Who's Afraid of the Mangy Maine Monster?

Beware of dog … or wolf … or whatever.

Ever since they found it dead along the power lines, residents of Turner, Maine, have been speculating if the animal was indeed the dog-eating, kid-scaring, straight-out-of-a-horror movie mystery beast that's been terrorizing them for years.

The curious came to photograph the carcass, and experts offered varying opinions of the origins of the mystery monster. But despite all the speculation, no one — expert or otherwise — has been able to say exactly what the dead thing was.

But if they really wanted to know what it was that badly, they could've just asked Out There. After some extensive research (read: thinking a little bit while eating lunch), we believe the technical name for the deceased beast is the "I-sure-am-glad-this-thing-doesn't-live-in-New-York-icus maximus."

Perhaps they should just consult their friendly neighborhood zoologist instead.

Residents of the area said the animal was struck by a car while chasing a kitty across Route 4, The Bangor Daily News reports.

"This is something I've never seen before," said Mike O'Donnell, who lives near the area where the creature was found. "It's an evil looking thing. It looks like half-rodent, half-dog."

The animal was described as weighing between 40 and 50 pounds with a bushy tail, a really short snout, stubby ears, curled fangs hanging over the lips and a charcoal gray coat.

Wildlife officials and animal control were notified of it's demise but declined to make the drive to check it out.

Loren Coleman, a leading cryptozoologist, said it could be a hybrid of a dog and a wolf — but she's sure it wasn't someone's pet.

Whatever it was, it's been the subject of local lore for quite some time. Androscoggin County has had reports of a fisher, a coy dog, a dingo, a hyena or worse running around, wreaking havoc since 1991. It was blamed for killing a Doberman pinscher in 2004 and a rottweiler last year. Still others have reported seeing the beast's glowing eyes and hearing its chilling screams in the night.

"It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget," Michelle O'Donnell, who claims she saw the animal in her yard a week before it was found dead, said. "We locked eyes for a few seconds and then it took off. I've lived in Maine my whole life and I've never seen anything like it."

O'Donnell said she and her husband have been researching the beast, but have yet to come up with a decent guess as to what it might be.

"We've been hearing stories about this thing for years — about this thing that's been attacking, shredding and eating other animals," said Mike O'Donnell. "This is something that's not supposed to be out there."

Skeptics insist the creature is a coy dog or a wolf, but it seems a safe bet to count the O'Donnells — among others — out of the skeptics category.

"It looked," said Mike O'Donnell, "like something out of a Stephen King story."

Thanks to Out There reader Rusty S.

Nothing Says 'Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo' Like an Abstract Cactus

RIVERTON, Utah (AP) — A vent cover on the side of a house looks like it might be a rude hand gesture. Then again, it might be a cactus, abstract art-style. It depends if you're the owner or a neighbor.

"This kind of shows the attitude that we've been dealing with all along," said neighbor Stan Torgersen, who sees it as a hand giving the finger, visible from all his back windows.

The acrimony began last fall, when Darren Wood's hill lot was excavated.

Torgersen was worried that the excavation might damage his foundation, so he and another neighbor asked the city to intervene.

Riverton officials ordered a soil test, something Wood said had been done by the previous owner. A new exam, he said, would delay the project by four months and cost him $3,000.

More recently, the Torgersens and another neighbor complained to the city that the home exceeded the height allowed by code.

"We used to have a view of the mountains," Janet Torgersen told The Salt Lake Tribune. "He didn't have to take everyone's view."

Wood conceded the house might be over the limit by a little more than a foot. But once the house is finished, and the soil and landscaping laid out, he believes it will be within regulations.

Plus, he added, the city approved the house plan.

"I think the bottom line is harassment," Wood said of his neighbors' grievances. "They will find another issue to complain about."

The Togersens have again turned to Riverton's government to deal with the vent covering.

Janet Torgersen said she showed photos to City Manager Lance Blackwood and others at City Hall.

Wood told the Tribune he might be willing to change the vent cover — "if it's offensive to them as they have been to me. I'm not above an apology" from neighbors.

Kitty Goes Gangsta With His New Grill

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. (AP) — This cool cat has traded in his catnip for some bling.

Sebastian, a 1-year-old Persian with long black hair, sports gold crowns on his two bottom canines, which grew sticking out from his lips in an underbite similar to a bulldog's.

His owner, a dentist, said he gave Sebastian gold crowns to help strengthen the fanged feline's teeth. David Steele said he was worried the unique canines would break off or become a problem.

Steele said the cat gets a lot of attention now, and everyone is thrilled when they see him. He said the cost for each gold tooth is about the same as for people, about $900 each.

Veterinarian Larry Owen said putting gold crowns on teeth can be done for any pet with a dental problem.

Sebastian's procedure only took about 15 minutes.

Thanks to Out There readers Melissa P. and Rob E.

Lights! ... Camera! ... Action! ... Yoink!

TRACY, Calif. (AP) — A man jumped into a NASCAR race car and tried to drive away before he was stopped by track officials who didn't know he was an actor and the apparent heist was a prank for a commercial.

Justin Philpott, a 16-year-old NASCAR competitor, was taking part in an awards ceremony at the Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy on Sunday when the actor jumped a fence and hopped into his Chevrolet.

"I heard my race car start up and slide away, so I turned around and started yelling and running after it," said Philpott, a third-generation racer. "No one knew what was going on."

The stunt was cut short when track officials blocked the car's path with tow trucks. Philpott's older brother, also a racer, chased down the car, pulled out the unidentified man and tackled him to the ground. The incident was caught on tape and widely circulated on the Internet.

The "thief" turned out to be an actor filming a scene for a commercial for one of Philpott's sponsors, TaxBrain.com. The Philpotts had not been told about the commercial beforehand, Justin Philpott said.

A spokeswoman for Altamont's parent company, Riverside Motorsports Park, said only a few track officials knew that the prank would take place.

A spokesman for TaxBrain.com did not return calls for comment.

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Taylor Timmins.

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