Spottsville, Ky., Henderson Co., 1975
The Nunnelly family moved into a small, isolated farmhouse very close to the banks of the Green River. They didn't realize that for the next 11 months they would be terrorized by a giant, hairy, red-eyed creature that would come to be known as 'The Spottsville Monster'. Even though they were warned by the previous renter, who reluctantly told Mr. and Mrs. Nunnelly that one day he had fired several rifle shots through the back screen door at a large 'hairy feller' who was standing just outside looking in at him, Red, the father, was a tough, intelligent, no nonsense type fellow who was not easily scared by anything. He felt a .12 gauge shotgun would take care of any such 'problems' that might arise. Besides, they had already had a run-in or two with what the kids called 'The Brown Man' a few years previously across the river in Reed. It ran when seen of fired at and eventually left them alone. The Nunnelly's new house on Mound Ridge Rd. seemed perfect at first. The property contained many types of fruit and berry trees and Red planned to raise several acres of tobacco come spring. Rose, his wife, looked forward to raising a big vegetable garden. The six kids could play in the big yard or artifact hunt in the fields along the front and sides of the house. That spring started out well despite the steady disappearance of their chickens, which was attributed to weasels and such. The older boys, aged 9 and 10, began to find the carcasses of dead dogs in the fields when they were out looking for indian arrow-heads. The bodies were strangely mutilated, being sliced from groin to gullet with all the internal organs removed including the eyes and tongues. No blood or footprints could be seen around these grisly discoveries, even though most were found in open, well cultivated fields. Also strange was the fact that no scavenger would eat of the remains. Not even a fly would land on them to lay its eggs. Before the episode was finally over in Jan.,1976 the family would lose a total of over 200 chickens,1 goat,1 horse and would find the remains of 8 dogs, a pig, and a goat-all mutilated. One day Red and Rose heard what sounded like something big drinking water from the small creek within the forest behind the house. By the sound of the loud 'gulping' noises it was making it was at least as big as a horse or cow. At night they began to hear strange noises coming from outside in the surrounding fields, some of which contained swampy ponds and thick growths of trees, and from the woods behind the house. Sometimes it would be close by, sometimes far away. The two vicious and highly treasured guard dogs the family owned could be heard bumping their heads on the floorboards as they scurried beneath the house in fear of whatever was making the sounds. This caused Red much concern. As a precaution, when his older son Harold began the remodeling, Red invited him and his family to move their trailer out and set it beside the house. As he was suffering from Glaucoma and steadily losing his eyesight, he felt that his family would be safer with another grown man who could shoot a gun on hand if need arose. He could also help with raising the tobacco. They moved the trailer in soon after and placed it very close to the house under his father's direction. One day a stranger came walking from the far tree line across one of the side fields. He was holding a shotgun, broken down, and walking towards the house, his other hand up in the air in a friendly jesture. It took both the adults to finally calm down the dogs when the stranger approached and introduced himself as a neighbor who lived less than a half mile back up the road. He stated that he had just been squirrel hunting in the nearby woods and had scared up something big and hairy that ran away on its hind legs. As it was heading in this direction and he had not the slightest idea what the animal could be or how dangerous it might be, he felt it was his Christian duty to come warn the family about the event. Red liked this man immediately and invited him back for coffee when he had the chance. The two became great friends and this new acquaintance would play a pivotal role in the drama that was about to unfold. The first sighting by the Nunnelly's happened around 8 o'clock one evening when Rose stepped onto the front porch to call Harold and his wife and 3 children over for a late supper. They had been working in the fields all day. She looked to her left and saw a giant, hairy shadow at least 8 feet tall standing in the darkness by a nearby shed looking at her. She screamed like a panther, then ran back inside and locked the door. Harold rushed over holding his rifle, Red grabbed the shotgun. Shaking, Rose called the police. After briefly looking around close to the house and finding nothing the State Police left,most probably laughing at the crazy story of the giant monster. But they would be back several more times as events escalated into an almost nightly visitation by the creature. Eventually, even though it was later learned that similar sightings were taking place all along the river in towns such as Bluff City and Hebbardsville, the police refused to respond to any more 'monster' calls and the family was left to defend themselves. Rose saw it again at dusk as it ran from a field by the garden area and jumped an old fence-row. It chased Red and one of the dogs out of a tobacco field that he was tending alone one day.Dean,age 10 had a close encounter as well. He was standing in the front yard one day trying to take some garden hoes away from a couple of the younger girls when he heard a tremendous crashing through the trees out back, followed by a complete and unsettling quiet that came over the entire area. He looked and saw the thing standing in a small gully by an old truck. He described it as being huge and tall, with a square jaw and small, close set eyes. It was covered in reddish gray hair, thin and patchy in spots as if it was very old. All of the children saw it one morning standing in a corn field out front.It towered above the full grown corn and seemed to sway slightly from side to side as it stood. By this time the local T. V. news had heard of the events from the police band radio and sent a camera crew and police sketch artist out to the place. The artist drew a hairy, man-like animal with no face(?) and a segment about the family was featured on the evening news. The next day a crew of reporters from the local newspaper descended on the Nunnelly farm to get the scoop. The morning edition of The Gleaner dubbed the beast 'The Spottsville Monster' and the accompanying article treated the sighting fairly, despite some misquotes such as calling the monster 'green' and misnaming the name of the road on which the family lived. Ironically, this sent the crowds of gun-toting 'monster hunters' which descended on Spottsville to everywhere but the correct location. Meanwhile, the neighbor from down the road agreed to try and track the monster down for the sake of the safety of the Nunnelly children. He encountered it one day at an old, abandoned house far back in the woods. It was stooping down looking out the window out at him. The man fired on it and in the same instant, he said later, it vanished before his eyes. Shaken by the sighting he went home. He did not give up however and eventually claimed to have found trace evidence in the form of hair,a claw and a plaster cast of a partial footprint left