Geographical Index > United States > South Carolina > Orangeburg County > Article # 21
Media Article # 21
Friday, July 18, 1997
A claim that "bigfoot" was eyeing dogs as a noontime snack has some local residents frightened and upset that The Times and Democrat carried the story.
By Gene Crider
The Times And Democrat
Jackie Hutto of Neeses called the Times & Democrat Tuesday to say he spotted an 8-foot-tall, hairy bigfoot tugging on his dog pen.
Hutto has now identified himself as a teen-aged boy -- but he is sticking to his story that a bigfoot visited his yard, and his older brother David has backed his story up.
He said he did not report the sighting to authorities because he was afraid of looking crazy.
His 16-year-old brother -- who originally said Jackie was a 23-year-old woman -- backed up his story, but said, "I haven't told nobody I seen it because I was afraid they'd say I was crazy.
While some in town are celebrating bigfoot's arrival, others in the Neeses area have called the newspaper to complain that its Wednesday story has frightened their children and that The T & D should have investigated the story fully before printing such claims.
"I think it's a bunch of baloney," Darlene Riley of Neeses said. "I have about 10 kids in this house who are scared to go out and play," she said.
"It was real slack of you to print something like that without getting into the details and something behind it," Riley said. "That was real slack," she said.
Riley said The T & D did not take into account that children read the paper and in the summertime children want to play outside.
"My kids have not been out of the house all day long because they were scared when they saw this," Riley said.
She is also worried that people would be out roaming the woods, looking for a bigfoot to shoot.
"You got a bunch of people out there shooting everything that's brown, including me -- I'm black," Riley said.
"I think it shouldn't have been printed," she said.
Lynda Baltzegar said her children were frightened by the report, too.
He said he did not report the sighting to the authorities because he was afraid of looking crazy.
His sixteen-year-old brother - who originally said Jackie was a 23 year old woman - backed up his story, but said, "I haven’t told nobody I seen it because I was afraid they’d say I was crazy."