Miller County, Arkansas. 1971. Bobby Ford was standing on his porch on a cool evening. Suddenly, a creature the size of a bear grabbed him and threw him to the ground. Ford managed to flee and quickly found his gun. He unleashed a volley of bullets but none had any effect. Nobody knew what that creature was. If it was a bear, it was unlike any bear anyone had seen before. All the locals had to go on were a few scratch marks on the porch and on Ford’s back, some minor damage to Ford’s house and mysterious three-toed footprints leading off into the dark, dark woods…
May 23, 1971. Three people reported a sighting of a very large ape-like creature crossing Highway 71. Whatever it was, it matched Ford’s description of the creature that attacked him. And these sightings weren’t the last. Over the following months, more and more witnesses came forward with reports of a strange beast, and, again, the only evidence, those infamous three-toed footprints.
In the early 1970s, the radio station KAAYposted a $1,090 bounty on the creature. Hunting parties with dogs and guns scrambled to find the elusive monster. So many, in fact, that county sheriff Leslie Greer ordered a temporary ‘no guns’ policy to ensure public safety.
All went quiet until 1978, when a spate of sightings and tracks were spotted across Arkansas. People began to blame the creature for attacks on livestock and dog fatalities. It wasn’t seen again until 13 years later, when a couple reportedly saw it jumping from a bridge. Between 1997 and 1998, there were 40 sightings across the state. And the sightings have never really stopped. As recently as 2010, one couple saw a large, hairy and bipedal creature run across a road near Fouke.
Most believe it’s all a hoax. Former chief deputy H.L. Phillips once said, “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.” Indeed, all the evidence of the creature is purely anecdotal, but nothing has stopped it from becoming a local legend.
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