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I can imagine that Dan Craig and his wife lived relatively peaceful lives on their Indiana farm, situated just 4 miles south of Lynn, Randolph County. By all accounts the property was completely normal, and provided a thick slice of Americana for the couple to enjoy - well, provided they didn't disturb the tentacular terror apparently living in their well, that was.

Well, Well, Well[]

Randolph County Weirdo

I found the image, and the first online mention of the story in question, here

Dan spoke to the Indianapolis News for an article that would be published on the 8th of June 1960 to tell them of the cephalopodal spectre haunting the 12ft-deep well on his farmland. He said that he had known about the monster's existence for over a year, and then went on to describe the entity as 'an eerie beast with a dome-shaped head, two bulbous eyes, and eight flailing tentacles as long as a man's arm'. Dan's wife also said that she had seen it, and she have a slightly different description of the beast - saying that it resembled a mushroom the size of a plate, and had long legs and feet.

Curiosity spread around the community following this report, and so Dan decided to literally get to the bottom of the matter by draining the well. He did this, leaving only perhaps 4 inches of water left in the bottom of the pit. Soon after this, a local youth - a plucky 12-year-old by the name of Craig Lee - decided to take the dark descent down a ladder into the well in search of its fabled occupant. He resurfaced a while later, and claimed that he had spied something on the floor of the hole matching the descriptions given by the farming family. He said that it was roughly the size of a plate, and that resembled greyish-yellow sponge mushroom with eyes on the top of its head. It apparently also had either eight or ten legs that were the same length as Craig's own arm, and ended with terrifying pincers.

Mistaken Identity?[]

Now here is where what is otherwise a really fascinating and frightening case falls apart slightly. Just a few days after the frenzied reports, a Randolph County conservation officer arrived on the scene. His name was Kenneth Yost, and he was about to spoil the fun by dredging a flesh-coloured ball of sponge rubber and a section of garden hose out of the well. The questionable critter was never seen again. Perhaps it was frightened away by all the attention, or perhaps it was just a case of mistaken identity after all...

But wait, I'm not done! I have some questions about Yost's conclusion. Sure, it seems to be a perfect explanation for the odd events at first - but then you have to ask how anyone could've repeatedly mistaken a rubber ball and a hose for a tentacular monstrosity throughout a period longer than a year. It seems absurd and quite insulting to the intelligence of the Craig family, in my opinion. Of course Occam's Razor says that the rubber ball explanation makes this an open-and-shut case closed situation, but I'm not so sure. There are other reports of entities resembling the ostensibly-out-of-place cephalopod described in this case (the Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square, for example) and so it's always worth considering that perhaps the Craig family wasn't mistaken.

Source[]

'In Search of Prehistoric Survivors' by Karl Shuker

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