One of the things that made me feel that the story about the Oklahoma Octopus might be a myth was that one aspect of the story, that a few boys had drowned and that they claimed something had pulled them under, was I couldn’t find any names of supposed victims. Well, after posting this blog entry on my Facebook wall, as well as sharing it in a few other places, someone said they had seen names for a couple of alleged victims. They directed me to a website that gave the names; Tyler Shuman, Ruthie Simple, and Bruce DelRoy.
So was this the missing piece of the puzzle? The answer I found was astonishing! Plugging their names into a police database on drowning victims in Oklahoma, I got nothing. No one by those names had drowned in any of Oklahoma’s lakes. Then I just did a few basic Google and Bing searches with their names and things like Octopus, Oklahoma, unexplained drownings and deaths. The only matches that came up were the original website this guy had directed me to and a couple of other blogs and websites about the Oklahoma Octopus. All of which were almost direct copy and pastes from this first site.
Having been immersed in this story for so long, I began to think about the place where I had first heard about it, an episode of the fictional Animal Planet show Lost Tapes. Going onto YouTube I found the episode again and for the first time since it aired, in 2008, watched it.
Let me first say how much I found the whole episode to be almost a word for word rip-off of the Stephen King short story, The Raft. This was about a group of school kids on vacation terrorized on a floating raft by an underwater monster. This story would later be adapted into one of the segments for the 1987 movie Creepshow 2.
I continued to watch the show and then I started getting the feeling that something wasn’t right. Then it hit me like a hammer shot to the head. The names of the three kids who died in the program where none other than Tyler Shuman, Ruthie Simple, and Bruce DelRoy! That is right, someone took the names of the characters from a fictional television show and either forgot where they got them from or deliberately posted their names on a website, supposedly dedicated to the truth, and tried to pass them off as real!
I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. This is truly terrible research. This kind of stuff is the reason Cryptozoology as a whole has such a bad reputation. I don’t know the motives behind the original poster's reasons for publishing these things, but if I were a betting man I would say they were not honorable. What also strikes me as truly terrifying is that for years no one either realized this or did, but never made the truth publicly known!
If anyone reading this doesn’t believe me I will post a link to the YouTube video and you can see for yourselves. This kind of thing is both shocking and a bit heartbreaking. I love Cryptozoology, I always will, and will always encourage people to never stop asking questions of the conventional scientific beliefs, but this is truly a dark day. If there is any good to come of this, please let it be that it will encourage both amateur and professional Cryptozoologists to continue their investigations and research into the unusual, but please always hold ourselves up to the bets standards of research and investigations. Please.
Editor's comment: It is an unhappy fact that there are quite a few people out there who think it is somewhat clever to put hoax messages on the Internet. We must be thankful for incisive investigators like Zachary who can expose them.