Cohomo – The Cole Hollow Road Monster – Admitted Hoax
During July of 1972 there were a number of reports of bigfoot sightings coming out of Tazewell County, Illinois. There were three newspaper articles printed that week in the Pekin Daily Times.
Because of a comment submitted to the BFRO, I spoke with the son of the witness on the telephone in late April of 2006 and he explained to me that what had been a teenage prank or joke by his father had gone wrong and ended up in the newspapers.
Even though the Cohomo Monster of Tazewell County, Illinois has been confirmed as an admitted hoax I think it is still interesting to read about and to see how it was handled by the local citizens, police department and newspapers.
Man Reports Seeing ‘Hairy Creature’ In Woods Near Cole Hollow Road
The Pekin Daily Times
A Peoria youth reports he has seen a large, hairy creature in the East Peoria area near Cole Hollow Road. Randy Emert, 18 of 3527 Twelve Oaks, Peoria says he and many friends have seen some type of “hairy” creature in the woods near Cole Hollow Road in East Peoria. Randy says he first saw the “creature about two months ago but that he didn’t report it at that time because ” people would think we’re crazy.” When he heard about the story of a “monster” sighted in Louisiana, Mo., he decided to come forward with his own story. Randy said he first heard about a “creature” in the Cole Hollow Road area about a year ago from a friend. He reports he has seen it twice in the last two months. He claims there are footprints “all around up there,” and that they show three big toes. Randy describes the “creature” as being between 8 and 12 feet tall, “kinda white and it moves quick.” The teenager also claims he has heard the “creature” several times and says it “lets out a long screech kinda like an old steam engine whistle, only more human.” He says a friend in Wisconsin has photographs of the footprints. Randy says many of his friends have seen the footprints or the “creature” but don’t want their names mentioned. He says he is not ” doing this for publicity, “adding he “believes this is for real.”
7/27/1972 ‘Hey, Bud, Did You See A Monster Go By…’
The Pekin Daily Times
Tazewell Co. Sheriff’s officers discovered a serious safety hazard in East Peoria woods Wednesday night, but it wasn’t “Cohomo” (Cole Hollow Road Monster). The real danger they did find was Homo Sapiens-about 100 monster hunters walking thru the woods in the area of Coal Hollow Road, many armed to the hilt. Sheriff’s officers were called to the scene at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday after Carl R. Harris, of 109 Vicic street, East Peoria, apparently shot himself in the leg with a .22 caliber pistol while looking for the reported “monster.” Officers cleared the area after the incident and several deputies patroled the area all night. An investigation in the area was to continue today. “We have not seen or heard anything,” Sheriff Donahue said. Donahue said he has received a report from a farmer in the area who is also a hunter who said he has seen a very large deer in the Cole Hollow Road woods. Donahue said the deer could be responsible for the mysterious “monster tracks.” “WE DO not need any help from any citizens.” Donahue said, “especially those with any guns or other weapons.” Sheriff Donahue said his office would continue to investigate the problem and would notify the public of any new evidence. Harris is in fair condition today at Methodist hospital. Doctors said the bullet entered three inches above the knee on his right thigh, passed thru the back of the knee and lodged in muscle tissue in the right calf. Harris told investigating Sheriff’s Deputies he and Rihard Mudd, 1219 Fisher road, Creve Coeur, were in the area looking for the “monster” allegedly seen in the area. Harris said he took the gun along to protect himself. He said he did not trip or fall, the gun just discharged. Mudd, who was reportedly walking ahead of Harris at the time of the accident, was not armed. The accident occurred about a quarter mile from Cole Hollow Road, Harris and Mudd were among about 100 persons in the woods stalking Cohomo. Randy Emert, 18, of 3527 Twelve Oaks, Peoria, says he and many friends have seen some type of “hairy Creature” in the woods near Cole Hollow Road. He described “Cohomo” as being between eight and twelve feet tall, “kinda white and it moves quick.” Emert said he first saw “Cohomo” about two months ago but didn’t report it because “people would think we’re crazy.” He said he came forward with his own story when he heard about the sighting of Momo in Louisiana, Mo. Emert said he has seen “Cohomo” twice in the last two months. In another sighting of a strange creature, Creve Coeur authorities said a witness reported seeing “something big” swimming in the Illinois River Tuesday. Emert claims he has heard Cohomo several times and says it “lets out a long screech kinda like an old steam engine whistle, only more human.”
Woman Picking Berries Says She saw Monster Near Rt. 98 Thursday
The Pekin Daily Times
Body of Article A rural Pekin woman reported to Tazewell Co. sheriff’s officers that she saw Cohomo (Cole Hollow Road monster) while she was picking berries by the old coal mine on Rt. 98, about 3 miles east of Rt. 2, at 7:35 p.m. Thursday. The unidentified woman did not furnish officers with any description of what she saw but said she became so scared she ran off and left her purse. Sheriff’s officers investigated the scene but found nothing. The sheriff’s department received a call from a Eureka man who said he and his family were having a birthday party at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Fondulac Park, East Peoria, when they saw strange lights come in a vertical position and go down behind some trees. He said the lights left a vapor or smoke trail. If Cohomo is actually Momo (the monster reported in Louisiana, Mo.) he apparently has been scared gray. According to first reports Momo was the same old black-haired, orange-eyed, stinky guy, but in the next 36 hours he grew a few feet, acquired an extra toe on each foot and learned to swim. Thursday night East Peoria police said “two reliable citizens” told them they saw Momo. He was 10 feet tall, had a face with long grey U-shaped ears, a red mouth with sharp teeth, thumbs with long second joints, and “looked like a cross between an ape and a cave man,” they said. Another sign of Momo’s neurosis may be his fear of lantern light, an acquired affectation for roaming thru damp caves and the exchange of his notable sulfur smell for that of “musky wet down dog.”
More than 200 calls jammed the switchboard at the East Peoria Police Department Wednesday night. Police vowed to administer a lie detector test to everyone filing a monster report. Cairo Police Commisioner James Daley said anyone saying he saw Momo must submit to a breath test to determine alcohol intake. Meanwhile back in Louisiana, Mo., Edgar Harrison, the man who first saw Momo, continued his watch for the monster. To get from Louisiana, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, to East Peoria, an amphibian would be compelled to go down the Mississippi to Grafton, about 45 airline miles, and then against the Illinois current to this area. The total distance would be about 165 miles airline point to point by this route-but both rivers twist and bend. Wednesday night Momo, seven feet, black haired and smelly, frightened an elderly lady in Louisiana and minutes later turned grey and grew three feet to rip a fence in Illinois.
Copyright 2004-2009 by Stan Courtney. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.