The Witch Diggers…Part One

“It was nearly midnight when he started on his return over stony hills and hollows. Though he was a bold youth, he became silent as he approached the lonely valley known as Rocky Ravine. When half way through the tortuous cliff between the hills a sound attracted his attention. On his right, near tho top of the hillside, a curious figure was seen creeping from rock to rock and keeping well in the shadows. It carried something which gleamed brightly now and then as the moon’s rays fell upon it. It came nearer aud nearer the farmer, who had crouched down behind a clump of blackberry bushes, with a strange feeling of dread within him. The mysterious being animal or man approached until it reached the roadway within ten feet of the boy, when with a bound it sprang to the top of a huge boulder, where it crouched for a moment in the full glare of the moon. Frank Rose gave one look back and then shut his eyes with a gap of horror. The thing upon tho rock was a man. But what a man ! When Frank got home that night he told his story of what he had seen upon the way of a creature which, though it walked on “all fours” and was covered with hair from head to foot, carried a gleaming axe and displayed other indications of being human. It was gaunt but muscular, and had burning eyes that shone through long, fancied locks of hair. He had seen this thing but for a moment as it crouched upon a rock. Then it leaped down on the other rock , and he made his way out of the deserted valley as quickly as possible. Young Rose’s story created little agitation among the neighbors. They practical pooh-poohed it, the superstitious added it to their list of ghost tales and inwardly resolved never again to be caught in the neighborhood of Rocky Ravine after nightfall….

But the adventure was not to end so lightly. On the very next night, Henry Simon and William Downey, stock buyers, living in another county, rode within a short distance of the dreary valley, when they were astonished to hear the reverberation of a succession of blows, evidently made by some instrument of steel or iron. They tied their horses and walked up the dark ravine until they arrived at a tremendous cavity which had evidently been excavated by human hands. Twenty feet below in tho darkness some one was striking blow alter blow upon tho rocky bottom of the pit. ” What are you doing down there?”‘ shouted Simon. For answer a stone came whizzing through the air, narrowly missing Downey’s head. A big, hairy creature sprang out of the hole with a frightful yell and disappeared with surprising rapidity over the side of the hill, still carrying its steel tool, though running apparently upon four legs. The traders were Stupefied with astonishment, aud lost no time in getting out of the neighborhood.”

Excerpt from the Philadelphia Times, August 1892…

Sketch by Brandon Scolf (I think)

Bigfoot in the News #16…Ivan Marx

Tracking down Sasquatch: Man monster or myth?

Old bear tracker Ivan Marx dropped into a sagging chair and stared at the mountains through a streaked window “I really do believe there’s something out there” he said pensively “Something of a superior intelligence” Meanwhile a dozen cats bumpied against the front door begging for supper. Out back American wilderness dogs — domesticated wolves actually — restlessly awaited their feedings. So too did the various hounds chickens and geese that live on Marx’s Bear Ranch near this little logging town But Marx wasn’t anxious to tend to his stock He was pondering another creature one he’s certain is every bit as real. He swears he’s seen it And photographed it And once even lost a fight to it. It is Bigfoot sometimes called Sasquatch Skunkman and Stickman “It’s a thing that looks darned near like a man” Marx explained his forehead wrinkling “only it has a lot of hair and a high pointed head” Sightings have been reported overseas in China, Russia and Australia. And In the United States in Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona,Vermont, Washington and frequently in Northern California. A Redding beautician told the local sheriff 10 years ago that a Bigfoot kidnapped and raped her. The lawman doubted the story because the woman returned to town smelling nice (Bigfoot reportedly reeks) and wearing clean clothes A few years later a Eureka woman claimed a Bigfoot raped her too. Neither incident was ever proven. Campers have told of their tents being destroyed by Bigfoot and hikers have said they’ve spotted the creature in the Sierra high country. During the summer of 1986 a construction crew working in the Inyo National Forest in the southern Sierra Nevada reported glimpsing the shadowy outline of something 8 feet tall “I’m just about pretty sure I saw Bigfoot” said one crewman.

