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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.


Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

According to a United Press newswire published in newspapers everywhere in the United States, Naomi Johnson, wife of Darwin Johnson, from the Dogtown district in Evansville, Indiana, was swimming in the Ohio river one afternoon of August 1955, with Chris Lamble's wife.

She then felt grabbed at the knee by a hand seemingly clawed and hairy, and she was pulled under water. She struggled, surfaced, was pulled down again, then apparently because of a noise the attacker gave up.

At no time did she see anything of the creature; which had been all the time under water.

She was left with a green stain in the shape of palm at the knee, and scratches and bruises for which she asked for medical care.

A few days afterwards, having read the sensational Press stories about "little green men" having attacked a family in Kelly, Press sources tell that she was now convinced that whatever attacked her must have been one of the little green men of the flying saucers.

Later, her story appeared in "Bigfoot" catalogues and some ufological sources, with both omissions and additional details that appear completely invented, including an observation of a UFO a few minutes after she was attacked, and an intervention of a mysterious US Air Force colonel.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-000520
Date of event: August 1955
Earliest report of event: August 23, 1955
Delay of report: Days, weeks?
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Local newspaper.
First certain record by: Local Newspaper.
First alleged record type: Local newspaper.
First certain record type: Local newspaper.
This file created on: February 23, 2008
This file last updated on: February 23, 2008
Country of event: USA
State/Department: Indiana
Type of location: In river.
Lighting conditions: Afternoon
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 1 or 2
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Young adult, adult or aged.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Woman, married, mother.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Not seen.
Entities height: Not seen.
Entities outfit type: Not seen.
Entities outfit color: Not seen.
Entities skin color: Not seen.
Entities body: Not seen.
Entities head: Not seen.
Entities eyes: Not seen.
Entities mouth: Not seen.
Entities nose: Not seen.
Entities feet: Not seen.
Entities arms: Not seen.
Entities fingers: Not seen.
Entities fingers number: Not seen.
Entities hair: Not seen.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Is underwater, pulls swimming witness underwater, causes scratches and bruises, went away.
Entities/witness interactions: Pulls swimming witness underwater, causes scratches and bruises.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Possible confusion, fish.
Explanation certainty: Medium.



Believes Green Man From Space Ship Is Assailant

NASHVILLE, Ind., Aug. 23.— (UP) — An Evansville mother decided today that a something-or-other which grabbed her leg while swimming was "one of those little green men from a space ship."



We haven't heard the last of those mysterious little green men. No sir — not by a long shot.

At Evansville, Ind., Mrs. Darwin Johnson got into the act Tuesday by deciding that the something-or-other which grabbed her leg while she was in swimming was "one of those little green men from a space ship."

MRS JOHNSON therefore cleared up - entirely to her own satisfaction - the swimming incident which occurred last week. At that time she said a "hairy paw" seized her leg while she was paddling about in the Ohio River near Dogtown.

AFTER HEARING about the family in Hopkinsville. Ky., which claimed to have been visited by the little green gentlemen, Mrs. Johnson got all excited again.



The authors indicate in a "Bigfoot" sightings listing that on August 14 or 21, 1955, as she swam in the Ohio River near Dogtown, Indiana, Mrs. Darwin Johnson had her left leg grabbed by a hand with claws and a furry palm.

The sources are indicated to be the Evansville Press, Indiana, for August 15 or 22, 1955; Clark and Coleman, "Creatures of the Outer Edge", pp52-53; Isabel Davis and Ted Bloecher, Close Encounter at Kelly and Others of 1955 (Center for UFO Studies, 1978) pp 181-182, including a letter from someone who knew Mrs. Johnson.

[Ref. jc1:] JEROME CLARK:

Filed under an article about alleged "Reptile Men", Jerome Clark indicates that on August 21, 1955, in Evansville, Indiana, Mrs Darwin Johnson was swimming when she was gripped by a claw-like hand at the knee and pulled underwater. She struggled with the thing she did not see, surfaced, was pulled down again. She was able to lunge at a friend's inner tube and the thumb she made on contact with it apparently scared the attacker away. The creature had left a green palm stain on Mrs Johnson's knee, and scratches and marks for which she sought medical attention.


