Saturday, November 3, 1990
Cole Street Monster Story Keeps Being Told
By Jill Peterson and Paula Castros
Something lives deep in the thick woods which Cole Street cuts through. Sure, there’s rabbits, deer, raccoons — but legend has it that something else is there, too.
Not many have actually seen it, but those who have say it’s big, hairy and has a foul odor. And it’s not something they want to see again.
Could the Cole Street Monster be lingering around the corner on Cole Hollow Road?
The Cole Street Monster.
The legend of the Cole Street Monster can be traced back many years, all the way to the late 1930s. Many people think the monster could somehow be associated with the old coal mines in the woods of Cole Street.
Cole Street was named for the numerous coal mines once operated in the area. Mining companies worked the area in the mid-30s, and most mines were abandoned by the end of that decade.
Then, rumors about the monster began to circulate.
The monster apparently kept to itself for the most part until the 1970s, when numerous sightings were reported.
Bill Beard, 38, of 1600 Bloomington Road, was born and raised in Cole Hollow, which is the section of Cole Street at the bottom of the hill. He recalled an incident when he was 16 which happened to his brother.
“My brother was in a car, and something big came out of a gully and then vanished,” Beard said. “It scared him pretty bad.”
He told of another time when a friend was walking through the woods, and saw something in a corn field. Although he didn’t know what he saw, Beard said the friend was shaken up.
“I think there’s something to it,” Beard said of the legend. “It was spotted at the bottom of the hill in Cole Hollow in 1978 or 1979 but people think it was a big trucker wearing a suit. But in the late 60s and early 70s I know it wasn’t a trucker.”
“There’s something around there in the woods,” said one long-time resident who didn’t want her name used.
She herself had an experience with the creature many years ago.
“My husband had a band at the time,” she recalled. “We came home at 4 a.m. from a club where he was playing one time, and when we pulled into the driveway I saw something drinking out of our pool in the back. It was not a bear and it was not a deer.”
The woman described what she saw as gorilla-like, standing about 7 feet tall, covered with brown hair and leaving a bad smell.
Based on friends’ descriptions, Beard also said the creature was tall and covered with hair, but he described the hair color as white.
The woman recalled another time when she was visiting a neighbor who had a vicious dog penned up outside. She said the dog barked often and was afraid of nothing. During the visit, the dog began to bark and then stopped. When the owner went to investigate, the dog was laying down and appeared to have been frightened by something.
One theory is that the monster resides in the abandoned coal mines along Cole Street.
“You always see black streaks heading down towards the woods when (the monster) appears,” she said.
“I don’t know what it is, but I believe there’s something down in the woods,” she continued. “I used to do a lot of mushrooming. One time I had been mushrooming and was sitting down in the woods, and all of a sudden I felt like something was watching me. That’s the last time I went mushrooming in those woods.”
Others have had “close encounters” with the monster while in their cars.
“In the summer of 86 a friend and I were driving up Cole Street in a little VW,” said Fran Roark of East Peoria. “The headlights went out and the car died. It wouldn’t start and although it was still in gear, the car rolled back down the hill and into the parking lot of the old brick yard.”
Roark said it was a dark night, no moonlight, drizzling, and about 11 p.m. The windows were down and the pair sat talking for awhile before trying to start the car again. The pair then noticed a foul odor engulfing the car. Roark said it smelled like a cat that had been run over three days ago.
They sat for another 15 minutes and then started hearing eerie noises coming from the woods behind the brick yard. She said the noises were a shrieking wail which became louder. Roark and her friend got out of the car and ran down the hill to a house where another friend lived.
Roark’s friend listened to what had happened and then related her experiences living near the area of the legendary Cole Street Monster. Roark said her friend had heard similar noises at night and had seen fires flame up near the woods when the sounds were being made. She also told Roark huge footprints had been found in the woods.
Roark’s uncle, an East Peoria native, told her about two of his classmates from high school who reportedly were driving up Cole Street hill and the same thing happened to them. They got out of the car, which had rolled into the brick yard, and hiked up the hill for help.
The one girl, who was mute and dumb, stopped dead in her tracks as she sighted the big hairy ape-man-like monster run across the road ahead of her. The same girl later claimed she had communicated with the monster through telepathy and the monster told her not to be afraid for he would not harm her.
Roark said one thing is for sure, there is something in the Cole Street woods, but what she just wasn’t sure.
The monster has been quiet during the last 10 years, with the last sighting occurring in 1978. But who knows when the Cole Street Monster will decide to start lurking in the woods again?
I am going to be a guest speaker at theÂ Lake Land College – Luther Student Center Theatre in Mattoon, Illinois,Â Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013.
