Monster is drawing attention
By David Hiser
American Staff Writer
“Hi, this John Goldsmith, at WGEL Radio in Greenville, Illinois. What do you know about this Big Muddy Monster thing?”
That was the start of one of several conversations here at the American office during the past week as reporters from all over began to pick up on the latest reported sighting of the legendary monster.
“We’ve been pretty busy,” commented security guard Charlie Straub as he was hustled off for an interview with a television crew.
Straub, an employee of Bob Reiman, was one of eight people who claimed to have seen the monster on June 3rd at Reiman’s salvage year on the north edge of Murphysboro.
Friday afternoon, anchorman John Pertzborn and cameraman Glenn Buermann of KSDK-TV in St.Louis walked into the newspaper office and interviewed acting managing editor Tom Tiernan.
The two had just been to the salvage yard and stopped by the office to get a copy of the American and take a shot of the artist’s conception of the monster which was used on the front page of last Thursday’s edition.
“People are really interested in this thing,” said Pertzborn, who pulled out a piece of Associated Press wire copy which gave the story state-wide billing.
Hoax or fact, the monster is certainly getting the coverage.
We asked Pertzborn if the 90 mile trip from St.Louis wasn’t a long drive for a monster which might not exist.
“Oh, we didn’t drive,” responded Pertzborn. “We flew down in the helicopter.”
Although police are not getting involved in the recent reported sighting, the monster is being investigated by at least one expert from Indiana who specializes in research on Bigfoot or Sasquatch type characters.
As of late last week, the site had been visited by an estimated 200 people, many of them just curious, but some of them were serious monster buffs.
The latest reported sighting brings to 29 the number of people who claim to have seen the hairy beast over a twelve-year span. There have been a total of 12 incidents in which persons have claimed to have seen the creature, most of them occurring in rural Murphsyboro.