LISTEN | Cryptid creature expert Lyle Blackburn previews Fouke Monster Festival

Monster Mart owner Shane Fondren stands in front of the store in October 2023 in Fouke, Arkansas. The annual Fouke Monster Festival will take place April 26 and 27, 2024. Available activities will include bus tours of locations where people say they have seen the sasquatch monster, expert Lyle Blackburn said in an interview for the Texarkana Gazette podcast "On the Line."  (Photo by Brande Hewett)
Monster Mart owner Shane Fondren stands in front of the store in October 2023 in Fouke, Arkansas. The annual Fouke Monster Festival will take place April 26 and 27, 2024. Available activities will include bus tours of locations where people say they have seen the sasquatch monster, expert Lyle Blackburn said in an interview for the Texarkana Gazette podcast "On the Line." (Photo by Brande Hewett)

FOUKE, Ark. -- The story of the Fouke Monster is far from over.

That's what expert Lyle Blackburn said in an interview for the Texarkana Gazette podcast "On the Line." Blackburn has written two books about the sasquatch creature immortalized in the 1972 movie "The Legend of Boggy Creek." And he is a regular guest speaker at the annual Fouke Monster Festival, this year scheduled for April 26 and 27.

"People have still reported sightings of tall, hair-covered creature that moves on two legs," he said. "There's been sightings where it's run across roads. ... There have been some recent sightings by hunters who -- one guy in particular, sitting in a tree stand, observed one at a distance, moving around and in the swampy bottoms and then just sort of disappearing behind the trees."

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Listen to the entire interview:

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Bus tours of where people have seen the monster, and of locations where "The Legend of Boggy Creek" was filmed, are some highlights of the festival.

"The festival encompasses, usually, people getting together that are interested in this subject. There's various speakers who are up to speed on all things Bigfoot and related things like that. ... It's just a fun event and just a way for people to celebrate their enthusiasm for this legend that has continued all these years," Blackburn said.

Fouke Monster sightings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, related newspaper stories from the Texarkana Gazette and the Associated Press, and then the movie were what brought the creature to wide public attention. But sightings date back to the 1930s and 1940s, Blackburn said.

He also spoke about the best evidence of sasquatches' existence he has seen, his personal encounters, his latest book, "Texas Bigfoot: History, Legends, and Modern Encounters in the Lone Star State," and a lot more.

"On the Line" is available free of charge at texarkanagazette.com/podcast and through popular podcast apps.

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