“Bigfoot In Illinois”
October 2nd, 2013
Lake Land College
Luther Student Center Theatre
5001 Lake Land Blvd
Mattoon, IL 61938
Other recordists have commented about unusual recordings of what sound like zippers. If this is a mimicked sound it would make sense in that one of the most often heard sounds in a campground at night is zippers on tents and sleeping bags. I had never recorded anything resembling this sound.
Early in May of 2013 my wife and I camped for ten days in Eastern Ohio. As it is early in the camping season most of the areas were sparsely populated with other campers. This particular night there was only one other unit within 300 yards of us and it was also a camper with no tents.
On reviewing my nights recording I found this unusual sound resembling a zipper.
Click here to listen to sound clip: Zipper 1
Recently I was invited by two fellow researchers to visit their research site here in Central Illinois. In the past they have heard odd vocalizations and wood knocks. Recently they experienced a roar and voices coming from the woods.
My wife and I camped in the area and after meeting up with our friends spent two nights investigating.
Belle, my Karelian Bear Dog, anticipating her next adventure.
First night: 11 Aug 2013
At around 8 p.m the first night we walked about 1/2 mile down a trail and spent about two hours in the area. We did a couple of wood knocks as we slowly walked back towards the vehicles. When we were about 200 yards from our vehicles two of us heard what sounded like children talking loudly. Five minutes later we again heard the same sounds and it appeared they came from where we were parked. A couple minutes later we heard one bark from my Karelian Bear Dog, Belle, who had decided she needed to guard our truck and hurried ahead to confront the noisemakers. Five minutes later we arrived at our vehicles, the area was totally dark and devoid of any humans. This is only the second time in eight years that Belle has returned to the vehicle and barked.
Second night: 12 Aug 2013
Because of the “children voices” that we heard the night before I left a small recorder on the truck hoping to record any visitors while we were gone walking the trail.
We slowly walked the trail. Belle stayed fairly close for about twenty minutes and then was gone. Typically on an investigation Belle will come and go making contact every so often. She normally hunts for raccoons or other varmints and is usually very quiet, however she will bark if she trees a coon. When she didn’t return in an hour and a half I didn’t get too concerned.
While walking we heard a distant wood knock that I responded to with one wood knock and twenty minutes later we heard a much softer but closer wood knock. We did not hear any vocalizations or other unusual sounds the rest of the evening. We stopped along side the trail perhaps 300 yards from the vehicles for about 20 minutes. While there Belle ran up and I had never seen her so excited to see me, she was overjoyed.
We returned to our vehicles and called it a night.
The location of the antenna on my truck and the front tire where the audio recorder was left.
On return to base camp I reviewed the nights audio.
Here is a summary from the audio recorded at the truck:
All times p.m.
7:00:00 Arrived at location
7:06:00 Started walking down trail
7:33:30 Antennae struck
7:33:55 Belle arrives back at the truck
7:34:10 Belle appears to take off running full speed
7:42:22 Belle again comes back to truck winded, panting and whining
8:02 Belle’s first bark
8:08 First katydid’s begin to strum their mid-summer chorus
8:22 – 8:34 Belle – intermittent barking and whining
8:45 – 8:56 Belle – intermittent barking and whining
8:57 Belle leaves the parking area
9:02 Belle returns to me and the other researchers
9:22 We all return to our vehicles.
Antenna 1 – Recording of the antenna being struck with enough force to continue to make it vibrate for 10 seconds. Unfiltered.
Click here to listen to sound clip: Antenna Being Struck 1
Antenna 2 – The complete sequence. First, the antenna is struck, then Belle arrives at the 22 second mark. You can hear Belle’s collar jingling as she (I assume) runs a large circle around the truck and then at the 36 second mark takes off running at full speed. Without changing the gain on the recording it is impossible to keep all the sounds at the same volume. Unfiltered
Click here to listen to sound clip: Antenna Being Struck 2
Antenna 3 – By taking out the sound of the antenna being struck I can turn the gain up you can better hear Belle’s collar jingling and her taking off running. Normally I would remove some of the bass rumble but to do so eliminates many of the softer and subtler sounds of Belle’s movements. Unfiltered
Click here to listen to sound clip: Antenna Being Struck 3
# 1 – It has long been understood that when hikers park their vehicles and hike out of the immediate area that sasquatch may approach their vehicles. I don’t presume to know why they do this other than out of curiosity. With the “childlike voices” we heard the first night I assumed that this was what was happening. I assume they wanted us to hear them, they were not soft but louder that humans without yelling. Belle’s protective behavior the first night to race to the vehicle and bark is something I had noted only one other time in the past eight years when out hiking. My goal the second night was to put her under lead after we reached the end of the trail. I had no idea she would double back early on and return to the vehicles. Did she sense that the “visitors’ had also gone to the vehicles? I have no idea.
