Geographical Index > United States > South Dakota > Corson County > Article # 30
Media Article # 30
Article submitted by Mark A. Hall
Article prepared and posted by Matthew Moneymaker
Sunday, October 16, 1977
McLaughlin Monster Apparently in Hiding
By Tom Hasner
Sioux Falls Argus-Leader
LITTLE EAGLE, S.D. - After a rash of reported sightings on Thursday, the McLaughlin monster apparently has gone into hiding once again.
Three incidents of monster sightings on that day brought on the most intensive hunt since the creature was first sighted nearly two months ago.
As late as Sunday afternoon, the search had uncovered more giant footprints but nothing more substantial. Some monster hunters are fearful the increased activity may have driven the creature deeper into hiding.
"It will probably be a week before we see him again," said Gary Alexander, owner of the Little Eagle Trading Post, the unofficial assembly point for anyone planning a search.
The high-pitched shrieks that have been reported nearly every night of the previous week have not been heard since Wednesday. There have been no reports of howling dogs or of 'strange acting' livestock.
The first reported sighting on Thursday was later disavowed by the man who supposedly saw the monster a mile southwest of Little Eagle. However, two other sightings, including one multiple sighting, appeared to me more credible.
Three persons reported seeing the monster shortly after noon.
Cecelia Thunder Shield said she and Dan Uses Arrow, both about 60, were picking mushrooms in a wooded area just southeast of Little Eagle at the time of that sighting. The two had picked two pails of mushrooms and were sitting on the ground resting when the creature appeared out of the trees 25 yards from Mrs. Thunder Shield.
"He was walking slumped over. At first I thought he was an old man," she said.
She described the creature as being tall with gray, shinning hair and a black face.
Uses Arrow, who was resting nearby, saw the monster ambling away a few minutes later. He said from his vantage point, he could only see the creature from above the waist and could not see his face.
The two ran to a residence a quarter mile away shouting, "He's coming, he's coming."
Their shouts brought Albert Dog, also about 60, out of his residence in time to see the creature slip back into the woods a quarter mile away.
Dog said the animal walked slouched over with long arms dangling nearly to his ankles. he attempted to follow the monster but was unable to maintain visual contact through the dense river brush.
At about 5 p.m., Thursday, the monster was seen about two miles north of the Thunder Shield sightings.
Phoebe Little Dog, 58, of Little Eagle, was driving home from McLaughlin, was driving home from McLaughlin when her attention was drawn to running cattle in a pasture just north of Little Eagle.
As she drove past the pasture, she saw a creature walking behind the cattle about 200 yards from her car. She said it walked stiff-legged, was much larger than a man and appeared to be dark brown.
"I only saw it for a moment and then it went out of sight behind a hill," she said. "I turned the car around and went back but it was gone."
For Mrs. Little Dog, it was the second sighting of the monster. She claims to have seen the creature in the same area about sunrise one morning a week ago. At the time of that sighting, she had just left her home and was driving to work when the monster appeared out of a grove of trees.
"At first I thought he was a big tree," she said, "but then I saw him walking."
The monster disappeared into a ravine and was not see again.
"They say I have Big Foot fever," said Mrs. Little Dog referring to her two sightings.
Big Foot fever is a disease which is spreading rapidly in Little Eagle. Where once only a few men searched the river, hunting parties in recent days have numbered a dozen or more. Offers of help also have begun coming in. Sam Holland, 31, a Mobridge veterinarian has offered to search for the creature in an airplane with a tranquilizer gun.
"I'm not opinionated either way, but I like to fly," said Holland when asked if his offer indicated a belief in the monster. He said he would wait for a sighting before making his aerial search.
"When he (Alexander) calls, I'll go have a look," Holland said.
Other area residents feel the hunters' chances may improve with changing seasons.
"When we get some snow on the ground, we'll be able to get back in the river land with snowmobiles, too," said Duane Moser, 35, owner of the TNT Motel in McLaughlin. "Or in the spring the river will be high enough so we'll be able to look for him in a boat," he added.
Moser said he has not yet had an opportunity to go on a monster search but he might go the next time fresh tracks are found.