Sasquatch Coffee

Unidentified Walking Object Reported to Indiana State Police

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 30th, 2007

Madison County’s 1977 Bigfoot sighting

The strange experience 30 years ago of Mrs. Don Chestnut got significant coverage in the local press.

An Indiana State Police report printed in The Anderson Herald on Aug. 11, 1977, said the Elwood resident spotted an “unidentified walking object” or UWO while driving on P Street before dawn the day before.

“According to police,” the report read, “Mrs. Chestnut said she was driving from Elwood to Anderson to pick up her husband from work when she saw the creature in the road. The UWO was reportedly about 8 to 9 feet tall, with hair all over it, resembling a large monkey.”

The report ended, “Police say ‘bigfoot’ type creatures were reportedly seen quite often in this area 80 to 100 years ago, but this is the first report of this kind in several years.”

An article six days later in the Alexandria Times-Tribune speculated that the animal Chestnut saw may have been a horse that frequents the same stretch of road at night.

The news article mentioned several other big animal encounters in the area, including another alleged bigfoot sighting in Tipton County two years earlier.

If bigfoots do still live in the area, it seems they’ve gone back into deep hiding. A Madison County conservation officer said last week that the only strange animal sighting he could recall happened three years ago when a collared wolf traveled 600 miles from Wisconsin to Randolph County.Barrett Newkirk
The Herald Bulletin

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.


37 Responses to “Unidentified Walking Object Reported to Indiana State Police”

  1. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    i find these historical accounts a bit annoying, as it always takes me several steps to figure out they’re historical accounts.

    couple problems:

    a) the headlines are being purposefully written to deceive us into thinking they’re contemporary.

    b) the feed only has summaries, meaning i have to launch the whole friggin website to figure out that i have exactly zero interest in the article.

    so you’ve gotten another pageview, but lost more credibility.

    :-(

  2. graybear responds:

    Personally, I enjoy the “classic” cryptid sightings; they give a good idea of just how long people have been seeing strange things in the woods and on the water. The different word usage the older accounts contain and the world view of the writers of that time also make me aware of just how much things have changed in our perceptions. They are well worth while.

  3. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    oh, they’re interesting, but the headlines are deceiving, and i waste time going to read when i could safely ignore otherwise.

    for instance, this very article’s headline is: “Unidentified Walking Object Reported to Indiana State Police”

    being from Indiana, i naturally open the link, only to discover that it is years old.

    the headline ought to have said: “Historical Account: Unidentified Walking Object Reported to Indiana State Police (1977)”

    see what i mean?

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    It is only when people open their minds, as well as postings, will new information be gained and experienced. Sometimes it is important to suspend any concept of days and years to allow the brain to find new data based on the adventures that might exist in locations and details, not just time.

    If the brain is telling someone to open a post based on a headline, what is the harm done? Much can be absorbed from sightings of 300 years ago, 30 years ago, or 3 days ago. The cryptids hardly know the difference. Humans must learn this.

    Relax, enjoy, and soak in the total environment that surrounds any report, whether from the archives, the breaking news pool, or a dusty old book.

    Patience and passion, as Bernard Heuvelmans said. Those are the keys to learning, in cryptozoology.

    Slow down and smell the odor of that Oh Mah or Panthera atrox in the bushes.

  5. sschaper responds:

    I’d agree with putting the historical element into the title.

  6. bill green responds:

    hey loren & craig i agree this article about sasquatch is still very interesting to read & helps me out with my sasquatch research realy well. good afternoon bill green :)

  7. mystery_man responds:

    Now see, the authorities of the time tried to rationalize it as a horse. Bears are one thing, but I just cannot convincingly imagine a horse being mistaken for an 8 or 9 foot tall humanoid that “looked like a monkey”. There is scientific speculation, and then there is promoting a “rational” explanation that to me doesn’t seem to fit at all. In my opinion, she either saw what she says she saw, saw a bear, saw a hoaxer, or made the whole thing up. Horse? Come on. Oh and for the record, I like these historical accounts!

