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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Author's encounters with Mysterious Monsters

   As far back as I can remember, watching films in the seventies as a Kid, information flooded my mind about Bigfoot. Others that stuck with me over the years are The Abominable Snowman and Loch Ness Monster, also known as Nessie from Documentaries such as MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS And SASQUATCH.

What child growing up in the seventies and eighties did not cringe at the thought of some big hairy hand reaching through a screen window, or perhaps the lurking fear of something unknown hiding and watching just under some pool of murky water .Both Bigfoot and Nessie physically resemble creatures we all think of as long since extinct and primitive; the fact that something prehistoric “could” still exist makes it all the more real and exciting.

 Over the years many documentaries have shown ‘’high tech ‘’attempts at proving the existence of Bigfoot and/or Nessie with various sensors and sound recording equipment. The famous 1967 Paterson/Gimlin film was of course always rolled out as the centerpiece of the program. As of this writing nothing concrete has surfaced, but the thought of a hairy man beast in the woods still persists.

             The earliest incident that I can remember to date, that solidified my interest in such things happened when I was about four or five years old, while visiting the fair in  my hometown of Owingsville Ky.  There was a white covered trailer with a PA system there; it was a traveling exhibit and over the speakers was a recording of scary, but enticing music; a man’s voice repeating the story of how a mysterious hairy manlike creature that had been found in a block of ice and the body was on display in a freezer inside the trailer. My Sister Bess and her friend, who both were six years older than me, went in with curiosity. My Mom offered to buy me a ticket as well, but I was too scared and stayed outside with her.

Later my sister described the glass and ice encased corpse in the display as looking as though it was made out of, ‘’Tootsie Roll.” Assuming this to meant she thought it was definitely a fake. The fact she thought it was a fake didn’t mean much to me, I’m still kicking myself to this day that I missed a rare once in a lifetime opportunity to have seen the famous MINNISOTA ICEMAN.  Despite my balking, fear quickly turned into thrill and amazement. I was hooked, and I could not stop thinking about a possible frozen body in the trailer. Even more so, I rapidly became intrigued by all things macabre and mysterious.

From Then on the more adults or other children tried to scare me with weird stories, the more of a lasting impression it made. I can remember a neighborhood boy who once attempted to scare little kids at the shallow end of a swimming pool by dragging his arms in an apelike manner; he was just playing around rising up out of the water and saying BOGGY CREEK! BOGGY CREEK! I had just days before seen the poster for the movie Boggy Creek 2 with the dark silhouetted long armed  simian splashing through a swamp[which is hard to get out of one’s mind once you’ve seen the poster ] and wondered to myself, ‘could such a thing actually be real.’

Not getting to see the original BOGGY CREEK until years later as an adult, it finally came out on VHS and then I had my chance. It is still a good movie today even though shot in not so flattering 16mm film, this works to its advantage as the filmmakers only showed grainy distance shots of the shambling creature, thus heightening the imagination of the viewer.  

ZILPO: Recent photo of The approximate spot where I saw a black thing standing by the road .In The 80's it was all gravel and the sighting took place on a dark summer night  in heavy greenery .

          Like many others of my generation, the idea of something being out in the dark was not just great movie material, but it was more about the possibilities. The possibility that in ones on backyard, there could be something unknown lurking. It was not until the 1987 movie HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, did the image of  Bigfoot as a placid, smiling and close up in your face endangered forest creature [that endures to this day ] get implanted into the public consciences. I am not saying instead Bigfoot should be feared, but you see the pattern here?  There has been so much media driven material it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.

         If such a creature exists, it has yet to be captured [or a body hauled in to a city hall.]The Eastern Sasquatch often is reported to have somewhat different physical characteristics than the Pacific variety. It’s possible it is even a separate creature. The Fouke Arkansas monster [Boggy Creek], Missouri MOMO, The Ohio Grassman, and the Florida Skunk Ape are some of the catchy names of Eastern hairy monsters that are often reported being seen in the areas. So where do the Myths, Movies and Media Hype end and the facts begin? I know in Kentucky There are frequent sightings and just as frequent the witnesses fail to report the incident out of fear of ridicule.

