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Fouke Monster: Wikis


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The Fouke Monster
(The Jonesville Monster,
The Boggy Creek Creature,Gorilla-Cat)
Grouping Cryptid
Sub grouping Hominid
First reported 1971 (First media coverage),
1946 (local legend)
Country United States
Region Fouke, Arkansas

The Fouke Monster, also known as the Southern Sasquatch, is a legendary cryptid reported near the town of Fouke in Miller County, Arkansas (see map[1]) during the early 1970s, where it was accused of attacking a local family. Initial sightings of the creature were concentrated in the Jonesville/Boggy Creek area, where it was blamed for the death of local livestock. Later, sightings were made several hundred miles to the north and the east of Fouke.

The creature was named by journalist Jim Powell, who reported on it for the Texarkana Gazette and the Texarkana Daily News.[2]

The Fouke Monster was also covered by the state desk headed by Norman L. Richardson of the Shreveport Times. It has been the subject of several films and a number of books.



Various reports of the creature made between 1971 and 1974 described the creature as being a large hominid-like creature covered in long dark hair, which was estimated to be about 7 feet (2 m) tall with a weight of 250–300 pounds (110–140 kg). Witnesses said that its chest was about 3 feet (1 m) wide.[3] Later reports, published during the early 1980s, claimed that it was far larger, with one report describing it as 10 feet (3 m) tall, with an estimated weight of 800 pounds (360 kg).[4]

Some accounts describe the Fouke Monster as running in a 'hunched/slouched' posture and swinging its arms in a similar fashion to a monkey.[4] Reports also describe it as having a terrible odor and as having bright red eyes, about the size of silver dollars.[5]

A variety of tracks and claw marks have been discovered which are claimed to belong to the creature. One set of foot prints reportedly measured 17 inches (43 cm) in length and 7 inches (18 cm) wide,[6] another appeared to show that the creature only had three toes (this one was faked, the others looked like normal Bigfoot footprints).[2]



Pre 1971

Although most cases date from the early 1970s onwards, Fouke residents claim that an apelike creature had roamed the area since 1964,[7] but that sightings had not been reported to news services. Local legend also holds that the creature can be further traced back to sightings in 1946.[8] Most early sightings were in the region of Jonesville. Owing to this, the creature was known as the "Jonesville Monster" during this period.[9]

Post 1971

Despite claims of earlier sightings, the Fouke Monster first made headlines in 1971, when it was reported to have attacked the home of Bobby and Elizabeth Ford late on the night of May 1.[10][11][5]

According to Elizabeth Ford, the creature, which she initially took to be a bear, reached through a screen window while she was sleeping on a couch. It was chased away by her husband and his brother Don, who were returning from a hunting trip. The creature returned shortly after midnight (Sunday, May 2), when it was reported to have grabbed Bobby Ford across the shoulders as he stood on the porch, throwing him to the ground. Bobby managed to crawl free and was later treated in St. Michael Hospital, Texarkana, for scratches across his back.[12] He was suffering from mild shock when he arrived.[13]

During the encounters, the Fords fired several shots at the creature and believed that they had hit it, though no traces of blood were found. An extensive search of the area failed to locate the creature but found three-toed footprints close to the house, scratch marks on the porch, and some damage to a window and the house's siding.[12]

According to the Fords, they had heard something moving around outside late at night several nights before their encounter but, having lived in the house for less than a week, had never encountered the creature before.[12]

The creature was spotted again on May 23, when three people, D. Woods, Wilma Woods, and Mrs. R Sedgass, reported seeing an ape-like creature crossing Highway 71.[14] More sightings were made over the following months by local residents and tourists, who found additional footprints.[15] The best known footprints were found in a soybean field belonging to local gas station owner Willie E. Smith. They were scrutinized by game warden Carl Galyon, who was unable to confirm their authenticity.[2] Like the Ford prints, they appeared to indicate that the creature had only three toes.[16] (inc Picture)