# 2 – As to what exactly happened the second night I have an opinion but nothing more. I think Belle sensed that the vehicles may have been approached. She had stayed with us for over a half mile before she headed back to the vehicles. As she got closer to the truck did they hear her coming and give the antenna a yank and then take off? It was only 25 seconds between the time of the antenna noise and Belle’s arrival. Were they juveniles just having fun? Did Belle pick up the scent and give chase only to return 8 minutes later to guard “her masters” property? As it got dark did they then come back? Why did Belle have two bouts of extreme barking and fear (in which she jumped many time onto both sides of the truck and kept trying to get in.) Why didn’t she return to me out on the hiking trail? Did they perhaps have the way blocked for an hour?
The Sasquatch Listening Project is a 24/7 audio project gathering Sasquatch vocalizations using remotely placed recorders.
This project has two goals. The first goal is to purchase additional Sony PCM-M10 digital audio recorders to allow me to increase the number of remote recording systems from the current level of four to an inventory of ten. Many witnesses ask for his help in monitoring their areas where they suspect they have had Sasquatch activity.
The second goal is to produce a CD of all my Sasquatch sounds. This will include all previously recorded sounds plus sounds from this coming spring and summer. This will be sent out in October 2013.
To be a part of this crowdfunding project please scroll to the bottom of this post and review the different levels.
The Sony PCM-M10 digiatal audio recorder
The second goal is to produce a CD of all Stan’s Sasquatch sounds. This will include all previously recorded sounds plus sounds from this coming spring and summer. This will be sent out in October 2013.
In 1956 Stan was introduced to audio recording at the age of eight in Northern Idaho. Cousins visited from California and brought along a large magnetic reel-to-reel tape recorder used to record all family members while they traveled around the country. Stan can be heard in thisÂ short clip talkingÂ on what to him was an amazing machine in June of 1956. Â Â Stan in 1956
Recorders gradually became more affordable and Stan received a Webcor reel-to-reel as an after-Christmas gift January of 1964. That recorder was used to record innumerable family members, TV and music from the radio. In the spring of 1969 Stan recorded his first nature sounds, spring frogs, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Stan using a Telinga Parabolic Microphone and Sound Devises 722 Field Recorder.
Gradually over the years digital recording came on the scene and totally changed the ability of nature recordists to record for extended periods in the field. While Stan was on his first Bigfoot expedition to New Mexico in September of 2004, he determined that he needed to record the many vocalizations he and others were hearing. At that time he purchased a Marantz PMD-670 digital recorder with flash drive. Starting in May of 2006 Stan made a decision to record full-time in various locations with a history of sasquatch activity. Others have stated that “Stan is a pioneer” when it comes to techniques of recording 24/7.
Since that time he has purchased more recorders, including the Sound Devices 722, and several Sony PCM-M10. From 2006 until the present Stan has recorded continuously with several recorders placed in different locations. Stan spent a lot of time developing a recording system which allows him to leave out recorders for an extended length of time. With a complete recording system Stan is able to drop off one of his systems at a remote location and return 2 months later to retrieve it. Stan has traveled to all lower 48 states since 2007, recording in most of them.
Interview this past fall with Channel 20’s Illinois Central TV
Stan developed the website,Â StanCourtney.comÂ with several goals in mind. One goal was a place to share the sounds of nature, whether from birds, frogs or mammals (including Sasquatch) and also to help researchers to select recorders and microphones that hopefully fulfills their goals. TheÂ Night SoundsÂ section includes many recordings of Barred Owls, Coyotes and Fox which commonly are mistaken for Sasquatch.
TheÂ Field RecorderÂ section brings together links of forums, reviews and sound clips of various audio recorders, microphones and sound editors.
Stan emphasizes that all sounds must be compared againstÂ Reference SpeciesÂ to help determine their species. Only by using sound analysis can any sound be eliminated as being of a common animal.
Stan has given presentations to various groups throughout the state of Illinois and has been a guest on numerous radio and TV shows.
Stan is prepared for any challenge when audio recording. This recording project has been on-going for 9 years now and over a 100 sound clips have been recorded of possible Sasquatch. They, as well as any new Sasquatch sounds from this spring and summer will be included in the October 2013 CD.
To be a part of the Sasquatch Listening Project just select your level from the list below and remit your payment using paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org.