Accounts of hairy hominids really run the range of the strange. We have reports from forests, deserts, tunnels, and even places where they have no business being at all, such as the United Kingdom and every state of the United States, yes, including Hawaii. With such a presence across the board, it seems that there are few places where one would not expect to run into one of these beasts, but one of these must certainly be the dank sewer systems and tunnels that run beneath our feet. After all, why should anything of this nature be lurking down there? Yet, there are more reports of Bigfoot-like creatures than you might think originating from the sewers, and here are some of the strangest. This is some seriously weird stuff, so get ready for a wild ride.
One very odd account comes from the May 14, 1982 edition of the Herald Journal, in Syracuse, New York, in which it was reported that an 8-foot-tall hairy monster was running amok in the city sewers of Buena Park, California. The creature, cleverly dubbed “Buena Foot,” was said to have sparked more than 200 calls to police asking about it or reporting sightings of the beast, and a “monster watch” was even mounted without much success. However, there was one report of some men who had claimed to have used divining rods to find the presence of the creature. The bizarre news report itself says it all, reading:
Police said they have received more than 200 telephone calls from people curious about reports of an 8-foot-tall, man-like creature living in the city’s sewer system. “Buena Foot” failed to appear at a “monster watch,” but two men using divining rods claim they saw footprints and handprints that prove a huge humanoid is nearby. Hundreds of people nationwide have called police to inquire about their safety and the safety of relatives in the area since five people reported Monday, they saw the beast walking down a storm tunnel. “We’ve had 200 to 500 calls easily,” Officer Terry Branum said. “We’re telling people we have investigated the area and found nothing there. Dennis Ruminer, a member of a group called the Special Forces Investigations, which investigates unexplained phenomena, claimed Wednesday he found footprints and handprints of the beast in a drainage tunnel.
We were looking around the mouth of the tunnel when someone shouted, “There’s a track,” Ruminer said. “There were a lot of people around and as we went to look a kid stepped on the track, so we only saw the front part of the track. “It was a humanoid foot with five big toe marks and about 7 inches across the ball of the foot. Before we got a good, clear look at it, another kid stepped on it and completely obliterated the track.” But Ruminer said he and his partner, Tom Muzila, used divining rods to track the creature and went inside the tunnel, where they found a handprint. Ruminer said the team made a plaster cast of the print and took pictures of several other sets of prints discovered farther back in the cave. Frank Missanelli, manager of an apartment building near the drainage ditch, said he heard the beast but did not see it. “It roared and growled just like the dinosaurs in the movies,” Missanellia said. About 100 believers held a “monster watch” Tuesday night, but failed to spot anything resembling the beast.
What in the world was going on here? There have certainly been other reports of strange creatures apparently taking shelter in such dark places, such as an odd case mentioned in the book Monsters of Illinois: Mysterious Creatures in the Prairie State, by Troy Taylor. In May of 1963 there was a rash of sightings of a strange hairy wild-man in the area of Centreville and the outskirts of St. Louis, Illinois, in the United States. The sightings started on May 9 and escalated until the police claimed that they were getting around 50 calls a night from people who claimed to have seen the beast, sometimes right in their yards and with at least one report of the creature attacking a man, although police never did get a view of it themselves. Some reports mentioned that the fierce and bizarre beast had a habit of disappearing down into sewers or tunnels, and one such report came from a group of children, who claimed that a creature that looked “half-man, half-woman, and with a half bald head and half a head of hair” was often seen lurking around a housing project in St. Louis on 9th street and that it had a habit of plunging down into a tunnel on 12th Street. Unfortunately, the sightings dropped off and stopped by the end of the month, meaning we will probably never know what these people saw.
Another case which is hard to categorize originates in the rugged Cascade Mountains of Skykomish, Washington, where there is a long abandoned train tunnel called the Cascade Tunnel, where there reportedly dwells a hulking beast with shining yellow eyes. One account of this creature was written of in Brad Steiger’s book Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside, in which a witness called “Dave” tells of a frightening encounter within the tunnel. The witness says that he had gone to the tunnel to investigate the reports and take some photos, and that when he was about 40 feet in he had seen the glowing yellow eyes of the creature himself, remarking that no normal animal’s eyes shone like that. The eyes apparently belonged to an indistinct, massive shadowy figure standing out in the dim murk that was reported as standing at least 9-feet tall.
Startled, Dave fled to his truck in a panic, and as soon as he got in he claims to have heard a loud, metallic bang from the tunnel entrance, which was enough to send him roaring off in his vehicle. A few days later, Dave went back to the site with some other people who were curious as to what he had seen and they would also see the yellow eyes peering from the darkness. None of them would ever go back. Was this a Reptilian humanoid of some kind? Was it a Bigfoot using the tunnel as a shelter? Was it a ghost, spirit, or some other supernatural entity? Interestingly, there have been Bigfoot reports from that very same area, but the glowing eyes seen here seem to be a remarkable detail.
