Sasquatch Coffee

The Du Pont Monster

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 14th, 2006

It’s time for your close up, Mr. Du Pont monster

Charles Stanley
The Times – Ottawa, IL

People who have heard of the Du Pont monster, the Seneca area’s version of Bigfoot, but have never seen him may not have much longer to wait.

The creature may soon be on the silver screen in a film in preproduction.

Plus, some of the filming is planned for the Seneca area, and local residents may have a chance to participate.

"’The Du Pont Monster’ is, in fact, the name of the movie," says Dave Childress, the movie’s mastermind, who lives in Kempton.

Kempton is a small town of a couple of hundred people about midway between Pontiac and Kankakee.

"They don’t get much smaller than Kempton," says Childress.

Once a larger railroad town, among the few businesses remaining there are a bar and a book shop — the bar being Childress’s Sgt. Pepper’s Bar and Grill and the book shop being his Adventures Unlimited Bookstore.

"The bookstore is really quite well know," says Childress. "We sell kind of unusual nonfiction books. Books on the Knights Templar, UFO books, real life X-files books, mind control, conspiracy, paranormal and cryptozooology books." That last category includes Bigfoots.

Last year, a Times story about Seneca area Bigfoot sightings spawned a story in the Chicago Tribune, which Childress read.

Stan Courtney, of Pawnee, an investigator for the California-based Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has researched Bigfoot sightings in the Seneca area. Two of the encounters took place in June of last year, while the others happened in 1983 and 1979.

But what is popularly called Bigfoot, Seneca locals have for decades been calling the Du Pont monster. Over the years sightings have placed the "monster" on Du Pont Road south of the Illinois River.

"These animals are everywhere where there’s adequate habitat," Courtney said Friday. "There’s nothing unusual or special other than that perhaps people in Seneca talk about it. There was a sighting last spring at Starved Rock State Park, but the guy is a businessman and he doesn’t want a report written up."

Courtney estimates that only 10 per cent of all Bigfoot sightings are researched.

Courtney said around Kankakee is another area where he suspects there is a Bigfoot population.

"Anywhere there is water and a big deer population. They have to eat something in the winter."

There have been no new Bigfoot sightings in the Seneca area, Courtney said. And as far as the film is concerned, he worries the attention may drive Bigfoots away.

"The sad thing is these animals are not monsters, and that’s what’s always played. The animal part and the fear part."

Childress said he is a Bigfoot believer.

"However, to tell the truth, the Du Pont monster stories seemed a little bit far-fetched," said Childress.

But last year, he and his wife drove to Seneca and ended up doing their field research with the bartender and patrons of Jack and Lovey’s tavern on Main Street.

"We were convinced that something was going on there. The stories they told were cautious, but credible. It all made sense. I mean, I went there a skeptic but left a believer."

Earlier this year, Childress and friend Steve Zagata, a Chicago filmmaker, decided to make a movie staring the Du Pont monster. About a month ago preliminary filming was done in Seneca to get some footage together for a seven-minute promo demo of the film to screen at an upcoming film festival in Chicago.

Childress’s plan is to do the majority of filming in spring.

"It will be a 90-minute movie with special effects. Of course, we have a Bigfoot costume all ready.

"I’m not going to tell you the whole plot, but the Bigfoot’s not going to be the bad guy — he turns out to be a good guy. There will be a bad guy. There’s an element of the script like the ‘Blair Witch Project’ and there’s a little bit of a ‘King Kong’ aspect. There’s also this cabin in the woods that they find and in it are some kind of weird cult things. I think that’s all I should say right now."

He plans to use his bar in Kempton as a stand in for Jack and Lovey’s, but other filming will take place near Seneca and Kankakee.

For one part he would like some documentary style interviews with locals who have had Du Pont monster experiences.

"We would like to hear any real stories."

People who want to be in the movie also are being sought.

"We would like locals. We have a couple of tall people to be the Du Pont monster, but we still have not cast the main players, one of which will be a young actress that will be the star. We realize that we need a cute girl in a tank top running around screaming with Bigfoot after her, so we’re looking for that gal."

