Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 18th, 2012
The Year 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Momo! It started in Louisiana. No, not the state, but Louisiana, Missouri.
Champ Clark Bridge, US 54.
Louisiana, Missouri is located on the banks of the Mississippi River 70 miles north of St. Louis on Route 79 and about 30 miles south of Hannibal, Missouri. Louisiana’s first settler John Bryson built the first residence in 1817 and 1818 sold some land to Samuel Caldwell and Joel Shaw, this area became the original plat of Louisiana which was mainly river-front property. Louisiana boasts nearly 4,000 residents, many whom are descendants of the early settlers.
Louisiana, Missouri was all over the media in the days following the 4th of July of the Year 2010.
Alisa Maier had been found alive. The news was good that week.
Registered sex offender Paul S. Smith, a suspect in the abduction of four-year-old Alisa Maier, shot himself dead. He was discovered by police repainting his car in Hawk Point, Missouri. Some people called him “Missouri Monster.”
But there was another Missouri Monster that is more important for this area.
Return of Momo?
Alisa Maier was kidnapped from her front yard in July 2010, in Louisiana, Missouri.
Why does this location sound familiar? Well, something involving children happened there 40 years ago.
In July 1972, Louisiana, Missouri, was the site of one of the largest hairy hominoid flaps occurring in the midst of the high strangeness times of the 1970s. I wrote about the sightings and the era in Creatures of the Other Edge and Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America.
The image of Momo is well-known.
Momo is the name of the area’s local eastern Bigfoot, which is said to live in Missouri. The name Momo is short for “Missouri Monster” and it is reported to have a large round head, with a furry body, and hair covering the eyes (just like others seen throughout the Midwest). It is described as a large, 7 ft (~2.1 m) tall, hairy, black, manlike creature that kills dogs and emits a terrible odor.
In 1972, at 3:30 p.m. on July 11th, Momo was first seen by Edgar Harrison’s children, Terry (8), Wally (5), and Doris (15), crossing through their front yard, carrying a dead, bleeding dog. The series of sightings lasted for about 2 weeks, and tracks were found. Edgar Harrison, a church deacon in the local Pentecostal Church, worker at the local water plant, and the owner of a family business in town, became so obsessed with finding the creature, he camped out for 21 straight days at the bottom of the local Marzolf Hill where Momo was frequently seen.
When the abduction and return of this little Louisiana, Missouri girl occurred in 2010, some of the names associated with the events were a little too familiar.
Investigators right away believed a man snatched Alisa Maier, the four-year-old girl from her front yard on July 5th, which prompted an Amber Alert. She was found more than 24 hours later on Tuesday night, July 6, 2010, near a car wash, next to a Phillips 66 gas station. Talk about number games.
“I can’t find words — it’s unbelievable. God was watching over that baby,” said Kathy Tepen, Alisa’s great aunt.
Alisa was found wandering at the gas station car wash in the 600 block of Gravois Road in old town Fenton, Missouri, around 9:45 p.m. on that Tuesday. St. Louis County police said witnesses contacted them to report seeing a young boy unattended. The boy turned out to be the girl, due to the fact her hair had been cut.
But who is this girl related to? What family does she come from in Louisiana, Missouri?
What was Alisa’s mother’s name? Kimberly Harrison. It is not a stretch of the imagination to think the family of this victim is related to the victimized, traumatized children of Edgar Harrison.
Two photos above show Roy Harrison, the grandfather of Alisa Maier, 4, who smiles while speaking with reporters at Maier’s home in Louisiana, Missouri, Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Maier was abducted Monday night, July 5, from the yard of her home.
So, how closely related are these Harrisons to the 1972 ones in Louisiana, Missouri?
Michael Hoffman and his daughter, Sarah, sign up to search for Maier. Photo: Brent Engel/Courier-Post
In an article in the Hannibal Courier-Post by Brent Engel, on July 06, 2010, we find the answer:
Terry Harrison was among the dozens of people Monday who combed the area around Louisiana searching for a four-year-old girl who apparently was kidnapped as she played in her yard Sunday night.
Harrison said he was distantly related to Alisa Maier, and felt he had to join the effort to find her.
“It’s very nerve wracking,” Harrison said. “You have somebody who’s kin to you. You never think it’s going to happen to you.”
Authorities say Maier was playing with a brother when a black car pulled up about 8 p.m. Sunday in the 300 block of North Carolina just south of downtown Louisiana.
A man in his late teens or early 20s grabbed the girl and drove away, authorities said.
Alisa is a white girl with brown hair and brown eyes. She is three feet tall and weighs about 40 pounds. She was wearing blue jean shorts and a white T-shirt at the time she was taken.
The suspect was described as a tan-skinned man with dark hair.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Missouri Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Louisiana Police Department, Louisiana Fire Department and other agencies were going door-to-door in the city limits and combing the woods and fields outside of town on both sides of the Mississippi River.
“It’s really too early to make any type of assessment,” FBI Agent Mike Kaste said at 8:30 a.m. “Right now, we’re in the beginning of developing leads.”
Leon Reeves lives a block from the missing girl’s family.
“It’s just hard to believe,” Reeves said. “This is a quiet neighborhood. We have no break-ins or crime around here. It was a shock. It’s a shame. She’s just in the hands of the Good Lord now.”
Michael Hoffman and his 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, joined the search. Hoffman and his wife have a girl who just turned four.
“There’s someone from our community who needs help,” Hoffman said. “It’s an obligation.”
Harrison, Hoffman, Reeves. The name game strikes. As I was to discover later, the family was all one and the same, just multigenerational, years after the Bigfoot sightings of 1972.
Two presidents were named “Harrison,” and the suicide of the suspect occurred in Lincoln County. The name game is abundant in this story.
Also, it was pointed out to me by a cryptopolitical observer to play attention to the location of Louisiana, Missouri, for it is in: “Pike County; the girl found in the St. Louis area [that’s two ‘Louis’ roots, with Louis (or Lewis) of course important in Freemasonry as both a hereditary Mason and the device used to hoist worked stone blocks into position], plus the telltale cutting of the girl’s hair….It [was also] revealed that a carnival had been in Louisiana [Missouri] at about the same time, which suggests the possibility of, wait for it, clowns.”
For more on another cryptid-related name game, see the “Fayette Factor.”
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.