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Geographical Index > United States > Iowa > Humboldt County > Article # 376

Media Article # 376
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Article prepared and posted by Kevin Withers

Sunday, October 1, 1978


By Steven Klaus
Des Moines Register

Another Bigfoot sighting has been reported in Humboldt County.

Mark Thompson, the teen-age son of Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Thompson of rural Hardy, told authorities he saw a creature resembling Bigfoot Thursday evening in a soybean field on a farm his family is working near Hardy.

Mrs. Thompson said her son was sitting in a pickup truck in a lane on the edge of the field when he saw a large, ape-like creature looking at him.

She said Mark drove closer to the creature for a better look. He said it was about seven feet tall and covered with brownish-black hair. The creature moved away when Mark honked his horn and flashed the pickup's lights.

An independent observer who visited the bean field Saturday said he found footprints that led into a marshy area and disappeared in tall weeds. He said the prints were 14 inches long and two inches deep.

"They definitely were not made by any farm animal," he said.

Around Ottosen

Young Thompson is the latest of a dozen or so residents in Humboldt and Kossuth counties to report such sightings since July, when a large, foul-smelling, ape-like creature was first reported in Ottosen, a hamlet near the Humboldt-Kossuth county line.

The reports have left many residents tense. Authorities say Bigfoot has become dinner table conversation in homes and schools. Consequently, imaginations are apt to run ahead of the facts.

Sheriff Marvin Andersen said his office received two other Bigfoot reports last week and both turned out to be false alarms.

Andersen said one of his deputies looked into a report last Sunday evening that some young people had seen Bigfoot near Bradgate. Andersen said they reported seeing a creature in a farm field about a mile away from where they were standing. The "creature" turned out to be a tandem farm disc with its arms extended upward.

The other report came from about 40 high school who were building a homecoming float Wednesday night on a farm south of Renwick. They told authorities they had seen two creatures, one with red eyes and another with blue eyes, in a corn field.

Officers checked out the field but found nothing.

"But it had them scared," said the sheriff. "It had them scared enough where they went to town and weren't going back out there."

In July, the creature was reported on three occasions in Ottosen. There were no more sightings until September, when it was reported twice in the rural area around Ottosen.

The sheriff's office also has received reports of an animal releasing strange, high-pitched screams near Ottosen and other towns in Humboldt County.

In early September a West Bend fisherman found about two dozen footprints under a bridge over the West Fork of the Des Moines River. Plaster casts made of two of the footprints show that they are 16 inches long and five inches wide and have four definite claws measuring up to three inches.

Missing Link, Or Hoax?

Whether the creature is really a Bigfoot - an elusive primate believed by some to occupy a place between man and ape - or a hoax, remains to be determined.

Similar creatures have been reported in almost all parts of the world, and are known by such names as Bigfoot, yeti, omah or Sasquatch.

The existence of Bigfoot has never been proven conclusively.
Some who have studied the Bigfoot phenomenon, including Kevin Cook, who heads the Iowa Bigfoot Information Center, believe several of these creatures roam the midlands at night following the Mississippi and Missouri River basins.

Cook believes it could be significant that most of the recent sighting have occurred near the Rock Island Lines railroad tracks that run through West Bend, Ottosen and Hardy. He also believes the creatures travel in families of two adults and a youngster.

Sheriff Andersen says he hopes the mystery will be solved after Humboldt County's corn crop is harvested.

"If it's still around here when we get this corn out, it's not going to have as much cover to hide in," Andersen said. The sheriff also noted that it would be easier to track a creature in the snow.

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