GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE

HAUNTED TENNESSEE

A Mysterious Case from the Files of Jerry Coleman
 

THE CARTER FARM INVESTIGATION:
Bigfoot, Bogeyman & Ghosts?
by Jerry Coleman

 Tennessee is known for many things from Nashville’s Country Music and Tennessee Whiskey to the beautiful fall foliage of the Appalachian Mountains but unknown to many (that are out of the Cryptozoological loop) is the fact Tennessee is Bigfoot Country ! At least this is what some would have you believe.

In the County of Monroe and the town of Madisonville claims of Bigfoot exists. These claims far surpass glimpsed sightings or unknown mammalian calls in the night. The authors of 50 Years with Bigfoot, Mary Green and Janice Carter Coy will tell you Bigfoot has existed on this farm for 50 years and still does! The allegedly true story encompasses practically everything ever testified to or theorized about Bigfoot: What they eat, how they kill, how they have sex, Bigfoot births, Bigfoot burial, Bigfoot’s at play, Bigfoot raping a human female, Bigfoot masturbating, Bigfoot speech, and of course a complete head to toe description of Bigfoot.

However what is absent from this comprehensive view of the Bigfoot clan is solid, public documentation and consistency in the story. Most questionable of all is after 50 years of Bigfoot’s close encounters Coy, neighbors or invited ( or uninvited) investigators have yet to obtain one single clear photograph of this infestation.

The location of said farm is 57 miles south of Knoxville and 80 miles north of Chattanooga then east off of Interstate 75. To be precise, the farm will be found south of Madisonville off of route 411 by taking Reynolds Road east (county road 838) to the 500 block of Reynolds Road.

Jerry Coleman is the Author of the "Strange Highways" Books from Whitechapel Press
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The conception of this investigation was put together by one Randy Garlipp, a level headed, logical, mature individual from Nebraska that happens to also be an amateur Cryptozoological enthusiast. With a bit of persuasion Garlipp convinced me to join his independent venture and as things progressed we enlisted others for their honest input and expertise.

In the early going literally scores of e-mails and telephone calls were placed amongst the team as we evaluated the testimony of Janice Carter Coy and Mary Green. We also put together a list of items to attempt to document and laid future plans for a series of on site investigations. Much of the research could be done via telephone and internet but that, we agreed, was not the best avenue to take for many of the claims.

One of the first items on my agenda was to contact and meet, in person with a Tennessee university linguist specialist about the alleged Bigfoot language and translation of it. Here is what they sent in a letter after their examination:

Mr. Coleman,
 
After extensive examination of said bigfoot language which contained two hundred and twenty-three (223) written words accompanied by no verbal recording and no vowel designations made determination of the alleged language impossible to validate and unlikely to believe as legitimate .
Absent from the list of 223 words were normal language foundations such as basic multilingual translations normally noted and further data that might strengthen an individuals claim. Ones haphazardly translation of sounds is not a language but an effrontery.
To seriously attempt to validate the real possibility that an unknown life form, with limited interaction would be translatable to English makes a mockery out of scientist and scholars that have, for years attempted to communicate with apes, dolphins and other known animals with limited success.
To be quite blunt, it does appear this list is an uneducated attempt to mix Indian language with known beast-like and human infant sounds mixing random modifications in and grade school phonics.

Furthermore, a colleague and I individually looked at and compared our findings to the entire list you supplied, at this stage, and only going on the history and conditions supplied our attempt to find any verisimilitude were totally absent. This report will follow.
In closing let me again thank you for this interesting project. If you do happen to get any recordings or further information please do not hesitate to request my assistance. I do not know if my report has helped or hindered your investigation however, it is what you asked for, “the truth first”.
I insist my name be publicly withheld from this report, I do hope you understand.

Unfeignedly yours,
Professor X
@ The University of X


Added note, 27 August 2006 :

Personally I do not care for anonymous quotes. However in this case the linguistic specialist did not state anything that supported the language to be that of bigfoot, hence no outlandish claims have been made that would warrant further concern as to their identity.



On May 5th, 2006 an excursion to Madisonville and Sweetwater, Tennessee in Monroe County was conducted for the sole purpose of gathering first-hand verifiable information on the accounts of Janice Carter Coy’s alleged Bigfoot encounters.

Excursion facts / field notes of Monroe County, Tennessee -- May 5, 2006:
Starting point Hawkins County, Tennessee. Starting time 9 a.m. Distance to Madisonville, Tennessee 126 miles. Arrival to destination (County clerks office) 12:05 p.m. I accompanied by T. Christian had decided NOT to interview or interact with any of the parties involved with this case on this first trip and further decided not to divulge our exact reason for being there. This excursion’s purpose was solely to take a few area photographs, gather names, acclimate myself to the area, seek out information from officials (county offices, police, fire, newspaper, library) and quietly observe, if we could, the Carter farm area for a few day, evening and night time hours. 

