From Kook Science
The Clearwater Monster was a press name for the presumed maker of a series of narrow-heeled, three-toed tracks, some fourteen inches long and eleven inches wide, that were reportedly discovered through 1948, and again in 1958, at several locations across Florida, including Clearwater Beach, Courtney Campbell Causeway, Indian Rocks Beach, Sarasota Beach, St. Petersburg Beach, and the banks of the Anclote and Suwannee rivers.
The maker was allegedly spotted from the air by fliers from the Dunedin Flying School, who claimed to have seen a creature that appeared as "a furry log with a head shaped like a hog's" near Clearwater Beach. Ivan T. Sanderson, who measured and cast the tracks near the Suwannee River in 1948, referred to the maker as "Florida Three-Toes," speculating a "giant penguin" cryptid may have been responsible.
In 1988, the St. Petersburg Times reported that the tracks had been a hoax, carried out by Stephen "Al" Williams (1894-1970) and Tony Signorini (1920-2012), both of Clearwater, who used fabricated lead tracks bolted to gym shoes, based on dinosaur tracks they had seen in an issue of National Geographic magazine.
- Sanderson, Ivan T. (December 1967), "That Forgotten Monster: Old Three Toes", Fate (20)
- "LETTERS SWAMP CHIEF ELLIOTT ON ODD TRACKS", Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida): 8, 7 March 1948, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21598765/seamonster/
- "MAN, MACHINE OR MAMMAL AT CLEARWATER? A Monster's Tracking Up The Beach Again", Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida): 11, 24 July 1958, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/30944707/beach-monster/
- Kirby, Jan (11 June 1988), "Clearwater can relax; monster is unmasked", Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersbury, Fla.): 65, 67, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21989233/seamonster1/ — continuing on page 67