Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Goatman is Trending!

Goatman has to be one of the weirdest and hardest-to-believe urban legends out there. The story goes that a half-man, half-goat was accidentally created by some bizarre experiment at an agricultural research station in Beltsville, Maryland. The creature subsequently escaped, and has gone on the terrorize the woods of Prince Georges County, also in Maryland.

In 2005 a friend and I traveled to Prince Georges County to look for evidence of the Goatman. Sure, there also was a NOTOCON going on in nearby Reston, Virginia, but we went out earlier in the week to spend some time shooting video at some of the locations associated with the legend. We got footage from around Governor's Bridge, an abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium where some sightings had been reported, and so forth.

We never actually saw a Goatman, but we did encounter a few weird things along the way. One of the weirdest was that people at the agricultural research station visitor center refused to say anything about it, or even go on camera stating that they had never heard of the Goatman. It was pretty suspicious, and perhaps implies that government knows more than it's letting on. Or maybe they just thought it was a waste of time.

Anyway, the video linked above has been trending on the Internet lately with the story of Goatman. Most of the details of the legend are correct, although it should be noted that one of the photographs in the video is not a picture of the monster. It's a hunter in a custom-made goat costume, designed to allow him to get closer to a herd of mountain goats.

One other claim in the video is that Goatman might live in a cave near Governor's Bridge, but we found no evidence there of any sort of a cave that might fit the bill. The area around the bridge was still pretty wild when we were out there, with trails through the woods and places where it looked like teenagers - or maybe Goatman! - had built fires and such.

Also, it should be noted that in 2005 Prince Georges County appeared to be undergoing rapid gentrification, with housing developments all over the place. It seemed as if there would soon be no wilds left for Goatman to inhabit. But perhaps the crash of the real estate market in 2008 slowed that process down a bit.

Despite our failure to capture the creature on video, the story of Goatman remains one of the most amusing urban legends that I've encountered over the years. So enjoy!

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