Childress can be phoned at (815) 253-6390 or e-mailed at auphq@frontiernet.net. The Web site for his bookstore is www.adventuresunlimitedpress.com.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


12 Responses to “The Du Pont Monster”

  1. jordan36florida responds:

    I have experienced what you are saying but it was here in Camp Blanding, Florida.

  2. Trapster responds:

    A pal of mine did work for the Govt. in Camp Blanding a few years ago cataching and recording the variety of animals that live on the base and it’s vast forests. Even its unusual perfectly circular lake (crater?). Bigfoot didn’t make the list. I suspect there are too many soldiers with thermal and night vision optics running around out there for good ole’ Sasquatch to stay hidden.

  3. kittenz responds:

    I have asked my grandmother, who is 92, and other very elderly people who have lived in these south-central Appalachian Mountains all their lives, if they ever heard stories of Bigfoot, or a big apelike creature of any other name, in their youth. Without exception they all said “No”. No Sasquatch. No Bigfoot. No skunk-apes. A couple of these old people are Cherokees. They never heard any tales like that either. A few have said somehing like “I see that on TV but I don’t believe in such a thing.”

    When I ask younger people, say, about 50 years old or less, about Bigfoot, they always know about Bigfoot. I get responses varying from ” I saw that on TV”, to anecdotes of sightings or encounters (usually second- or third-hand). So I wonder, could a large part of the Bigfoot phenomenon be as a result of stories in the media, especially television? Could Bigfoot really be much more a modern type of folklore than an actual creature?

    I myself once saw “something” that I can’t explain when I was driving along the Mountain Parkway late one night in Eastern Kentucky. It really spooked me. But then again, I didn’t really see it clearly, nor for very long, and I think that my mind has “fleshed out” that fleeting glimpse of “something” with probably more detail than I truly saw in that solitary late-night glimpse. So it’s hard to tell where memory leaves off and imagination sets in whan I recall the incident. The fact that none of these old people ever heard of anything like that in their youth – when people were much more dependent on the forests, and spent much more time in them, than is the case with people now – makes me wonder just how far back Bigfoot legends really go. At least in this area.

    I have no doubt that people are seeing SOMETHING, and I also think it’s possible that there may be some remnant populations of large unknown primates – not necessarily hominids – in some remote locations, somewhere in the world. But it still bothers me that no body nor skeleton of a Bigfoot has ever turned up anywhere. Even people become the occasional fossil, or fall victim to the occasional fatal accident in the forest, and their bodies or bones usually are eventually found.

    I know this probably isn’t a very welcome topic among the participants here, but I appreciate the open discussions within this blog, and the freedom to pose these questions. This is by far the most literate and open-minded group I have found for discussions of cryptozoological topics.

  4. kittenz responds:

    I value my grandmother’s observations and recollections so much because she grew up during a time when this part of the country still had many wild and inaccessible areas and people really lived off the land. There were no public utilities, no paved roads, and very few dirt roads, and people still relied on hunting for much of their meat supply.

    Also, my grandmother’s father, my great-grandpa Chapman, was what the old folks call a “Hill Doctor”. He was known as Doc Chapman all his life until his death at age 99.

    There were no medical doctors in these parts back in those days and the nearest hospitals were many miles away and beyond the reach of most of the people, who were mainly subsistence farmers growing, hunting, making, or trading for nearly everthing their familes needed to survive. Great-grandpa was a doctor. He never had any formal education; his medicines he made himself from the plants in the woods and hills around him – and they were very effective. Some formulas had been handed down from generation to generation, and some medicine plants he discovered himself. It was not an “eye of newt, skin of toad” type thing, but true herbal medicine, and he and his children spent many hours in the forests gathering the plants that he used. So they knew all the stories and legends, and plants and animals, of the forests and hills which were so much a part of their lives.

    My grandmother says that there were known to be “wild men” in the hills in those days, and that her daddy would never let the younger children go out alone because of the possibility of them being snatched by Wild Men. These they understood to be like regular people, not apes or anything, but they were shaggy and unkempt and lived in caves or other shelters, half-dressed and with raggedy clothes. I asked if the Wild Men were ever described as anything like a great big tall hairy creature, and she said “No. They were just regular people, but wild”. She herself never saw one. She does not know if her father ever actually saw one.