  8. silvereagle responds:

    Those who forget history, are doomed to repeat it. Certainly, the Bigfoot common knowledge of the 60’s and 70’s, has been almost completely forgotten. Generation X, Y or Z now thinks that Bigfoot is a new discovery of their generation, but they are starting over at square one without the benefit of that historical record. They cannot even imagine in their wildest dreams, what is in that historical Bigfoot record. But you can find it hidden here, on crytomundo, under “Invisible Bigfoot?”.

  9. jodzilla responds:

    I lived in Anderson, IN in 1977 and never heard this story. I would have remembered it.

  10. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    i also like the historical accounts — i failed to make that clear.

    what bothers me is that it is impossible to tell them apart from the contemporary accounts based solely on the headlines, and that i have to click through to the site to find out: the summary in the feed doesn’t hint at it either.

    when i get into work, and see a headline that a strange creature’s been spotted in my area, it would be better to also know from the headline that it happened when i was three years old, not this morning.

    the headlines are deceptive, however unintentional.

    for all that, the articles are well-written, interesting, and i love them.

    but i would still rather have been able to skip this one based on a headline, than be falsely tempted.

  11. Craig Woolheater responds:

    chris from flickerbulb dot com,

    Seriously, how much time of yours is it wasting?

  12. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    it’s not a question of “how much time”, at all.

    clearly, not much.

    it’s a matter of “it could be better” for zero investment from the person(s) writing the headlines.

    am i really the only one who has viewed several historical items, believing them to be contemporary, only to be confused, check further down and feel a little bit lied-to?

    i find that hard to believe.

  13. Loren Coleman responds:

    Well, chris’s sort of reaction wastes more time and energy than attempting, as a serious cryptozoologically-oriented person, to learn something from Craig’s posting.

  14. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    aw, now, come on.

    if i had been ranting, mean-spirited, rude, or flame-baiting, i can see how such a response could be warranted, but i am politely pointing out that i think historical articles would be better serving to the audience if they were clearly noted as such.

  15. DWA responds:

    mystery_man: exactly.

    Skeptics sometimes don’t have any idea how stupid they are making themselves look.

    One thing people DO NOT DO: go to the authorities, describing a nine-foot monkey, when in fact they saw a horse.

    Someone who could actually do such a thing, says here, should be immediately escorted, wearing an appropriate jacket, to the nearest funny farm.

    A rational, clear-headed person WILL NOT do it. That’s not “honest mis-identification”: that is mental illness.

    And so-called skeptics who think such a thing simply happens all the time are simply misusing their psych degrees.

  16. Sergio responds:

    Hey chris from flickerbulb dot com,

    Quit your friggin’ whining; it’s quite a nuisance. Especially when nearly all the comments are from you on this particular blog are from you. You’re wasting my time and everybody else’s who has to sort through your titty-baby rants.

  17. SOCALcrypto responds:

    I really don’t understand the comments made by chris. When I clicked on this topic I could see that it was from 1977 at the top of the post. Anyway, I like to read posts from the past. They do a good job refreshing my memory. I get alot of information that I investigate from present and past posts. Keep up the good work guys. I also like to read comments made by mystery_man. This person is very informative.

  18. SOCALcrypto responds:

    Sorry, I used an E instead of an I for INVESTIGATE.

  19. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    not to beat a dead horse, really, but i made a screen shot of what it is i am experiencing:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/flickerbulb/1804459775/

    you can see there the headline, in a list with all the other headlines, and the “teaser” that shows — nothing about this suggests that it’s a historical piece.

    at 8 in the morning, i was very excited to see that some new cryptid report had been in my area, only to learn that it was from 1977 *after* i opened the whole article.

    my only point is that it’d be nice if the headline started with “Historical Item:” or something like that.

    i liked the article, i like the info — i just wish the headline and teaser more accurately described the contents.

    furthermore, i don’t understand the fairly hostile response i’ve gotten.

