As you may have guessed, from reading some of my previous articles here, I have a certain fondness for the mysterious Cryptids known as, White Things. I can’t say why in particular they fascinate me so, but I would hazard a guess that it is because of their unique appearance. The huge hulking bodies, the long sharp claws, the often reported extra eyes or feet, they’re just really cool to think about. I mean, the descriptions of them really don’t match anything else like them in America and for that matter the world. That’s a really hard thing to find in the realms of Cryptozoology.
Let’s take a look at several supposed Lake Monsters from around the world. With a few notable exceptions, most of these creatures tend to fit into a few very detail-oriented body designs. We seem to, as a culture at least, know what a “lake Monster” is supposed to look like, that being most people’s version of the “classic” Loch Ness Monster. This certainly opens up many questions like is this because people all over the world are really seeing something and if so is it the same thing, or is this image of what they are supposed to look like so ingrained in our collective subconscious that it is impossible to deviate from that idea? Well those are interesting ideas to ponder on, but not why we are here today.
Also, despite there being a lot of interesting White Thing sightings and lore stretching back generations, I have not seen hardly any center focus on them specifically. Most tend to lump the sightings of such beasts into the expansive Bigfoot database and be done with it. But as I have written before, they’re so bizarre and unique I don’t think it’s wise to do so. So naturally when I recently came across a few decades old reports of a mysterious beast that seemed to fit this description, I felt that I would share it with you, the reader.
Before we begin, it’s also interesting to note that these reported sightings come from a state that I, previously hadn’t read of any such reports of such creatures coming from, Illinois. The vast majority of such reports had always come from the South, with West Virginia and Alabama being the number one and two states respectively. A few had come from more Northern states like New York and Pennsylvania, even a couple of turn of the century reports from Nova Scotia, but these are definitely the most Western ones I have come across thus far. With all that in mind, let’s begin with Cohomo, the Cole Hallow Road Monster.
In May, 1972, between the towns of Pekin and Peoria, located in central Illinois, Randy Emmert and group of his friends saw a strange animal out near an old abandoned home. It was described as being between eight and ten feet tall and white in color. When they saw it, it made a terrible screaming howl, much like many other similar looking creatures are reported to emit. They also found bizarre three toed footprints nearby. The footprints of such creatures haven’t been mentioned much in other reports, only that the creatures seemingly have claws instead of more human like toes. The young boys suspected that the beast had taken up residence in a large hole underneath the abandoned house. The locals quickly dubbed the beast Cohomo.
Police where, naturally, very skeptical, but over the course of the next several months they supposedly, got over two hundred calls about Cohomo. One caller blamed him for the destruction of their fence. So by July of that same year, the locals rallied together, and over one hundred people went out searching for Cohomo. However, the search was called off by the sheriff’s deputies, when one man, a Mr. Carl R. Harris, accidently shot himself in the foot with a .22-caliber pistol. Sightings continued for a bit, including a sighting in Fondulac Park, just east of Peoria. The witness was there to attend a birthday party, when he saw a huge hairy white creature in the tree line. But the sightings were on the move.
In July, 1972, the same month that Cohomo was being hunted in central Illinois, something very similar was being sighted in Cairo, Illinois, in the southeastern part of the state. In the early hours of Tuesday, July 25, 1972, a local man named LeRoy Summers was jogging near the Ohio River levee between 28th and 17th street. He stopped when he noticed huge animal standing by an old brick house by the river. He later told police that the creature was at least,ten feet tall, completely covered in snow white hair, with a large head and a tint of red coloring around its middle area. He quickly made a retreat from the area. Police checked out the area and found nothing. However, while on their way back to the station, another call about another sighting of the same kind of thing came in. This too was investigated, but as with the first one, nothing of value was discovered.
Sightings of other Cryptid types, like Bigfoot, continue to this day in Illinois, but as of writing this, these where the only ones I could find that matched these unique characteristics. Most people would tend to lump these in with the numerous Bigfoot type sightings, but not me. I think they represent something else. What that something else is, I can’t at this time be sure of.