant leap for mankind.
And the front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram proclaimed to the world: "Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth."
Apparently the creature had read Andy Warhol's recent pronouncement that, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes," and decided to get his. The Lake Worth Monster was on the scene.
Here's an eyewitness account, as told to the Star-Telegram reporter:
"We were driving around trying to find it, when we heard it squalling. We heard it before we saw it. I saw it come across the road and I tried to take a picture of it but the flash didn't work. I took another picture but I don't know if I got anything because I was too busy rolling up my window. We watched him run up and down a bluff for a while and other cars arrived. There must have been 30 or 40 people watching him. Well, some of them thought they would get mean with the thing, but about that time, it got hold of a spare tire that had a rim in it and threw it at our cars. He threw it more than 500 feet and it was coming so fast that everyone took off. Everybody jumped back in their cars."
It was described as having both fur and scales, an ape-like body, a long neck, and the head of a goat or dog. People offered all kinds of explanations for what it was: mangy bear, a gorilla badly burned in a circus fire, a moon creature scared down to Earth by the astronauts.
Author Sallie Anne Clarke in her book, The Lake Worth Monster, describes her personal encounter with it:
"It was a goat-fish-man. I'm sure it stood about six feet and nine inches tall and was undressed (It didn't have any clothes on). It looked like it weighed 250 or 260 pounds. It was the most pathetic sound I have ever heard. It went Grrrrrr, Brrr, Yeeeepe, Yuuuuuuuuuuu, and sounded almost as if it would cry any minute from the great pain it was in."
There were also reports of sheep being killed and mangled, heads bent back until their chins touched the middle of their backs, skulls and throats crushed.
Sitings went on for a month or so, then stopped. Rumors around the police station said it had been a bunch of high school pranksters who had modified an old gorilla suit. They had agreed to stop the shenanigans and the cops decided to act like nothing ever happened.
In 2009, a local Fort Worth man admitted to reporters that he had been involved in the incident. He said they had rolled a tire down the hill towards a crowd of about forty people (including sheriff's deputies), and that it "looked like a toss because there was a “bump” toward the bottom of the bluff wall that served as a ramp and sent the tire airborne."
Still doesn't explain the sheep.