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Geographical Index > United States > Missouri > Pike County > Article # 43

Media Article # 43
Article submitted by Rodney Erps
Article prepared and posted by Matthew Moneymaker

Friday, July 28, 1972

That Monster On Marzolf Hill

By Thomas Uhlenbrock
Pekin Daily Times

Louisiana, Mo. (UPI) - At 3:30 p.m. on July 11 Terry Harrison, 8, was playing in the backyard of his parents' home when he saw "a big, hairy thing with a dog under it's arm." Terry ran to the house and hollered for his older sister, Doris, 15. Doris looked out the bathroom window and saw "a tall, black hairy thing standing in the ditch." She locked the doors and called her mother. At 4:00 p.m. her father Edgar Harrison, arrived home and found no trace of the monster. But he said the brush was beaten down where the creature supposedly had been and there were some faint footprints in the dust with black hairs around them. Since then, this quiet Mississippi River town of 4,600 has been alive with reports of the monster on Marzolf Hill. At city hall, the town bars and the A&W root beer stand, people are buzzing with tales of "it," "the beast," "the creature" or, as they have nicknamed it, "Momo" -- Missouri monster. Three days after Terry first said he saw the monster it was church night at the Harrison house. The family was showing more than 30 persons out at 9:45 p.m. "About 12 of us were left when balls of light, moving east to west, fell over the trees in the next yard," Harrison said. "Two more came over Lincoln School. One was white, the other green, both about a foot in diameter. "Then there was a loud growling sound, getting louder and louder, closer and closer. My family jumped into the car and began urging me to drive off," he said. "Over 40 were coming toward my house, some carrying guns. They had heard the same noise we did," he continued. "I stopped the car and my wife told them: 'Here it comes,' and those 40 people turned around and ran down the street." Harrison, who has worked 21 years for the city's Board of Public Works, said his wife and daughter have moved out of the house and said they are not coming back. I spend my noon hours with some of the fellas looking in the woods," Harrison added. "I"ll look under every piece of brush, every piece of rock. I won't stop until I find out what it is." The city had declared Marzolf Hill "off limits" because of the newsmen and trigger-happy adventurers who have flocked to the heavily wooded hill. The city owns 40 acres of the hill, which is better known as "Star Hill" because town elders put a star on its summit every Christmas. But Edgar Harrison owns six acres and "nobody's gonna keep me off."

Ellis Minor is a grizzled, toothless fisherman who spends summer trying to catch catfish near his cabin on the river. "I'm 63 and lived here since I was 6," Minor said. He stopped cleaning fish long enough to describe in a slow drawl what he saw about 8:30 p.m. on July 21. "I was sitting right here in front of the house; the rest of the family were at a fair at Pleasant Hill," he said. My white bird dog started to growl, he's usually quiet. And I shone a light, right there about 20 feet up the road. "It was standing there, hair black as coal. I couldn't see it's eyes or face -- it had hair nearly down to it's chest. As soon as I threw the light on it, it whirled and took off thataway. It's the first time I ever seen an ugly looking thing like that," Minor said. If that dog hadn't growled, it might have walked right down into my yard. It was headed for the water. I don't know which would've run faster -- me or the dog."

"We tried to track it the next day, but couldn't 'cause it's so dry," Minor said. "Besides, a person would be a damn fool to try to catch that ugly thing. He's absolutely the damndest looking thing I've ever seen in my life." Patrolman John Whitaker, an easygoing man who has been patient but amused at the flock of newsmen and sightseers, listened carefully to Minor's account. "I've known Ellis Minor all my life and I've never known him to make anything up," Walker said later. "Something just might be up in these hills.

About 11 miles southeast of Bowling Green, Mo., a young, pregnant housewife stood angered and embarrassed in front of a small, two story frame house. She had been harrassed by skeptical neighbors and her landlord threatened to throw out her family because of her report of what she saw in a field the night before. She refused to give her name, although it was stenciled neatly on the mailbox in front. "We're church-going people," she said. "We got no need to lie. I'm not crazy and I'm not afraid of those who'll say I am. I know what I saw." She said she had been washing the dishes the night of July 22 and smelled "something dead." She said she went outside where she saw two balls of fire and thought one of them landed in the cow pasture. "Then we heard grunts and like a scream," she said. "We've got coyotes around here and I've heard wild hogs but never anything like that."

Jerry Floyd is a painter and assistant chief of the town's six-man police force. He'll be happy to dump the whole monster business into the lap of Police Chief Shelby Ward when Ward returns from his Michigan vacation. Dutifully, Floyd has investigated the various reports -- that a shaggy beast was seen running across a road with a dog in it's mouth, or lifting the rear end of a foreign car containing two frightened teenagers. "We've investigated in hopes of ending the rumors," Floyd said. "I walked up and down Marzolf Hill with a flashlight and found nothing but three carloads of kids looking for the monster." "I think I'm open-minded about this thing, but I've investigated everything and haven't found any substantial evidence," he said. "It could be a combination of things. People don't have much to do in the summertime. They might let their imaginations run away with them. Or it could be kid's. Most of the people are disgusted with the whole thing. They think it's ridiculous." Asked whether there had been other sightings by persons who didn't want the publicity, Floyd replied, "In all fairness, we have had other people say they've seen this thing. Most at a distance of about 20 feet and at night. Some good, reliable citizens. I just don't know."

One man who thinks he might know what is haunting Marzolf Hill is Hayden C. Hewes, founder of International Unidentified Flying Object Bureau based in Oklahoma City, Okla. Hewes and an assistant camped out a night on the hill hoping to record the growls of Momo. However, the next morning he said, "We did not see or smell or hear anything. But from the several reports, it's apparent that something has been sighted." Hewes said the descriptions match those given in nearly 300 other sightings, including two last year in the Florida Everglades and Washington, of a "giant hairy biped." The hairy biped is said to have a large pumpkin-shaped head, glowing orange eyes and an ape-like growth of hair. It walks upright, has clawed hands and arms that reach to the knees and the intelligence of a chimpanzee. According to Hewes, hairy bipeds emit an odor like sulphur and react violently if disturbed by humans. He added that if Momo is not a biped it might be a troglodyte. A troglodyte is an ancient cave-dwelling creature which, some believe, is the missing link. Hewes said the abominable snowman of the Himalayas is said to be a troglodyte. Bear, beast or shadow, Momo has given citizens of Mark Twain country something to talk about other than the dry spell. Some are amused. One resident cracked, "From the description, I'd say it was the guy dating my oldest daughter." Another, dubious about the national publicity, muttered, "They probably think we're just a bunch of country bumpkins.

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