I wished to put no one on alert and did quietly seek information knowing full well that if a Monroe County Bigfoot event ever took place the locals would be quick to refer to such accusations. Nothing, not even a hint of anything remotely related to a family of Bigfoot’s existing at the towns edge was ever mentioned.

Observations upon arrival into Monroe County, Tennessee -- Friday, May 5, 2006 -- 68 degrees / overcast skies / no rain.

Once crossing the bridge of the Little Tennessee River from the north on route 411 one finds themselves in Monroe, County Tennessee. An average sized town that held few surprises. The normal urban sprawl was first apparent with the neatly placed McDonald’s, Wendy’s and bank drive-threw locations. The downtown Madisonville square was quite busy because of the County seat court house. Downtown restaurants and small specialty stores were a buzz with the locals. However parking was not a problem and much to my delight was the fact that the official offices remained open during the lunch hour.

First stop -- Monroe County Property Assessor’s Office, 103 College Street. Building name -- J.P. Kennedy Humane Center.
County Assessor Mike Shadden was out to lunch but his assistant Allison Hawkins assisted me with every request.


Obtained these public documents:
* Plat for Carter owned lots. Relevant to this investigation the maps show the exact location, size, waterways, adjacent roads and land identification.
* State of Tennessee Real Estate Appraisal Card. Relevant to this investigation these documents describe the land usage, structures, ownership and dates.


The only land presently owned by any of the parties involved is Lila Carter’s lot, sized at 2.42 acres. Physical address, 513 Reynolds Road. Lila’s 2006 appraisal reflects a value of 45,700 dollars.
Janice K. Carter Coy sold off her plot of 3 acres located at the physical address of 507 Reynolds Road sometime in 2005 to Roger Dale Philpot and Perry E. Philpot . The land and structures show an appraisal of 28,600 dollars.

Robert I. Carter Jr. sold his 44.56 acres to Roger Dale Philpot and Perry E. Philpot sometime in 2005. The land consisted of mostly pasture, field rotation and only 12.5 acres of woodland. The land appraisal was 145,900 dollars.


The Carter farm, once upon a time, was only 58.3 acres. Fifty-eight point three acres that the map clearly shows was/is land that stretches along as frontage property adjacent to Reynolds Road. Finding this location was a breeze. No more than 5 miles going south from downtown Madisonville one turns left off of route 411 and proceeds east on Reynolds Road for a short couple of miles. Single wide trailers pepper the road side with an occasional average foundation home placed in the mix. Cattle, horses and donkeys are seen leisurely grazing on two farms before, but close to the Carter farm. This is not a mountainous area by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it what anyone could call, with a straight face occupied by Hillbilly mountain people. This location [the Carter farm] is close to town, close to the highway and consists of a few rolling hills. It is not a mile from the mountainous park as is claimed however the distant mountains can be seen from the farm.

Once immediately passing the Carter farm two trailers [mobile homes] were found on the same side of the road. I drove up to these trailers that bordered the far east side of what is now Philpot’s land and quickly noticed dogs, dogs that were adult and puppies eagerly meeting my vehicle. Here we got out, petted and photographed a couple of these dogs. Not much further down the road another large herd of cattle was noted and around the very next bend ( no more than one half to a mile from the Carter place) we found an Emu farm. Emu’s were observed contently enjoying the pasture far from any cover or concern.

The structures of the farm (house, mobile home, barn, sheds) are located well within a few yards of the road. Janice’s old house also sets close to the road. The door that the alleged Bigfoot [Fox] knocked on requesting garlic is no further than a half of football field from the roads edge. Reynolds Road is newly blacktopped, narrow and curves directly in front of 507, Janice’s old place -- local traffic flies around this curve. At night the eastbound traffic’s headlights cannot help but scan across the entire front of the house as they negotiate the turn. Next to the Carter farm property, literally within feet and west of 507 Reynolds Road, approximately a dozen young calves were seen lazing about. The calves were border only by a weak barbed wire fence and drying creek bed.

At 513 Reynolds Road, Lila Carter’s place (located next to and directly east of 507) is a singe-wide trailer which sets parallel to the road and is approximately 25 yards from the roads edge. In the front area was a large solid black German Shepard looking dog. The dog was sleeping when I slowly drove pass within 15 yards of it, never raising it’s head or turning an ear. The entire original Carter property of fifty plus acres can be seen and was seen from two points in the road with the best vantage point being from the east end of the property line near a creek.

One of the authors and researchers who defends this story is Mary Green. Green has posted additional claims in forums to explain away some of what should be easily documented facts. Such as the rape of a young female by one of the “Carter farm bigfoot”. Green will tell you she has spent hours searching newspaper archives and claims a fire recently destroyed the very newspaper that must have reported the incident.

