Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 5th, 2010
HARRISBURG — The Tuttle Bottoms Monster has fascinated generations of Saline County residents.
Former Harrisburg Police Chief Gary Crabtree said in 1999 prior to his retirement the department had received as many as 50 reports of some kind of beast lurking in the area northwest of Harrisburg in his 28 years at the department.
Most reports regarded a hairy creature. Some had the creature on two legs and some on four. Most described it as having a long, almost anteater-like snout.
Virgil Smith, founder of the animal research organization Shadows of the Shawnee, has opened his own investigation into the monster and thinks he has a clue as to what it may be.
Smith is hesitant to say much more without further evidence, but believes the creature was an actual animal released by the federal government and that another such creature was reported in Massac County.
“It stood on two legs, was hairy, close to swampy river areas. A couple had the animal walk up to them,” Smith said.
“It was more a description of a primate. The animal was not scared of humans.”
Smith said a former employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture confided to him the department had launched an investigation into the Tuttle Bottoms Monster. The man also told him a story about the origin of the Massac County creature. Smith believes that origin could be the same as the fabled Tuttle Bottoms Monster and that it is a legitimate creature, not a monster out of myth.
Smith believes the animals were released and have likely long-since died.
Smith is hoping to receive information from anyone who has had an encounter with the monster.
“What I’m looking for is older people, farmers, who either had a first-hand encounter or had first-hand reports. I’m not looking for headless horseman-type reports,” Smith said.
Smith may be contacted at (618) 273-9394, by cell phone at (618) 841-8191 or by e-mail at email@example.com.Brian DeNeal