The creature began to attract substantial interest during the early 1970s. Soon after news spread about the Ford sighting, the Little Rock radio station KAAY posted a $1,090 bounty on the creature.[2] Several attempts were made to track the creature with dogs, but they were unable to follow its scent.[12] When hunters began to take interest in the Fouke Monster, Miller County Sheriff Leslie Greer was forced to put a temporary "no guns" policy in place in order to preserve public safety.[2] In 1971, three people were fined $59 each "for filing a fraudulent monster report."[2]

After an initial surge of attention, public interest in the creature decreased until 1973. It was boosted significantly when Charles B. Pierce released a documentary-style horror feature on the creature. By late 1974 interest had waned again and sightings all but stopped, only to begin again in March 1978, when tracks were reportedly found by two brothers prospecting in Russellville (Location:[17]), and there were sightings in Center Ridge (Location:[18]); both approximately 4-1/4 hours drive northeast of Fouke.[19] There was also a reported sighting in Crossett (Location:[20]); 4 hours drive east of Fouke, on June 26 that year.[21]

During this period the creature was blamed for missing livestock and attacks on several dogs.[19]

Since the initial clusters of sightings during the 1970s, there have been sporadic reports of the creature. In 1991 the creature was reportedly seen jumping from a bridge.[22] There were forty reported sightings in 1997 and, in 1998, the creature was reportedly sighted in a dry creek bed 5 miles (8 km) south of Fouke.[23]

Presumed Hoax

One month after the Ford sighting, Southern State College archaeologist Dr. Frank Schambach determined that "There is a 99 percent chance one of the tracks is a hoax."

According to Schambach, the tracks (the ones with three toes.) could not be from a species of ape, or ape man, as claimed by witnesses, because they were from a three-toed creature, whereas all primates and hominids (both modern and historical) have five toes. In addition to the number of toes, Schambach cited several other anomalies as part of his conclusion: the region had no history of primate activity, ruling out the possibility of the creature being the remnants of an indigenous species; all primates are completely diurnal, the Fouke Monster appeared to be partially nocturnal. [24]

Cultural References


  • The Fouke Monster appears in The Secret Saturdays episode "Ghost in the Machine." This version is a 7 ft. tall bigfoot-like creature with dark, thick, smelly hair.
  • The Fouke Monster was profiled in a segment of the documentary Southern Fried Bigfoot.


The Legend of Boggy Creek

In 1973, the story of Bobby Ford's encounter with the Fouke Monster was turned into a semi-factual, documentary-style horror feature, The Legend of Boggy Creek,[8] (initially titled "Tracking the Fouke Monster") which played in drive-in theaters around the country. It was written by Earl E. Smith and directed by Charles B. Pierce. The part of Bobby Ford was played by Glenn Carruth and the part of Elizabeth Ford was played by Bunny Dees. Fouke Garage owner Willie E. Smith, on whose land three toed footprints were found, starred as himself. Many characters were named after the people who played them.

Much of the film was shot on location in Fouke and nearby Texarkana, though some scenes also were filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana. Most of the cast were local people or Texarkana college students.[25] It ran for 87 minutes (90 on DVD) and is believed to have cost $165,000 to make. It grossed $22 million, making it the 7th highest grossing movie of the year.[26]

Return to Boggy Creek

A second Fouke Monster film, Return to Boggy Creek, was filmed and released in 1977. The movie had an entirely fictional plot and was not intended to be a sequel. It was directed by Tom Moore, written by John David Woody, and starred Dawn Wells as the mother of three children who become lost in the swamp.[27] Some of the film's scenes were shot on location in Dallas, Texas, and Loreauville and Iberia Parish, Louisiana.[27]

Boggy Creek II: The Legend Continues

In 1985, a third Fouke Monster film was released. It was titled Boggy Creek II:The Legend Continues and written as a sequel to the original film. Charles B. Pierce wrote, directed, and starred in it as Brian Lockart, a University of Arkansas professor who leads a group of students into the swamps around Fouke.[28] It was shot on location in Fouke[28] but included some scenes shot at the University of Arkansas.