Not everyone of course believes in Bigfoot Most people don’t But this story is about some folks who do — and its existence is about all they agree on. Marx, who mostly wears plaid flannel shirts and denims has tracked animals since his Depression-era childhood when he sold racoons for a whopping $14 apiece. He’s since made a living hunting bear and cougar and selling the photographs and films he’s taken of wildlife Although only slightly more profitable than killing raccoons in the ’30s Marx also claims to be the one and only Bigfoot tracker “There are a lot of Bigfoot experts” he said “because you can be one instantly Nobody really knows about Bigfoot To be a Bigfoot tracker though that’s gonna take you a lifetime” Marx is acquainted with the self-proclaimed Bigfoot experts he says because they’ve hunted the creature with him A couple of those “experts” are involved in this minor Bigfoot feud. Warren Cook an East Coast anthropologist believes Marx has seen photographed and battled Bigfoot However Grover Krantz a West Coast anthropologist argues that every woolly creature picture Marx has taken actually was Marx’s wife in a monkey suit.

Marx’s part of this story began in the late 1940s when he heard Shasta County locals whispering about a huge hairy animal that walked like a man In fact they called it “Wild Man of Little Valley”. Marx disregarded the stories until 1951 when he spotted 18-inch footprints near Mount Shasta “Whatever it was I didn’t know” he said “But I knew it was something that was alive “Before that” Marx continued “I would no more have believed it than the man in the moon. People would try to get me to chase it, I never would. But that (seeing tracks) made a believer of me” Although he says he’s seen 15 of the Bigfoot his first sighting was in 1959 in the White Mountains near Bishop in east-central California He shot film of that Bigfoot but misplaced it “It just didn’t seem important at the time” Marx carries cameras on tracking trips and says he’s sold wildlife films to Disney Studios and Warner Brothers for movies and television His footage was the basis of World Picture’s The Legend of Bigfoot which played in movie theaters 11 years ago.

