Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 26th, 2011
Boonville, Ind., Aug. 18.  – (U.P.) – A stranger who declined to identify himself strolled into the newspaper office here today and declared that the weird, mysterious beast whose screams and prowlings have terrified residents of the Ohio river valley is simply a giant sloth.
The man said he and his uncle were returning home from Mexico two years ago with the sloth, which they had captured on a game hunting expedition. He said they lost it near Evansville and never had found a trace of it since. He was uncertain if it was two-toed or three-toed, but averred that sloths came in both varieties.
When a sloth is hungry and frightened, he said, it will give vent to blood-curdling shrieks and yells such as terrified river valley residents have reported they have heard intermittently since Friday night [August 13].
At that time Mrs. Ralph Duff reported she caught a fleeting glimpse of the animal and said it looked like an ape.
Posses, according to reports here, are searching the river bottoms cautiously in the hope of tracking the beast to its lair.
River folk said today that they had seen an empty circus truck in the vicinity, and assumed that animal experts are endeavoring to capture the alleged monster also.“Sloth Scares the Boonville Natives,” Hammond Times, Hammond, Indiana, Wednesday, August 18, 1937.
Ah, the old circus truck hanging around the edges of the story, humm? It seems those stories about the circus people wanting to capture one of these mystery creatures to add to their collections are almost as common as those in which the same creatures are escaping from wrecked circus trains!
It is intriguing to find the tension between the “giant ground sloth” theory versus the “great ape” hypothesis we see being played out in the Amazon during the last few years was experienced in Indiana in the 1930s.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.