Geographical Index > United States > South Dakota > Corson County > Article # 28
Media Article # 28
Article submitted by Mark A. Hall
Article prepared and posted by Matthew Moneymaker
Monday, September 29, 1997
Northern South Dakotans Search for Monster
By Tom Hasner
Sioux Falls Argus-Leader
LITTLE EAGLE, S.D. - Numerous sightings of the McLaughlin Monster, a "Big Foot"-like creature, have been reported in the McLaughlin area of north central South Dakota, the Argus-Leader has learned.
The most recent report of the tall, hairy creature came Wednesday night east of Little Eagle, a small village about 10 miles south of McLaughlin and about 25 miles northwest of Mobridge.
In addition, there have been reports of footprints 16 to 18 inches long and 8 inches wide in the area. The prints, according to area residents, appear to have been made by a creature with a stride of 6 to 8 feet.
The Argus-Leader Thursday afternoon chartered an airplane to fly a team of reporters and photographers to the area to investigate the reports.
"We are uncertain at this point what is actually happening in the McLaughlin area," said Larry Fuller, Argus-Leader managing editor.
"We are, however, convinced that there is sufficient evidence of a monster-like creature to merit a further investigation."
Art Eifenbraun, office manager of the McLaughlin Messenger newspaper, said there have been a half-dozen possible sightings of the monster. He said most of the sightings have been at night.
The descriptions match those of the elusive fact-or-fiction Big Foot creature whose usual habitat is the mountainous forests of the northwestern United States.
Eifenbraun described the creature as being about seven to eight feet tall, very hairy, with long arms and an offensive odor.
That general description, including the mention of a foul odor, has become something of a standard for Big Foot sightings throughout the western U.S.
Gary Alexander, owner of the Little Eagle Trading Post, is one of several area men who have hunted Big Foot from horseback.
"Just so nobody thinks its a hoax, we found tracks 5 1/2 miles east of Little Eagle in such a remote area no one would ever go there," Alexander said. "There wasn't a human footprint around."
"One of the guys wears a size 13 boot," he said. "He stepped beside the footprint and hardly made an imprint at all. I guess he (the man) weighs about 240 pounds."
The Big Foot prints left an impression as much as 2 1/2 inches deep.
"He (Big Foot) sure has scared some people around here," said Ralph Taken Alive, of Little Eagle, another Big Foot hunter.
Taken Alive said the latest sighting occurred Wednesday night just a mile east of Little Eagle.
"Some people drove into a yard and saw him with their headlights," he said. "He was standing near some pigs and chickens they had penned up. They almost ran into him."
"With the fresh tracks, we may go looking for him again tonight," he said.
Eifenbraun said that, to his knowledge, a report of an Indian man suffered a heart attack after being surprised by the animal is untrue.
"As far as I know, nobody has been injured," he said. "There have also been stories going around of people finding animals which have been killed, but we don't have any proof of any of them," he said.
Eifenbraun called the investigation "just a local thing that we've got going on."
An official from the Corson County Sheriff's Office in McIntosh said that office is not conducting an official investigation of the sightings although it has received reports that the creature has been seen killing cattle and roaming the Little Eagle area.
An investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, N.D., where similar sightings have been reported. Berdel Veo, who is heading that investigation, was not available for comment.