Large, hairy two-legged animal seen
by Nicholas Bergin for the Hawkeye dot com Iowa's oldest newspaper
March 2, 2009 -- Fairfield, Iowa -- It's big, it's hairy, and it's been sighted in Jefferson County. Just don't call it bigfoot
"I'm not saying that is what it is by any means. I just had somebody call this office and report that is what they'd seen," said Shawn Morrissey, operations and natural resource manager for Jefferson County Conservation.
Morrissey has received two reports of a large biped roaming the Skunk River valley on the eastern side of the county in as many years.
The first report came during the summer of 2007, and the second during the fall of last year.
The most recent caller claimed to have waited several months to contact officials after seeing what he described as a large hairy beast walking on two legs.
"It was pretty wishy-washy," Morrissey said. "It's my own personal feeling they saw something that tricked their eyes and was a very explainable animal."
Morrissey said a more probable explanation would be the person saw a horse or a hunter wearing a Ghillie Suit, a type of a camouflage that can look like it's covered in hair.
"I'm not going to say they didn't (see something). But I think the more likely thing is they saw something in a flash or at a strange angle," Morrissey said.
The sightings have not been investigated by county officials. Morrissey said he did not know the names of those who made the reports.
It's unlikely a large fur-covered biped could play hide and seek in Iowa wilderness and remain undocumented. The state simply doesn't have enough large stretches of timber where such a creature could live, Morrissey said.
"This is a very populated state really. There aren't any big chunks of wilderness," he said.
And during the winter when trees are stripped of their leaves, the ground is wide open to any plane passing overhead.
"Most actual animals have some kind of physical evidence," Morrissey added.
However, common sense hasn't stopped Sasquatch from popping up all over the state.
nbergin at thehawkeye dot com
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