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After Apollo 11, Fort Worth's other big story in July 1969 was the Lake Worth Monster

Eyewitnesses reported a 7-foot, 350-pound creature with fur and scales near Lake Worth in 1969. Fifty years later, the legend lives on.

FORT WORTH, Texas — What could be bigger news than man landing on the moon?

Well in July 1969, there was a story in Fort Worth that may not have eclipsed the lunar landing, but it got a monster amount of attention.

While Apollo 11 was rocketing out of Earth's orbit, a creature known as the Lake Worth Monster was grabbing headlines in North Texas. And 50 years later, the legend lives on.

RELATED: Apollo 11 moon landing remains one of the most watched TV moments

"It's still a mystery," said Michelle Villafranca with the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.

Back then, there were multiple sightings at the nature center of a creature with a terrifying description.

"Like a 7-foot tall, ape-like creature, goat-like with ram horns and fishy scales," said Villafranca. "That's why you can't always trust eyewitness accounts!"

WFAA covered the story at the time, airing interviews with eyewitnesses who said they had seen the creature lurking on a ridge over a quarry. One man said he saw the monster hurl a tire at a crowd of people below, throwing it in the air a distance of 450-500 feet.

"The police responded out here, park rangers," Villafranca said. "I mean, people took it seriously."

Today, you can find giant, hairy creatures at the park with relative ease. A herd of 18 buffalo roams the facility, and anyone can catch a glimpse if they're willing to hit the hiking trails.  

The legend of the Lake Worth Monster has grown through the years. It was chronicled in a book written by a local author.  And in October, the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge will officially celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Monster's appearance at an event called "Trails & Treats featuring the Lake Worth Monster Bash."  

"This is our heritage here at the Nature Center!" Villafranca said.

RELATED: Tracking Goatman: The story behind the Lake Worth Monster

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