When Tony Signorini was bad as a kid, his mom probably called him a monster. Little did she know how right she would be.
Sixty years ago, Clearwater, Fla., was invaded by a footprint-leaving sea monster the likes of which would haunt the dreams of beach-goers for decades to come.
The sandy tracks left by what would come to be known as the Clearwater Monster were like nothing the sleepy surfside community had ever seen — big bird-like footprints, about 14 inches long and 11 inches wide, sunk deep into the morning shore, the Associated Press reports.
Ivan Sanderson, a self-taught zoologist, author and WNBC radio commentator, thoughtfully surmised the tracks were not a hoax, but the work of a giant penguin.
But Tony Signorini wasn’t a giant penguin. He wasn’t even a monster.
He was just a dude with some big shoes stomping around on the beach with his buddy for fun.
"Back in, I want to say 1946, though it could have been '47, Al (Williams, Signorini’s boss at the time) gets his hands on a National Geographic. There was a picture of dinosaur tracks. Al said, 'You know, we could have fun with this,"' Signorini said.
So the pair made a pair of giant leaden spooky boots and headed out to the beach to make some mayhem, monster-style.
"We made (the boots) in the shop. They were plaster at first, but you couldn't make a good track with plaster. It just didn't sink in the sand deep enough to look authentic. We went to this blacksmith shop and poured lead in our molds. Each track weighed 30 pounds. We bolted black high-top gym shoes to each track,” Signorini said.
Tales of the scary sand discovery were the talk of the town, making news in the papers and the radio and supplying fodder for many a suspicious conversation over coffee.
Believers would vouch for having seen something spooky emerge from the surf in the moonlight, knocking over lifeguard towers.
“We were surprised to read in the papers that people had seen the monster because nobody was on the beach that night. We got a kick out of that," Signorini said.
Check It Out, Guys ... CANNONBALL!!!!!
KANOPOLIS, Kan. (AP) — Corey Armstrong and his friends got some company while swimming at Kanopolis Lake on Wednesday — nine practice bombs dropped by accident from a passing B-52 bomber.
"I just saw them, when they hit, it was four splashes pretty much at the same time," said Armstrong, 16, of Salina. "The bomber started flying in circles after that."
Lt. Col. Jeff Jordan, commander of the nearby Smoky Hill National Guard Range, said the bomber dropped the bombs by mistake while on a training mission.
He said the plane is based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Jordan said the bombs, all of which apparently hit the water, were filled with concrete, not explosives, and didn't pose a threat to the public.
He said the base in investigating why the bombs were released.
The Moon's Over Amtrak as Goons Gather to Drop Trousers
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (AP) — The moon was sure out in California this weekend.
Hundreds of people dropped their drawers Saturday in Orange County to "moon" passing Amtrak passenger trains.
The mooners ranged from bikers to a 70-year-old grandmother.
The strange event began as a bar bet nearly three decades ago.
Nobody actually organizes the annual mooning ritual. But some estimates put the number of mooners this year at 5,000.
Thanks to Out There reader Jamie J.
He Was Just Anointing Corrupt Buildings ... Duh
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — A jury acquitted a man who had been charged with assault after authorities said an assistant prosecutor, police officer and courtroom bailiff got sick after shaking hands with him.
John Curtis Ridgeway, 42, was seen pulling out a vial of liquid and rubbing his hands with the contents after a December jury trial in which he was found guilty of driving without insurance, authorities said.
The assistant prosecutor, Amanda Swanson, became suspicious and tried to avoid contact when Ridgeway offered his hand for a handshake. Ridgeway insisted on shaking hands with her, the police officer who pulled him over and a bailiff, authorities said.
The three got sick within an hour or so, according to testimony. Symptoms, which lasted about 24 hours, included nausea, headaches, numbness and tingling. Two of the three went to the hospital.
Ridgeway told The Associated Press after he was charged that the substance was olive oil. He testified that he used oil to anoint "corrupt buildings" and that it was meant to rid the buildings of demons.
He was acquitted Friday of assaulting a police officer and two counts of assaulting a public officer. If convicted, he could have faced six years in prison.
Prosecutor Keith Kushion declined to comment. Defense lawyer William Shirley said Ridgeway had not intended to harm anyone.
GREENCASTLE, Ind. (AP) — OUT THERE UPDATE: The letter R has returned, and two teenagers have some explaining to do.
More than 100 letter R's swiped from businesses' signs were returned Thursday in a box left outside the police department, police Chief Tom Sutherland said.
A surveillance camera outside the station captured the image of one of the teen's mothers returning the letters. Images of the woman's car also caught on tape led officers to track her down, and to find the alleged R-snatching culprits.
Sutherland said Michael White, 19, and Jessica Winings, 18, admitted they stole the letters from as many as two dozen businesses, doctors' offices and restaurants Monday night. He said the thefts began when Winings, who collects letters and knickknacks, decided to add some Rs to her collection.
There was no phone number for either White or Winings in published listings for Greencastle, which is about 40 miles west of Indianapolis.
Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said he expects to charge them with one count each of criminal conversion, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum one-year prison sentence and up to a $5,000 fine. But he said authorities would be somewhat lenient in the case.
"They going to have to do some community work service and do some apologizing to some of the people they took the Rs from. We're more like Andy in Mayberry here, than in Indianapolis," Bookwalter said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Taylor Timmins.
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