This Halloween those in the Ozarks may want to keep an eye out for a one-of-a-kind local cryptids which may call local caves home. From the darkness, some weary travelers are returning to their homes with sightings of a giant bat-like creature.
“I’ve heard some people refer to it as ‘Batsquatch’” says Dr. Emmett Reary of Salem. Dr. Reary is a local investigator with the Missouri chapter of MUFON, or Mutual UFO Network, a nationwide organization dedicated to “the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of all humanity.”
Dr. Reary recounts back in June of 2015 one Columbia family came face to face with the Batsquatch during a weekend getaway to Shannon County. Driving down the gravel road to the Blue Spring Trailhead the family’s mother, “Sara,” suddenly shouted for her husband to stop the car. What Sara saw in the wilderness was something she struggled to comprehend. Sara afterward took her account to MUFON. The incident would later be referred to Dr. Emmett Reary for investigation.
“I interviewed her twice and my colleague Gary Hart interviewed her as well. Then he and I got together and compared notes,” Dr. Reary says. “This technique has been very valuable for detailed and complicated cases through the years for field investigators.”
The picture that emerged from those interviews is as bizarre as it is unsettling. According to Reary’s report, “She was staring at a winged entity seven to eight feet tall with leathery wings from its shoulders to the ground, black in color with pointed ears on a triangular head. Its yellow eyes stared at her making her feel very uncomfortable.”
Dr. Reary and a colleague also did a search of the area for physical evidence, but nothing was found.
“We searched the area, checked some of the local caves and we didn't find any footprints or anything like that,” Dr. Reary says. “It makes you wonder about the nature of these entities, where do these entities come from, are they inter-dimensional, or what?”
Without any hard evidence it’s impossible to know for sure what Sara saw in the forest off of that lonely road outside Eminence, but Sara’s account is not unique. Across the country there are a small number of eerily similar accounts of enormous bat-like creatures.
While the name “Batsquatch” is a recent coining, some researchers have made note of the similarity between the Batsquatch and other flying cryptids like the Ahool of Asia or the Jersey Devil of the east coast. It may be impossible to determine with certainty what Sara glimpsed in the wilderness just outside of Eminence, but one this that seems clear is even in the hyper-connected 21st century, the Ozarks just may still has a few secrets to keep.