Expedition Team: Dave Miller
Date: October 7, 2022
So, what was I doing watching out for snakes and hiking through this stream on the outskirts of Waynesville? I was retracing the steps based upon an old newspaper article in the Cincinnati Enquirer where over 60 residents witnessed a large lizard creature after it attacked a teenage boy.
Here’s the story. In the north area of Waynesville, Old Stage Road crosses over Satterwaites Run, a stream where in May 1882 two boys Ed (age 13) and Joe (age 11) Lynch made an incredible, terrifying discovery. They were chased by a cryptid called the Crosswick Monster. In the months prior to this, locals reported large unknown tracks crossing over the dirt road. However, on this day while the brothers were fishing in the stream, they heard loud sounds coming from the tall grass. Suddenly a huge 12-foot-long scaly lizard, black and white in color with yellow spots, ran toward them on its four thick legs and feet a foot wide. The reptile had a wide head and forked tongue. The boys screamed and ran towards their home, but the fast lizard caught Ed in its mouth and pulled him to the ground.
Joe screamed louder and watched the gigantic lizard pull his brother along the stream to a large sycamore tree, apparently the den of the lizard. The screams were heard by Allen Jordan, George Patterson and Reverend Jacob Horn. When they arrived, the nearly dead Ed was still in the creature’s mouth and almost pulled inside the tree. As the men ran over the lizard (or as some residents called it a giant salamander), dropped the boy as it climbed further into the hollow tree. Ed was quickly taken to Waynesville’s Dr. L. C. Lukens for treatment and the three men rounded up a group of sixty locals armed with clubs, axes, and hunting dogs. They found the tree and started beating on it with clubs and axes. The cryptid lizard surprised them and instead of charging out of the hollow bottom, it leaped to the ground from a large hole in the top of the tree. Landing on the ground, the lizard stood up on its hind legs balanced by its tail and took off away from the group. Some of the vigilante group dove out of the way and others chased the creature.
The residents chased the lizard for over a mile through the stream, over fences, and hills when suddenly the lizard dove into a hole in a hill which was surrounded by large rocks. The men and their dogs surrounded the hole and waited for the creature to emerge, but it never did. Apparently, there was a second exit, and the cryptid was never seen again. As for Ed Lynch, the boy was in severe shock, had bruises and cuts but survived the attack.
Today, Satterwaites Run is still spooky. Walking through the creek the land on both sides is privately owned. The stream was very quiet with overgrown trees blocking out the sun in this section. It was a dry summer and some of the stream was rocky and dry, but another section was knee deep or deeper with small fish.
Based upon the description of the huge reptile, researchers think that the bipedal creature was a monitor lizard except monitor lizards are not known species in Ohio nor do they grow beyond 10 feet. It is unlikely that pioneers or local farmers brought this exotic animal to Ohio. Due to the adrenaline and terrifying encounter, some of the large group trying to rescue Ed Lynch estimated the lizard as over 25 feet long, twice the size of the other witness’s reports. Still, regardless of the discrepancy of the creature’s length by eyewitnesses, what was this cryptid and how did it get here?
Food for thought: 90 years later in 1972, just 24 miles downstream in the nearby Little Miami River, police officers reported another large reptile called the Loveland Frogman. Satterwaites Run stream flows directly into the Little Miami River less than a mile away from where I stood. Coincidence or just another urban legend?