NOTE CORRECTION TO EMAIL: From the producers "the email address for Boggy Depot Bigfoot Conference is boggydepotbigfoot@aol.com not yahoo" -- They just got the website up you can stop by at boggydepotbigfoot.com - We hope to see you at the conference! "

In the early 1960's, keeping pace some said with tales emerging out of the Pacific Northwest, stories begin to surface of strange critters roaming the river runs and forests of Oklahoma.

El Reno Chicken Man. Oklahoman (1970 Dec pg?). Original article not yet found. Mysterious tracks located around a chicken coop that had had its door pulled off [cited in “Monster prints called fake”].

Lawton alert for “wolfman.” Oklahoman (1971 Mar 3 pg 46).The “thing” described in this AP story as traipsing around this southwestern corner of the state as being “tall, very hairy, with a distorted face and wearing pants several sizes too small.” Moreover it was alleged to be able to jump 15 feet from a standing start or drop from a second story balcony with out ill effects. C. Edward Green, 24, was a witness and declared it was no hoax. He described its ability to jump, said it was heavily bearded with extremely thick, black hair all over its body. Donald Childs, 36, suffered a seizure when it sprang out of a nearby field, leap a fish pond, and “really move out” toward an alley. When first seen was simply sitting in a flower bed near the pond. Unidentified others, including three soldiers from Ft. Sill, reported sighting it as well.Monster prints called fake. Oklahoman. (1972 Jul 26 pg 21) by Cecial Peaden. The director of the OKC Zoo, Lawrence Curtis, and Hayden Hewes, director of the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City, gave their opinions on a set of tracks from a Louisiana, MO sighting (by Edgar Harrison’s son and daughter) that had people in two states puzzled. Zoologists from the University of Missouri declared it was not a bear but could not say what it was. The creature seen making the tracks was described as “tall, hairy creature”. Hewes leaned toward a “visitor from a flying saucer” and Curtis of the zoo declared they were probably fakes. However, black hairs were found around the print and were being sent to Oklahoma for analysis.

Experts to join search at Noxie. Oklahoman (1975 Sept 9 pg 28.).A group of researchers with Hayden Hewes, associated with the Association for the Investigation of the Unexplained, descend on a small community southwest Oklahoma near. Hewes reported about a dozen sightings had been made of a “hairy seven-foot monster” with “eyes that glow in the dark” had been reported in the area since 1972. Armed with cameras, tape recorders, and a Geiger counter they planned to search for evidence.

State’s own “Bigfoot” topic of talk. Oklahoman. (1977 Jun 4 pg 9). Bob Stamps of The International Organization for the Unknown presented a talk at the Edmond Broadway Motor Inn. He reported sightings from the NE corner of the state and shared alleged tapes and films of the “Bigfoot” creatures.Sasquatch send sooner…. Oklahoman (1977 Aug 7 pg 200).Story by staff writer Robert B. Allen “somewhere in northeast Oklahoma”, along researchers Mike Williams and Bob Stamps investigate the “fabled, hairy monster of Big Timber Hills”. An OKC psychic, Charles O. Rhoades, had led a group into the area where he as “confident" something would be found.

Mysterious Creature Stalk….Oklahoman (1977 Aug 10 pg 33). From Stilwell, staff writer Jim Etter reported that a teenager had been clawed by a “hairy nine-foot-tall “something” with “glowing red eyes” in wooded northeastern Oklahoma. Adair county Gary Faden had confirmed their investigation being kept low key to prevent a panic and people getting “guns out there and getting someone shot.” Reports indicated the creature “stalks in the moonlight, peers through windows with its red eyes, grunts like a hog and bounds off…

Lie-Detector….. Oklahoman (1977 Aug 8 pg 240). Jim Etter continues with an account of a Colorado private detective who ran a “psychological stress evaluation” lie-detector test on statements made by 17 yr old Brian Jones about his story of being attacked by a hairy creature. The youth had reported to authorities he had made the story up and had lied during a polygraph test in Ft. Smith, Ark. The Colorado detective, Forrest Erickson (Wheat Ridge, CO) said that it was his opinion the boy had told the truth and his test bore it out. “I really believe the boy’s telling the truth…I can’t believe that he’s not telling the truth.

"Search for “Big Foot.” Oklahoman (1977 Aug 21 pg. 30).Profiles Bob Stamps who hoped to become a full time big foot hunter and support himself by writing. To that end he had written several un-published magazine articles, including one titled “Sexual Encounters with Sasquatch.” Timeline of events noted: Aug 7 article appeared with story of Stamps and the overnight Big foot hunt; two days later Brian Jones reported that on August 5 he had been attacked (clawed and thrown in the air) by 9 foot tall hairy creature near Stilwell. Other reports of the period were cited without dates but included people had reported partially eaten goats and missing calves.

