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Back in 1971 and 1972 around Louisiana, MO there was a story that stirred up the nation. It is the legend of MOMO the Missouri Monster.

Witnesses claim to have seen a huge, hairy, hulking creature stalking the woods and lonely country roads. The creature is similar to the well-known Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest, only more otherworldly. It has glowing orange eyes, a pumpkin-shaped head, three-fingered hands and leaves three-toed footprints. Unlike the shy Bigfoot, this aggressive creature is known to kill animals and antagonize humans.

The Momo saga began in July 1971. Joan Mills and Mary Ryan were driving along Highway 79, north of Louisiana, when they allegedly saw a hairy creature that made disturbing gurgling noises. The women described the thing as "half ape and half man."

The most notorious sighting took place one year later. On the afternoon of July 11, 1972, 8-year-old Terry Harrison and his 5-year-old brother, Wally, were playing in their backyard at the foot of Marzolf Hill on the outskirts of Louisiana. Their older sister, Doris, was inside the house. Doris heard her brothers scream. She looked out the bathroom window and saw a black, hairy manlike creature, standing by a tree.

The thing appeared to be six or seven feet tall. Its head sat directly atop its shoulders, with no visible neck. The face was likewise invisible, completely covered by a mass of hair.

The youths reported a chilling detail – the creature, streaked with blood, carried a dead dog under its arm.

Later that summer two fisherman in The Cuivre River State Park near Troy reported seeing a strange hairy creature crossing the river early in the morning. (I knew one of those fisherman, and I think that if he saw anything it was probably drug-induced).

Later sightings were reported as far south as O’Fallon and St. Peter’s. Then the sightings stopped, but the legend remains.

Webster’s Dictionary says that a legend is, "a story, handed down from the past, which lacks accurate historical evidence but has been, and may still be, popularly accepted as truth." There never has been any historical evidence to prove that the legend of MOMO was real. Yet the story lives on.

(From a sermon by Mike Rickman, "The Thing Legends are Made Of" 2/28/2009)

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