We then returned to town and headed for the library. A fire truck was backing into the downtown station so I decided to seize this opportunity and attempt an interview with the firefighter. The firefighter Todd Tarbett was quite accommodating. Mr. Tarbett stated that he had no knowledge of a fire within the last 25 years to any Madisonville newspaper. He did state that I might wish to talk with Chief John Talent but the Chief was out of the office performing inspections so I decided to continue on to the library. The Chief and I did speak later and he had nothing to add to this case.

At the library I introduced myself to the head librarian, Mrs. Kim Hicks. Mrs. Hicks was also very accommodating and freely answered all of my questions. Interestingly and quite by coincidence Kim Hicks was related by marriage to one Dan Hicks (her uncle). This was not the first time Dan Hick’s name had come up. Hours earlier I had stopped at the police station and two officers advised me that I should be talking to a Mr. Dan Hicks. Hicks, I later found out, is not only the owner of the Madisonville Advocate Democratic newspaper but is such a hard-nosed, out spoken straight shooter that the man has made many, many enemies. The police stated that Dan Hicks has been threatened numerous times, shot at, punched out and did have an arson commented at the paper office years and years ago. It is true that the newspaper building was set on fire, but how bad and exactly when is still in question. Kim Hicks stated she believed the fire was in the mid 1960s. Kim also showed me ALL of the film archives from the newspaper going back from 1890 to present. Mrs. Hicks stated that NO requests (other than mine) to see the film have been received in the past year.

Also, while at the police station, I was asking the front desk cop (initials P.A. she would not allow her name used) about Robert Carter. A police lieutenant from a nearby office overheard my question and yelled out something that I should not quote here.

More notes:

Newspaper names of Madisonville, TN 1. Advocate 2. Democratic (same paper as #1) 3. Daily Buzz 4. Express.
In between going from one location to another [in Monroe County] cemeteries where sighted and consequently searched only in an attempt to be thorough. Furthermore, no grave plots or cemeteries were seen on or near the Carter farm property.

Many of the Carter farm neighbors names were obtained and are on file.


A drive around:
Wishing to truly evaluate the entire county a decision was made to systemically hit the main arteries that lead in and out of the town of Madisonville. Logging over 100 extra miles, routes 72, 322, 68 and 11 were driven. No surprises here, a huge goat farm with minimal fencing was noted as were numerous cattle ranches, children walking and playing totally unsupervised were noted and normal highway signs warning of deer were seen. No one we spoke to had any livestock losses that they considered unusual in nature.

Trip to Sweetwater:
After leaving Madisonville on route 68 west our destination was The Lost Sea near Sweetwater. We took the Lost Sea tour. We asked our tour guild a string of questions -- no answers, not a one would lead anyone to ever believe that the cave system has ever seen a Bigfoot / wild man or even a monkey . Indians, yes documented, confederate soldiers, yes documented, early thrill seekers, yes documented -- bats, indeed and even solid evidence of a giant Pleistocene jaguar . http://www.thelostsea.com/History1.htm 

Between Madisonville and Sweetwater some dense woods did turn into a true forest and the hills became small mountains. For the first time of the voyage I felt it almost possible a Bigfoot or two might be able to stay hidden in such an area but all too soon we were back to the McDonald’s and car dealers and neat path’s of The Lost Sea attraction.

After returning from Madisonville the field notes, documents and photographs were organized and studied. The team was contacted and the findings were shared. Immediately we went to work planning follow-up trips, e-mails, telephone calls and gathering additional statistics. Mrs. Hicks at the Madisonville library was now one of many valued assets.

The next step to take in an investigation of this type is to look at possible sources for such an event. Thus either ruling them out or deeming them worthy of a closer inspection. This is very true when dealing with Bigfoot encounters, one must logically evaluate the real possibility that the known testimony is not a case of misidentification, imagination or fraud. Misidentification is an honest mistake with a mix of either wishful thinking or a lack of wildlife knowledge. Imagination can be anything from innocent error to the mind blocking or changing the events to either excite or protect the witness. Fraud is a beast that stands alone and can be determined once the agenda is exposed. An agenda can be as simple as boredom or as complex as an elaborate quest for fame and fortune.

We had to entertain every real possibility and systematically rule out each one before arriving to a conclusion (absolute or otherwise) that numbers of Bigfoot existed and frequented the Carter Farm area. Normally what we would do is check area zoo’s, exotic animal handlers, traveling circuses and escaped animal reports but this would not be necessary for such a case as this, which claims that for decades multiple Bigfoot encounters have been observed in a small area.

Sidebar:
Throughout my adult crypto-career, if you will, one simple thought has ruled each and every one of the investigations and that thought being,; no matter how thin the pancake, there’s ALWAYS two sides. Now with that said, one needs not concern themselves with damage control or redundant explanations, someone, somewhere will always find what they would claim to be a fly dropping in your pepper shaker but it is when they hand you a shaker of salt and tell you it is pepper that the other side of their pancake MUST be examined.

