Southern Sasquatch, Boggy Creek Monster)
|First reported||1971 (first media coverage),
1946 (local legend)
The Fouke Monster, also known as the Southern Sasquatch, is a legendary cryptid reported near the town of Fouke in Miller County, Arkansas, during the early 1970s. The creature was accused of attacking a local family. Initial sightings of the creature were concentrated in the Jonesville/Boggy Creek area, where it was blamed for the destruction of local livestock. Later, sightings were made several hundred miles to the north and the east of Fouke.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Chronology
- 3 Criticism
- 4 Books
- 5 Films
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Various reports between 1971 and 1974 described the creature as being a large hominid-like creature covered in long dark hair, which was estimated to be about 7 feet (2 m) tall with a weight of 250–300 pounds (110–140 kg). Witnesses said that its chest was about 3 feet (1 m) wide. Later reports, published during the early 1980s, claimed that it was far larger, with one report describing it as 10 feet (3 m) tall, with an estimated weight of 800 pounds (360 kg).
Some accounts describe the Fouke Monster as running swiftly with a galloping gait and swinging its arms in a fashion similar to a monkey. Reports also describe it as having a terrible odor, the odor being described as a combination of a skunk and a wet dog, and as having bright red eyes about the size of silver dollars.[note 1]
A variety of tracks and claw marks have been discovered which are claimed to belong to the creature. One set of foot prints reportedly measured 17 inches (43 cm) in length and 7 inches (18 cm) wide, while another appeared to show that the creature only had three toes.
Although most cases date from the early 1970s onwards, Fouke residents claim that an ape-like creature had roamed the area since 1964, but those sightings had not been reported to news services. Local legend also holds that the creature can be further traced back to sightings in 1946. Most early sightings were in the region of Jonesville. Owing to this, the creature was known as the "Jonesville Monster" during this period.
According to Elizabeth Ford, the creature, which she initially took to be a bear, reached through a screen window while she was sleeping on a couch. It was chased away by her husband and his brother Don, who were returning from a hunting trip. The creature returned shortly after midnight (Sunday, May 2), when it was reported to have grabbed Bobby Ford across the shoulders as he stood on the porch, throwing him to the ground. Bobby managed to crawl free from the creature and was later treated at St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, Texas, for scratches across his back. He was suffering from mild shock when he arrived.
During the encounters, the Fords fired several shots at the creature and believed that they had hit it, though no traces of blood were found. An extensive search of the area failed to locate the creature, but three-toed footprints were found close to the house, scratch marks on the porch, and some damage to a window and the house's siding.
According to the Fords, they had heard something moving around outside late at night several nights before their encounter but, having lived in the house for less than a week, had never encountered the creature before.
The creature was spotted again on May 23, 1971, when three people, D. C. Woods, Jr., Wilma Woods, and Mrs. R. H. Sedgass, reported seeing an ape-like creature crossing U.S. Highway 71. More sightings were made over the following months by local residents and tourists, who found additional footprints. The best known footprints were found in a soybean field belonging to local filling station owner Scott Keith. They were scrutinized by game warden Carl Galyon, who was unable to confirm their authenticity. Like the Ford prints, they appeared to indicate that the creature had only three toes.
The creature began to attract substantial interest during the early 1970s. Soon after news spread about the Ford sighting, the Little Rock, Arkansas, radio station KAAY posted a $1,090 bounty on the creature. Several attempts were made to track the creature with dogs, but they were unable to follow its scent. When hunters began to take interest in the Fouke Monster, Miller County Sheriff Leslie Greer was forced to put a temporary "no guns" policy in place in order to preserve public safety. In 1971, three people were fined $59 each "for filing a fraudulent monster report."
After an initial surge of attention, public interest in the creature decreased until 1973. It was boosted significantly when Charles B. Pierce released a documentary-style horror feature on the creature in 1972, The Legend of Boggy Creek. By late 1974, interest had waned again and sightings all but stopped, only to begin again in March 1978 when tracks were reportedly found by two brothers prospecting in Russellville, Arkansas (location:). There were also sightings in Center Ridge, Arkansas (location:). On June 26 of that same year, a sighting was reported in Crossett, Arkansas (location:).
During this period the creature was blamed for missing livestock and attacks on several dogs.