Speaking of hairy monsters in the sewers, from Linda Godfrey’s blog we have a case of what appear to be actual “werewolves” running about the sewers of the town of Minot, North Dakota. Godfrey claims that she had first gotten wind of these reports from a mail sent by a witness she calls “Pete,” who said that he had apprehended a burglary suspect who had quite the outlandish tale to tell. She writes of the account and even touches on a similar account as follows:
“The guy [burglar] went on to explain,” said Pete, “that he and a friend of his were fooling around by a large culvert down by the river. (This particular culvert is about six feet across, easy for a man to walk in. It is inside the city of Minot and leads right out to the bank of the river.) The suspect said that he and his friend had seen something in the shadows that was about seven feet tall. He told my friend that they had also stepped on what they thought was a body while they were walking in the culvert. He stated that he and his friend had run out of there. “The suspect had said that werewolves were living in the sewer system. While this sounds, of course, crazy…I have been noticing a few things since hearing the story: The city police department has had a couple of calls within the past couple of months concerning manhole covers being displaced, or off of manholes around town. Normally I wouldn’t think twice about those types of calls, but it now strikes me as odd.”
Personally, I’ve never been able to shake that mental image of two criminals stumbling over a dead body as they flee the culvert after spotting a seven-plus-feet-tall “something” watching them from the shadows. And Minot may not be the only place where people should take extra care around city water and drainage systems. In “Monsters Among Us” I shared the story of a brother and sister who claim to have seen something similar in a Los Angeles suburb. And Minot does boast a river and lies near several wildlife refuges so the habitat is certainly there.
Very odd, to say the least. Moving out of the United States we have a rather outlandish report given on the site British Bigfoot Sighting Reports, concerning what is referred to as the “the Beast of Barmston Drain,” supposedly a a “half-man, half-dog” creature that emerges from the sewage drain to terrorize the countryside of Hull, in England. Some of the reports have been truly dramatic, such as one witness who actually reported having seen the monster jump over an 8-foot-high fence with a full-grown dead German Shepherd in its jaws. The beast has acquired the nickname “Old Stinker,” and Hull historian Mike Covell has supposedly had over a dozen reports of the creature roaming along the drain, even going so far as to organize a “werewolf hunt” to try and find it, without much success. The drain itself is officially called the Beverley and Barmston Drain, built in 1798 to drain the salt marshes of the area. According to Covell, the drain has a long history of tragedies orbiting it, and British Bigfoot Sighting Reports writes of his research into this:
He has uncovered hundreds of tragedies, spanning the length of the 23-mile-long drain, the earliest being the death of 19-year-old Master Teesdale, who drowned in July 1824. Mr Covell says more than 100 people have drowned in the drain, including a double suicide where two young lovers bound their hands together and jumped in. He said: “Master Teesdale was the first, but then men, women and children followed almost at a rate of one a year. The summer months were the worst, when children would swim in ‘Barmy Drain’ and it got so bad that Hull Corporation openly discussed paying for lifeguards to be stationed along the drain during the hotter months. “It has a very dark history but walking along it during the day, it is a peaceful oasis surrounded by heavy industry.” The year 1892 was a particularly terrible one, when an unknown boy was pulled from the drain in May. In December of that same year, George Sowen killed his two children, aged four and six, and threw them in the drain before he jumped in himself and drowned.
Does this tragic history have anything to do with the creature said to lurk here, and is it perhaps more spiritual in nature than a flesh and blood creature? Or is it all tall tales and urban legends? Although the reports are rare and scattered, one wonders if there is anything to them all, and Covell claims that many of the witnesses are honest people who have nothing to gain from telling such stories and who genuinely seem to be afraid of what they have seen. Covell has said of how it has grown since his initial reports:
It was a bit strange but this couple, who I have known for years, are trustworthy and very sincere people. They were genuinely scared by something, I’m just not sure what. If it was just these two people seeing something, I might start getting suspicious, but other people came forward with similar stories. I have walked the drain a couple of times armed with recording equipment, during both day and night, but it’s not the kind of thing you can openly ask people to participate in – ‘would you like to come looking for werewolves with me?’ Even I think it sounds crazy. But everyone who has reported sightings have been really down-to-earth people who are shaken by their ordeal.
The sewer doesn’t exactly seem to be the most prime of locations for hairy hominid reports, but still these cases remain. What is going on here? Are these spirits, ghosts, interdimensional interlopers, or actual real undiscovered creatures using these dark, dank places to hide? While such reports are rare, they illustrate that the phenomenon of hairy humanoid monster reports is even more bizarre than many people may think, and it all goes deep down the rabbit hole of the bizarre.