Clark National Forest, Missouri
Slabtown Spring 1977


Missouri, Clark National Forest.

Slabtown Spring area; late afternoon. My wife and I were 4-wheeling (driving in our jeep) with a friend, following one of the many trails that used to be open to the public...we came upon a beautiful meadow that bordered the Big Piney River. Across the river was a line of very sheer cliffs, standing about 100 to 150 feet high, pocked with many was such a pleasant place we decided to get out and stretch our legs...we just stood there, gabbing and taking in the view.

I was looking very intently at those cliffs across the river, thinking about how much fun it would be to climb up and explore some of those holes. As my vision swept across the cliffs my eyes were attracted to something that didn't quite object protruding from one of the highest holes. I focused in on it and it moved and then withdrew into the hole, very quickly. I only saw it for a few seconds.

I tried to tell my wife and friend what I saw, but they thought I was joking...what I think I saw was an arm that had very long hair, much like an orangutan ape, but very dark in color, possibly black. I've decided that the animal whose arm I saw was actually leaning out of the hole, balancing itself with its arm resting on the edge of the hole, watching us. When it realized I was looking at it, it yanked its arm back extremely fast.

Right after it happened I wanted to tell everyone I knew, the newspapers, the Forest Service - everyone...but then I thought about what would happen...people would come by the droves and hunt for it, trashing the forest, and maybe even find it and put it in a zoo, or something worse, all because of me. I decided to keep my mouth shut... years later, having realized that people wouldn't believe me anyway, so I started telling the story.

During the 80's the forest was closed to off-road vehicles, and many of the trailheads were dozed over... I've been back to the forest many times, camping, but I can no-longer find the spot where this took place.

The Forest Service has made it very difficult to get around there now, and the topography all looks the same...maybe this is for the best, anyway...MOMO is better off undiscovered!

Jim Mooney

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