Albert Rosales indicates in his catalogue that in Dogtown, near Evansville Indiana, on August 21, 1955, in the afternoon, Mrs. Darwin Johnson was swimming with her friend Mrs. Chris Lamble in the Ohio River about fifteen feet from shore when suddenly something grabbed her from under the surface. It felt like the "hand" had huge claws and "furry" palms. It came up from behind her, grabbed her left leg, gripped her knee and pulled her under. She kicked and fought herself free. It pulled her under again. Although both women could not see the thing, they were screaming and yelling to scare it away. Finally, Mrs. Johnson lunged for Mrs. Lamble's inner tube, and the loud "thump" apparently scared it away, as if released its grip. Back on shore Mrs. Johnson received treatment for her scratches and marks on her legs. According to Fortean investigator Terry Colvin Mrs. Johnson had a palm-print shaped green stain below her knee that could not be removed for several days. Interestingly Colvin learned that an individual who identified himself as an Air Force colonel visited the Johnson couple. He took voluminous notes and warned them not to talk further about the incident.

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is "Humcat quoting Newspaper source and UPI", and Humcat 1955-15.

[Ref. tp1:] T. PETER PARK:

T. Peter Park shares information he obtained from an email by Sue Reel of the Vanderburgh County Historical Society in Evansville as he inquired about the incident. The information received was that the Evansville Courier newspaper for August 22 to 27, 1955, did not mention the incident, and that the City Directory for that year listed on Darwin C. Johnson, wife Naomi M., meat cutter, address 1304 Fountain Avenue, a very modest neighborhood; it listed Chris Lamble, no wife listed, serviceman, Finke Furniture Co,, from Roth Road, a rural area.

Sue Reel also indicated that on Sunday, August 21, 1955, the high temperature was 102 so swimming would have been nice. she specifies that she does not recall any event such as this case, and her husband would have been quite intrigued by it, and we would have talked about it then.

[Ref. ca1:] CHRIS AUBECK:

Chris Aubeck notes the uncertainty of the date of the incident story, as The New Castle News, of New Castle, Pennsylvania, for August 24, 1955 said it happened "three weeks ago" while the Ruston Daily Leader, of Ruston, Louisiana, for August 25, 1955, said it happened "earlier this week."

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The web site indicates that on August 16, 1955, in the afternoon, in Dogtown, Indiana, USA, a woman swimming in Ohio River had her left leg grabbed by a hairy creature with large claws. It pulled her under twice, she had scratches and brushes. A shiny round object was seen crossing the river a few minutes later.

The website comments that an object was observed, that occupants of the craft were seen, briefly, by one female witness on a river briefly (Johnson, Darwin), and that one 6-foot-tall naked hairy being was seen.

The sources are indicated as Webb, David, HUMCAT: Catalogue of Humanoid Reports; Eberhart, George M., A Geo-Bibliography of Anomalies, Greenwood Press, Westport, 1980; Rosales, Albert S., Humanoid Contact Database; and newspaper clippings.

Points to consider:

"Dogtown" was the large sawmill district in Evansville, Indiana, where residents were mostly poor people who did not much benefit of a high education.

To speculate that this underwater creature that was never seen must have been a "Bigfoot" is not that much clever than the woman's belief that it was a little green man from a flying saucer.

Actually, many animals live in river and can attack, pull down, scratch people, such as a loose alligator for example, or the more common alligator gar fish. This long fish is covered with an armor of thick, hard scales, and a meshwork of sharp teeth protruded from its broad snout. It is the second largest freshwater fish in the US, measuring up to 8 feet length. It is said it rarely attacks people, and infested the Ohio and Missouri rivers so much in the 40's that mass killings were organized, and nowadays, this fish is confined to the coastline portion of the rivers along the Gulf of Mexico.

Alligator gar
One large alligator gar from the Ohio river.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe February 23, 2008 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Help needed. Opened.


Possible confusion, fish.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:


Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross February 23, 2008 Creation, [wm1], [li1], [jb1], [jc1], [ar1], [tp1], [ca1], [ud1].
1.0 Patrick Gross February 23, 2008 First published.

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This page was last updated on February 23, 2008