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Mystery creature prowls Advance

Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at 9:35 PM

This mystery creature was seen across the highway from Town & Country in Advance. What do you think it is???
Well, folks, I've done the best I can do to get a clear still photo of the creature spotted by Sgt. David Garner of the Advance Police Department a few weeks ago. However, the video was taken at night from across the highway, and the enlarged still photo is pretty darn fuzzy.

I've had a pretty sharp guy working on the project for about two weeks, since before I posted my first creature alert on this blog site - and each time I get another photo, it only looks a bit less blurry.

I emailed the still photo to my daughter, who first thought it looked like a hampster and then, in the next photo, a hyena. Of course, neither of these is a remote possibility, given the size of the animal and the long tail. Never have seen an 80-pound hampster with a long tail... As for the hyena idea, I don't see it.

Sgt. Garner was in the police cruiser in the Town & Country parking lot when he first saw the animal across Highway 25. By the time he started the video camera, the animal was in Brian Bess's car lot. In the video, you first see its legs, as it walks from behind a truck. Then, when it comes out from the truck, it walks across the lot, looking back toward the police car, moving like a cat.

Sgt. Garner says that there have been incidents with bobcats trying to catch and eat the wild puppies that sometimes populate that thicket back behind Semo RediMix. The police have been called out when residents have heard screaming in the region. At that time, Sgt. Garner saw only the heads of the cats, so he couldn't confirm what type of cat it was. Large paw prints have reportedly been found, but I have no visual proof of this.

Who'd have thought that Advance had such wild regions within the city limits?

Several farmers in the area have reported seeing big cats at the edge of their fields when they were plowing, but, of course, they have no opportunity to catch them on film. Not many farmers carry cameras on their tractors. (Tractor-cams??)

Sgt. Garner did confirm a suspicion that I've had: The increased corn production has created a lot of cover for large animals, so that might explain why they've moved into the area.

A hunter friend of mine (Bob Rhodes) who saw the video thinks that the cat is young. If that's true, it could just be moving through. When I did my first report on big cats in the area last year, the conservation agent said that they could travel a 200-mile range.

For now, we'll have to be content to speculate on what the creature is. Cat? Dog? Hyena? Hampster? A Loch Ness type creature that has crawled up out of the drainage ditch? ....Or maybe swamp gas???

What do you think is prowling Advance?????

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

The face looks like my dog Chigger, but she sure doesn't have a tail like that!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 8:47 AM

Your browser must be better than mine. I can't even tell if it's an animal, much less see the head. It looks a little like one of those fuzzy special effects they put in 1950's science fiction movies. Maybe it's an alien just passing through on its way to Roswell.

Seriously, maybe someone would have a little more luck trying to make a plaster cast of a paw print?

Keep trying. You'll eventually come up with photographic evidence. In the meantime, we can have some fun with the picture.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 12:41 PM

I think if the fine citizen's of Advance trust Sgt.Garner with a gun,we can trust his word that he knows what he saw.

Ten years from now if the large cat population gets big enough we run over them like armadillos, then perhaps the MCD will consent that perhaps there may be a few cats in the area, but I doubt they will ever apologize to those they belittle and sneer at.

When the MCD agents deny the existence of SEMO mountain lions, they would do well to remember if a big cat attacks them when they are out and about in the course of their duties, by their denial of the aforementioned cats,they have merely set the groundwork for the denial of their Workmen's Comp claim.Heh heh heh.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 6:19 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Thank you, Ducky and Yellow Rose for your support on this somewhat less than conclusive project! I've been delaying the posting of the picture for weeks, dreading the possible ridicule of the rest of the staff. I could see them laughing me out of the break room for posting such a picture! ("Hey, Madeline! Where's your Big Foot photo??")

The last time I talked to a MCD rep, he insisted that all the cougar sightings in the area were "usually yellow labs," which is simply preposterous! Farmers, hunters, and outdoorsmen (and women) in the area do not mistake yellow labs for cougars! Like a neighbor said, "How stupid do they think we are??"

I hadn't thought about the Workman's Comp problems they might incur!! Hahahahaha!

goat lady maybe this amimal is a lost golfer looking for his mate what do you think

-- Posted by rusty nail on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 6:44 PM

Maybe the lost golfer will get himself devoured by a ravenous cougar! Now, there'd be a good thing!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 8:45 PM

I can't decide what this looks like. If I step away from the monitor and look from a distance it looks a lot like a coyote, except for that tail. I don't doubt the existence of SEMO Mountain Lions. It's certainly no more rare than the 16 year-old Jackson girl hitting a bear with her car.

