The Fouke Hoax ?
Archaeologist, Citing Toe Numbers, Think Monster Track is a Hoax
The "large hairy creature" reportedly attacked Bobby Ford, 25 at this home near Fouke in Miller County on May 2, 1971. Ford and members of his family said the monster was about seven feet tall and wide across the chest with large red eyes.
Three Texarkana motorists said something like a giant monkey with long dark hair and appearing to weight more than 200 pounds crossed the highway in front of their automobile near Fouke on May 22nd.
Dr. Frank Schambagh, archaeologist at Southern State College studied the footprint photographs taken Tuesday by a photographer for the Texarkana Gazette and ruled out the possibility that the tracks were made by a human or a member of the monkey family.
"There is a 99 percent chance the tracks are a hoax," Dr. Schambagh said. " certainly hope someone does not get hurt," he added. "All the primates have five toes," he said. "Also the monkey family is not nocturnal and is like humans or daytime creatures."
"I don't think a monkey could survive a winter here," he said. "There are, and have never been, monkeys native to North America, so that rules out anything that could have been left over from times past."
Miller County Sheriff Leslie Greer thinks however, that the moster may be either a large monkey or a small ape. Greer, along with several of his deputies and residents of the Fouke area, searched a wooded area about four miles southeast of Fouke for several hours Tuesday after the creature was reportedly sighted by two men Tuesday morning as it crossed a road in front of their car. The men said it walked across the road and into a wooded area adjoining a soybean field where dozens of tracks were found last Sunday. The tracks were about thirteen and a half inches long and indicated three large toes.
In conflict with previous reports, those who saw the creature Tuesday described it as about four feet tall and standing in a crouched position.
Dogs were used in the search for the monster on Tuesday, but were unable to pick up a trail. Official said it was too hot and the woods were too dry to hold a scent.
Greer said another attempt would be made to find the creature if the weather cools off and it rains. He said his department probably would try to use a tranquilizer gun on the beast.
Some area resident fear that there may be more than one of the monsters, since several differing descriptions have been reported.
© Arkansas Gazette June 17, 1971
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