In case you missed it, according to multiple reports, there’s a lawmaker in Oklahoma that’s sponsored a bill to create a hunting season for Bigfoot – yes, that Bigfoot – and offer a $25,000 reward for anyone who can successfully catch the creature.
Normally, a story like that would just fly under my radar, I mean there’s other stuff going on right?
But I’ve got a buddy who is a huge fan of the mythical creature and when I was a kid I could’ve sworn Bigfoot was living outside my window just waiting to crash through it at night and eat me. (If only that were the reason I couldn’t sleep now.)
Anyway, this buddy has been crazy about Bigfoot ever since he covered a group of people dedicated to researching and finding the animal. I forgot how much time he spent with the group, but it was enough to get him hooked.
That got me to thinking about some of the other weirder things I’ve been called upon to cover during my career.
One topic that seems to be cyclical and used to come up about every three years was a story about a “big black cat” that lived in Marshall County.
I had multiple people tell about their encounters with this animal and when they describe it.
One guy said he was out feeding his cows and heard a low growl. When he looked up he was staring straight into the eyes of a large, black cat. He said its head was about the size of a watermelon.
My first question to him was if it had a tumor. He said, “It’s not a tumor. His was just this big.” And he showed me his approximation with his hands.
I was skeptical. I mean I get that animals are usually skittish around humans, but he and the cow would’ve made a nice meal for the cat.
Here’s the deal. Cougars were the only big cats that were ever native to Alabama and nobody has seen one of those – or at least a dead and confirmable one – since the ‘40s. And there has not been a substantial population of cougars in Alabama since the 1800s.
Also, cougars aren’t black. You have jaguars that are black and leopards that are black, but there’s never been a confirmed case of a cougar being black.
These are things you have to learn when enough people tell you they’ve seen a big black cat.
Another one of my favorite stories was the woman who called me to tell me her house was haunted.
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? I do, too. So, I probably spent more time talking to this lady than I should have. I don’t remember the specifics on this one, but basically, she either had a guest house or a boat house that she could see from her main house.
She claimed that spirts kept lighting candles in said structure because she would see light coming from the house at all hours.
Then she went on about how her family had lived there forever and I was like, “Ma’am, I agree you’ve got some trespassers, but they’re probably from the local high school.”
This woman is not to be confused with the lady who wanted me to print her letters to the editor that she wrote on behalf of the ghosts from the Civil War who lived in her house.
The one call I’ve yet to get is the “I’ve been abducted by aliens” call and honestly, I feel kind of cheated. I feel like that’s a layup that someone has missed.