|"As unpredictable—and probably just as controversial—as UFOs, Leyak are a supernatural phenomenon most feared by many Indonesians."|
Since the early 1970s, the woods around Sykesville, MD, are rumored to be the home of a mysterious wildman monster. A flurry of close encounters gripped the town with fear.
In 1981, while enjoying his favorite fishing spot, Mr. Lon Strickler waded into the South Branch of the Patapsco River near Sykesville and began to try his luck. As he fished, he took notice of a large, mixed-breed, stray dog walking along the opposing river bank about 50 feet away. As he watched, the dog began bark and growl at a large clump of brush near the river. As Strickler observed the dog, he was amazed to see a 7 to 8 foot tall, hair covered, human shape emerging from the brush. The dog, now highly agitated, attacked the huge creature. Mr. Strickler said the beast made an odd “ticking” sound as it struggled with the dog. Within seconds, the creature slammed the canine to the ground. The dog ran off. And as the creature turned to walk back into the woods, Strickler said he caught the strange animal’s scent and described it as heavy musk.
At this point, Mr. Strickler’s story becomes stranger still as the following excerpt reveals: ” I drove to a phone in Sykesville and called the police. I was told to return to the scene and wait. It took me about 3 minutes to get back….and a [State] police cruiser was already there. I was immediately told to leave the area. I returned an hour later and noticed several state vehicles and one federal vehicle as well as police…the area was taped off. I could see people combing the area….I was told once again to leave. I tried for several days to get answers from state officials but never got an answer. I called [Baltimore TV stations] WJZ, WBAL and WMAR about the incidents and each seemed very interested. I contacted each station [several days] later and was told that they had ‘no idea’ of an incident and did not want to talk to me.”
The specific area where Strickler had his experience (a section of the Patapsco State Park) is still very heavily wooded and unpopulated.