Geographical Index > United States > Iowa > Dallas County > Article # 385
Media Article # 385
Article submitted by Kevin Lee Henderson
Article prepared and posted by Kevin Withers
Friday, November 16, 1979
Iowan hopes beast keeps on truckin'
By Dave Brown
Des Moines Tribune
MINBURN, IA. - Larry Wilson saw a Bigfoot-like creature strolling through his yard "like it was on a Sunday afternoon walk" Thursday night - and he wants it to keep going.
"I hope it's migrating south," the 39-year-old salesman said Friday morning as he recounted the previous night's eerie event and subsequent lack of sleep.
"It scared the hell out of me," he said.
Wilson lives in a ranch-style house with a walkout basement in the Raccoon River valley about two miles north of Iowa Highway 44.
Thursday night, while his wife and four children were attending a Des Moines church meeting, Wilson heard his two dogs barking. After they had barked for about a half hour, Wilson stepped outside.
He didn't see anything - but he heard "heavy, rhythmic breathing," like that of a winded horse. He didn't wait around.
"That's when I shut things up and ran upstairs," he said.
From an open upstairs window, Wilson said he watched in amazement as the creature strolled beneath a yard light in his back yard, about 100 feet away.
"Just bingo! There he was," Wilson said. "I probably should have watched a while longer, but I went to the phone and called the sheriff's office."
Wilson described the apparition as being six feet tall (although, since his vantage point was above, it could have been taller) and hunched over, swinging its arms the way a human being would as it walked. He had the impression it was hairy, but did not observe it long enough to identify any features.
Wilson said it looked just like pictures he has seen of Bigfoot.
Two Dallas County deputies showed up to investigate.
When they decided to search on foot, Wilson said, to them, "Hold it - I'm going in the house to get my shotgun."
The search turned up a series of 13-inch footprints in the frost. Wilson said the deputies measured the strides at 48 inches from toe to toe.
The footprints headed southeast, in the general direction of the river, Wilson said, until they disappeared into an alfalfa field.
Wilson is not claiming he saw Bigfoot, and that what he saw could just as well have been a hoax - although he couldn't think of anyone who would play such a joke on him.
Hoax or not, Wilson said it was pretty much a sleepless night at his household.
"I don't think I fell asleep until three o'clock this morning," he said, "and I usually get up at 5:30 or so.
"I waited until it was perfectly light before going out to open the garage door."
Wilson is a sales representative for Tension Envelope Corp. of Des Moines.
Wilson said his wife told him she believed his story, because he ordinarily isn't easily upset.
"There is some fright on my part and my family's," he said, although he added that he would never take a shot at the creature unless it exhibited aggressive behavior, which it did not Thursday night.
Dallas County Sheriff Lee Strubble said he would have deputies return to the area Friday to investigate the sighting.
"My theory is that it's probably another person," he said, and if it was a hoax, the prankster would have needed transportation to the area. He was hoping to find tire tracks.
"What bothers me," the sheriff said, "is that if it is somebody...it could easily turn into a shooting" by a nervous resident.