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.
Coleman is the Author of the "Strange
Highways" Books from Whitechapel Press
Click on the Books for Ordering
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
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:
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.
@ 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,
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
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
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
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 .
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.
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.
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
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:
As far as the Carter farm situation, I did some preliminary
investigations of my own last year , 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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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,
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.
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.