(Historic) Fouke Monster
The Fouke Monster is a legendary cryptid reported near the town of Fouke in Miller County, Arkansas during the early 1970s, where it 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 death of local livestock. Later, sightings were made several hundred miles to the north and the east of Fouke.
The creature was named by journalist Jim Powell, who reported on it for the Texarkana Gazette and the Texarkana Daily News. The Fouke Monster has been the subject of several films and a number of books. It has been speculated that it might be a bear, a mountain lion, a relation of bigfoot, or a previously unknown form of hominid.
- Ford Family Sighting
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- Growing Legend
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Ford Family Sighting
The Texarkana Daily News reported on Monday 3rd May 1971, that Texarkana resident Bobby Ford claimed that the creature attacked him at his home shortly before midnight Saturday May 1st 1971, and was later treated at St. Michael's Hospital for minor scratches and mild shock before being released.
"After the thing grabbed me and I broke free, I was moving so fast I didn't stop to open the door. I just ran through it." Ford said.
The "creature" was described by Ford as being about seven feet tall and about three feet wide across the chest. "At first I thought it was a bear but it runs upright and moves real fast." he said.
Ford, his brother Don, and Charles Taylor saw the creature several times shortly after midnight and shot at it seven times with a shotgun.
"It first started Wednesday when our wives heard something walking around on the porch. Then Friday night about midnight the thing tried to break into the house again.
"Last night it tried to get in again." Don Ford said.
Elizabeth Ford said she was sleeping in the front room of the frame house when, "I saw the curtain moving on the front window and a hand sticking through the window. At first I thought it was a bear's paw but it didn't look like that. It had heavy hair all over it and it had claws. I could see its eyes. They looked like coals of fire ... real red," she said. "It didn't make any noise, except you could hear it breathing."
Ford said they spotted the creature in back of the house with the aid of a flashlight. "We shot several times at it then and then called Ernest Walraven, constable of Fouke. He brought us another shotgun and a stronger light. We waited on the porch and then saw the thing closer to the house. We shot again and thought we saw it fall. Bobby, Charles and myself started walking to where we saw it fall." he said.
About that time, according to Don Ford, they heard the women in the house screaming and Bobby went back.
"I was walking the rungs of a ladder to get up on the porch when the thing grabbed me. I felt a hairy arm come over my shoulder and the next thing I knew we were on the ground. The only thing I could think about was to get out of there. The thing was breathing real hard and his eyes were about the size of a half dollar and real red."
"I finally broke away and ran around the house and through the front door. I don't know where he went." Bobby Ford said.
"We heard Bobby shouting and by the time we got there everything was over. We didn't see a thing." Don Ford said.
Everyone at the house said they saw the creature moving in the fields close to the house. All said it could move fast.
 Investigation The Ford's claimed to have shot the creature seven times and thought that they had at least wounded it. They told the reporter that they had used all their ammunition, but when investigators later combed the scene, no blood was found.
Fouke Constable Ernest Walraven said he was called to the scene about 12:35 a.m. (Sunday, May 2) and searched the area without finding anything. "I looked through the surrounding fields and woods for about an hour. Then, I gave them my shotgun and light. A short time later they called back and told me they had shot at it again. I went back and stayed until 5 a.m.
All that remained Sunday morning at the Ford house was several strange tracks that appeared to be left by something with three toes and several scratch marks on the front porch that appeared to have been made by something with three claws.
Reporter James Powell said he researched the story thoroughly, finding printed sources for earlier sightings in the 1960s.
Less than three weeks later, reporter Powell was working another sighting. The headline in the Monday, May 24 edition of the Daily News read: "Monster is spotted by Texarkana group."
The Fouke 'monster' has been seen again, the first sentence began. It continued outlining the sighting of a large hairy creature about midnight Saturday crossing the highway about two miles south of Fouke. What follows are the eyewitness accounts excerpted from the story:
Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Woods Jr., and Mrs. R. H. Sedgass all of Texarkana, who were returning from Shreveport said the creature crossed the highway in front of their automobile.
"It was hunched over and running upright. It had long dark hair and looked real large. It didn't look too tall, but I guess that's because it was bent over. It was swinging its arms kind of like a monkey does."
"I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but there it was. My husband turned to me after it crossed the road and asked me if I saw it too." Mrs. Wilma Woods said.
Mrs. Woods said when the creature started across the highway, "We were just awed.
"It was just unbelievable what we saw. I had been reading about the thing but thought it was just a hoax. Now I know it's true. It wasn't a bear." she said.
Woods said when he first noticed the creature he thought he was going to hit it.
"It was really moving fast across the highway, faster than a man. I thought we were going to hit it. The thing didn't act like it even noticed us. It didn't look at the car."
"It looked like a giant monkey in a way. It had dark long hair and, I would guess, it would weigh well over 200 pounds." he said.
Mrs. Sedgass, who was riding in the back seat of the Woods automobile said, "I heard them say they saw the thing and glanced up. All I saw was a large shadow as it entered the woods to our right. I don't know what it was, but it was something big. Some people don't think there is anything to it (the monster) but I do."
Powell dubbed the creature the 'Fouke Monster', and the Associated Press and United Press International both picked up the story and transmitted it to member newspapers across the nation.
Rumors circulated that a circus train had derailed along the Sulphur River bottoms years before and the sightings were merely animals that had escaped and gone wild. This and other monster stories had a snowballing effect.
Soon teams of monster hunters descended on the city, and calls and letters from interested parties flooded local officials' phone lines and desks.
"My desk, too," Powell said. "it got to be quite a show down there."
Greer, who was the Miller County Sheriff from 1967 to 1974, said he first heard of the monster as early as 1946.
"I was campaigning for tax assessor and stopped to talk to a lady sitting on her front porch," he said. "She lived about halfway between Fouke and the Below Bridge. She told me that she saw some kind of animal go down in the field in a low, bushy place. She said it looked kind of like a man, and walked like a man, but she didn't think it was a man."
Greer never gave much consideration to the report until the 1971 sightings.
Interest eventually began to wane, but the coming of the movie "The Legend of Boggy Creek" three years later refuelled the story, bringing all the activity back to town.
Texarkana Gazette Texarkana Daily News - May 3rd 1971
Lyle Blackburn has become the main archivist of all things related to the Fouke Monster, check out his books through his website at the following link.