It’s basically the story of Ivan Marx and Bigfoot “I wanted people to see the god darn thing” he said “I didn’t realize there would be such a big controversy”. Amazing Horizons a production company in Sunnyvale a few months ago released a videotape documentary titled, “In the Shadow of Bigfoot”, which is mostly Marx’s footage. Marx claims never to have made money on either project Maybe he got $800 for The Legend of Bigfoot, he says but the producers of Shadow haven’t even given him a copy He says he doesn’t care about the money, “Who the hell else could live to be 65 years old don’t owe one cent in this world don’t have any money in the bank and don’t want any?” Just as easily Marx discards both the public ridicule — not unlike that endured by people who believe in flying saucers — and Grover Krantz’s criticisms? Krantz is an associate professor of anthropology at Washington State University, had he not been so outspoken during his 18-year tenure about the existence of Bigfoot Krantz says he’d probably be a full professor now. ‘‘I’m curious about anything weird and out-of-the-ordinary” Krantz said recently “I don’t put much stock in them but I’m always curious Bigfoot — I like the name Sasquatch — is pertinent to my work in human evolution. To ignore something like that even if the odds for it to exist are slim, would be the height of folly”. However he doesn’t think Marx has even photographed Bigfoot “In the two (films) I’ve seen I not only know they’re faked, I know who was in the monkey suit: He was in one and his wife was in the other” Krantz said “He’s an extraordinary outdoors man and expert photographer . He thought he would be the one to get this (Bigfoot images) But after trying so many years I think he gave up and said ’If I can’t get the real thing I’ll fake it’ ”. Marx knows of Krantz’s complaints and grins when he remembers his old friend. They used to hunt Bigfoot together “Some of the pictures we’ve taken are funny-looking as hell” Marx conceded “but the damn thing looks phony He’s not well-groomed and the more spooked he gets the higher that dome on his head gets” The Bigfoot’s normally pointed skull also becomes more pronounced or undergoes what Marx calls a “cranial erection” when it’s courting another Bigfoot For all the squabbling though Krantz considers himself one of perhaps only two — the other being Warren Cook — academicians in this country who admits there’s a Bigfoot Neither however has ever seen one. Krantz’s belief is based on talks with 40 people who told him they’d seen Bigfoot “I can’t find a flaw in the stories of a little over half of them’’ he said “If those creatures don’t exist every one of those people was mistaken. And if just one was right then Bigfoot does exist” Cook an ethno-historian and professor of history and anthropology at Castleton State College in Vermont is as adamant as Krantz about the creature’s existence He also has queried witnesses and considers their stories credible “I may not be right about some of my impressions” Cook recently said by phone “but I know the phenomenon I’m studying exists It’s not a figment of people’s imaginations” Neither does he believe Ivan Marx concocted any Bigfoot photos In fact Cook has traveled across the country with Marx talking with him about Bigfoot on television and radio shows and promoting the, In the Shadow of Bigfoot movie for which Cook was the scientific consultant Cook and Marx are aligned in their estimates that a few hundred Bigfoot creatures exist in this country and Cook is convinced the Bigfoot is dying out On the other hand Grover Krantz suggests that some 2000 live in the Pacific Northwest and adjacent Canada Krantz hopes someone will kill a Bigfoot and allow scientists to autopsy it Cook and Marx disagree Leave it alone they say Meanwhile Cook is trying to muster funds to send a Castleton State anthropology student into a Bigfoot “hot spot” in Columbia County NY to observe the creatures much as the late Dian Fossey did mountain gorillas of Africa Said Krantz “The only way to establish that Bigfoot exists is to have a body or a significant piece of one” Retorted Cook “The death of any creature might endanger the ability of that breeding pool (to reproduce) it might push Bigfoot beyond the level of survival” Then Krantz countered “While I don’t think these things are endangered if we’re to do something to help them — maybe alter logging procedures or avoid making roads in a few places — nobody will unless we prove they exist It becomes all the more important to shoot one as soon as possible”.

Although Krantz isn’t planning to kill Bigfoot himself he says a few Bigfoot hunters are trying to get one for him In the meantime he’s looking for a Bigfoot that’s already dead He’s building a lightweight helicopter and plans to fly with an infrared heat detector over known Bigfoot country in the spring “If I could locate an area where they die during winter” he explained “in the spring when they thaw they would rot So the entire year’s supply of dud Sasquatches would be rotting and a rotting body generates heat I could pick up an Image of the rotting body on the detector’s screen” Until they’re able to actually study a Bigfoot corpse. Krantz and the other believers can only guess at what the creature is Krantz thinks it’s a descendant of Giantopithecus an apelike creature that lived a million years ago in what is now China “It’s more ape than human” Krantz said of Bigfoot “and intellectually it’s like an ape. But the locomotion the walking on the hind legs is more human There’s no indication it can reason but I think it’s a closer relative to us than to the apes”. Cook suggests that Bigfoot is a cold weather-adapted swamp-adapted genus that preceded Homo Erectus (the scientific name for Peking Man). Cook also believes Bigfoot is more intelligent than an ape but less so than Peking Man. He also contends that Bigfoot’s intelligence keeps it safe from man. That and the fact that Bigfoot is nocturnal, Marx is not a scientist but a bear tracker And he shrugs his shoulders about Bigfoot’s identity “I guess it’s just whatever it is” He tried two years ago to capture a baby Bigfoot Marx told that story as he headed up a bumpy abandoned logging road to two alpine lakes high above Burney. PlayThere he will circle the watering holes looking for Bigfoot tracks The altimeter on the dash showed Marx was nearing 7000 feet prime elevation for Bigfoot “You know” he said directing tobacco juice into a can and squeezing the jerking steering wheel “they get so darned used to us being around us that they’ve come to tolerate Peggy and me That’s the reason when that one tossed me around I didn’t feel like it was going to try to break an arm or anything I really felt for the thing because of the look in his gol-darned eyes ” Marx and his wife had been camped he said when they heard pitiful whimpers of a – sick female Bigfoot carrying a white-furred baby “First she came into our camp and we heard her crying like a baby. We spent one hell of a night there, so we moved camp and she followed us.