The next logical examination to explain sightings and sounds should be known area animals. Such as bears, fox, coyote, feral dogs, owls and mockingbirds to name but a few. One must conclude that in a rural area these animals must be considered.


Area Caves

The caves are at issue as well. Randy Garlipp purchased and studied two Tennessee cave books, Caves Of Tennessee and Descriptions Of Tennessee Caves and found nothing to support caves on or near the Carter Farm. Then I contacted a number of cavers in and around the Knoxville area and also found nothing to support the claims of Carter Farm caves. Others speculate these alleged caves are a safe haven for the Bigfoot and a means to get on and off the farm undetected, they even state that these caves have American Indian drawings.

Caver Interviewed (in part):

Curt Rader maintains a winter home in Nevada. He is a middle-aged divorced man with three boys. He is a long time speleopolitician (caver) that has “caved” throughout the United States including Tennessee.

Tonight (4-11-06) I spoke with Curt Rader in person at my home. We spoke for well over two hours before the interview was cut short because he was in route to another caving exploration scheduled for early tomorrow morning. But before he had to depart Curt shared some of his stories and expertise as well as a photo album filled with past explorations and treasures he has found. He told me of many finds from gold nuggets and interesting animal (known species) skulls to arrow heads, Indian tools and even a metal box of confederate money but absent from his hundreds of cave excursions was any evidence of caves being Bigfoot dwellings.

Curt is well versed in the national and state cave laws and does acknowledge how these laws are largely ignored. However once he was told about the alleged secret caves in Monroe County, Tennessee which is said to possess Indian Artifacts, Curt Rader’s face changed to an immediate smirking grin as his head started shaking no. Curt said, “If -- that is -- if a cave unknown to the public, unknown by the government and unknown to us cavers was found with Indian artifacts including verified legitimate Indian paintings within, that there cave would not be a secret too dang long! Curt continued, “That is unless a completely and extremely rich damn fool found it and for some strange, out-of-this-world reason chose to keep it a total secret and refuse a “gift” amounting to about five times the land value for the use, the right, the access, and the lease of the land with them, the owner still holding the title -- I just can not imagine anyone refusing such a gift, acknowledgement or sense of duty to possibly expand education, contribute to humanity or be recognized as the discoverer of such a unique find .” Curt went on, “I have seen such a cave “loaned” to a major university for three million dollars. Now you are not going to find these deals on the internet or written up in the local newspaper, nope, universities don’t advertise that kind of spending, if the money doesn’t cure cancer or build a research wing not much if anything would be released to the public.”


As of this writing no one has been able to find one of these Carter Farm caves including Randy or myself, and I walked the entire area of the fields and gullies.

Another independent researcher speaks up and verifies our findings from the Madisonville trip . I received an e-mail from Mark Sykes and consequently telephoned him. What follows is some of Mark Sykes investigation:

Jerry,

As far as the Carter farm situation, I did some preliminary
investigations of my own last year [2005], including a week long trip to Madisonville and some first hand interviews with several of the involved parties. The facts as I understand them lead me to the conclusion that Mary  Green is not being completely truthful as pertains to this particular situation, or that she has been mislead by Janice Coy. At the very least, she has not presented the facts accurately. As I have noted contradictions in her postings from this [CZ.com] website, to BigfootForums, to her own site.


According to the Monroe County Tax assessor's office, Robert Irland  Carter, Sr acquired the 58-acre farm in September of 1945. In March of 1984, the deed was transferred to Robert Jr, where it remained until 2004. In June of 2002, both Lila and Janice were deeded about 3 acres each, with Jan taking the house. During 2003, Robert Jr shot and seriously wounded a neighbor and was charged with attempted murder. He claimed PTSD as a defense and was remanded into psychiatric care for evaluation. At that time, he claims Janice went to court to have him declared mentally incompetent and gained conservatorship over his property and holdings.

In May of 2005, he sold 44 ½ acres of property to Dale Philpott as a means to provide for his treatment and defense. He also gave over signatory power of attorney to the state. The State argues that his condition did not render him incompetent and that his signature giving them POA supersedes the court appointment. They are completely correct in that assessment and this has been proven in court on numerous occasions. Janice filed a complaint based on the decision rendered but had the case summarily dismissed. The court did uphold the 2002 transfer of +/- 3 acres of road frontage to both her and Lila, but the sale of the 44acres stood. Last year, Robert sold the house and 1.55 acres to Philpott as well. I was led to believe that Jan, not understanding the terms and conditions of the award, had claimed the house as hers but the court disagreed. There seems to be a great deal of animosity between Robert and Janice. He believes she tried to take advantage of his situation to "steal" the entire farm.

