Monday,  June 21, 1976

Muddy monster reported

Murphysboro’s Big Muddy Monster was back in the news today, right on schedule for regular appearances close to the Fourth of July Holiday.

Murphysboro Police said three youths in the Westwood Hills Subdivision area at the west city limits called police about 10 p.m. Saturday to report “something unusual” in a wooded area near the subdivision.

Police said some broken branches were found in the area, but said no other traces of any kind, including footprints, were found.

The description provided, by the youths was vague because of dim light, police said.

It was in the same area as one of the first sightings of the Big Muddy Monster, as the think – whatever it is – was named by police.

The first sighting was reported late in June in 1973, when a couple saw a “7-foot-tall mud-covered and light-haired man” in a parking area in Riverside Park.

Several days later two Murphysboro teen-agers saw a similar figure near a back porch of a home in Westwood Hills, just a short distthe ance from Riverside Park and  the Big Muddy River.

Police in 1973 found tracks, including river slime, near the home in Westwood Hills.

Not much was heard from the monster until February of 1975, when two truckers on Illinois 3, near the Illinois 149 junction weest of Murphysboro report of a “bear-like animal” on the side of the road near the highway junction.

In July of 1975, residents in the Pentecostal Church grounds area north of Murphysboro reported seeing a “white and shaggy haired creature, about seven fee tall.”

Teams of investigators from several sections of the country check out the various sightings. Scientific investigation had identified similar sightings in other areas as a Sasquatch, or more commonly called Big Foot.