  5. joppa responds:

    Bigfoot lore is rare in the southeast, except for the rare tales of swamp boogers and “wild men”. I do think it is possible for however for eastern migration over the past two hundred years of all kinds of creatures, cryptids included. In the past fifty years we have had coyotes, armadillos, elk, wolves find their ways into our eastern and southern wild areas and back yards. Most recently we are hearing of western cougars, coming east and black bears roaming all over the the mid south far from the comfort of the Smokies and other mountain hideaways. If a creature is a forager for food, it can and will migrate, including bigfoot. Are there now breeding populations east of the Rockies? We can only speculate, and keep looking.

  6. kittenz responds:

    Well, I don’t think the pumas were ever completely wiped out in Appalachia. (The old folks call then painthers) Here in Pike County, KY, the elk were deliberately reintroduced, and now have a good-sized breeding population. Black bears have always been here too, although the numbers were greatly reduced. Deer were almost exterminated here in the twentieth century, but the numbers began to increase about twenty years ago and now deer are very numerous.

    Wolves have not returned. My great-granda told stories of a small pack of wolves chasing his older brother and him into a tree, shortly after the War Between the States ended. (He never called it the Civil War. He said “Honey, there’s nothing civil about war. It was the War Between the States”.) But all the wolves were gone long before my grandma was even born.

    But armadillos are sometimes seen in Western Kentucky now, and coyotes are THICK, I mean they are really like a swarm. I’ve lost thirteen good cats over the past three years to coyotes. They seem to be a bigger average size than the coyotes out West, about the size of a small German Shepherd but much more lightly built (although some are smaller). I guess that’s because there is more food for them here, year-round, and more cover. And of course, there are feral dogs. Quite a few of them. Some are breeds, some are recognizable crossbreeds, and some are just plain mongrels, but they do sustain small breeding packs in many places and they scavenge and hunt deer. So between them and the coyotes, they pretty much fill the niche of wolves. We have bobcats too (only we call em wildcats – GO UK !!)

    I always thought of Bigfoot as an animal of the Northwest, specifically of the northwestern evergreen forest. But certainly they could migrate eastward; I mean, coyotes sure did. So maybe there are some in the Appalachians.

  7. Ole Bub responds:

    I’m pleased to see Stan Courtney finally get some recognition for his dedicated courageous field research. I’m proud to call Stan…my friend.

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  8. joppa responds:

    By the way, the Yankees called it the Civil war, the historical markers in the deep South recall ” The War For Southern Independence.”

    There are reports of wolves in Southern Indiana, Western Kentucky and in Tennessee around the Land Between The Lakes. Red Wolves have been reintroduced to the Smokies as well as Elk, so if Bigfoot follow their follow their coyote friends, they’ll find more food here in the South than anywhere. Southern Hospitality at its finest.

  9. kittenz responds:

    You said it joppa !

  10. joe levit responds:

    Kittenz

    I wanted to respond to a few of your statements:

    “I have asked my grandmother, who is 92, and other very elderly people who have lived in these south-central Appalachian Mountains all their lives, if they ever heard stories of Bigfoot, or a big apelike creature of any other name, in their youth. Without exception they all said “No”. No Sasquatch. No Bigfoot. No skunk-apes. A couple of these old people are Cherokees. They never heard any tales like that either.”

    Just because some elders in your local area have not seen or heard of Bigfoot-like creatures there, does not mean they are not there. There are many reports of sightings that go something like this: I’ve been hunting in ___ woods for 40 years, and I never saw a creature until last year. I never believed in bigfoot before then, and I’ve never had an experience like that since. But I know what I saw.

    Essentially, the people you have talked to have not personally experienced that. It is not an everyday opportunity. Also, it is possible that some of the elders you inquired with did not want to tell you about a possible encounter. Many people, for a myriad different personal reasons, are reluctant to admit this type of Incident.