Before and during my visit to Madisonville, I contacted the Monroe County Democrat, the Madisonville PD, the Monroe County Sheriffs Dept, the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, the Sweetwater PD, wildlife officers at the Tellico Ranger Station, the USDA Forest Service, and numerous businesses in and around town as well as attempted interviews with persons living on Reynolds road. I won't bore you with the details, but not one person outside the Carter family acknowledged any sightings of any extraordinary creatures. I also asked about the purported rape and was told in no uncertain terms that there has never been any reported rape in the county or surrounding area that did not include at least a description of a human attacker. And no authorities had any record of a person being institutionalized for any length of time due to a sexual assault.

I was able to briefly speak with Lila and her boyfriend (?) as well as Robert Jr. .Janice wouldn't speak to me at all, and when Lila called  her, she said that she would not speak to anyone without Mary present, (which I found suspicious).

Both the other Carter children told quite a different story than Jan Carter and Mary Green. Lila never called her a liar, but she intimated that the stories were embellished. Her boyfriend made a statement that included the words "crazy as a pet coon". Lila claims that she has  seen something at times, including recently, but would not positively ID anything as a Bigfoot. She said that the "peeping Tom" sightings and banging on the walls of the trailer she experienced as a child were likely the products of an overactive imagination on Jans' part and that Jan had always instigated the sightings and got worked up, scaring her (Lila) in the process. Her G-father, Robert Sr, did tell them stories of Booger-Men in the woods, but never intimated to her any close contact.

The majority of her answers to my line of questions were, "Well, Jan said... or Jan seen...", never first person experience. She also says that she hasn't found any tracks, hair, scat etc by herself, only when with Jan.

Robert Jr did discuss the current state of the property with me via phone from Lila's trailer, but when questioned about sightings, gave me a short, terse statement, saying he never saw anything and that was all he was going to say on the matter.

Two neighbors, father and son, from a farm property adjacent and another homestead further down Reynolds road, kind of laughed me off, but did say that they have had cows disappear, and one young colt. When I asked them about the carcasses, they wrote it off to coyotes.

The owner of Will's famous "poop barn" would not speak with me, but Lila told me it's almost falling down, very dilapidated. Hardly the place for an 800 lb primate to pinch off a coil, do you think? More likely, it's a buzzard roost. Wouldn't take long for a colony to leave 200+ lbs of droppings containing DNA from various animal carcasses. Or perhaps a bear? Black bears climb well and won't hesitate to scavenge a meal of carrion when they can.

The general opinion I took from the experience was that Jan has serious problems and an active imagination, and Mary Green has either been taken in by them and enables these problems, or is completely aware of the situation and is exploiting it.

One last thing, Lila acted as if other "scientists" as she called them would be angry with her if they found out she talked with me. I found that a little curious, but it does make sense in that they jealously guard their supposed secrets and are afraid to have them exposed to the light of day.

At any rate, these are the facts as I heard them. You may share this information if you wish.

Mark Sykes


Arch Goins and family, Graysville Melungeons Photo from the 1920's, from a great-nephew in Chattanooga, provided by and used with the permission of Barbara Goins.(A special thanks from Jerry D. Coleman who met some Goins in Surgoinsville, TN)

Is it worth entertaining the notion that instead of a Bigfoot clan on the Carter Farm other more logical possibilities would fit? One must keep in mind that Grandpa Carter NEVER referred to his “guests” as Bigfoot or apes or animals. Consider the era, Melungeons were outcasts and did relocate to East Tennessee. Looking at the glass half full here -- we might have had a very giving and loving Grandpa Carter rather than some kind of liar or pervert. What if Grandpa Carter is a hero. A man willing to take in the needy, the community outcasts such as the Melungeons? Melungeons looked a little different and lived simple, modest lives. Melungeons were often dark skinned and had little money for such things as shoes and shelter. Grandpa Carter is no longer with us -- so perhaps the truth is gone as well.

At this stage of the investigation nothing had been found to support the claims that multiple bigfoot had ever visited the Carter farm. Because of this, another trip to Madisonville was in order. So, on June 14, 2006, I met up with Randy Garlipp and a lady he introduced to me as his wife, Mary. On the docket for this trip was to, one; conduct interviews, two; gain free access to the land (hoping to find bigfoot evidence or at least a cave) and three; thoroughly examine the barrel in Mary Green’s “Squeaky” video.

We accomplished all three and more. Randy and Mary followed me out to the Carter farm and, as soon as the farm came into sight, I pulled my vehicle over to the side of the road so I could point out the west side property lines and take note of the neighbor’s livestock. We then went past Janice’s and Lila’s places to the eastern edge of the property. Here we again got out of our vehicles and noted that in front of Lila’s mobile home were three gents that looked, “a little bit country.” I decided to dress down. I took off my dress shirt, untucked my T-shirt and slipped a cigarette behind my ear, then proceeded back to Lila’s.


