While researching sasquatch sightings during the 1960s for my book Wild & Wonderful (and Paranormal) West Virginia I found an article that appeared in the Independent (Long Beach, CA) on August 18, 1965. The article recounted “hairy monster” sightings that were taking place around Monroe, Michigan.
Southeastern Michigan experienced a rash of monster sightings in the summer of 1965. At least 15 Monroe residents claimed to have spotted a 7-foot-tall hairy monster. Its weight was estimated to be 400 pounds. Christine Van Acker, 17 years old at the time, was attacked by the animal while sitting in a car with her mother. “He reached through the window and grabbed my hair,” she claimed. Worse, the beast hit her in the eye. The Associated Press reported the incident and a picture of Van Acker—with a black eye—accompanied the story.
The Monroe sightings—and attack—triggered a bout of monster mania in the area. Days after the Van Acker incident, monster hunters clogged the roads; traffic was bumper-to-bumper. Police estimated that a crowd of 1,000 were out to catch a glimpse of the creature.