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As a child, Michael "Mike" Ploog saw the Loch Ness Monster, or so he would later claim later. As an adult, Ploog became a photojournalist, researching subjects related to ufology and cryptozoology. He spent one year in Canada vainly trying to take a photograph of the Sasquatch, and later he went to Nevada to unveil the Area 51 activities and take photographs, but he also failed at that. Ploog longed to take an important picture which would be used in the cover of Life magazine, disregarding the fact that Life stopped being published in 2000.

Ploog moved to Bywater, in the Merdeau County of New Orleans (United States of America), attracted by the local legends of a guardian spirit and correctly assuming that the several disappearances during the last month were related to this supernatural being, not to alligator attacks. As the spirit was related to the Seminole sacred lands in the swamp, Ploog bought a house there and stock up on equipment, including several canoes and two dogs. Ploog deeply researched the legends, knowing that the "Dark Waters" area of the swamp, traditionally known as the Nexus of All Realities, had a supernatural protector, the Man-Thing, that attacked defilers, and some locals believed that Frederic Schist's oil-drilling activities in the area computed as such as a profanation. Ploog reasoned that the spirit was looking for vengeance and tried to take a picture of it. While he failed at this during the following months, Ploog claimed to have personally seen the spirit in the swamp.

During the following five months, locals accepted Ploog's presence, considering him a harmless weirdo. Local sheriff Corely disappeared then, and a replacement, young Kyle Williams, was sent one month later. Ploog approached the new sheriff in a café and offered his help to find the monster. Two local thugs, Thibadeaux brothers, intimidatingly drove Ploog away, claiming to let the sheriff off from hearing Ploog's nonsense; Ploog stepped back but he did not left.

Theodore Sallis (Earth-58460) from Man-Thing (film) 0012

Ploog finally takes a photograph of the monster

Schist's security chief Steve Gerber was horribly murdered by the Man-Thing, but sheriff Williams and deputy Eric Fraser instead tracked local subversive Rene LaRoque, who lived in the swamp. While doing this, the sheriff's motorboat broke down due to the swamp's plantlife, and Fraser suggested they row to Ploog's and ask him for a spare canoe. When they reached Ploog's house, he was not there, because he was trying to find the monster. Williams and Fraser separated, Fraser was found and murdered by the Man-Thing, and Williams saw it before being knocked down by LaRoque. Ploog found the place later, with Williams unconscious and parts of Fraser's corpse; he had a chance to take some pictures of the Man-Thing before it left. Ploog was taking pictures of the scene when Williams woke up. Williams incorrectly assumed that Ploog may have been related to Fraser's death and threatened to arrest him, but Ploog explained his presence and offered to show Williams the pictures of the murderer. Williams accepted but, when Ploog developed the photographs, Williams refused to believe that a monster was being shown, even when Ploog insisted. Finally, Williams seized the photographs and took Ploog to the town, again threatening to arrest him if he did not cooperate. Ploog disliked the idea, as he believed to be near his final success taking pictures of the monster.

Thus, Ploog escaped from Williams' detention and returned to the swamp the following night. Coincidentially, Williams was also in the swamp, looking for a fugitive. Ploog's dogs found and harassed Williams, revealing Ploogs' position. Williams reprimanded Ploog for going to the swamp, but Ploog was way too eager to take the picture which would make him famous, and left Williams.

Frederic Schist was also in the swamp, performing illegal activities. Ploog saw him from afar and took a photograph, in case the humanoid form was the Man-Thing. The camera's flash startled Schist, who reacted by shooting toward the source. Schist's shotgun pellets bore into Ploog's torso, killing him instantly. Schist approached the source of his shock and, when he saw Ploog, he simply made a snickering comment, not bothering even to take Ploog's camera. Williams found Ploog later, quickly resolved that Schist had murdered Ploog, and closed Ploog's eyes.[1]

Abilities

  • A photographer, he knows how to develop photographs. His skills to take clear photographs of moving monsters may not be so good, but he makes up for it with enthusiasm.

Weaknesses

  • Vulnerable to shotgun bullets.

Equipment

  • Glasses. Peaked cap. Cravat. Photo camera. Two dogs.

Transportation

  • Canoe.
  • In the film, when Ploog mentions Life magazine, Sheriff Williams tells him that Life was no longer being published. Per Wikipedia, Life indeed closed in 2000 as a monthly publication, but a few months afterward re-appeared in a non-periodical format, and in October 2004, it became a free newspaper supplement, thus being a live publication by the time the film premiered. However, these events may not have happened on Earth-58460.

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