LEEDS — He’s calling the area the Turner Triangle and this beast the “Leeds Loki.”

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman visited Line Road last week to do his own investigation into a couple’s claim that something like Bigfoot walked in front of their car.

On Monday, Coleman said that the man had reported seeing something hairy, 7 feet tall and walking upright cross the road on the morning of Feb. 8 near the Greene-Leeds town line. The woman with him put its height at closer to 6½ feet.

Coleman is protecting the couple’s identity, so far only communicating with them through a friend.

“They’re just afraid it would ruin their lives because of all the ridicule,” Coleman said. “They’re really very skittish.”

Coleman, who has a museum in Portland dedicated to mostly unconfirmed creatures (Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, the Jersey Devil), was involved several years ago in naming the Turner Beast, a black animal that created enough mystery that it made national headlines before being unmasked as a dog.

The area has had other historical Bigfoot sightings, he said, as well as sightings of animals described as black panthers and cougars. Mystery cats, Coleman said, seem to live in one place year-round; he questioned whether Bigfoot migrates through the area in spring and fall.

“I think what’s happening, we may have a Turner Triangle where there’s a lot of marshy lands,” Coleman said. “My conceptualization is that the whole area is more wild than the people in Lewiston or Portland understand.”

Eric Nickerson lives on Line Road, a quarter-mile from the point of the sighting. He said he’s never seen anything strange in the woods there. In the early 1980s, however, 8 miles away on Turner Center Bridge Road, he claims his brother saw a Bigfoot and, that riding home one day on his bike, he himself was chased by one.

“It was right behind me for a ways,” Nickerson said. “Thank God, the house was there — I don’t know if it might have caught me or not.”

A family member has called History Channel’s “MonsterQuest” to offer up several stories, he said.

Coleman has been featured before on the monster show.

Bill Dubois, manager at the family business Red Roof in Leeds, said people had been in the store gossiping about the sighting, though most of the information was second- or third-hand.

“The people that saw it seemed pretty spooked,” he said.

His take on whether something could be in the woods out that way: “In this world, you never know. I have one customer that was just a Bigfoot freak; he believes in it. Telling him, he got all excited.”

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International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, Maine photo

A photo of an alleged Bigfoot print in the snow, was taken 10 days after a sighting on Line Road in Leeds. Loren Coleman, a cryptozoologist who came to the area last week to investigate, estimated the print to be 14 to 16 inches long.

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