Then we saw a big young male. Then we saw her laying down with the baby and the baby was trying to get up We could hear the male talking Finally she got up and went into the brush” So Marx set out after the female thinking he’d snatch the infant, call Cook to fly out and see it then put it back the next day. The 400-pound male intercepted him however “He made a couple of runs at me” Marx said “but I wouldn’t get away. Finally he just come in and bowled me over three times He didn’t hurt me But he’d have had a helluva time getting that baby away from me if I could have gotten a hold of it” Marx never saw the white baby Bigfoot again and thinks it died soon after What he wants to do his legacy to the Bigfoot legend would be to find the remains of that infant to prove once and for all that the creatures exist Otherwise he wants the Bigfoot left alone. “There’s a lot of animals in this country that people don’t even know is there” Marx said “We caught one animal and called the game warden and told him we had a mountain boomer (a nocturnal rodent) He said ‘You couldn’t that’s a myth’ But then we showed him We’re out in the woods all the time We see a lot of things we don’t even -know can’t explain” Marx says most people won’t admit to things they don’t understand things that are odd And that’s why many Bigfoot sightings go unreported. But if folks want to talk they’re likely to seek out the Bigfoot Man of Burney He’s heard firsthand about kidnappings and rapes He’s met a hairy-faced woman in Alaska who says she’s one-quarter Bigfoot her grandmother allegedly was carried off by a Bigfoot and returned to the village pregnant “Then there’s this ol’ boy from over bn the coast a hippie type” Marx said chuckling “He was camping one time and this female Bigfoot wouldn’t leave him alone She kept coming around and coming around He told me he was going back to that same place this last summer and I haven’t heard from him yet Maybe they got married”

Article FROM the News Tribune Tacoma Washington, Dec, 30th, 1986

Bigfoot in the News…NorCal

Art by Steve Baxter

Jack Dover’s Bigfoot Sighting, 1880s

In the January 1887 Del Norte Record the following article told of a close encounter with Bigfoot, then called Wild Man, in the area between Marble Mountain and Happy Camp. The experiencer, Mr. Jack Dover, was considered an upstanding and trustworthy citizen with a high credibility factor.

I do not remember to have seen any references to the ‘Wild Man’ which haunts this part of the country, so I shall allude to him briefly.

Not a great while since, Mr. Jack Dover, one of our most trustworthy citizens, while hunting saw an object standing one hundred and fifty yards from the bushes.

The thing was of gigantic size – about seven feet high – with a bull-dog head, short ears and long hair; it was also furnished with a beard, and was free from hair on such parts of its body as is common among men.

Its voice was shrill, or soprano, and very human, like that of a woman in great fear. Mr. Dover could not see its foot-prints as it walked on hard soil.

He aimed his gun at the animal, or whatever it is, several times, but because it was so human would not shoot.

The range of the curiosity is between Marble Mountain and the vicinity of Happy Camp. A number of people have seen it and all agree in their descriptions except that some make it taller than others. It is apparently herbivorous and makes winter quarters in some of the caves of Marble Mountain.”

– found in The Hermit of the Siskiyous by L.W. Musick

https://activenorcal.com/a-history-of-bigfoot-sightings-in-northern-california/

http://The Hermit of Siskiyou or Swice-Old Man https://www.amazon.com/dp/1110909756/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_B0B5VASVAJ8TSBE0HT86

Steve Baxter Art:

https://flic.kr/p/2mNydRr

Melon Heads…

Sketch above from eyewitness reports…

Whenever I think of Melon Heads my mind pictures the Garbage Pail Kids. These are one of the least covered cryptids out there.

