Geographical Index > United States > Maryland > Anne Arundel County > Article # 45
Media Article # 45
Tuesday, August 1, 2000
Policeman, workers track roaming, 12-foot creature. It got away before they could tell if it was bear or something else.
By Laura Barnhardt
The Baltimore Sun Newspaper (Maryland)
Anne Arundel County police looked for a mysterious 12-foot creature yesterday, but it's unclear whether an officer and witnesses spotted an animal or maybe -- they joked -- the imaginary Loch Ness Monster from the Severn River.
A Police Department spokesman confirmed a report of a "strange sighting" in Hanover just after midnight yesterday near the Arundel Mills mall construction site. But witnesses said the 12-foot-tall, upright, black "thing" ran past them so fast they weren't sure what it was. Construction workers who were napping in a van called police, who dispatched an off-duty officer working security at the mall site to investigate. The workers, who had fled to a nearby fast-food restaurant for safety, were reluctant to return to the construction site with the officer, said Sgt. Joseph Jordan. But the workers finally agreed to show the officer where they had seen the creature.
After a brief search, the officer found a footprint about 15 to 20 inches long, Jordan said. Officers contacted the state Department of Natural Resources, which reported a recent sighting of two bears near Interstate 295, Jordan said. However, the print seemed rather large and long for a bear print, police said.
When the workers and the officer later caught another glimpse of what appeared to be the animal near a pond also on the site, the workers ran, police said. The off-duty officer stayed and reported seeing two animal-like eyes in the dark, though he couldn't tell what it was, police said. In case the creature was a bear, the officer continued to stay in the area it was last seen, occasionally shining his spotlight around the pond, Jordan said.
About 3 a.m., the officer saw what appeared to be an animal lying on a hill near the pond, though it's unclear whether it was the same animal spotted earlier, police said. The officer blew an air horn several times, "but it didn't jerk or move at all," Jordan said. Anyone who sees a large animal should keep a safe distance and immediately call 911, Jordan said.
Police do not believe it was a person. "It had fur," Jordan said. But, he said, whatever it was disappeared before the mystery could be solved.