Once at Lila’s, the first thing I noticed is that there were dogs everywhere. I knocked on the front door and soon Lila appeared. Randy and I then explained who we were and what we were interested in. Lila, looking quite matter-of-fact, said, “My comment is no comment.” We then continued with the questioning, making it clear to Lila that everything from that point on was off the record, which means that nothing Lila said from that point on will be recorded in this article, regardless as to how interesting it was. And it was interesting.

We then went directly next door to Janice’s old place, where numerous cats and dogs were running freely about. We interviewed Mrs. Taylor and also Janice’s niece for some time. Janice’s niece is a minor, so her name will not be mentioned in this article. Mrs. Taylor, who is the present renter of the property, was most gracious and accommodated every request we made and answered every question we asked. She stated that she had never seen a Bigfoot, but had heard them in the woods. She also said that Lila stated that a bigfoot came up on her porch asking for food just two days earlier. Mrs. Taylor then took us around to the back of the house and showed us a spot in some dried-up mud where a bigfoot was supposed to have left a track — but none of us could locate the track. Mrs. Taylor openly told us one story after another about noises in the night, bangs on the door and even stated that a Bigfoot must have buried a kitten under a tree in their front yard. However, after each tale she stated she never saw a Bigfoot herself. Mrs. Taylor then added to the mystery when she told us of a female ghost that was supposed to be haunting the house. She said that Janice was aware of the haunting and said the ghost was there to protect them. The ghost, Mrs. Taylor said, would scream throughout the house almost every night.

Then Janice’s niece started telling us about her experiences. She told us stories of bigfoot talking in the woods across the street and about her total belief in the events chronicled in 50 Years With Bigfoot. She talked about the times she would be outside playing hide-and-go-seek and knew that the bigfoot were watching her. Then she told us about a movie she had been in. She stated that “they” had made a film pilot and that she was in the film, playing the part of a young Janice.

She then said, “I was told to walk along the road picking flowers and then a bigfoot came out of the woods and grabbed me!”

I asked, “A real bigfoot?”

She laughed and said, “Oh no, it was my uncle dressed up like a bigfoot.”

She then went on to say that she did not know who made the film or exactly when it was filmed, but said she thought it was made within the last two years.

We then took some time to examine the barrel believed to be the same barrel in the Squeaky video. The barrel was found laying in what appeared to be the same area and at the same angle as in the video. Randy and I measured the distance, photographed the barrel and examined the surrounding area. Then, while Randy went to examine the basement, which a bigfoot allegedly broke into in order to eat canned goods that were stored there, I took a number of soil samples.


Left to right: Randy Garlipp, Mrs. Taylor, Jerry D. Coleman. Mrs. Taylor is demonstrating how hair can be found under the soil by scratching the surface.


Left to right: Mary Garlipp and Mrs. Taylor at Janice‘s old house during an interview.


While doing so, I noticed that there were no other barrels in the area. However, a few feet toward the house was a five-gallon rusty bucket full of barbed wire. There were no markings in the soil or differences in the foliage growth to indicate that other barrels might have once been in the immediate vicinity and there were no rust partials found in any of the soil samples I took. Now of course there could have been another barrel there at one time, but the logic of why it would have been removed and then replaced with a very similar, although closed, barrel, completely escapes me.

Sidebar: The barrel might not have been an issue in the first place if basic investigative work had been done at the time the “Squeaky” footage was taken. For example, if an animal was really inside the barrel, there might have been a good chance that it would have left a few hairs behind, and those hairs could have been analyzed.

Bottom line: The simple soil sample tests were done not so much to prove that a barrel was never there, but, instead, to see if barrels other than the one Randy and I found might have once been in the same general vicinity and, therefore, might have been the original “Squeaky” barrel. To me, the lack of soil impressions and disturbed vegetation, combined with the absence of rust in any of the soil samples I took, is an indication that no other barrels besides the one we found were laying around in the immediate area in the past, only to be removed and replaced with a different barrel. So, did we find the original “Squeaky” barrel? I believe we did. And it was closed at both ends, bungs intact.

We then asked Mrs. Taylor about the bigfoot hair allegedly collected. She stated that the hair she had seen, which she believed to be bigfoot hair, was tan or light brown in color. I could not help but notice that hair was everywhere. In fact, Mrs. Taylor bent down and literally scratched at the soil, revealing that even more hair was underneath the surface. Cats, dogs, kittens and cattle were all about, as was their hair: on fences, on the ground, on the trees, on etc. Mrs. Taylor then stated that her family members cut their own hair outside. I filled a small plastic bag with hair in no time. If I wanted to, I probably could have filled a garbage bag with hair in less than an hour.

