Our conversation turned to local fishing spots and boating on the Patuxent River, and I jokingly mentioned something about the possibility of running into the Goatman in the woods near the river.
The Park Ranger said, "did you know that the story of the Goatman is really a misunderstanding about a guy that people used to call the Coatman?"
The Park Ranger ran into a man some years back who was hunting for Bigfoot in Prince George's County. The hunter told the ranger that there was a man who would catch fish and turtles in local waterways during the Great Depression, and he would sell his catch to earn a little money. The man was a little odd. He had long unkempt hair and he would wear a long, heavy coat - even during the hot and humid summer months. People would sometimes spot the man in the woods, and they dubbed him the Coatman. According to the Bigfoot hunter, the story of the Coatman evolved into the present day stories of the Goatman.
I had never heard of the Coatman, so I searched the Internet later that night for similar stories. I came across a blog entry about the Goatman posted by a priest from a Catholic church in Mitchellville who calls himself Father Joe. Father Joe wrote...
One elderly person remarked that they had known the figure, not as the Goatman, but as the Coatman. The name changed as the particulars blurred by word of mouth. According to this testimony, and it makes real sense, it resulted from this madman always wearing a long coat of fur, even in the sweltering summers of Southern Maryland.
Perhaps the strangest part of this story is that there is a Bigfoot hunter roaming Prince George's County who is attempting to set the record straight whenever he hears silly stories about a creature that is half man and half goat.