This should get you in the mood for an event near Atoka in October 2010 (22-23). The Boggy Depot Bigfoot Conference will be the site of workshops, guest speakers, music, food, and lots of entertainment as a fundraising for some great causes. For information contact: boggydepotbigfoot@yahoo.com

'CRY BABY BRIDGE' - Oklahoma Style

Conduct a search and you are sure to find entries like this: " The real "Cry Baby Bridge" is in....(Kiefer, Schulter, Catoosa, Oklahoma City, and there are 3 more "fake " ones in Kellyville.) The road has been completely re-routed, and the bridge is no longer standing. The original legend goes like this: Legends states that if you go there you can sometimes hear, or see, the woman looking for her baby in the form of a glowing soft blue light. " -- See Shadowlands, or numerous other sites that lifted their information in total.

Despite some postings like this on various websites this is one story that has to be re-evaluated with facts. Debate on the web as to the location of the "real" Crybaby Bridge in Oklahoma totally ignores the folkloric root of this tale. It is in folklore that the meaning and identification of the bridge must be found.

The story of the Crybaby Bridge always begs the question, which one? Such bridges have been identified through local legend in almost every state from New York to Ohio to Oklahoma and a few further west. Since the story did not originate in Oklahoma all claims that the "real" bridge is in Oklahoma are untrue.

Experts have seen that in the western versions, there is an apparent relationship to the Hispanic tale of La Llorona. This old legend tells of a woman who drowned her children to be with her young lover, who in turn deserted her. The contemporary case of Susan Smith comes to mind as a modern example of just the same type of tragedy. This source tale may date back to pre-colonial Mexico and may even refer to an early native deity.

In these crybaby bridge tales a frequent motif is the (a)shamed daughter rejected by her father, (b) baby and woman died (either through cold or through drowning), and listeners are encouraged to remember the tale as (c) a memorial to lost innocence.
An old Irish folk song may have helped shape the development of this legend. in modern times. “Mary of the Wild Moors” is a haunting tune that has the elements of the shamed daughter, the infant baby, the rejecting father, and the lingering cry heard in the place of their death on the cold stoop of the cottage. It is moody and haunting making it a memorable tale.

Although, many areas have their haunted hollows, stretches of eerie road or spooky woods (one such place was recorded near El Reno in the early 1900's, the sight of an alleged murder). Many of these bridge tales, by comparison, seemed to have all arisen during the 1920's and 1930's.

If, as many believe, urban legends, are as much morality tales cautioning about behavior, then the often dangerous bridges of the early years, coupled with the moral threat posed by a newly independently mobile youth, could easily have led to the development of this tale and explain its enduring appeal.

Oklahoma, like Ohio, has several bridges identified as a Cry Baby Bridge. Most have been closed down over the years, lost as roads were rerouted, or simply replaced by newer bridges. I visited one alleged sight in southwest Oklahoma County. It was down an old dirt road and had been closed for decades to motor vehicles. The metal had rusted and the wooden planks were beginning to weaken.

It crossed a narrow ravine where a tiny trickle of dirty water flowed decorated here and there with the debris of cast off appliances and car parts. An old concrete pipe in one side of the ravine served to spill out rain water from somewhere.
In the clear light of day I could hear the wind sighing through the pipe, and knew that in the dead of night it might sound like the whimpering cries of a child, or the mournful pleas of a woman in pain.

Looking around at the lonely road, its tall stand of scrub grasses and volunteer trees, circadian hums playing background music to my musings, I wished I too had come in the night. This was something to be savored and remembered before it too disappeared into myth.

One day the bridge would be gone, replaced by a staid modern bridge, and it would loose something along the way. The modern replacement bridges, with their multiple lanes of harsh glaring concrete with stable, unimaginative barriers spanning waterways the drivers can no longer even see, are no match. They are traversed by hurried traffic with no time to pause and enjoy the 'what if' or the 'just maybe's' that make life fun. Every new bridge seems designed to defy any legend, no matter how romantic and enduring, to linger



"Hurry, spread the word!" October is already filling up for the'Oklahoma Ghost Teller'; but some times are still available. If you are a library in the OKC METRO AREA, I am offering a special pricing for some select dates.
Evening, Saturday or Sunday programs for ages 10 to adult. The usual fee for a story program in a library by the Oklahoma Ghost Teller is $80.00; however, I am offering a special this October for Sat., Sun. or evening programs of $50.00 (approx. 45 min).
The week of Oct. 11-15, I will be available during day hours as well.
Outside the OKC METRO AREA may be possible (under 100 miles) plus mileage (2-way) at current IRS rate. Email to see what is possible!



