Seventeen-year-old William Bartlett claimed that while driving on April 21, 1977, he saw a large-eyed creature "with tendril-like fingers" and glowing eyes on top of a broken stone wall on Farm Street in Dover, Massachusetts. Fifteen-year-old John Baxter reported seeing a similar creature in heavily wooded area on Miller Hill Road the same evening. Another 15-year-old, Abby Brabham, claimed to have seen the creature the following night sitting upright on Springdale Avenue. The teenagers all drew sketches of the alleged creature. Bartlett wrote on his sketch, "I, Bill Bartlett, swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw this creature." According to the Boston Globe, "the locations of the sightings, plotted on a map, lay in a straight line over 2 miles".
The Dover Demon went on to gain worldwide attention, and drew comparison to stories such as that of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman coined the name "Dover Demon" in April 1977, and documented the events in his 1978 book Creatures of the Outer Edge.
Some suggested that the creature may have been a foal or a moose calf. Police told the Associated Press that creatures reported by the teenagers "were probably nothing more than a school vacation hoax." Coleman rejected the theory that the creature was a newborn moose, citing official records of moose birthing dates and the absence of moose in Massachusetts at the time.
- Sullivan, Mark (October 29, 2006). "Decades later, the Dover Demon still haunts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Dover Demon". Animal Planet. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
- NY: Warner Books
- "Teeners report 'creature'". Associated Press. May 16, 1977. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Coleman, Loren (2007). Mysterious America.
- Loren Coleman, Mysterious America: The Revised Edition (NY: Paraview, 2001, ISBN 1-931044-05-8)