Frame 352 of the Patterson-Gimlin Film

In the News

Monster Madness: Hairy Tourist Plagues Police

Nashville Banner -- August 24, 1965

Murfreesboro --- Disgruntled Rutherford County officers are scurrying hither and yon in what promises to be their hairiest investigation in years.

Police are inclined to scoff at the seriousness of the "case" but some county residents are convinced the area has a new visitor who possesses none of the characteristics desirable in a neighbor.

A MONSTER has descended upon a usually quiet and peaceful area and Lascassas, a few miles east of here.

The "monster" --- be it Neanderthal Man, escaped animal, space creature, Abominable Snowman, rock 'n roll artist or even teen-age prankster --- is the most talked-about event here since the invention of the automatic churn.

The frantic search began Sunday night when at least three persons reported seeing the "monster," described as a hairy seven-footer, in an area near Brown's Mill Road. Other reports poured in Monday.

Sheriff W.H. (Bill) Wilson, who dispatched patrol cars in a futile hunt for the intruder, said the descriptions would fit those of an ape.

"I don't think there's anything to it," the sheriff said this morning. "People can get to looking for something and see what ever they want to.

"Well, they weren't drunk, anyway," the sheriff added.

Others, however, are certain that "something" strange is prowling the area. As in most such cases, "Those who've seen it believe it and those who haven't, don't," one witness declared.

Roy Hudson, 13, saw the monster about 7 p.m. Sunday night with a relative, Terry Ring, as they drove along Brown's Mill Road.

"We saw this thing walking along from one side of the road to another," the youth told the BANNER today. "We drove down the road and turned around...we were sure scared...and when we came back we passed about three yards from it. It jumped over a five-foot fence and tore the fence down."

Roy described the monster as being about seven feet tall and about four and a half feet around the waist. It was covered with long, reddish-brown hair and had teeth about three inches long, he added.

"I know what a bear looks like," the youth said, "and it wasn't that."

Roy said the monster had a "pug nose" like an ape.

The boy said two other area residents, Terry Lester, 16, and Dorris Barrett, about 21, saw the creature later in the night and "shined a light in its face."

Monday, he returned to the scene with some youthful friends, Roy said. "They didn't believe it and I took them back. We found tracks on the road and in a ditch. The feet had three toes and a funny kind of heel," he said.

"Somebody else called Monday and said they saw it 'taking a bath' in a mill pond at Hall's Hill (about five miles from the Sunday night incident)," Sheriff Wilson said. "We didn't check it out, though."

The first sighting was by the Hudson youth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hudson, and Ring, employe [sic] of a Murfreesboro electrical firm. Barrett, who said the monster was bent over in some bushes when his automobile lights outlined it, reported he "flew home" and called the sheriff.

Deputy Clarence Sanders was sent to the scene and, finding nothing, was returning to Murfreesboro when Barrett caught him nine miles from town. Another patrol car was called by radio and Deputies [sic] L.D. McKnight joined the search.

The official investigation goes on and unofficial talk most assuredly is gaining momentum and if a "monster" is prowling Rutherford County he can be assured of one thing -- he is the most sought-after celebrity to visit here in many years.