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Crosley said to feature beastly creature

By Matt Baker

As Rob Loretz took his usual late-night walk through the woods at Crosley State Fish and Wildlife Refuge in August 2001, something felt strange. A strong smell of urine lingered nearby. An odd sound leapt to his ears. And then he spotted something watching him nearby. His glimpse was fleeting, but Loretz said he knew one thing: The creature wasn’t human. Loretz said the enormous creature he saw with his friends, Jeff and Kathy Burton, was 8 or 9 feet tall with a head the size of a cow’s. It stared at them from the woods with green eyes the size of silver dollars. They threw sticks at it to scare it, but the creature remained. It followed them as they hurried to their car to escape. Kathy Burton said she believes the animal they saw was the Crosley Creature, a legendary half-man, half-beast said to live in the refuge. “When I was a little kid, we would go there and say we were looking for the creature, but it was a big joke,” she said. “I never believed I would ever see anything.” People have claimed to see the creature for more than 50 years, according to property manager Larry Allsop. No evidence has been found to support the claims, and a man eventually admitted to starting the hoax in the late 1950s, Allsop said. Sightings But the sightings continue. About 10 or 12 people report spotting unusual animals each year. Recent reports include an ape-like man walking around the park and an 8-foot tall beast with hooves roosting in pine trees. After her initial sighting, Kathy said she and her husband were uncertain of what they saw. “It was almost like a dream,” she said. “We started doubting whether we saw it.” They returned to the park to investigate a few nights later, and they found the creature staring at them from the edge of the woods. The sightings at Crosley could be part of a larger phenomenon of sasquatches in the country, according to Indiana Bigfoot Awareness Group founder Mike Bardsley. Two or three reports of bigfoots in the state pop up a year, and similar claims across North America suggest that many creatures exist on the continent, he said. Though encounters here are common, Indiana’s high population density keeps most bigfoots from living here year-round. “There could be some families living in the more forested southern part of Indiana, but I believe the typical encounter is the result of their travel through the state,” Bardsley said. Despite arguments from Bardsley and others, Russ Grunden, spokesperson for Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said bigfoot sightings are only myths. “We don’t have a bigfoot specialist here, because bigfoots don’t exist.” Grunden said irregular shadows, pranks by a neighbor or catching only a glimpse of a moving object can account for most bigfoot sightings. “Sometimes the eyes just play tricks,” he said. State conservation officer Bill Beville said he does not believe in bigfoots, because no physical evidence supports their existence. The footprints he has seen could be duplicated by large coonhounds, and no bodies, photographs, hair or fecal samples have been found, he said. “People’s fear, superstitions and alcohol can come up with pretty amazing things sometimes,” Beville said. Bardsley disagreed, noting that scientists in other states have examined evidence that could not have been made by any known animal. “There are a lot of good questions in this field, but there aren’t always a lot of good answers,” Bardsley said. The Burtons continue to trek through Crosley at night as a way to exercise, and they still find evidence of their sighting. “Just this past week, we found footprints in a creek bed that didn’t look human,” Kathy said. “They were larger than a human’s, and they had toe imprints.” Though others doubt her sanity and sightings, Kathy said she will continue to ignore their criticisms. “Most people think we’re nuts, but that’s OK,” she said. “I know what I saw, and I know what I smelled.”

Portions 2005, The Republic, Columbus, Indiana


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Indiana Bigfoot Awareness  is an ad-hoc, not-for-ANY-PROFIT,  believe-it-if-you-want-to-or-not website for Hoosiers or anyone else who cares to report a sighting or encounter. While any report to this site IS checked out before posting, I nor anyone else can be held responsible for verifying that in fact that everything posted here or at any linked site can be held as completely true or real. While I certainly believe Bigfoot/Sasquatch is real, neither this site or any other currently on the web has any form of concrete proof.
Indiana Bigfoot Awareness  is a "No Kill" website as it pertains to the intentional hunting or killing of a Bigfoot/Sasquatch.
This site created Sat. Oct. 25, 2003.

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