  20. Bob K. responds:

    Two things I noticed from this report, one positive, the other negative. The positive was this:” The report ended, “Police say ‘bigfoot’ type creatures were reportedly seen quite often in this area 80 to 100 years ago, but this is the first report of this kind in several years.” For the police to be up front and open about the fact that such creatures were once commonly reported in the area of the sighting was a d—- sight better than responding with ridicule or blowing the report off as a mistaken bear sighting, so hats off to the Indiana State Police for their honesty and professionalism. On the other hand, this was somewhat more predictable: “An article six days later in the Alexandria Times-Tribune speculated that the animal Chestnut saw may have been a horse that frequents the same stretch of road at night.” Hmmmm. Lets see. 8-9 feet tall, covered with hair, looks like a large monkey= a horse. How interesting. I’ve never been to Indiana-do all horses there resemble giant monkeys, or just some of them?

  21. ddh1969 responds:

    I enjoy the historical posts as well but let’s not be too hard on Chris simply for his voicing an opinion. As one who has had some comments stricken from posts on this site for doing pretty much the same, sometimes I find you guys a little quick on the trigger to shut down these types of replies. I understand you are trying to keep the threads clean for everyone and that is mostly a good thing as it shows you all are actually reading what WE say and you DO have every right in the world to run your site the way you see fit. I don’t have an answer for any of this but I do feel the reader response or, at least, our ability to reply to (most) posts, is a key element in Cryptomundos purpose and apparent success.

    Chris apparently enjoys cryptomundo but is a little put off by the minor (to me) issue of these articles not clearly stating at the top they are of a historical nature. Though this post clearly states it’s purpose I do see Chris’s point on some similar posts in recent past.

    Bottom Line to me…

    Cryptomundo is FREE for everyone to access and reply to MOST articles. This little box at the bottom of MOST posts says ‘Enter Your Comments’. Much like setting up a webcam to catch a sasquatch you are more likely to catch plenty of other things.

    As a user I enjoy the content immensely. sometimes I get comments axed and sometimes I feel I give great feedback which often just goes unnoticed. that’s just the way it goes in life. It’s YOUR board and you guys do a great job but a comment box is a comment box.

  22. bucko responds:

    I agree with Mr. Woolheater. You don’t waste much time checking out a post and finding out it’s an old report. I also respect Chris and his opinion. I too can be disappointed by old news I think to be new. But not in this case. I’m from Indiana (I don’t live there now, but it will always be home) and I don’t recall a whole lotta woods around that area. It would seem more likely a few years ago.

    I might have seen a Bigfoot in Indiana. I’ll never know. I’ve always thought it was a hiker, but I didn’t really look. But see, nobody should’ve been hiking in the middle of nowhere at that time. I should’ve stopped and offered a ride, but I didn’t. It was the middle of nowhere folks! Plus, they didn’t wave me down, they just keep walking. It was probably a hiker.

    SOCALcrypto- I too enjoy mystery_mans comments. He is informative and he saves ya a lotta writing. I also have to say Mr. Coleman and Mr. Woolheater are pretty informative too! Be cool folks.

  23. Saint Vitus responds:

    I’m always happy to read any article about Bigfoot, but I agree that the headline should have said it was not a new sighting. I wouldn’t go so for as to say it was a waste of my time, though.

  24. Bullfrog responds:

    I agree with Chris, I would have favored a more accurate headline, but I still would have opened it because I’m fascinated with the topic (old or new).

  25. Craig Woolheater responds:

    But chris,

    How much of My time would have been wasted by typing “Historical Account” in the headline?

    :-)

  26. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    aha! so i’m not alone in my (minor) frustration with the historical article headlines!

    w00t!

    and i DO care about the subject, and i DO read the articles, and i have done so for a long, long time.

    i must wonder, though, why so many of you guys put cactus underwear on this morning.

