The Ohio River has a reputation among southern Indiana residents for not being one of the cleanest rivers in the country. Many will joke that there's a pretty good chance if you jump into it, you might come out of it with an extra limb growing off your body. To my knowledge, there are no urban legends of anyone actually emerging from the "mighty, muddy, Ohio" with an extra arm growing from their chest or a third eye protruding from their forehead, however, there is one about an unknown beast who supposedly tried pulling a woman underwater back in the summer of 1955.

The Legend of the Green-Clawed Beast

According to Terror's Grove, Naomi Johnson and a friend took Naomi's kids down to the river to spend a hot August day enjoying the sunshine, swimming, and floating in the water. While the kids played on the river bank, Naomi's friend hopped on an inner tube and began to drift out into the water with Naomi swimming close by. As the two were roughly 15 feet away from the shore, something grabbed Naomi's leg and pulled her under. She managed to get free long enough to get her head above water, but whatever the "thing" was yanked her back down again. This supposedly happened several times. It wasn't until her friend was able to get close enough with her inner tube, giving Naomi something to grab onto, that the "thing" finally let go and gave up.

WDKS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

When they returned to shore, Naomi had scratch marks on one leg from her knee to her ankle, and her skin had a green stain on it. She claimed whatever grabbed her felt like a hairy claw. As the story of the attack spread, Naomi was supposedly visited by a colonel with the U.S. Air Force who listened to her story, then asked her never to speak of it again. Which sounds like some Men in Black-type stuff.

READ MORE: ‘Tails’ of Terror – The Story of the ‘Mud Mermaids’ Who Reportedly Terrorized an Indiana River Town

What the "Green-Clawed Beast" Could Have Been

I'll admit, I am very skeptical when it comes to stories like this. Anytime I hear or read about something paranormal, other-worldly, supernatural, etc. I believe there are logical explanations for what caused the bumps in the night, the big footprints in the forest, or whatever the particular story claims to have happened. Even if there seems to be no logical explanation, I still assume one exists and that I'm just too stupid to figure it out.

With that said some of my theories on what the "Green-Clawed Beast" actually was are similar to those mentioned at the end of the video above. With the amount of junk and trash people throw into the river, it simply could have been a large object someone tossed in years before that Naomi got her leg tangled in and the current pulled her under.


"Do any of these creatures match the description of what grabbed you, ma'am?"

Or, in case you don't know, the stretch of the Ohio River that runs along Evansville was a major thoroughfare for delivering goods when the city was founded in the early 1800s. It also saw a large amount of traffic during the Civil War. In my opinion, whatever grabbed Naomi's leg could have very easily been from one of the boats during that time period. Maybe it was an old anchor that had sat at the bottom of the riverbed for so long that moss grew on it until one day the current was strong enough to break it free and carry it downriver where the chain or rope got tangled around Naomi's leg. The moss would explain the "hairy" description she gave it in her telling of the story.

It may not be any of those things, but I'm pretty confident in saying it wasn't some mysterious creature looking to feast on human flesh. But, that's just me. What do you think?

[Source: Terror's Grove / The Strangest on YouTube]

Famous declassified government secrets

Stacker looks at the top 30 declassified government secrets, from Operation Paperclip to previously unknown Cold War facts. There’s no conspiracy in these slides—these government secrets are all true to history.

More From WDKS-FM