The first claimed sighting was in May 1955. A businessman is said to have seen three or four 3-foot (0.91 m)-tall frog-faced creatures squatting under a bridge near Loveland. They were described as having wrinkles instead of hair on their heads, lopsided chests, and wide mouths without lips, like frogs. One of them is said to have held up a bar device that shed sparks. A strong odor of alfalfa and almonds was reportedly left behind.
For approximately twenty years, there were no further reported sightings of the Loveland Frog. On March 3, 1972, police are said to have seen a four-foot-tall frog-faced human-like creature with leathery skin, again near Loveland. It jumped over a rail and into the Little Miami River. Two weeks later, officer Mark Mathews saw it again, lying in the road. It got away as Mathews shot at it and apparently missed.
The officer’s description was falsely reported as follows:
The creature was three to four feet tall, 50 to 75 pounds, leathery skin, possibly wet – matted hair on its body that made it look textured, possible tail, a head and face like a frog or lizard, and could leap over the roads’ guard rail.
Although the officers in question did not report their encounter, word of it leaked to the news media. However, in a 2001 e-mail interview, Officer Mark Mathews, now retired, explained that the incident was “habitually blown out of proportion [. . .]”.
He stated that, “It was and is no ‘monster’. It was not leathery or [had] wet matted fur. It was not 3-5 feet tall. It did not stand erect. The animal I saw was obviously some type of lizard that someone had as a pet that either got too large for its aquarium, escaped by accident or they simply got tired of it. It was less than 3 feet in length, ran across the road and was probably blinded by my headlights. It presented no aggressive action.”
Mathews attempted to shoot the creature in order to back-up the account of his partner’s sighting a few nights prior, but the lizard escaped, most likely to die from its injury, or from the night’s bitter freezing cold.