Saturday, September 13, 2014

Originally published June 16, 1962, Trimble County Sheriff To Lead Search For Beast




  September 13, 2014


9/12/2014 3:00:00 PM
Originally published June 16, 1962
Trimble County Sheriff To Lead Search For Beast
Police Dogs, Helicopter, Posse To Be Used In Animal Hunt Today

WALKIE-TALKIES FOR BEAST HUNT — Sheriff Curtis Clem checks portable radio equipment with state trooper John Miller (in police car) in preparation for today’s all-out hunt for “the thing” that has residents of northwest Trimble County scared. The sheriff has asked all persons desiring to join the hunt to register with him since vicious dogs will be used that could seriously injure anyone not in the party. Radio units are being provided by the Madison Radio Service here.
Courier Staff Report


There is some form of animal still loose in the northwest part of Trimble County-be it a gorilla, bear, lion or large dog- no one seems to know for sure, but many are sure something is there that doesn't belong, and they want it eliminated.

With this thought uppermost in mind, Sheriff Curtis Clem is leading an extensive search later Saturday for "the thing," as Trimble County people seem to refer to it.

"We'd like to get it alive if possible, or dead if necessary. But we want to be sure he's removed or run out of this area," the sheriff said today. "These people are scared and they want action," he added.

So a large number of men, equipped with keen eyes and rifles powerful enough to drop almost any kind of beast that could prowl this area, will set out sometime later today to see if the trail of the beast can be found, and if it can be capture or killed.

A helicopter overhead will aid greatly in following the animal at high speed should it be flushed from the dense undergrowth.

A gang of seven highly-trained vicious police dogs will accompany the hunt. They will be brought by a special dog trainer from Louisville, who offered the services of his dogs when he first saw the reports of the beast in his newspaper.

Many people seem skeptical and wonder why it isn't seen more than it is. But others point out that the ground being roamed by the beast is wild territory, and that it could be hiding in deep caves protected by large rocks, or could be nestled in the dense thickets.

Sighting reports continue to be turned in to Sheriff Clem. The latest story comes from Mrs. Derrell Corley, who lives on the Kidwell Pike. She said that sightings of a beast were not a new thing to members of her family. She said that about three years ago some type of an animal would lurk in the weeds and high grass and thump along after her children when they went for the cows. "It made all sort of weird noises," she said.

About this time the Corley family was raising a garden containing melons. "We'd never get a whole melon before that animal or whatever it was, would get to it. It looked like a human hand had scraped the heart out of each melon," she said.

"One time my daughter Mary went to the garden, and looking up saw a black thing that looked like a small monkey or chimpanzee standing in a corn row. As some other children were coming, she looked first to the kids, then back to the spot, and the beast had disappeared," she said. Later that year similar reports came from Patton's Creek, only a few miles from the Corley place.

Most common among the sighting reports of the beast are stories that it looks like a chimpanzee or a gorilla. Some prints in the mud that had been found were taken to a Hanover professor and were termed those of a large dog. But the prints were found near a spot where the beast is believed to have been. The prints could easily be those of a dog, and still not the prints made by the beast.

Up to the present time there were still no further reports of either personal injuries or animals being killed since the early report of the death of a calf. But the sighting reports continue, and as do reports that dogs return to farms with every indication of having been in a vicious fight.

Sheriff Clem hopes the best hunt today brings the good news that the beast is no more, and that Trimble County residents can go back to living a normal, safe life.