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Geographical Index > United States > South Dakota > Corson County > Article # 31

Media Article # 31
Article submitted by Mark A. Hall
Article prepared and posted by Matthew Moneymaker

Monday, October 17, 1977

Monster Publicity Floods Little Eagle

By Tom Hasner
Sioux Falls Argus-Leader

LITTLE EAGLE, S.D. - The search for the McLaughlin Monster continues to be unproductive.

Several men on horseback combed ravines and trees near the Grand River Sunday but, as of Monday morning, there were no reports of new sightings.

Meanwhile, publicity and advice begun pouring into Little Eagle.

Gary Alexander, owner of the Little eagle Trading Post, said representatives of Newsweek, Saga and Argosy magazines have contacted him. He said he has also had calls from many newspapers and radio and television stations.

"It gets a little aggravating sometimes when I'm real busy," Alexander said. "But I have gotten some good information from a lot of these people."

The information has included a letter from Barbara Slate, of Saga Magazine, who advised Alexander that the creatures appear to be attracted to babies, women during period, soft music and small campfires.

"We are continuing to look for patterns..," the letter said. It asked if there were a particular crop, timber or military installations in the area.

Ms. Slate said the creatures are reported to be excellent swimmers and may be using rivers for transportation. All of the sightings in South Dakota and North Dakota have been near rivers or ravines leading into rivers.

Ms. Slate also sent Alexander a tape recording of a high pitched scream which was allegedly made by a Big Foot-type creature in Pennsylvania. Several area residents have listened to the tape and have claimed to have heard similar screams near Little Eagle.

Another Big Foot expert, Dean Olson, of North American Films, Inc., said his Eugene, Ore., company would like to use a tranquilizer gun to capture the monster. In a letter to Alexander, Olson said the monster would be studied by biologists and would then be fitted with a tiny transmitter and released, hopefully to lead men to his den.

Olson also mailed written case reports of Big Foot sightings from around the country.

"He (Olson) told me on the phone that the first time we find clear tracks in the snow, he'll come out here," Alexander said.

Alexander said Olson told him that North American Films has collected several hundred feet of movie film of the creature and has accumulated "a room full" of plaster footprint casts.

Olson told Alexander the film and plaster casts were worthless as evidence of the creature's existence because they could be too easily counterfeited.

Alexander and Bureau of Indian Affairs policeman Verdell Veo have each made plaster casts of the McLaughlin Monster footprints but have not yet been able to photograph the creature.

According to Alexander, the experts are not in agreement as to when is the best time to capture a monster. Olson's phone conversation indicated a preference to tracking the creature in winter. However, Alexander said Ms. Slate has told him the creatures are seen less frequently in winter months.

In the past, Little Eagle searchers have concentrated their efforts on seeing rather than capturing the monster.

Most monster hunters still do not carry cameras and, until recently, there have been few practical suggestions on how to capture one.

There has been talk around the trading post of digging a pit to trap the monster or of dropping a net over his head from a low-flying aircraft.

The most practical offer of local assistance has come from Sam Holland, a Mobridge Veterinarian, who told Alexander he will search for the creature with an airplane and a tranquilizer gun after the next sighting.

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