Since the initial clusters of sightings during the 1970s, there have been sporadic reports of the creature. In 1991 the creature was reportedly seen jumping from a bridge. There were forty reported sightings in 1997 and, in 1998, the creature was reportedly sighted in a dry creek bed 5 miles (8 km) south of Fouke.
More recent sightings from 2000–2010 were brought to light by Lyle Blackburn's 2012 book, The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster. In one case, a married couple saw a large, hairy bipedal creature run across a county road near Fouke in 2010.
One month after the Ford sighting, Southern State College (currently known as Southern Arkansas University) archaeologist Dr. Frank Schambach determined that "There is a 99 percent chance the tracks are a hoax."
According to Schambach, the tracks could not be from a species of ape, or apeman, as claimed by witnesses, because they were from a three-toed creature, whereas all primates and hominids have had five toes. In addition to the number of toes, Schambach cited several other anomalies as part of his conclusion: the region had no history of primate activity, ruling out the possibility of the creature being the remnants of an indigenous species; all primates are completely diurnal, the Fouke Monster appeared to be partially nocturnal.
By 1986, the mayor of Fouke, Virgil Roberts, and former Miller County Sheriff Leslie Greer, were of the opinion that the alleged Fouke Monster tracks were man-made. Greer's working colleague at that time, Chief Deputy H. L. Phillips, said that he had not taken calls regarding the monster in years. Personally, he does not believe the creature exists. "...I don't believe in it. But I'd say you don't argue with people who say they've seen it. Many were respectable and responsible folks," Phillips said.
The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster
This is Lyle Blackburn's comprehensive guide to the Fouke Monster. The book covers the history of the Fouke Monster and the making of the 1972 horror docudrama, The Legend of Boggy Creek, including information on little-known sightings of the creature since the 1980s.
The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)
The story of Bobby Ford's encounter with the Fouke Monster was the subject of a 1972 semi-factual, documentary-style horror feature, The Legend of Boggy Creek (initially titled Tracking the Fouke Monster), which played in movie and drive-in theaters around the country. It was written by Earl E. Smith and directed by Charles B. Pierce. The part of Bobby Ford was played by Glenn Carruth and the part of Elizabeth Ford was played by Bunny Dees. Fouke Garage owner Willie E. Smith, on whose land three-toed footprints were found, starred as himself. Many characters were named after the people who played them. Much of the film was shot on location in Fouke and nearby Texarkana, though some scenes also were filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana. Most of the cast were local people or Texarkana college students. The film is believed to have cost $160,000 to make. It grossed $20 million at the box office.
Return to Boggy Creek (1977)
A second Fouke Monster film, Return to Boggy Creek, was filmed and released in 1977. The movie had an entirely fictional plot and was not intended to be a sequel. It was directed by Tom Moore, written by John David Woody, and starred Dawn Wells as the mother of three children who become lost in the swamp. Some of the film's scenes were shot on location in Dallas, Texas, and Loreauville and Iberia Parish, Louisiana.
Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues (1985)
Originally titled The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II, the third Fouke Monster film was written as a sequel to the original film. Charles B. Pierce wrote, directed, and played the role of Brian Lockart, a University of Arkansas professor who leads a group of students into the swamps around Fouke. The film was shot on location in Fouke but included some scenes shot at the University of Arkansas.
Boggy Creek: The Legend Is True (2010)
Boggy Creek: The Legend Is True was released to home video in 2011. Early buzz suggested that the film, directed by Brian T. Jaynes, was to be a remake of Charles B. Pierce's original 1972 film. However, it is an unrelated story set in the fictional town of Boggy Creek, Texas. Even so, the film obviously draws influence from Pierce's film with its small-town setting and use of spooky swampscapes for this Southern Sasquatch horror slasher.
The Legacy of Boggy Creek (2011)
This low-budget indie film was originally released in 2009 under the title The Skunkape Story, but was later re-edited and released to home video in 2011 as The Legacy of Boggy Creek. The docudrama chronicles the events that began after the original attacks in Fouke. It was written and directed by Dustin Ferguson.
- Silver dollar coins minted in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) in diameter.
- Thibodeau, Sunni (2001-06-24). "The Fouke Monster 30 Years Later: Ex-journalists recall sifting fact from Fouke fiction after sighting". Texarkana Gazette. Archived from the original on 2003-08-03. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Newton, Michael (2005). "Fouke Monster". Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 161–162. ISBN 978-0-7864-2036-0.
