A retired friend of mine who lives here in southwest Missouri was driving on U.S. 24 along the shore of Rice Lake in Illinois at around 2:20 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 10 to visit a close friend who was hospitalized in Peoria.
“I always try to drive at night as much as possible,” he explained in an email he sent less than an hour after his experience occurred. “There is much less traffic and my plans were to get a motel room in Peoria, grab some sleep, and visit my sick friend in the morning. I was driving through an area with a fairly narrow strip of pretty thick woods on both sides and a large body of water called Rice Lake quite close on the other side of the trees to my right. There was almost no other traffic and I had slowed down a little in fear of a deer running out in front of me. Well, something did run out in front of me, but it was definitely not a deer.
“It was obviously a Bigfoot. I knew that as soon as I saw it, but it didn’t look like what I expected one to look like if I ever had the chance to see one. It was well over 6 feet tall, maybe even topping 7 feet, and was covered all over with fairly long hair — maybe four to six inches. But the most striking thing about it was that its hair was white. Actually, it wasn’t snow white, but instead had kind of a slight cream-colored tint to it. I have never heard of a white Bigfoot before.
“It was not actually running, but it’s steps were so long that it was covering quite a bit of ground with each one. It never did turn its head to face me completely, just kind of glanced in my direction as if to make sure I wasn’t too close, but from what I could tell it had thinner hair on its face and looked pretty well like a human. Because of his color, I tried to get a look at the eye color, since an albino of any species usually has pink eyes; these were definitely dark in color, probably brown.
“I am going to take a shower and a nap, and when I go to visit my friend — and you have read this email, since you are probably sound asleep as I send this — I will try to get any local information that I can and email you later, at a more ‘normal’ time. Sweet dreams.”
What a surprise it was when I read his email over my first cup of coffee. Sightings of a white or cream-colored Bigfoot are not unheard of here in the Heartland, but they are certainly a relative rarity in comparison to those of a more “conventional” color such as brown or black. The “Murphysboro Monster” sightings way back in 1973 involved a white Bigfoot, but they took place in the far southern part of the state, hundreds of miles away. There were also reports of a couple seeing a white Bigfoot on two different occasions several years and more than 100 miles apart in Kansas. But as rare as such reports are, I find, such a tremendous coincidence highly unlikely unless we veer off into the realm of the metaphysical. Personally, I suspect a simple hoax to get attention to be far more likely.
I got a quick message when he got up and was ready to leave for the hospital and a full update that afternoon. At just before five o’clock he wrote, “I checked with my friend, who is recovering nicely from his surgery and will probably get to go home tomorrow, and he has heard some talk about Bigfoot sightings in the area over the years, but nothing in that particular area or involving a white one. I got the same response from the nurses and members of the staff at the library. Wish I could have gotten more, but I did give your email address to several people. If I come up with anything else I will let you know.”
I want to thank readers of my column for coming through for me with orders for my book. If you have not done so yet — I know money is tight during the holidays — ordering information for both of my first two books can be found on my Facebook page or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.