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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Momo the Missouri Monster - 40 yrs On

I've been on a decidedly UFO-centric bent the last few weeks of posts and so tonight I thought I would leave that topic behind and head back over to the harried (or hairy pardon the very bad pun) world of cryptozoology. It would seem that no place in the world was safe from large hairy hominids. Australia has their Yowie, the Himalayas their Yeti, and the Pacific Northwest of North America has Bigfoot. Apparently not to be outdone it seems that the town of Louisiana, Missouri also has a hairy hominid that popped up for a time and then seemingly vanished back into whatever ethereal dimension these creatures call home. So let's travel back in time to July of 1972 and meet with Momo, the Missouri Monster. The first reported sighting of the creature occurred on July 11, 1972. According to The Kansas City Star:

The Harrison family lived in a house along what was then known as Marzolf Hill. On a hot summer day, 8-year-old Terry Harrison and his 5-year-old brother, Wally, were chasing their dog through the woods.

Suddenly, 15-year-old Doris Harrison, who was inside, heard her brothers screaming, ran to the window and saw a creature she described as perhaps 7 feet tall with dark hair covering its face. It held a dead dog under its arm and blood – apparently from the dog – flecked the dark hair of the beast. And, ooh, that smell!

It wasn't a man and it wasn't a bear,” said Doris Harrison Bliss, now 55. “It was something …”

Something you'd never seen before?” she was asked.

Something not seen before
It's at this point that I would like to point out a few interesting details about this case. First, in keeping with the hairy hominid tradition, the creature was quite tall and also had a fairly unpleasant odor to it. Anyone who is even cursorily aware of other sasquatch reports knows that both of these facts are in keeping with the party line, so to speak. However I'm sure many picked up on the fact that Momo was apparently feasting on someone's dog. Now I don't know about you all but I probably would not have stuck around much longer in the presence of an apparently carnivorous 7 ft tall creature. That's just what Doris and her brother's did, they got out the area and fast! This was not to be the last time that Momo would wield it's (probably) blood covered head however. With an apparent attraction to the Harrison family we find this piece of information from Prairie Ghosts:

Everything was quiet until three days later, on July 14. That evening, Edgar Harrison (the children's Father) conducted a regular prayer meeting in his home and about 45 minutes after it ended, heard ringing noises that sounded as though someone was throwing rocks into the metal water reservoir on top of Marzolf Hill. The reservoir was an attraction for neighborhood children but it was unlikely that any of them would have been playing there at that hour. As he listened closely to the sounds, he heard one especially loud ring and then an animal-like growl. The sound came closer and closer and was so loud that his family came running out of the house. They urged him to leave the neighborhood but Harrison wanted to see what was making the sound.

He finally gave in to his family's pleading and as he drove down Allen Street, he met about 40 people, some of them carrying guns, who were on their way to investigate the sounds at the reservoir. For some reason, Harrison shouted "Here it comes!" and the entire crowd turned away and ran. A number of people reported hearing the strange cries and screams that night but by the time that police officers Jerry Floyd and John Whitaker arrived on the scene to investigate, they found nothing out of the ordinary.

Later that evening, Harrison and several friends explored Marzolf Hill and found an old building from which a strong and unpleasant odor lingered. Harrison described it as a "moldy, horse smell or a strong garbage smell." In the days that followed, he and others would experience the same smell around areas where the bizarre sounds were heard.

Once again we have Momo conforming to some of the standard Sasquatch behavior. Many people have reported rocks being thrown around in areas that Sasquatch have allegedly been sighted in. After a few other people in the town began to have run-ins with Momo, the media (both local and national) picked up a whiff of the story (or of Momo, it's hard to tell which). As a small sample of some of the reports, The Kansas City Star says:

Reports of encounters began to pile up. A man claimed he was chased by a big hairy beast with red eyes. School kids said they saw it from their classroom window. Two women picnicking near the river said Momo chased them to their Volkswagen, then displayed the human-like intelligence to try and open the door before a blast of the horn scared it away.

Prairie Ghosts has an account of the last sighting of Momo that has been reported:

During the last week of July, a series of mysterious three-toed prints appeared on the Freddie Robbins farm, about eight miles south of Louisiana. No casts were made of the prints but they were protected until investigators were able to make diagrams of them. They would turn out to be an almost exact match of prints found a few days later. More tracks were discovered on the early morning of August 3 at the farm of Mrs. and Mrs. Bill Suddarth, who lived just northwest of town. In the middle of the night, they heard a high-pitched howling in their yard and ran outside with flashlights to see what was going on. In the middle of their garden, they found four prints from a three-toed creature.

Suddarth quickly called his hunting buddy, Clyde Penrod, who drove over and made a plaster cast of the print. Penrod, who was an avid outdoorsman, was puzzled by the whole affair. With the tracks being 20 feet away from anything else, he couldn't understand how they could have been made. They began abruptly in the center of the garden and ended just as mysteriously. It looked as of the three-toed creature had just appeared in the center of the garden and then vanished. No tracks were found anywhere else on the property and there was no sign that any prankster could have made them either. This was the last encounter with the creature and perhaps it is fitting that the "monster flap" ended on such an inexplicable note.

And with that Momo seemingly vanished back into the woods whence it first came apparently never to be seen again. What exactly did the people of Louisiana, Missouri experience back in the summer of 1972? It's hard to say for sure. The accounts all have the typically bullet points of a sasquatch encounters including; the overwhelming odor, the height, and the rock throwing. I would be remiss if I didn't point out that, at least to my knowledge, this is the only incident I'm aware of wherein a Sasquatch was reported to have killed and eaten something. If I've missed another report or account that I should be aware of please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Before I go I wanted to leave you all with one last piece of Momo-mania. A musician by the name of Scott Cooper composed this amazing masterpiece that was inspired by Momo. It's actually quite a catchy little tune, you can give it a listen here. With that I leave you for another night. Have a good one Forteans!

Further Reading:


Anonymous said...

Where did the photo come from, and who took it, and when?

Anonymous said...

Sasquatch or Bigfoot, whatever you would rather favor, has indeed been seen eating deer remains, and seeking out fish in rivers, etc. Bigfoot has also been tied to the deaths of dogs and other small animals. It is not just in the MOMO story! After several years, people began to say it was all a hoax perpetrated via some college kids. Also there are other Bigfoot stories showing tracks with 3 toes!

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