- Farish, Lou (1981-10-25). "Fouke Monster Still Alive and Well". Arkansas Democrat. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- "Fouke fields combed in search of monster". Texarkana Gazette. 1971-05-03.
- Daily Courier (Russellville). 1978-03-12.
- Green, John Willison (1978). Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us (1st ed.). Saanichton, B.C.; Seattle, WA: Hancock House. ISBN 978-0-888-39018-9.
- Ogilvie, Craig (2002-10-08). "Legendary Arkansas Monsters Have Deep Roots in History". Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Crabtree, Julius E. "Smokey" (1974). Smokey and The Fouke Monster. Fouke, AR: Day's Creek Production Corp. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-970-16320-2.
- Thibodeau, Sunni (2001-06-24). "Crabtree book still generates interest". Texarkana Gazette. Archived from the original on 2003-08-03. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- "Monster may be mountain lion". Texarkana Daily News. 1971-05-03.
- "'Creature' attacked, victim says". Arkansas Gazette. 1971-05-04. Archived from the original on 2002-10-15. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Powell, Jim (2001-06-24). "The Fouke Monster: A look at how the media recorded the reports of the 1971 alleged sighting of a large creature in rural Miller County, Ark.". Texarkana Gazette. Archived from the original on 2003-08-03. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Arkansas Democrat. 1971-05-03.
- Powell, Jim (1971-05-24). "'Monster' is spotted by Texarkana group". Texarkana Daily News. Archived from the original on 2002-10-21. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Powell, Barry (1971-06-16). "He's been sighted again: Monster — a monkey's uncle". Texarkana Gazette.
- "Tracks of the incredible three-toed Fouke Monster". Arkansas Gazette. 1971-06-16. Retrieved 2006-10-01.[dead link]
- "Fouke — Russellville". Google Maps. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- "Fouke — Center Ridge". Google Maps. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Log Cabin Democrat (Conway). 1978-03-13.
- "Fouke — Crossett". Google Maps. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- The News Observer (Crossett). 1978-07-12.
- "Stories of ghosts, monsters, unexplained phenomena haunt Arkansas". USA Today. 2005-10-31. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- "Ozark Mountain Legends: Boggy Creek Monster". Legends of America. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Blackburn, Lyle (2012). The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster. San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books. ISBN 978-1-933-66557-3.
- "The Fouke Hoax?". Texarkana Gazette. 1971-06-17. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- Charton, Scott (1986-07-21). "15 Summers After Tracks Found, Fouke Monster Called Hoax". Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- "Community Caught By Surprise: Legendary Monster Becomes Money-Maker". The Victoria Advocate. 1973-08-23. p. 7C.
- Thibodeau, Sunni (2001-06-24). "Monstermania: 30 years hence: 'Legend of Boggy Creek' considered a cult classic". Texarkana Gazette. Archived from the original on 2003-08-03. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
- The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) at the Internet Movie Database
- "Charles B. Pierce, Director of ‘Boggy Creek,’ Dies at 71". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2010-03-10. p. B18. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "The Legend of Boggy Creek, Worldwide Box Office". Worldwide Box Office. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- Return to Boggy Creek (1977) at the Internet Movie Database
- Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1985) at the Internet Movie Database
- "Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues...". Mystery Science Theater 3000. Season 10. Episode 6. 1999-05-09. Sci-Fi Channel.
- Boggy Creek (2010) at the Internet Movie Database
- "Boggy Creek - Coming in 2010". Archived from the original on 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- James (2009-12-22). "My Review of The Skunkape Story (2009)". horrormoviecentral.weebly.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Fouke Monster: The Beast and the Legend of Boggy Creek: Movies...". Monstro Bizarro Productions. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- The Legacy of Boggy Creek (Video 2011) at the Internet Movie Database
- Thompson, Amy Michelle. "Fouke Monster". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- Zullo, Allan (1997). The Ten Creepiest Creatures In America. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Communications, L.L.C. ISBN 978-0-816-74288-2.
- "Fouke Monster: The Beast and the Legend of Boggy Creek" at the "home of the Fouke Monster" (Monstro Bizarro Productions)
- "Haunted Arkansas: Legendary Monsters" at the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism