The Montauk Monster has been kidnapped. Maybe.
Local real-estate agent Eric Olsen tells Tuesday's East Hampton, N.Y., Star that he's the mystery man who picked the famous cryptid carcass off the beach last month — but now some dastardly bandit has made off with the remains.
"Someone came and took the carcass. Now I have to hunt for my damn creature," he said.
Olsen recounted that he'd taken the dead carnivore from the beach the night of July 13 and thrown it into the back yard of his friend Noel Arikian to rot.
The pair planned to have a New York City artist work with the bones. All went well until the bloated beast vanished from Arikian's property over the weekend.
Of course, the Star's reporter never saw the body and Olsen doesn't really specify which weekend the corpse disappeared.
In any case, Olsen sure doesn't sound like he's the same guy who e-mailed a video featuring a backyard bag of bones to cable-news reporter Jeanne Moos last week.
Moos gave that man's name as Colin Davis. Jenna Hewitt, who also says she found (and took the famous photograph of) the monster, told FOX News his name is Paul Davis.
And remember that Alanna Nevitski, the woman who e-mailed that very same photo to Gawker.com's sister Web site Jezebel.com, says Hewitt and her friends have nothing to do with it — although they did apparently have it loaded on a digital camera.
It's just possible the Davis video was shot in Arikian's backyard when he wasn't home. To his credit, Arikian downplayed the uniqueness of the Montauk Monster in another East Hampton Star story last week.
"It's a dead raccoon," he said. "That's what it is. It's undoubtedly a raccoon, the same teeth, paws, the right size."
Still, at this point, the only person we're willing to trust in this whole sordid affair is the monster itself. And no one's seen him for weeks.
In other Montauk Monster news:
Someone calling himself Nicky Papers has started a blog, naturally, devoted to the entire saga. In Tuesday's installment, he accuses Hewitt and her friends of being phonies.
Montauk residents are bemused by the tale, according to New York Newsday.
"I wouldn't be surprised if it were real and I wouldn't be surprised if it were fake," Leda Ross told a reporter at O'Murphy's Pub in Montauk before turning to her husband Mike to ask, "What do you think?"
"I think I'll have another drink," he replied.