There are a few states out there that can lay a claim to these warm and fuzzy cryptids. Michigan, Ohio and Connecticut.

This version of their origins is from the great state of Connecticut. Here is the history of them according to the lore on Wikicheatia…

“The melon heads are descendants of a Colonial-era family from Shelton-Trumbull who were banished after accusations of witchcraft were made against them causing them to retreat to the woods. This variation attributes the appearance of the melon heads to inbreeding. Melon Heads allegedly prey upon humans who wander into their territory.”

I chose that tale because you know I love the history of the colonists. I can almost see this situation happenings. Many early settlements banished people and families from their settlements, it was the worst punishment because you would most likely starve or freeze to death. It’s the unthinkable taboo, but to survive they may have had to make some desperate choices.

Inbreeding could also happen amongst the banished with just a few others maybe that have also been banished. As far as cannibalism goes, they already have proof that the Jamestown Settlement had practiced cannibalism in their desperate hours before they all disappeared. Maybe when they disappeared they become melon heads too.

Moving on to the melon head tales of Ohio. From Wikipedia…

The melon heads are primarily associated with the Cleveland suburb of Kitkland. According to local lore, the melon heads were originally orphans under the watch of a mysterious figure known as Dr. Crow (sometimes spelled Crowe, Krohe or Kroh or known as Dr. Melonhead. Crow is said to have performed unusual experiments on the children, who developed large, hairless heads and malformed bodies. Some accounts claim that the children were already suffering from hydrocephalus, and that Crow injected even more fluid into their brains.

Eventually, the legend continues, the children killed Crow, burned the orphanage, and retreated to the surrounding forests and supposedly feed on babies.

And lastly the lore from Michigan. Again from Wikipedia…

The melon heads of Michigan are said to reside around Felt Mansion, although they have also been reportedly seen in southern forested areas of Ottawa County. According to one story, they were originally children with hydrocephalus who lived at the Junction Insane Asylum near Felt Mansion. The story explains that, after enduring physical and emotional abuse, they became feral and were released into the forests surrounding the asylum. The Allegan County historical Society asserts that the asylum never existed, although it was at one point a prison; however, the story has been part of the local folklore for several decades.

We know most lore has some kernel of truth in there, and all these tales have a similar theme. People abandoned, banished or runaways from society who fled to the forest. If you came upon these people in the forest you would be alarmed. If they were tortured in an asylum or infirm in some way maybe even with birth defects their appearance may be unsettling to say the least.

Did they become cannibals to survive a harsh winter? They most likely would. We have never known the harshness these people suffered through. Do I believe these melon beads are a cryptid? I’m going to say no. To many stories can be easily explained like above but when I’m visiting these states and wandering their forests I’ll keep my open…just in case.

Felt Mansion/FeltMansion.Org

Articles of note..

https://www.clickondetroit.com/features/2017/01/18/the-legend-of-the-michigan-melon-heads/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melon_heads

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocephalus

https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/the-melon-heads-of-connecticut/

https://www.wkyc.com/article/life/holidays/halloween/3news-investigates-melon-heads-kirtland/95-31c66168-e6b3-4348-a7c6-7a34127b19eb

Pictures from Google Common

Let All The Negativity Be Forgot…

“I know how much we wished and needed that 2021 ball to drop
We all hoped and prayed the covid and negativity would stop
But a glittering ball, a symbol, won’t do the trick
This is all humanities job to fix
We have to want peace
and make it so
Forget your other resolutions,
they have to go
Who cares if your thin
if you’re never happy
Who needs to plan to travel more
When covid has you laid up on the floor
Your inner peace will come
When we treat everyone like one
We are all the same on this big rock
And I’m happy to wear a mask and help stop the virus’s clock
Who would know if you bad day,
if that’s how treat people everyday anyway
Smile, live, love, laugh
Kick this negativity in the ass
I don’t care if your democratic or republican, hunter or vegan
You’re a human being and so am I
And I’ll do whatever I have to, to make sure you don’t die
I’ll also smile and
I’ll help you if you fall
If you ring I’ll answer your call
Afterwards my heart too
will feel ten foot tall
My soul is at rest
When I know I’ve done my best
I’ve treated you
how I would like to be
Open your eyes and see
See us as we are
And set yourself a higher bar
I know it’s hard to began,
hard to see through it all
But all of this starts with us
Not that big glittery ball”


