(EDITOR'S NOTE: In conjunction with the Fouke (Ark.) Monster Festival held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the town's community center, and the screening of the "Legend of Boggy Creek" at the Perot Theatre in Texarkana today, Saturday and Sunday, editors decided to rerun the original article that was a major influence in both the film and the festival. (Online information sites: TRAHC.org/perot-theatre, LegendOfBoggyCreek.com or FoukeMonster.net/festival.
The article ran on Monday, May 3, 1971, in the Texarkana Gazette on an inside news page. The text below is verbatim, as is the headline. However, how the story appears on the page is not the same and the photo with today's rerun did not accompany the original story; it ran with a follow-up story about its discovery. )
By Jim Powell
Miller County Sheriff's Department officers said early today a search of the area where a mysterious creature was spotted near Fouke early Sunday failed to reveal a clue.
"Members of my department searched the area but didn't find a thing. I don't know what it could have been," Sheriff Leslie Greer said.
Bobby Ford, 25, of Rt. 1, Box 220, Texarkana, Ark., who lives approximately 10 miles south of Texarkana on U.S. Highway 71, said the unidentified creature attacked him at his home shortly before midnight Saturday.
Ford was treated at St. Michael Hospital for minor scratches and mild shock and released.
"After the thing grabbed me and I broke free, I was moving so fast I didn't stop to open the door. I just ran through it," Ford said.
The "creature" was described by Ford as being about seven feet tall and about three feed wide across the chest. "At first I thought it was a bear but it runs upright and moves real fast," he said.
Ford, his brother Don, and Charles Taylor saw the creature several times shortly after midnight and shot at it seven times with a shotgun.
"It first started Wednesday when our wives heard something walking around on the porch. Then Friday night about midnight the thing tried to break into the house again.
"Last night it tried to get in again," Don Ford said.
Elizabeth Ford said she was sleeping in the front room of the frame house when, "I saw the curtain moving on the front window and a hand sticking through the window. At first I thought it was a bear's paw but it didn't look like that. It had heavy hair all over it and it had claws. I could see its eyes. They looked like coals of fire real red," she said. "It didn't make any noise. Except you could hear it breathing."
Ford said they spotted the creature in back of the house with the aid of a flashlight. "We shot several times at it then and then called Ernest Walraven, constable of Fouke. He brought us another shotgun and a stronger light. We waited on the porch and then saw the thing closer to the house. We shot again and thought we saw it fall. Bobby, Charles and myself started walking to where we saw it fall," he said.
About that time, according to Don Ford, they heard the women in the house screaming and Bobby went back.
"I was walking the rungs of a ladder to get up on the porch when the thing grabbed me. I felt a hairy arm come over my shoulder and the next thing I knew we were on the ground. The only thing I could think about was to get out of there. The thing was breathing real hard and his eyes were about the size of a half dollar and real red.
"I finally broke away and ran around the house and through the front door. I don't know where he went," Bobby Ford said.
"We heard Bobby shouting and by the time we got there everything was over. We didn't see a thing," Don Ford said.
Everyone at the house said they saw the creature moving in the fields close to the house. All said it could move fast.
Walraven said he was called to the scene about 12:35 a.m. (Sunday, May 2) and searched the area without finding anything. "I looked through the surrounding fields and woods for about an hour. Then, I gave them my shotgun and light. A short time later they called back and told me they had shot at it again. I went back and stayed until 5 a.m."
Walraven said several years ago resident of Jonesville Community near Fouke reported seeing a "hairy monster" in the area.
"Several persons saw the thing and shot at it, some from close range. They said nothing seemed to stop it. They described it as being about seven feet tall and looking just like a naked man covered with brown hair," Walraven said.
All that remained Sunday morning at the Ford house was several strange tracks-that appeared to be left by something with three toes-and several scratch marks on the front porch that appeared to have been made by something with three claws.
Several pieces of tin nailed around the bottom of the house had been ripped away and another window had been damaged by the creature, according to Ford.
"We plan to stay here tonight and see if we can get the thing if it returns," Dan Ford said.
"I'm not staying here anymore unless they kill that thing," Patricia Ford said.
"As for Bobby Ford, he said, "I've had it here. I'm going back to Ashdown."