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Geographical Index > United States > Iowa > Delaware County > Article # 381

Media Article # 381
Article submitted by Kevin Henderson
Article prepared and posted by Kevin Withers

Wednesday, February 6, 1980

Did 'mean-looking' animal leave Bigfoot-like prints?

By T. J. Ryder
Des Moines Register

MANCHESTER, IA. - An Illinois Central Gulf Railroad engineer said he saw "the meanest animal I've ever laid my eyes on" as he chugged along the tracks in his engine in this area last month.

Cyril O'Brien, 62, said, "I've been traveling these tracks for 38 years now and I've never seen anything like that."

It was the second time Bigfoot-like animal tracks or animals have been spotted in this area in recent weeks.

On Jan. 21 two farmers reported strange tracks in the snow as they surveyed their farmland for areas to plant trees.
Delaware County Sheriff Bert Elledge was called and he took photos of the tracks.

He showed the photos to conservation officer Jim Becker, who said he couldn't identify them. The tracks have been lost in new snowfall but Elledge is having the photos enlarged so Becker can get a better look.

The tracks, apparently made by a creature that walks on two feet, measured 9 1/2 inches long and 4 1/2 inches wide.

Elledge, a hunter for many years, said he had never seen tracks like that before, and because they were found in an isolated area, he is curious and suspicious.

Engineer O'Brien, of Waterloo, said he saw the animal at a distance of less than 100 feet. He said as the train approached the animal looked up and moved backward.

"It was big, much bigger than a dog, and at first I thought it might be a calf," O'Brien said. "It was a heck of a mean-looking thing with long, yellowish hair, a flat face, and short ears. It had no tail."

O'Brien said he then noticed the carcass of what appeared to be a cow where the animal had been standing and believes it was feeding on the carcass.

O'Brien said the animal walked on four legs. He said he radioed three other trainmen in the caboose and they also saw it and agreed it was indeed a strange creature.

Elledge declined to link the tracks and the yellowish creature. The tracks and the sighting were about six miles apart. But he said there appears to be a strange animal in
Delaware County and he's concerned that someone might get hurt.

Bigfoot is a legendary hairy creature of the northwest United States that walks upright. Some persons believe it exists and can provide a link between animals and humans.

Sightings of strange, hairy creatures have been reported in western Iowa for more than a year.

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