Poem be me, copyright 12/21


Happy New Year everyone, and remember, let all the negative be forgot, I’m happy to be here with all of you on this big beautiful rock…
And may this be humanity’s best….

Lady of the Forest…

And she came with her siren song

“And she comes to us singing her siren song

To lure us out to the trees one by one

This lady of the forest

Is no true lady at all

She has a tail we can’t mention

And her back was made of bark and hollow

The men come back with no energy to stand

They are so weak now they can’t lift a hand

Oh how do we resist this siren foe

When she comes at night

Standing there baring all near the campfire glow

We’re doomed because there is nothing else we can see,

Nothing else we can know…”

I hope everyone is having a great Monster Monday, this monster, The Huldra or Lady of the Forest is from Swedish folklore,

She tempts men to the woods and drains them of their energy. She is said to have a tail and a hollow bark back.

Have an awesome evening…

My Weird Experiences From the Woods #1 Orbs…

Once in the Freetown Forest, I had an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t alone. I felt overwhelmed and nauseous. I want to state though, that I didn’t feel threatened, just overwhelmed. My sister snapped a pic of me that moment and got a shot of me surrounded by light with a weird clear orb near my face. (Many have seen this pic already but I’ll include here again).


I didn’t see that as it was happening, I just knew something was happening. People report strange sightings of light in the woods all over the world. And often times it is followed by, or before a bigfoot sighting, and on some occasions a UFO sighting.
Every camp in the high strangeness community has different theories as to why this phenomenon could be happening. Bigfoot is an alien, the orbs are alien. You get the idea. And really? We don’t know what’s happening. We just know something odd is happening.


If we leave out the “bigfoot is an alien” part. There is something that possibly ties all three together without the bigfoot is a flesh and bone camp and bigfoot is inter dimensional camp going at it. May even be tolerable to the Ufologists as well.
If we believe that we aren’t the only intelligent life in the universe, and we believe to that they are studying us, why would they not also be studying bigfoot? He’s a life form on this rock too is he not? Maybe the orbs in the forest ARE coming from a ufo and they are checking out the big guy too, maybe snatching up one or two of them. And while all of the insanity is happening here comes the bigfoot researcher wandering through the forest at night as he/she always does and walks right into this melee.
It is possible all could be seen together…at the same… in the same spot. This is one of the reason I never brush anyone or anything off as crazy.
And In just my final little say on what one kind of orb or light could be is, there is so much energy on this planet from life forces. So much life and death happening daily. That energy, I feel could present itself as an orb or light. Does that sound crazy to you?


Have a great Monday everyone…


Art by Steve Baxter

You can see his work and contact him here…

https://mysteriesillustrated.art/sasquatch

Photos are my own


Insane thoughts by me for another weird thing I’ve found in the woods….

Bigfoot Famous

I always knew bigfoot was beloved by many. But famous? Apparently now he is famous according to the film Bigfoot Famous and the many bigfoot sites popping up on all platforms. It’s a very exciting time to be a bigfoot enthusiast. And one of the fun ways to enjoy your favorite cryptid is through movies. After all it was movies that made so many people love and believe in them. So when I saw the add for Bigfoot Famous, I thought it was time for another movie review.

Sometimes it takes a very clever film like this to shine a light on all of us that live half their life on social media platforms…

In the film Bigfoot Famous, a YouTube sensation Coley Nation, played by Stephanie Barkley, is slowly losing views and likes and needs to find a way to get back on top. Her partner Jericho, played by Sam Milman, stumbles on a video of a recent bigfoot sighting caught on film that has gotten thousands of views and gives Coley the idea that this was her way back on top. She decides to find some guides and hit the woods and capitalize on bigfoot’s fame and bring her view count back up.