  27. michaelm responds:

    now my time has been wasted reading about this “debate” :)

  28. Rillo777 responds:

    I live in Anderson, Indiana currently and heard about this incident a few years ago from one the officers who investigated it. I didn’t know it had made the paper, however. Now the officer who is currently with the Sheriff’s department was a rookie at the time and was one of the first ones on the scene. The witness was very sure about what she had seen. The officer did not venture any opinion on it one way or the other but did believe she had seen something very unusual.

    Tipton, by the way is about 15 miles west Elwood and both are very close to Hobbs which gained some notoriety in the 1960’s for a flap of UFO sightings. The Tipton bigfoot sightings have been included in many books, including Loren’s. Finally, just for general information, Madison County, especially the north western part is full of strange sightings and bizarre stories dating back to pioneer days, including black panther sightings, bigfoot, UFO, and bizarre paranormal activity as well, in an area that stretches north to Kokomo and west to Tipton.

  29. harpaholic responds:

    Hello Loren, Craig and all! I’m a long time lurker and first time poster to this wonderful site. I just wanted to add my two cents. I, for one, have never felt my time wasted by any posting Craig and Loren have deemed relevant to put up. The study of Cryptozoology is a continuum: past to present, backwards to forwards, in any order. In this particular study I feel all data is pertinent.

    I was happy to see this particular post. As a life long Elwood citizen, I remember this sighting very well. There were subsequent sightings to follow, however, this first one was the only one to receive media attention. I myself had an encounter a few years later following this one. While there are no longer as many large wooded areas around here as there were just 30 years ago, there are still numerous patchwork areas to provide cover for a short time. My personal belief is the big folk pass through here. However, in my parents’ childhood it was commonly understood to be indoors after dark if you lived out in the country due to “The Wildmen” who were commonly seen after dark.

    I enjoy this site and your books immensely, Loren. Please keep the fire burning to shed light for the rest of us to see by.

  30. harleyb responds:

    I love the historical articles keep em’ coming. I read it all, and if I don’t like it I don’t whine about it. Cryptomundo rules.

  31. AtomicMrEMonster responds:

    I know of a case where someone mistook a cow’s back end for Bigfoot, so I wouldn’t rule out the horse explanation just yet.

  32. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- Right. As you know I am what could be called a skeptic of sorts. But to me there is a difference between being skeptical and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by trying to shove something not easily explainable into an unreasonable mundane explanation. Case in point, the horse explanation in this article. A horse looks nothing like a sasquatch. Most people who see a horse, even under unclear or dark conditions, are NOT going to make a jump to sasquatch. If anything, I’d think they’d rationalize it as a horse even if they weren’t sure. I highly doubt a person could see a horse and mistake it as anything other than either a horse, or an unknown, certainly not the very precise description of an 8 foot tall, bipedal, money like creature. That description is certain enough for me to rule out a horse as the culprit. A horse resembles a sasquatch only in that they are both large mammals and that is about where I’d think the similarities end. Trying to rationalize this sighting as a horse makes no sense and is in my opinion, absurd. I find it very hard to believe someone could make that kind of mistake even under less than ideal sighting conditions.

  33. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Wow. The wolf traveled over 600 miles (verified by its tracking collar)? Wonder how far ranging other large migratory animals might be?
    :D

  34. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Wide ranging enough to say, oh, stretch out the period between sightings by a couple of years?

  35. mystery_man responds:

    SOCAL crypto, Bucko- Thanks for the kind words about my posts! They are much appreciated.

  36. bucko responds:

    You’re welcome mystery_man. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. You’re a skeptic, but in a good way. We all need to be a little skeptical. There’s plenty of people who wanna make us look stupid. Just check out Bigfoot videos on youtube!

    It’s good to hear from you Indiana people. I wasn’t sure how much wooded area there was in Madison county. I figured there was some, ’cause there’s some woods in all Indiana countys.

    Happy Halloween everybody. Don’t eat too much candy!

  37. ZooUpBigfoot responds:

    Here’s an idea:

    Unidentified Walking Object Reported to Indiana State Police (1977)

    Concise information before you click.



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