Sighting of creature terrifies Caney woman

By Penny Cockerell Published: July 30, 2006
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Wa
lker said she's heard of the Boggy Bottom Monster since she was a child but never heard of it sending someone to the hospital, until now.

"We pick up a lot of people for different things, some more unusual than others," Walker said. "But that's the first for a Bigfoot sighting."

Still, Marlow isn't the first in recent weeks to see the creature. A few days before Marlow's sighting, two teens riding four-wheelers along Clear Boggy Creek also saw a similar "monster" lurking about.

Morgan Whatley, 13, was the first to see the fleeting furry freak. Like Marlow's description, she said it had reddish-brown hair, with long legs and arms.

"Everybody's calling it a Bigfoot and some people think it's a bear. I think it was too tall to be a bear," Morgan said. "I've heard a bunch of stories. When we first moved here people would say, 'Watch out for the Boggy Bottom Monster,' and stuff like that. I thought they was just messing around trying to scare us."

By the time Morgan turned to her 12-year-old brother to point out the creature, it was gone.

Garrett Whatley didn't believe his sister's sighting -- until he saw it himself.

"We heard more noises, so we both got scared and started to leave," Garrett Whatley said. "We started pulling off where we were parked, and off to the side was a little clearing trail and it was off running over there."

The siblings ran home scared and reported the drama. Their father didn't believe their story, but their mother believed them.

"I don't believe it's a Bigfoot, but I believe there's something out there," Tracy Whatley said. "My kids were pretty scared when they came home."

Marlow and the Whatleys are far from alone in their beliefs. Hundreds of Bigfoot-type believers have organized online to track and investigate sightings. An East Texas group known as the Texas Bigfoot Society meets annually in Jefferson, Texas, near the Oklahoma state line, and hundreds attend.

Southeastern Oklahoma and northern Texas are heavily wooded and prone to low-lying fog and swampland. It all fits the Bigfoot habitat known nationwide, from the densely wooded Washington state to places like Caney and Jefferson.

Atoka County has even capitalized on its Bigfoot legacy. Walker recalls one weekend last year when locals brought a tour bus through and had a man dressed in a Bigfoot costume appear at various stops.

"It's a legend here like it is anywhere else. People occasionally see things that they can't explain and a lot of times that's what it gets chalked up to," Walker said. "Whether you thought it was true or not, if you were sitting out in the woods, it was enough to scare you."


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