During their search for bigfoot a murder takes places with a character wearing a bigfoot costume. (I definitely don’t recommend anyone ever doing that It never ends well). All her followers turn on her and wants her to be canceled. But at the same time the other channels are using her story to get more clicks, and all those views for her channel she thought she needed start coming in.

Although a bigfoot does actually make an appearance here, it’s definitely not what this movie is about, it’s a hard hit on some people that will do literally anything for a like or a view. Some are miss leading people, some are doing dangerous things you don’t want your children see or god forbid to try. Etc. You know the jingle “what would you do for a Klondike bar? Well, there should also be one that says, “what would you do, for a like or a view?”

As far as this movie relating to the bigfoot community? Well there are so many pages, podcasts, blogs it’s hard to keep up and there are so many great ones unfortunately getting lost in the bigfoot popularity frenzy. Some groups come and go, usually the ones that only want to make a fast buck and have no real interest in the subject of bigfoot. They soon realize that this is mainly a labor of love and move on.

Unless you bring a bigfoot home it’s hard to keep those numbers up if you want to monetize your channel but since all we have in this field is our character and integrity we have to walk a fine line not to damage that for any type of popularity. Eventually the bigfoot popularity bubble will burst like it has many times throughout the decades and if you still want to be standing there when the dust blows away? The best we can do is keep it real and keep it honest.

This film was worth the watch, a cautionary tale even. And it offered some laughs along the way as it held the mirror up for us to see ourselves. I love indie films, I have a great respect for people who go out and make these movies, they have been some of my favorites and they are most definitely labors of love.

Bigfoot Famous Trailer:

https://youtu.be/FplwFvExz8I

Bigfoot in the News…Boggy Creek Monster

Fouke Monster Film Does Good BY DEBRA HALE Associated press Writer FOUKE, Ark (AP) —

He’s as tall as Wilt Chamberlain, almost as fast as a cheetah and as heavy as a gorilla. He has bushy hair, red eyes, a three-toed foot and a voice like a peacock’s. He is the legendary Fouke Monster, the main character in the movie “The Legend of Boggy Creek” starring Keith Crabree, Willie Smith and other residents of this southwest Arkansas community. Crabtree, who portrayed the monster, no longer lives in Fouke. Although the first recorded sight of the monster dates back to 1954, Smith, who plays himself in the movie and who provided the description of the monster, said his 75-year-old sister saw the creature when she was 10. it was not until last summer, though, that the Film Productions of Texarkana turned the legend into a moneymaking movie filmed in Fouke and nearby Texarkana. Producer-director Charles Pierce originally had planned to call the documentary film “Tracking the Fouke Monster.’’

The movie is called a documentary because, as its actual title suggests, the monster subject is treated as a legend. One year after the movie premiered residents of this small community, population .506. are beginning to realize that the movie could have bolstered the town’s economy if they only had acted sooner. “The people here in Fouke have missed the boat by not taking advantage of the publicity we have received and expanded on the monster theme.” said Mayor J.D. Larey of Fouke. “A novelty shop might have been the thing to bring in more money from tourists. But the people here just didn’t realize what they had when the iron was hot.”

Laney . a retired Air Force officer, noted, however, that such profits would not have had a lasting effect. One man who was involved in financial arrangements for the movie shared Larey’s opinion. “None of us dreamed that the darned thing would make the money that it did,” he said. “The man who made the movie had never made a movie in his life They guy who backed the movie had never backed a movie in his life. The people who acted in the movie had never acted before in their lives. I don’t think you could have foreseen anything like this. Laney said he receives several long-distance telephone calls and from three to 12 letters a day about the monster. Much of the mail is addressed directly to the mayor or to other city officials, but some of its is addressed to the Fouke Monster. Larey said the Post Office had decided to forward him all such mail. One such letter addressed to the “Boggy Creek Monster, Fouke. Ark.” was from a child saying she thought his movie was neat. One was to a City Official. And was from a member of the volunteer fire department in Martinsburg, W. Va The man inquired about the monster’s habitat, size and identity. The fireman said he also would “like to have some picutres of the monster. He promised to keep the information “confidential.”