Recently, the news in and around Oklahoma is the apparent reappearance of mountain lions in regions experts swore would not have these particular felines. Others, swear that they have seen mysterious black panthers as well. Sometimes, despite the best scientific pronouncements, animals can be out of place.

It reminds me of back in the late 1970's in Altus, Oklahoma. In the middle of one summer night a strange and exotic sound covered the southwest Oklahoma town. A roaring lion is hard to be mistaken for anything else but a roaring lion. Then later, traveling down the main 'drag' looking to the side as a vehicle with a group of teens is overtaking you. The teens are hooping and hollering, as they are often known to do when under an excess of high spirits, and the large mane of the lion is tousled by the wind as the car races past.
The large mane of the lion??????

Subsequent research has been difficult on this particular story. No one seems to want to talk in detail, perhaps for fear of reprisal for admittance to what was no doubt an illegal action. I suppose this aspect; it might be that in that time and place ownership of one (or two as some claim) African lions was less encumbered by legalities. Some claim the owners ran one or two bars in the community, known as either the "Bamboo" or the "Upper Room." Others claim the lion came from a nearby community where the lion was a mascot for the local team.
African lions are not easy to care for requiring large amounts of food, space, and social interaction. Some have suggested the lion(s) was donated to a zoo or wildlife preserve. For more information on lions check out "Why Lions Don't Make Good Pets".

If anyone has a memory of this 'mystery', please contact me: marilynahudsonATyahoo.com

[copyright 2005]



His birthplace was long ago torn down in the on rush of Urban Renewal, but one of America's stellar literary voices lives on in a very special and fitting way in northeast section of Oklahoma's capital city.

At the corner of NE 23 and Martin Luther King in Oklahoma City, is a library named for the late Ralph Ellison, author of the highly acclaimed Invisible Man, who was born in Oklahoma City in 1914 and grew up there.
He is shown here at a book signing reception held at the brand new Ralph Ellison Library when it opened in the early 1970's.

When the facility opened in 1975, the same year he was elected to the The American Academy of Arts and Letters , it was the finalization of the dreams of thousands in the Oklahoma City area and an expression of the rich heritage of the surrounding community. It quickly established itself as a center for African-American social history and a nexus for community development. It's 'Black Heritage Collection' became the popular research spot for historians, authors, and students from across the state and the nation.

To mark its unique spot in OKC history, the author Ralph Ellison graced the opening with his presence and was there to see the bronze bas relief of his profile and the display of copies of his award winning work in various international languages in a glass cabinet. He would, long after his death, continue to inspire youth and adults with his literary achievement.

As much as this library was, and still is, an information resource, it is also a strong center of community activities for all of the Northeast Oklahoma City community. They celebrate a history of providing strong children, youth, and career focused programming and resources. They celebrate the rich ethnic heritage of the area with cultural celebrations and resources that reflect the influence and role of African Americans in all of American history and especially in that of Oklahoma.

In 2025, the library will be 50 years old. It's past would have seen the living leaders of Civil Rights in Oklahoma City attend its birth, witnessed the finest of African-American artists, writers, painters, speakers, thinkers, academics, business leaders, politicians, musicians, storytellers, and actors grace it programs, attend its events, and learn from its resources, and see its mere existence inspire countless thousands as evidence of achievement once the human heart begins to dream.

Area residents formed the Friends of the Ralph Ellison Library. The special group sponsors fund-raising events and coordinates projects benefiting the library. For information about joining, call 405.424.1437. For more information on the Metropolitan Oklahoma City and County libraries visit their website at http://www.metrolibrary.org/.

[Marilyn A. Hudson served Ralph Ellison Library as Children-Teen programming librarian and as a reference librarian from 1999-2004. ]



Maps are a historians best friend. Maps reveal connections, routes, challenges, and long forgotten common knowledge. They reveal the grand dreams and bright promises of towns now fading into decay. Recently on a drive I found a collection of skeletons: huge prehistoric bones of a bridge that once was the only way across a river and which now rose from tall grasses and weeds like a vision from another time. In a time when roads and bridges across the country are coming under scrutiny, it is interesting how stable and resolute, these pillars remain long years after they were deemed old fashioned and inferior. Sometimes new things are simply that....thus caution should always be used in case the bright shine of golden newness turns out to be worthless brass.
For a wonderful set of historic road maps for Oklahoma.

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