in near frozen ground. The print, though incomplete was impressive and showed the clear impression left by a large, four-toed foot. When the news coverage began Red referred the reporters up to talk to the neighbor, which they did. His name appeared in print and he, like the Nunnelly family, suffered through intense public ridicule. The children were endlessly taunted at school, the neighbor at work in a nearby fire department. The events finally came to a conclusion, for them at least, when the neighbor told Mr. Nunnelly about a bizarre encounter with the creature he had experienced a couple of weeks prior, followed by a short stay in the hospital. He had been looking for the thing one day, he said, when it started to rain. He was walking a tree line at the time and there was a nearby, long abandoned old barn into which he went seeking shelter from the rain. Little did he know the creature was also inside.He stood only for a moment at one end of the open ended barn, when suddenly the feeling that he wasn't alone washed over him. He slowly turned around and found himself staring into a huge, hairy mid section. He stood well over six feet tall but he had to look almost straight up to see the creatures' face.It was horrible and deeply terrifying with a short muzzle, long pointed fangs set into both its upper and lower jaws, black skin and strange red eyes that chilled and frightened him to his very soul. He reached for the rifle strapped on his shoulder but suddenly found himself unable to move as those terrible eyes froze him in their gaze. The man thought that he was surely done for but,despite the beasts' appearance, it spoke to him without using its mouth at all,but some sort of mental telepathy and said, "Don't be afraid... I will not harm you." Then it turned around and ran out the end of the barn that was facing the open,well plowed field, now muddy from the rain. It was a few moments before he could move again, he said. But at last he was able to shake his head trying to clear the vision of those red burning eyes from his mind. When he had composed himself he walked to the doorway through which the being had ran, hoping to see for the first time the creatures track in the muddy field. There were none. Red, realizing this was no 'ordinary' monster, asked the man if he thought it might come up one night and try to steal one of the children. The man replied that it was not likely, as they had been here for nearly a year already and the thing seemed content with killing their animals and merely scaring the people. But, he told him, if the creature ever did decide to do that, their would be nothing anyone in this world could do for them. They would be gone. Period. For weeks Red had kept a five gallon bucket of kerosene and a mop near the kitchen door in case the creature tried to get in and attack the members of the household. In the event that he could not drive it away with bullets or fire it was his intention of kicking the bucket of fuel over and setting it ablaze, burning the house to the ground with his whole family inside it rather than losing one or more of them to the creature and trying to live with the loss. Better, he reasoned, that they should all die and go to heaven together than trying to live without a single member of the family. All the children had agreed. Soon after the talk with the neighbor Red and Rose gathered their children and belongings and moved back to the 'safety' of the city.
I interviewed the neighbor and my father's good friend in Feb., 2005. It had been 30 years since I had seen him. He was older but still pleasant, friendly, intelligent and cordial. He still lived in the same house that he lived in back then and is a God fearing Christian with no reason to lie and no want of any publicity whatsoever. After promising never to reveal his name in a public forum and,because I was Red's son, he agreed to grant me the interview and tell me 'everything' that had happened to him during and after our ordeal in 1975. What he told me about his further encounters with TSM astounded me. He claimed that he had seen the beast several more times after my family left. Moreover he said that what he had seen with his own eyes went far beyond anything that he had ever dreamed possible. One day he was walking along a field and noticed a strange area that looked like 'heat waves rising from a hot, summer road'. The area was only a few yards wide and to either side everything looked normal. As he was watching one of the creatures stepped out of this strange wavy area like stepping out a doorway. One second nothing, and the next... there it was looking right at him. It growled at him and, at the same time, screamed inside his head to 'leave me alone!' Then it turned around and took a step back into the strange looking 'doorway-and disappeared. After that he began watching the area from a distance using binoculars. In all he claimed to have witnessed several different monsters using this doorway a total of three different times, always appearing or disappearing,seemingly, into thin air. These strange creatures would then be seen crossing his own property and tripping the sensitive motion detecting security lights in his yard. His last sighting was in August of 2004. When asked if I could see the trace evidence I received another revelation. Soon after the media coverage back in '75, he said, he was visited by the state police and a couple of other men whom he took to be Federal game officials. They demanded that he turn over all evidence concerning TSM over to them immediately, which he did. Moreover they stated that if he ever talked to anyone else about the subject, especially the media, he would be arrested without hesitation and thrown into prison on a 'made up charge' and would never see his wife and two young daughters again unless it was looking at them through prison bars. In addition, a statement had been prepared for the local paper in his name stating for a fact that what he had seen was nothing more than a large, black bear. Not easily intimidated he, at first, balked at the whole thing, reasoning that this was America and his rights were being grossly violated. But the officials were very persuasive and, in the end, he had little choice but to go along with the charade for the sake of his family. Over the years he had tried to get the items back with no luck. One time he and his family came home and found a large freezer bag on the front porch. It held the remains of his plaster cast-smashed into powder. The statement was released to the local paper which proudly proclaimed the mystery of TSM solved.The hoards of monster hunters melted away leaving only the body of a dog, someone's family pet shot accidentally by local teens, behind. Everything quieted down and TSM faded into memory. The man never talked of TSM again, fearing the threats to this day as he now owns a successful business he does not wish to jeopardize. He blames the inability to speak of his encounters on a heart attack he suffered in 1985, which left him, for a brief time before he was resuscitated, clinically dead. It is also interesting to note that the entire area has a history of active UFO sightings and many houses nearby are said to be haunted on the inside as well. I know these to be true as I have lived in a couple of them myself and have seen unexplained aerial phenomena on many occasions and in the company of witnesses numerous times there.
-From the files of Bart Nunnelly