Fouke residents say it is not unusual for a tourist to stop in their town to hunt for the creature in the swamp along Roggy Creek. One customer in the Boggy Creek Cafe, for example, recently said he had seen a man wandering through the swamps the previous day with a knife. The customer said the man told him he was hunting for the monster and that he had just spotted the creature’s claw print on the side of a tree trunk. “I just laughed at him.” the customer said as he drank a cup of coffee “He got mad.” Larey said, three Green Berets from Virginia recently telephoned him to ask if they could look for the monster during their leaves. Larey said he advised the men to wait until after deer hunting season. “I was afraid the game warden would pick them up.” he laughed.

The Miller County sheriff’s office does, in fact, forbid hunters to take guns into the woods to look for the monster except during deer season. They say this limits the possibility of a hunter’s shooting a human mistakenly thought to be the Fouke Monster. On Fouke’s main street, but still not far from Boggy Creek, is the Boggy Creek Cafe, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Williams. The cafe is one of two Businesses in Fouke that have capitalized on the monster. In addition to the regular menu items, a hungry customer can choose such items as the “Boggy Creek Breakfast,” a “Three-toed Sandwich” and a waffle and ice cream dessert called the “Boggy Creek Delight.” Money clips, cards, key chains, bumper stickers and ash trays with “Home of the Fouke Monster” written on them are sold behind the counter. The jukebox offers a Bobby Picket rendition of “Monster Mash.” The cafe also stock a reproduced souvenir print of what some persons say is the monster’s foot. The souvenir, autographed by Smith and Crabtree, is considerably smaller than the monster’s foot—which Smith said is 5 inches wide and 14 inches long. Mrs. Williams said 20 to 25 tourists stop by the small restaurant daily She said she never had seen the monster, but wanted to see it. “I believe there’s something out there. From the way the people I have talked to described it. Smith walked into the cafe. He saw a reporter, his eyes brightened and he started talking. Insisting that the monster was a vegetarian. Smith said he had seen it several times near his house along Boggy Creek. “First time I saw him was back in 1955. I though he was a man. I shot at him 15 times with an Army rifle, but missed him,” Smith said. “Next time he came up behind the house throwing rocks at my dog,” Smith added. “So. I shot through the brush and missed him again. ‘’The third time my wife and I were watching TV when I heard him. He slapped my dog across the porch into the screen door.” Again. Smith’s aim wasn’t too good; he said his shots missed the monster , which is said to run about 45 miles per hour . Smith said some other Fouke residents had heard the monster about two weeks ago, but that the creature didn’t sound like a peacock this time. “He was roaring and cutting up and sounded like a crazy man,”

CLIPPED FROM

The Childress Index

Childress, Texas

21 Aug 1973, Tue  •  Page 2

Roaming Free…

Bigfoot is not just a creature

He’s not just A being caught between human and primate

He’s not just a theory made up for enjoyment

It’s not just a search it’s a way of life

To get out in nature day or night

To learn and care about the environment and all gods wild babies

We may even discover a new animal out there one day

If you do, snap a picture and leave it where it lays

This search is not a job but an adventure

The people we meet, the places we go

We have a life the other working stiffs will never know

Some may never find this peace

Never have this life stress relief

We don’t spend our time at the mall

We roam and stand under trees so tall

Bigfoot is opening a door

But don’t go in it if you’re not sure

It will change your life

Even if he’s never in your sight

You must except you may never see

For he doesn’t have to show himself to you or me

He’s living his life just as he should be

Elusive, wandering and living free

Art by Candywell