OK, so this blog is about two (three?) years later than I had promised. Yeah, yeah, I know, I am a slacker. In writing this, I realize I have never put this story down on paper. It’s always been told to others, with much dramatic effect, so hopefully that won’t get lost on the written page.
- – - – -
Bigfoot. Sasquatch. I’ve always been fascinated by the legend and stories of this creature that supposedly lives in various forms all over the world. I’m not sure what got me interested in it, but ever since I was a little kid, I found whatever books, documents, stories, and research papers, basically anything I could find on the subject. All the skeptics and scientists that say Bigfoot didn’t exist, and all the friends who thought I was just plain crazy, all that never made that much of a difference to me. I always dug the idea of this unseen primitive beast who manages to stay hidden despite all of society’s technology and advances.
It was always just a hobby; I never had any real plans to actually go out in the woods hunt for one, considering that growing up in the deserts of Phoenix kinda made that impossible. Plus, some of the freaky stories of encounters I had read made me think there was no way I would ever sit huddled by myself in a tent at 2 am and listen for proof of Bigfoot.” Terrifying animal screams breaking the silence, followed by sounds of branches being torn down by something huge and powerful, all that in the dead of night? Yeah, no thanks. I’ve had my share of strange things happen in the forests of Northern Arizona and that was more than enough for me. I settled for staying up late reading personal accounts of sightings, from books with nightmare-inducing language like "Here are the true facts you should know about the controversial creature that may be lurking near your town – at this very moment." Nice, huh?
OK, so this creature, this monster, it’s not just a goofy creation of good ‘ol USA hillbillies; it has been seen in many countries worldwide and in all sorts of frightening forms. It’s known as Yeti in the Himalayas, Yeren in China. The Yowie-Whowie in Australia. In Native American culture, the creature goes by the name Chiye-tanka (roughly translated to great elder brother) or "the big man". And in Missouri, the MoMo – the Midwest’s version of Sasquatch. It apparently has orange eyes, a large pumpkin-shaped head, three-fingered claws and leaves three-toed footprints, and, unlike the shy Bigfoot, this aggressive creature was known to kill dogs and terrorize humans. Sounds fantastic, yes? There were actually plans for a MoMo action figure by Nevermore Creations, but the line was eventually canceled.
Sightings of the Momo (short for Missouri Monster) have been reported since the 1940s, but it was the 1972 sighting in Louisiana, Mo, that attracted all the press. Since then, there have been sightings in 29 counties throughout the state. But mysterious creatures aren’t the only topic of local folklore; that area has had its share of oddities dating back to the 1940s. UFOs, strange floating lights at night, fireballs in the sky, mysterious deaths. The haunted Zombie Road. The phantom man of River Road. A woman’s unexplained midnight screams from an abandoned lime kiln along the Salt River. And this – during the winter of 1954, a couple was found dead in a car along the roadside. The woman sat on the passenger side and seemed to be asleep. The man looked like he was hiding, curled up under the steering wheel and was completely naked. His clothing was found on the highway, 20 feet behind the car and folded neatly. Their deaths listed as "asphyxiation", even though the window on the driver’s side was open in ten-degree-below-zero weather. And here you thought Missouri was just full of meth labs.
At this point you’re thinking, ok, great, so there’s some weird stuff and a Bigfoot-type monster hanging out in Missouri, so what doe this have to do with me, right? Trust me, we’re just getting started…