Farmer City, Illinois
Bigfoot, the mysterious ape-like creature, has been a part of North American lore long before Europeans first stepped foot on these shores. Practically every state in the United States has stories of people encountering these beasts. Although most of the sightings come from the Pacific Northwest, Illinois boasts more sightings of this hirsute cryptid than any other state east of the Mississippi. Whatever this creature is, it appears to call the woods and hills of the Prairie State home. In the spring of 1970, one of these giants stepped out of the woods of southern Illinois and kept the community of Farmer City on edge.
The terror began in spring of 1970 when a farmer awakened to a frightening scene. Sometime during the overnight hours, an unknown, bloodthirsty creature tore three of his sheep to pieces. Distraught over the slaughter, the man contacted the sheriff’s office, and a deputy was immediately dispatched. After looking at the carnage, the deputy admonished the farmer that he needed to secure his animals better as this was obviously the work of wild dogs. The farmer knew a dog attack when he saw one and no matter what the cop said, he knew that was no dog attack.
Not long after the attack on the farmer’s sheep, a group of teenagers at a local “lovers’ lane” near Salt Creek encountered the thing that may have killed the sheep. While hanging out and drinking a few beers, the group of kids had the uncomfortable feeling something was watching them. Suddenly, a repugnant odor that smelled of trash filled the air assaulting their senses. When one of the boys turned his headlights on, they received the fright of their young lives.
Staring at them, from just beyond the tree line, was a tall, hairy humanoid with piercing yellow eyes. When one of the girls let out a bloodcurdling shriek, the creature turned and hurried off into the woods. The girls demanded to be taken home and the boys were all too happy to oblige.
After taking their dates home, the boys returned to the site and caught another glimpse of the creature. As they sat watching the large shadow moving about in the woods, the boys decided it would be a good idea to report whatever this was to the police.
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When the police arrived, the creature had left the scene, however two pieces of evidence were found. A nest made up of mud, leaves and sticks was located and the stench of the monster hung heavy and thick in the air. Regrettably, the beast was long gone, but it wouldn’t be its last appearance.
Throughout the that spring, the sleepy town of Farmer City was ground zero for sightings of the beast. A local police officer, Robert Hayslip, witnessed the creature walk directly in front of his patrol car. And a week later a pair of hikers saw the creature bathing in Salt Creek. At first, they thought it was a bear looking for food, but when it noticed it was being watched, the creature stood to its full height of eight feet and ran off.
With many sightings coming from Salt Creek, Conservation officers went out to the creek to have a look. They were of course understandably skeptical until they made a shocking discovery. Along the muddy banks of the creek, they found a line of unusually large human-like footprints. Falling back on their many years with the animals that called the area home, they concluded that they were dealing with a complete unknown.
Encounters with the Farmer City monster continued as it appeared to be heading northwest. A group of construction workers on their early morning commute saw the creature on the side of the road. The last known sighting was reported by a Waynesville man who saw it in his backyard. After that, the creature known as the Farmer City Monster was never seen again.
Skeptics are typically quick in dismissing reports of large, hairy bipeds as nothing more than misidentified animals. This is a correct assumption in an overwhelming majority of reports. Yet the reports of the Monster of Salt Creek are a bit different. With all the credible witnesses, among them police and conservation officers, the case becomes a little harder to dismiss. Whatever the beast was, it never returned to Farmer City – at least not yet.
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