After the interviews were complete, I left Madisonville, needing to return to Hawkins County for personal reasons, leaving Randy to continue on with the investigation. His report, in part, in his own words, is as follows:

My wife and I then went to the library. I looked at their genealogy files on the Carters but found nothing relating to that particular family. While Mary was researching some books on the Cherokee reservation I took a drive up to the Madisonville Police Department where they directed me to the Monroe County Sheriff's office.

I went in and asked to see a detective who was recommended to me as being around there the longest but he was on vacation. I instead had the pleasure of meeting a detective captain "Mac" Williams who was very cordial. After coming straight out with what I was there about, it turns out he has an interest in Bigfoot although knew nothing of the Carter Farm affair. I preceded to show him passages from the book and he became very interested. He asked me where he could get the book and I replied he could have mine if he would be so kind to look into certain details for me such as the supposed rape which took place. He said he was a policeman about that time and knew of no rape which every took place in that area. He said he had Robert Carter Jr. in his jail cell right now and would question him about details in the book. He said Robert had mental problems but the medicine they were giving him made him more coherent. He also said that his son who is a deputy told him there was a man who had published two books on Bigfoot inquire about the Cater Farm. This man apparently had his picture on the inside or back of the book and had moved down there and bought land. He claimed he had a film of the Bigfoot. Captain Williams promised me he would look into who this man was. Incidentally detective Williams lives only miles away from the Carter farm and has never seen anything strange.

I picked up Mary and we bought some pizza and pop and headed out to the farm. I decided to take a chance and stop at Mr. Dale Phillpot's farm to see if I could question him. He lived just up the road from the farm and came across as a no nonsense type of guy. He owns quite a bit of land in the area and currently owns the property on which the old Cater house now sits. Turns out he is renting the house to two of his workers on the farm. He called them up and directly asked them if anything strange was going on over at the house to which they both replied no. I asked him about what Lila's young daughter and the young lady at the house had said about him taking a shot at Bigfoot. He laughed and said that if he had taken a shot at Bigfoot he would not have missed. In short he dismissed any possibility of the existence of Bigfoot in that area as he has lived there since 1947 and has seen nothing of that nature.

We then went back to the old Carter house and meet up with the two farm workers and their wives who were very friendly and helpful. We were allowed to wander all over the area and actually were in the house and were in the basement where Bigfoot was supposedly staying some nights, according to the book. There is a little side room where jars of food used to be stored although none are there now and I can certainly envision a bear getting in there and causing havoc. The boys somewhat changed their story and admitted they had heard strange noises at night but still maintained they had seen nothing except two boys they chased off trying to steal gas. One of the guys took me back where he thought the cave was but I seen nothing even remotely looking like a cave. The whole area in back of the house although somewhat more wooded than I thought but really no different than the rest of the local countryside that I seen with tall grass and wooded ravines. We stayed with them until 11:00 P.M. eating pizza and talking and left with an open invitation to return anytime. Lila's small daughter, although cute as can be has obviously bought into the family's belief as she was full of tales about Bigfoot even remarking how she had seen one on her birthday.

The next day we returned to the Sheriff's department and met with detective Williams and gave him the book. He gave me his personal cell phone number and the departments email address with the promise that he would check into it and I believe him to be sincere. I plan to follow up on this.

There is little doubt in my mind that the barrel we came across is the same one as in Mary's film and if it is there is no way anything could have hid in it as it is sealed at both ends. There is no doubt in my mind the story Jan Carter has told is complete nonsense as we suspected but I will entertain the possibility of bears perhaps visiting the farm on occasion. I will back up everything I have relayed to you here and you are free to quote me on everything I have said.
Randy Garlipp


The conclusions within have been arrived at through on site investigations, personal interviews and commonsense observations. Throughout bigfoot lore one constant exists and that constant is witness testimony, which indeed rules the roost. Take away the witness testimony and all of a sudden little to nothing exists. Now please do not misunderstand me, testimony is a very valuable tool and without it Cryptozoology would have little to nothing to go on, but testimony that consists of multiple encounters that span over decades should not be expected to logically or scientifically stand alone. Cases with ongoing, outlandish tales that produce little or no evidence and are cloaked in secrecy raises numerous red flags to an unbiased investigator. I would strongly advise anyone who wishes to support or promote such cases to realize the real possibility that all might not be as it appears. The potential of exaggeration increases tenfold with long-lived cases that bear no fruit. Be prepared for an agenda that might not be one bit related to the originally claimed subject.

On the 20th of September 2006 Gerry Bacon, Robert Coppen and myself spent the day in Madisonville. We first drove past the old Carter farm place.

In his own words is Gerry Bacon’s first impression of the Carter farm area.

My first impression was that I wouldn't need three years of study here, since the entire property could be completely gone over, nearly to the inch, in one day. I've done it with forty acres of pure woodland, no fields to gloss over. My second impression, if you want, was that we have the Jerry Springer section of Madisonville here.

