Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Strange Animal

The Grant County Press
28 January 1932
Front page story

A Strange Animal

Joe Foley, Jr., Ralph Tate and Otto Kessel, while hunting coon near Lahmansville one night last week, treed what they first thought was a coon. One of the boys climbed the tree to shake it out and found a new species of animal for this country. They got a gun and shot it.

Will Veach, who has been handling furs for years says he never before saw anything like it, nor have any of our old hunters. It was about the size of a gray fox. Its mouth had no teeth other than two tusks above and two below. The outer fur was a dark mahogany and near the flesh it was white. The fur, of fine quality, was about one inch long. It has a foot something like a fox, but has only four claws. It also has a head resembling a fox. It can be seen at Joe Foley’s home.

4 comments:

tipper said...

What do you think it was Matthew?

Matthew Burns said...

Tipper,

I have no idea what it was. I'm hoping my brother Jason will be able to give us an idea. Perhaps the description will match one of his known WV monsters???

Maybe it was the Lahmansville Tree Fox?

Any ideas?

Jason Burns said...

This is what was called "The Lehmann Monster". I don't know much about it beyond what is in the article. I wonder if it was not some sort of taxidermy hoax (akin to the jackalope), used as a money-making scheme during the Depression. This came to mind since one of the men mentioned in the article had been "handling fur for years". I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. It seems there was a time (1910-1940) when monster hoaxes were big in WV, such as the Snallygaster - and this fits the same time period.

I would like to know if there were other stories about this critter, and if the "skin" of it still exists.

The Tile Lady said...

Pretty interesting--yep my first thought was, why didn't they knock it down out of the tree into a sack or cage and keep it alive? But, of course they wouldn't if they were perpetrating a hoax! Sounds like at least part of the animal was an opossum!
Marie