Around the time of the "Spottsville Monster" events of 1975, his brother was finding strangely mutilated dead cattle. He had lost six head that year. Literally. All six carcasses were found with their heads torn off and missing. They only found one head, he claimed, and it was stripped to the bone and missing the lower mandible. None of the other meat on the carcasses was consumed or even disturbed. When the family moved across the Green River to Hebbardsville, the sightings continued. In fact, he claimed that from the late 1960s until the early to mid-’70s hardly any weekend went by when he and a car load of friends didn't park near the intersection of Ash Flats and Old Bell roads and observe groups of these creatures, ranging in number from four individuals up to as many as fifteen or better, engaged in the act of eating bitter roots and grass. There were countless sightings, he claimed, by dozens of different individuals.
"Were they hairy Indians?" I asked.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CREATURE
“No”, he said. They were not Indians of any type. They had black skin and an average size of eight to ten feet tall, although he had seen one awhile back that was at least a twelve-footer. Their eyes were a dark brown color with no visible whites or irises. They were bearded, had thin lips, a weak chin and a flat, wide nose, like individuals of African descent. They had normal-looking hands of a large size with pale-colored palms, but their feet had an opposing toe sticking out at an angle away from the other four toes, like an ape's or chimp's. They had extremely long arms that hung down past their knees and could run quadrupedally 35 to 40 mph. The females also possessed beards, though shorter than the males’. They were of more stocky build, had furry breasts and carried their young beneath them clinging to their bellies. He described the males as being covered with short, straight, usually dark hair, with longer areas of about six inches at the beard, backs of the head and genital areas.
"Pull over here”, M.F. said as we approached a medium-sized muddy creek at the Old Bell, Ash Flats location. I pulled over and we got out. This was the place, he told me, that he and scores of friends had witnessed these creatures feeding countless times. According to him, they didn't seem to mind being watched. Unless someone got out of the car. Then they would all rush into the creek and be gone in an instant. They traveled the creeks, he claimed. The water would wash away the tracks and they were excellent swimmers if the water was up.
A SACRED PLACE
After photographing the location, I asked him if he could take me to the place where he found the tooth. He said nothing for several seconds as he carefully considered the request. I was beginning to think that I had overstepped my bounds, as it were, when he looked up. He would take me there, he answered, if I promised never to disclose the location. It was a sacred place, he explained – a burial place of the Cherokee people and home to other powerful legendary beings as well as the “old people”. I agreed and we got back into the truck.
We traveled a short distance from the Ash Flats area and stopped. "Follow me..." he said, and started up a thickly forested ridge. Although he was nearly 60 years old, he ascended the steep terrain as nimbly as a jack rabbit and, after a short but vigorous trek, we crested another large hill and stopped. "Look freely," he said. "Take pictures, but nothing else."
I looked around. We stood at the rim of a forested ridge which wound around the area like a dark circle, forming an impressive natural amphitheater. The bottom of the “bowl” formation was mostly clear and somehow comfortable looking even now. All around me were graves, stacked in layers, some ancient beyond reckoning. Many were marked with stones onto which Cherokee petroglyphs and letters were carved. I had hunted Indian artifacts nearly all my life, but had never seen a single stone in Henderson County bearing intact Native American images or writing. Now I was surrounded by them.
"This place is called ‘The Great Hill’ by my people," M.F. told me. Here were buried the bodies of the famous Cherokee chieftain, Double Head, his daughter, Corn Blossom and countless others. I snapped pictures one after another while the sunlight faded much too swiftly. Daniel Boone, pioneer hero of old, had written of this place. Twice Boone was taken prisoner by the Shawnee just across the Green river. Twice his freedom was bartered for and obtained by the friendly Cherokee. Two heavily weathered stones still bore his name and short messages, carved by Boone's own hand during his stay there over 200 years ago.
Still other stones were carved with images of corn stalks, deer and sun. Three stones displayed the likenesses of strange faces. No one knew who most of the graves belonged to. This was the final resting place of the “Great Chiefs” of antiquity, whose names were lost forever. Stone circles were present. Raking back the dead leaves revealed a wealth of stone artifacts still lying where their makers had placed them so many generations ago. This was also the sacred home of other mythical beings from tribal lore, he told me. They were called “The Little People,” tiny humanoids standing only two feet tall, who could be either friendly or malignant depending on the content of one’s heart.
During heavy rains some of the graves would wash out, I was informed, and M.F. had needed to re-inter some of the bones on occasion. He had found the tooth several years ago here, in 2004, at the foot of the hill, washed up by the rushing water. No other creature native to this area had teeth like it, he felt sure.
Next page: Skeletons of Giants