Most Sundays, my siblings and I get together for a meal. It’s a tradition that began when our parents were alive, and we’ve continued it. We take time to discuss the events of the previous week, review the schedule for the coming week, and generally resolve any issues in the world.
At a recent luncheon, the topic turned to Big Foot sightings. A TV show showed what it claimed was a video of a Big Foot somewhere in the United States.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t pay much attention to it, until Big Sis and Big Bro started debating the authenticity of the ape-like creatures. Like Switzerland, I remained neutral.
But a few days later, while compiling the Out of the Past column, I came across an article from 1947 which announced that there was a large “varmint” hidden in the hills of Madison County, and that the inhabitants of the area were determined to hunt her down.
I did some more checking and found a second article from 1972 that interviewed the same man who was featured in the 1947 story: George Slocum. Now, I know that doesn’t prove anything, but both articles might provide some interesting fodder for our next family reunion.
Posted September 8, 1947 in southeastern Missouri:
VARMINT HUNT IN MADISON HILLS
Special for the Missourian.
FREDERICKTOWN, September 8. – Although law enforcement authorities have taken a cautious view of the bigger picture, residents of the nearby community of Boswell remain firmly convinced that an ‘ape-like’ animal is on the loose in the rugged hills of the Ozark. near here.
They point, as proof of their claim, to enormous footprints in the peach orchard of George Slocum, where the “thing”, the “varmint” or the “monkey”, as it is variously called, was particularly frequent in his visits. Mr. Slocum, a piano tuner, previously lived in Cape Girardeau.
A plaster cast of one of the prints was made and, displayed at the Democrat-News office here, caught the attention of hundreds.
Slocum’s daughter Agnes, 10, reported seeing the animal, which she said looked like an ape she had seen at the St. Louis Zoo. Hunts were organized and John Lute and his son, Gene, from near Fredericktown, reported seeing and shooting the animal. They said he was brown with white or gray markings on his head.
Besides the footprints in Slocum’s orchard, many more have been seen by parties hunting the animal in a hollow near the farmer’s house.
Even though hunters failed to capture the mystery animal, Carl Lamb, Ernest Thurman and James Royer last week killed a 28-pound bobcat with a .22 caliber rifle when their pack of hounds jumped on the feline, but it was not. the monkey”.
Posted August 4, 1972 in southeastern Missouri:
George Slocum, 72, a piano tuner from Jackson, shows the cast of a footprint of the Baby Mo-Mo that roamed his farm near Fredericktown, Missouri, in the late 1940s. (Southeast Missouri Archives )
IS MO-MO DESCENDANT OF THE FIVE-TOED MONSTER
SNAPSHOT IN FREDERICKTOWN IN THE 1940s?
By CECELIA SONDERMAN
Missouri Staff Writer
Mo-Mo could be from the same old family — a descendant of three foul-smelling, long-armed Missouri monsters that roamed the hills and valleys around Fredericktown 26 years ago.
If so, he lost two toes in the shuffle.
George Slocum, now of Jackson, says he got pretty close to the three creatures that scared the people of southeastern Missouri in 1946-48. The “things” have practically taken up residence at the Slocum farm eight miles southwest of Fredericktown.
There were at least three of the furry beasts around this time – apparently Mama Monster, Papa Monster, and the little (?) Baby Monster.
Mr Slocum said he saw them, his late wife saw them and their daughter saw them. To prove it. Mr. Slocum has a plaster of Paris cast of Baby Monster’s footprint. He measures 4 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches and has five fingers.
But the hairy creature now seen around Louisiana, Missouri, is believed to have only three toes, Slocum said.
However, it is possible that Baby Monster has grown. Or some of his relatives might have moved to Louisiana. It’s a known fact that many hunters have come to the Fredericktown area hoping to add an unusual prize to their trophy wall, but none have succeeded.
“I know there was a family of at least three people, we could hear them calling each other. It was a high-pitched ‘oooh,’ and they were calling each other,” Slocum commented.
Mr Slocum said he also found a large footprint about three or four times larger than the smaller one, but was unable to make a cast of it.
“My wife saw him walking through our coop on two legs and his hands were so long they were hanging below his knees. He was hairy and we found black hairs in the fence where he crossed. He was sleeping in our coop, because the smell was there and it was quite strong,” recalls Mr. Slocum.
His daughter also saw one of the things coming out of a stream. It was on all fours and had a large tooth protruding from either side of its mouth. “She was only 12 and scared to death,” he said.
Mr. Slocum’s theory is that the 1946 creatures were at least one type of what is called “Big Foot, Yeti or the Abominable Snowman”. Webster (dictionary) says the latter is an animal reported to exist in the high Himalayas and generally considered a bear.
“A professor who studied the cast of the footprint said it was not a human footprint, but the second toe joint has human characteristics,” Slocum said.
Apparently Mo-Mo of yesteryear “snatched” food and didn’t disturb anything on the farm. “And a weird thing was that you never found footprints of the creature in winter, only in summer,” he said.