In the 1730s, German immigrants in Fredrick County, Maryland claimed to have encountered a terrifying creature. Shortly after founding their town, the residents began reporting sightings of a beast that was half-bird, half-reptile, with a beak made of metal with razor-sharp teeth. It also sported tentacles like an octopus that it used to seize people and carry them away, presumably to feed to its bird-lizard-robot-squid babies.
When you first hear this story, not to mention the creature’s moniker of “the Snallygaster,” it is easy to scoff. But the plot thickened a bit for residents when sightings of these creatures were reported everywhere from New Jersey to Ohio. Of course, “sightings reported” and “hard evidence” are worlds apart, but we aren’t going to nitpick.