This is some beautiful country but, for TN, relatively flat and very open. Yes, there are some creek beds running through but all in all, this is considered open farm country. The Carter farm is surrounded by beautiful homes until you get to the Carter homestead itself. Compared to the surrounded homes, it's a blight area.

I'm truly curious about Mary Green's assertion that she saw some bigfoot coming down a mountain. If she's referring to the nearest true mountains there, they're too far away, not just a mile or two but several, maybe ten or more miles. It's been thought by believers that Fox and company stay in those mountains and come to the farm at night, which seems truly odd to me since they would have to cross so many other farms to get to the Carter farm.

I've always said that there is no need for huge tracts of wilderness to harbor bigfoot but the Carter farm seems to be mainly huge fields. And they were not just recently cleared. And the assertions by some that the Carter farm has been cleaned up makes me wonder just how nasty it must have been before, as it is truly a junk heap even now.

There is no way any self respecting bigfoot is going to travel miles of open land for a plate of leftover food. There is no way bigfoot is going to cavort on the Carter land without all the neighbors seeing it. If Philpott spends his afternoons bird hunting through the fields, he would have seen evidence. To the best of our knowledge, he hasn't.

I see some interesting, Jerry Springer type fodder for discussion here but I damn sure don't see any possibility of bigfoot being in this area.


Now for Bob Coppen’s first impression.

The Carter farm and environs? Observations? Thoughts? No mountains. No hills. Flat. Open. Farm country. Dairy cattle. Small patches of woodland. Pasture. Everything highly visible. Cover every inch in less than one day, on foot. Small wood-frame house. Old trailer. Small barn, very
close to road. Abandoned cars. Abandoned household appliances. Fox, rabbit and deer. Maybe coyotes. No bigfoot. No trees for cover. Everyone in town would see if there. But they aren’t. Haven’t been.

Carter farm story? Why argue so hard to protect it for so long? Think. Not about trying to prove bigfoot was ever there. At least I don’t think so. About trying to prove that a bigfoot investigation was ever there. Why? Not going to say. People thing, not a science thing. Human drama. Not my business. But there’s no bigfoot there. Never was. End of story.



We then spoke at some length to a close neighbor . The neighbor had many stories but none, not one about area bigfoot. The neighbor confirmed a number of our commonsense deductions about the Carter farm case and gave me a true sense of conclusion. Even though the neighbor did not request their name be withheld or their quotes remain untold, I, personally, chose to not divulge any of the interview. That is, other than to reemphasize, it has nothing to do with bigfoot.

We then drove over to Philpot’s place and spent some time there speaking with a gentleman that looked more like a professional wrestler than a farm hand. He was quite pleasant and helpful, but again no bigfoot stories or concerns.

Next stop was the public library. The entire staff graciously dropped what they were doing and assisted our every request. Gerry Bacon interviewed the Genealogist, Bob Coppen hit the computer along with a librarian assistant and I along with the head librarian shuffled back and forth between them all. I was given the library log and the Carter file to review. We studied the local telephone books and noted the newspaper archives. A couple of the librarian’s even pulled a map out directing us to certain destinations. The only thing that was missing, again, was testimony or evidence of any area bigfoot.

Our final investigative stop was in Tellico. Here we found more than we had set out to observe. Satisfied, we agreed to return to the tri-cities area and evaluate our findings.

At this stage of an investigation one must pause and ask oneself a number of questions that have not been satisfactorily answered. Why has no solid proof of bigfoot been found on the Carter farm, taking into consideration that this epic has lasted over 50 years and claims a dozen or so bigfoot-frequented 58 acres of easily accessible land? Why would a researcher invest 3000 dollars to feed unseen creatures? Why would a researcher claim to use the Jane Goodall approach without having subjects to study? How could an untrained individual translate an unknown language with abstract ideas? How could there be not one clear photograph? And other than a witness or two, how could an entire county, including police and close neighbors, never, in fifty years, see a bigfoot? How could a bigfoot clan live, breed, eat and die in this open location without leaving scores of undeniable evidence?

Why would not a researcher willingly share any and all information to prove these bigfoot? Why? The obvious answer is because there is no evidence for Carter farm bigfoot!

But why would so few go to such lengths to defend a tale such as this? Was there ever a bigfoot on the farm? Was the initial story and subsequent investigation on the level? Why was it that when Janice Carter Coy moved away from the area the sightings ended and the original investigation ended? Why ? Because by this time each of the parties had their own agenda’s to consider, promote and protect. This was not a joint conspiracy at all and it certainly was not a serious attempt to discover bigfoot. Why? Because the people involved are neither naive or gullible. What they are, are people, humans, with wants and wishes, which they have independently and purposely chosen.

To say more would only be hurtful to the innocent.

© Copyright 2006 by Jerry Coleman. All Rights Reserved.

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