BOY SAYS FOR REAL SIGHTING OF MONSTER RENEWS MARION LEGEND
By Irvin Power, September 01, 1965
Jefferson—-While it has yet to achieve the notoriety of the abominable snowman or the Loch Ness monster, Jefferson and Marion County Cypress Swamp monster is a very tangible thing to many residents, especially those who claim to have seen it over the past five years.
And the vision is very real to 13 year old Johnny Walker (sic) who reported the most recent sighting—with the monster chasing him part of the way home. This most recent incident which brought the 5 year old legend to surface again took place on Friday, August 20 about 4:30 in the afternoon.
“I was coming home from a friend’s house on FM 1784, (between Prospect and Lodi) when I heard a noise in the bushes on the right side of the road,” Maples excitedly recalled. At first he thought it was a friend who lived near this particular spot on the road, “but when he didn’t answer, I thought it was a small animal, so I threw a rock into the bushes,” he continued. The rustling at the bushes continued after that, and Maples chunked a second rock into the growth. “That’s when this large hairy man or beast appeared near the fence,” he recalled. Apparently, the second rock hit the beast. “He stood and (illegible line of type on microfilm) Maples added, “then I started running down the road.”
Sort of Walked
Maples remembered that the beast climbed over the fence and started after him. “I ran as hard and fast as I could, but he kept up with me and he wasn’t running, either, just sort of walking along behind me.”
Maples stopped to take his shoes off to run faster and he turned and saw the monster about four times during the chase. “The last time I turned around the beast had gone off the road and disappeared into the woods. I could hear him moving around but I didn’t see him again,” the slender lad concluded.
Maples was picked up farther down the road by Toby King and another man as yet unidentified in a car. They carried him to his home on the other side of Highway 59, where his mother reported him “in a state of shock with his feet heavily blistered.”
Marion County Deputy Sheriff George Whatley was called to the scene, but after an investigation of the area, he reported no finding of tracks, or disturbance of the growth such as a heavy animal would make.
Maples described the beast as “about 7 feet tall with thick long black hair all over its body except for the face—the face, stomach and palms of its hands.”
“The hands hung down below his knees,” Maples added. Upon being shown a picture of a gorilla, the boy positively identified the beast that followed him as “an ape.”
“We found no trace of anything in the area,” Deputy Sheriff Whatley told the News Messenger.
However, Jefferson Jimplecute editor Dwain Dennis reported finding “a large track” about 8 inches in length and 4 inches wide in the mud under the Scouts Creek Bridge. Dennis also located two stacks of neatly ironed clothing stacked near the almost dry creek bed, which he described as looking “as if they had just recently been washed and ironed.”
No owner for the clothing has been discovered.
© Marshall News Messenger