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AFS Review: Queries

Query about Monsters and Imaginary Beasts

Tuesday, May 16, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate

By Nick Norlen --

I'm a freelance journalist working on an article tracking down the origin of a single line of an entry from the Columbia Encyclopedia that first appeared in the 4th edition in 1975. 

Here is an excerpt from the entry, "monsters and imaginary beasts." The relevant portion is the last clause:

"In the folklore of the United States a host of fantastic, impossible 'fearsome critters' have been developed. There are the prock, also called the sidehill dodger or the gwinter, an animal with shorter legs on one side side that enable it to keep its balance while feeding on steep mountains; the augerino, an underground creature in Colorado that lets the water out of irrigation ditches; and the glitch of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., that is responsible for general chaos."

After extensive searching, I haven't been able to find any other mention of the "glitch" in any other source. One possibility is that it is a "fake entry" intended to protect against copying. (In the reference book industry, such a fake entry is called a "mountweazel," named after a famous example that appears in the same edition of the Columbia Encyclopedia). One clue that may support this theory is the fact that the Pentagon is located in Arlington, Va., not Washington, D.C.

Another possibility is that it is simply a forgotten piece of folklore, so I wanted to reach out to the AFS membership with two main questions:

  • Have you ever heard of "the glitch of the Pentagon"?
  • Is there anything comparable in terms of a folklore creature being situated in such a modern setting as the Pentagon?

Thank you for your help!

You can contact Nick at 


Brittany B. Warman says...
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Hi Nick! I found your question really interesting, so I did a little digging and found this review ( of an exhibition called "Dragons, Monsters and Fabulous Beasts" held at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, Israel and presented by curator Joan Goodnick Westenholz. Supposedly this "Glitch" creature was discussed? There's an accompanying book ( that might have more information. Hope this helps! ~ Brittany (

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