    “But it still bothers me that no body nor skeleton of a Bigfoot has ever turned up anywhere.”

    This just is not the case. There are many examples of bodies turning up, many after being shot. The problem is that either people who would be knowledgeable enough about the subject have not been notified, or the individuals worked to hide their work. There are bones and skulls ignored by science, placed into “other” categories because they do not fit into accepted reality. No one wants to risk his/her time/tenure on these issues. Also, many such bodies/skeletons have been conveniently “lost” by academic or museum institutions.

    “My grandmother says that there were known to be “wild men” in the hills in those days, and that her daddy would never let the younger children go out alone because of the possibility of them being snatched by Wild Men. These they understood to be like regular people, not apes or anything, but they were shaggy and unkempt and lived in caves or other shelters, half-dressed and with raggedy clothes. I asked if the Wild Men were ever described as anything like a great big tall hairy creature, and she said “No. They were just regular people, but wild”. She herself never saw one. She does not know if her father ever actually saw one.”

    While it is possible that the “wild men” you mention here are simply vagabonds or even feral people, it is also possible that they are a type of hominid close to humans. That would dovetail nicely with their appearance as regular people, but who were shaggy and lived in caves. By the way, it is cool that your great-grandpa collected herbs to use medicinally, and particularly that he figured out some beneficial plant products on his own.

  11. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Kittenz:

    I think that the Bigfoot of popular culture is likely some combination of the “modern folklore” you mentioned and some real,undescribed creature.

    (Ben Radford and Loren Coleman each had some great comments on that topic at the TBRC “Bigfoot in Texas” series at the UT San Antonio Institute of Texas Cultures this past summer).

    It is hard to imagine such a creature not being known to our hillbilly forebears who spent so much time in the woods and wild places.

    But, at the same time, you acknowledge how much MORE wild things used to be. Heck, the road I grew up on in Greenup County, KY wasn’t even paved until I was a senior in high school (and I’m a relative youngster at the age of 31), but it was even less developed when my grandparents were young, which means more places for such wily critters to hide from prying human eyes.

    I still count myself as a skeptic, but I also must acknowledge that absence of evidence, as they say, is not evidence of absence and, in fact, as the wild lands have shrunken over the last 50 to 100 years it makes sense that sightings of deep woods denizens would increase.

  12. kittenz responds:

    I grew up in a generation of transition. Eastern Kentucky, within my memory, has come fully fledged into the modern world. My mother was a teenager when the first electric lines were run up into the hollows ( we call them hollers). When I was a child in the 1960s, every week someone would have a mess of squirrels & gravy, or groundhog, or sometimes grouse. My gramdmother and her sisters and cousins rendered lard and made homemade soap every fall. The hills here are so steep amd rocky that the Ma Bell’s lines were run by mule: a big red mule named Charlie carried two huge spools of wire, one on either side of his body, and he was guided from remote, by walkie-talkie! My grandpa rented him for farming in the spring. To this day, my grandmother believes that one of her cousins was a witch (not the caricatured, broom-riding witch of Halloween tales, but a magic-woman). Some of the old folks still use charms and prayers to stop bleeding… sounds odd, I know, but the oddest thing is that they work!

    The reason that I value my grandmother’s memories and observations so much is that she comes from a world out of time, in a sense. The people in her world and time lived very close to nature, both wild and tame. They lived within a secure network of close-knit families and all local communication was by word of mouth. If there had been Bigfoot legends in these hills, be sure that they would have known of them. There were panthers and wildcats, and the occasional bear, in the woods. There were “wild men” and Melungeons. But no Bigfoot legends.

    Now I know that does not necessarily mean there were no Bigfoot here, and I do not discount the possibility that such a creature may have migrated here from other areas. But I do think that if Bigfoot were here during that time, if they were native to this area, some of these old folks would have known of them.



Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|


Cryptomundo Merch On Sale Now!

CryptoMerch

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest

Advertisers

DFW Nites


Creatureplica Monstro Bizarro Everything Bigfoot



Advertisement




|Top | FarBar|



Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.