Convinced that since there are regular sightings  reported in other places, there are just as many in Ky. It is my observation that Kentuckians are often of the type of people not wanting to get involved with the unknown or things misunderstood. I believe this to be a kind of Apathy born from the standpoint that since Kentucky unfortunately has been in the past, an often overlooked state. One grows up with the notion that ‘since nothing one does will matter in the big scheme of things what’s the point. Also Many desperately wish to really avoid ‘hick stereotypes’ and negative attention.

This attitude may be changing slowly as sightings are becoming more viral on the internet and mainstream on television. While looking over forum postings of sightings [ often relating events that took place years before the advent of the internet ] I find  For the most part there is still little to follow up on. For more recent Sightings The Best part is  you often get  a first-hand witness and no News reporters getting in the way, This  strips away the ‘hype.’ The Net has been a great thing for Crypto zoology no matter what; it allows the researcher unlimited access to details and reports. In the past Flaps of sightings might occur, 911 may be called and even the occasional TV crew would interview a witness, but that is where it would end, that is unless you saved a news clipping or videotaped a broadcast.What is Bigfoot? Does he exist at all? There are all kinds of theories. I believe it makes sense to not adopt any particular belief system or position until more facts appear. I have always tried to remain a skeptic; I have found it is a healthy attitude when one has an interest in exploring the strange and the unexplained. That being said, I have seen some very strange things over the years and had the opportunity to meet credible witnesses.

When I was seventeen years old I saw something I will never forget. It was in the area of Cave Run Lake, known as Zilpo. I was on a camping trip with a couple of buddies who we will call  Kevin 1 and Kevin 2.We had been riding around all night in a old white Chevy pick-up, “Country cruzin’,” we called it. Our Final destination was to go to nearby Clear Creek camp grounds and set up camp. However, we then decided to go to Zilpo Beach first. In those days the road to Zilpo was gravel, narrow and less accessible than it is today. We were down on the beach at night, no one else was around and we were playing war games. We had on Camo, web gear, and it was particularly popular past time for many kids in our High school to stage various types of Vietnam and Navy Seals type games. 
 It was getting late ,about 3 AM so we loaded into the truck and drove back up the steep winding road back to Clear creek, which was about eight miles away. Soon, as I drove up the road, in the headlights I spotted something as I drove by slowly. It was visible only from the chest up as it was in high brush and vines. It was obvious it was absolutely jet black and it stood out among the bright green foliage. It looked like the shape of a man but covered in not hair but black glossy short fur like a black bear. I could only see half of the face as I looked out the window. It had to be no less than ten feet from the truck. The face even in the dark, showed a strong brow ridge, like that of primitive man. As far as body language goes it appeared that it was staring angrily at us as though it had been in the process of crossing the road but now had to be very still. It may have just been my impression, but I felt like it was somehow drawn to us since we had been making a lot of noise playing on the nearby beach. The things appearance was like a wild animal but ultimately like a man also. It was wide shouldered but since it was in the woods I could not tell the height of the creature.


 My Illustration of what I saw.


            After I passed it I turned to my passengers and said ‘’tell me you saw that.’’ Kevin 1, who was sitting in the middle of the bench seat just stared at me with wide eyes and nodded affirmatively. At that same moment Kevin 2, who had apparently been staring out the passenger window in the total opposite direction blurted out, “what, what?!’’ He was looking all around but we were past it. We were still moving, now rounding a bend. I replied, ‘’It looked like Sasquatch.’’ Kevin 1 nodded in agreement. We drove on into the night, I don’t think we discussed the incident further, it was late and we wanted to find a camping area.

              Now, why I did not back up and take another look I don’t know. I continue to kick myself for these failed attempts at exploration. One reason may have been the road was narrow and slippery and it was a two wheel drive, long bed truck and I did not want to lose momentum; there were also steep curves and it was dark with remote surroundings. Who knows really? Another possible explanation could be is what one witnesses out of the ordinary and unexpected can sometimes experience what is known as a temporary mental block. It is a kind of option paralysis that witnesses report after the fact.

            I have been back to the area many times since to look around and it has been difficult to pinpoint the exact spot where it was standing. I have taken trails and walks all over the hills above the road, but I have yet to see tracks or any signs, however, this did not end up being the end of my story with strange things in the woods.   
The Very Crest of the hill above Zilpo, few ever hike there.


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