'Huge Monster' Frightens Girls at Sister Lakes
The 'Monster of Sister Lakes' made a daylight appearance today, terrorizing three young girls and causing one of them to faint. Joyce Smith, 13: Patsy Clayton, 12, and her sister, Gail, 13, said they were walking along a wooded road in Silver Creek Township about 9:15 AM when the 'monster' suddenly appeared. Joyce saw him first and promptly fainted. Patsy got a good look at the creature before it ducked into the woods. Gail was too far away to see it. After the 'monster' fled, the girls revived Joyce and they ran to a neighboring home and telephoned police. Sheriff's deputies armed with rifles rushed to the area. Joyce said the creature 'did not look like a man,' Patsy, who said she saw it at close range, said it 'looked like a bear.' She said it was about seven feet tall and 'had a black face.' Earlier, authorities had ended the search for the 'monster' after thousands of residents poured into the area, creating a massive traffic jam. Area residents have been on edge in recent days since reports began circulating that the monster is back. Terrified residents have described the monster as about nine feet tall and weighing 500 pounds. Cass County sheriff's deputies said the presence of the monster has been reported off and on for about two years. Mrs. John Utrup of nearby Dewey Lakes, Michigan, told the sheriff's deputies the beast chased her into her home Tuesday night. She said she was saved when her dogs barked and drove the monster away. Other descriptions said it was covered with black hair up to its neck and had eyes that glowed like an animal that had a light shining in its eyes. Various witnesses said the monster made noises 'like a tamed goose' and 'a baby crying.' Cass County Deputy Sheriff Ernest Kraus said deputies were dispatched into the area in which the monster had been reported. They were armed with deer rifles and would stake out the area 'until we solve this.' But deputies said the area was inundated with a flow of curiosity seekers and all the officers were forced to direct traffic. 'We had all the men we could spare up there and had to get some help from Van Buren County 'to take care of the traffic,'a spokesman said. He said man cars were loaded with up to six people. 'We don't know what it is. We don't even know if it exists,' the sheriff's spokesman said. 'But there have been complaints by about 10 reputable persons and we have to check them out.' Kraus said it has not been precluded the object of the extensive search in progress is a gorilla. 'We have had no reports of any circus gorillas having escaped by the description of several persons matches that of a gorilla-hair up to the neck, widespread eyes and about nine feet tall. 'Whatever it is, it could have been in that swampy and wooded area for some time.' Authorities also theorized the creature could be a big bear. Tracks found in the mud showed an imprint of 3 3/4 inches at the heel and spanned six inches across the foot. The general area in which the monster has been reported is on the Cass Van Buren County line. The area is inhabited by year around occupants as well as the location of many summer resorts and cabins. Kraus said many witnesses agreed with Mrs. Utrup in the description of the monster. 'That many people can't be wrong, so there must be something out there,' he said. He said that officers from two counties investigated similar reports about two years ago but were unable to locate the mysterious creature. 'I hope we can find out what the score is,' Kraus said. 'Women are terrified and refuse to leave their homes without escorts.' Gordon Brown, Dowagiac, Michigan, said he saw the monster Tuesday night in the headlights of his car on the farm of Harold Utrup, brother-in-law of Mrs. Utrup. 'It's no bear,' Brown insisted. 'It had a face like a human.'
Source: The Holland Evening Sentinel, Holland, Michigan, Thursday, June 11, 1964
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