In 1999, Boggy Creek II: The Legend Continues was used by Mystery Science Theater 3000. It aired on May 9, 1999 (Episode 6, Season 10).[29]


  1. ^ "Fouke, Arkansas". Google Maps.,+arkansas&ie=UTF8&z=15&ll=33.260688,-93.885083&spn=0.014964,0.041885&om=1. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Thibodeau, Sunni (2001-06-24). "The Fouke Monster 30 Years Later". The Texarkana Gazette. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  3. ^ Newton, Michael (2005). "Fouke Monster". Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide. McFarland & Company, Inc.. pp. 161–162. ISBN 0-7864-2036-7. 
  4. ^ a b Farish, Lou (1981-10-25). "Fouke Monster Still Alive and Well". Arkansas Democrat. 
  5. ^ a b "Fouke fields combed in search of monster". Texarkana Gazette. 1971-05-03. 
  6. ^ . Daily Courier (Russellville). 1978-03-12. 
  7. ^ Green, John Willison (1981). Sasquatch the apes among us. Big Country Books. ISBN 0-88839-123-4. 
  8. ^ a b Ogilvie, Craig (2002-10-08). "Legendary Arkansas Monsters Have Deep Roots in History". Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  9. ^ "Smokey" Crabtree, J. E. (1974). Smokey And The Fouke Monster. Fouke, Arkansas: Day's Creek Production Corp.. p. 142. ISBN 0-9701632-0-7. 
  10. ^ "Monster may be mountain lion". Texarkana Daily News. 1971-05-03. 
  11. ^ "'Creature' attacked, victim says". Arkansas Gazette. 1971-05-04. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  12. ^ a b c d Powell, Jim (2001-06-24). "The Fouke Monster: A look at how the media recorded the reports of the 1971 alleged sighting of a large creature in rural Miller County, Ark.". Texarkana Gazette. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  13. ^ . Arkansas Democrat. 1971-05-03. 
  14. ^ Powell, Jim (1971-05-24). "Monster is spotted by Texarkana group". Texarkana Daily News. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  15. ^ Powell, Barry (1971-06-16). "He's been sighted again: Monster - a monkey's uncle". Texarkana Gazette. 
  16. ^ "Tracks of the incredible three-toed Fouke Monster". Arkansas Gazette. 1971-06-16. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  17. ^ "Fouke – Russellville". Google Maps.,+arkansas&daddr=Russellville,+AR&ie=UTF8&z=7&ll=34.443159,-92.955322&spn=3.777573,7.141113&om=1. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  18. ^ "Fouke – Center Ridge". Google Maps.,+arkansas&daddr=Russellville,+AR&ie=UTF8&z=7&ll=34.443159,-92.955322&spn=3.777573,7.141113&om=1. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  19. ^ a b . Log Cabin Democrat (Conway). 1978-03-13. 
  20. ^ "Fouke – Crossett". Google Maps.,+arkansas&daddr=Crossett,+arkansas&ie=UTF8&z=8&ll=33.220308,-92.834473&spn=1.916188,3.570557&om=1. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  21. ^ . The News Observer (Crossett). 1978-07-12. 
  22. ^ "Stories of ghosts, monsters, unexplained phenomena haunt Arkansas". USA Today. 2005-10-31. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  23. ^ "Ozark Mountain Legends: Boggy Creek Monster". Legends of America. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  24. ^ "The Fouke Hoax?". Texarkana Gazette. 1971-06-17. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  25. ^ The Legend of Boggy Creek at the Internet Movie Database
  26. ^ Thibodeau, Sunni (2001-06-24). "Monstermania: 30 years hence: 'Legend of Boggy Creek' considered a cult classic". Texarkana Gazette. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  27. ^ a b Return to Boggy Creek at the Internet Movie Database
  28. ^ a b The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II at the Internet Movie Database
  29. ^ "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Retrieved 2006-10-01. 


  • Allan Zullo, The Ten Creepiest Creatures In America, ISBN 0-8167-4288-X

See also


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