Madeline, you should bring this video by the office. I'd like to see it.

-- Posted by CoreyN on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 9:36 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I brought the video to the office shortly after I got it, Corey, and Dorothy in the composing room said that her computer wouldn't play it. I probably should have had Todd check it, but I don't think he was there that day.

Right now, a friend of mine in Seattle has it, trying to work some magic to get a clear shot --- but to no avail. I'll ask him to send it back......but I seriously doubt that your computer will play it, if Dorothy's won't. Still, we can bring in the Big Guns (Todd) and see what he can do.

I still think it looks like an alien. Can you post the video on the website?

-- Posted by Ducky on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 12:38 PM

Goat lady I don't think you like golf or golfers but they are sooo nice.

-- Posted by rusty nail on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 1:27 PM

My brain is spinning. The tail sort of looks like a mountain lion. The body sort of looks like a coyote. The creature moves cat-like. And, the face looks kind of like the alien creatures in an Outer Limits episode from 1963 titled, Demon With Glass Hand. (The episode features Robert Culp as the man who saves humanity from the creatures.)

Very Weird.

I just saw a documentary about the abandoned buildings in Oak Ridge, Tennessee that are still radioactive. Hum. What if an animal got in there ... and then drank some water or ... Well, it is just a thought.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 2:43 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Well, you guys may be onto something with that alien idea!!

That's a pretty detailed Outer Limits description. Does the creature look like the alien or Robert Culp??

I don't see the coyote resemblance....The animal seems too upright for a coyote....but, of course, the tail precludes the coyote, anyway... The part that throws me is the face. Would a cat have such a wide face? It's hard to separate the background from the figure itself.

Rusty nail, we're talking about cats here! You're just determined to change the conversation to golf, aren't you? You must be a golfer, for sure!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 9:28 PM

It's Elvis.

-- Posted by bringwine on Thu, Aug 2, 2007, at 9:47 PM

Elvis with a golf club, wow! Scarey thought! Now we know where he's been hiding all these years...

Mmmmm....wonder if those big cats are prowling the well-manicured spaces of the golf course? Talk about hitting your ball into the "rough"!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Aug 3, 2007, at 7:11 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I have a bit of an update on our cougar issue. My Seattle friend contacted the Washington State Dept. of Wildlife. The animal "appears" to be a cougar, and the photo and video link are being forwarded to the department's main wildlife biologist for his opinion.

You'll notice how I've been avoiding our own local Conservation agents......but I will let them see everything eventually. It's just that I don't want to hear them tell me once again that the animal is a yellow lab..

Also, I finally got around to looking at the cougar photos on Wikipedia, and there's that wide face and the white markings that threw me off when I first saw our Advance "mystery boy." They DO have what appears to have a wide face, which tapers off to a small mouth. (Small, I'm sure, until they open it to show all those teeth!)

The Wikipedia site is really quite extensive, and it has a "range map," which shows clearly that the cats are not native to this area. I guess the map needs to be updated, but I don't think that's gonna happen if the wildlife experts in our area don't change their stance on yellow labs.. We KNOW that yellow labs are idigenous to Southeast Missouri...

I'll also find out what my Seattle friend's video link is.

Exactly how many "wild" yellow labs do we have roaming in SEMO?

If all reported sightings of possible cougars are explained as yellow labs,(and I don't know anyone that has a yellow one),we have a real threat from these large feral canines that are reproducing at an alarming rate!

What does MCD propose to do about this threat? Will they eventually have a wild yellow lab hunting season to thin out this incredible pack?

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Sat, Aug 4, 2007, at 4:36 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Back again with another update: My Seattle friend has posted the mystery video on Utube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=as9K3QkssNE It takes about 1:48 into the video before you see the animal walking behind the truck, coming from the right (north) and walking to the left (south).

You have to watch closely, as it's a nighttime shot from across the highway, and the view is further obscured by the night lights in Brian Bess's car lot. Watching it again after several weeks, I'm amazed that we were able to get ANY kind of still photo. That's really a looooooong shot!

I dunno. I've looked at this picture a few times, and danged if it doesn't look like Whiplash found himself another mount and is about to fall off the back. Could be a cat jumped on top of a dog. Anyway, that's what I see, for what it's worth.

-- Posted by scotswoman on Tue, Aug 7, 2007, at 11:22 PM

Hahaha!! I think the thing on the mystery animal's back is part of the background; otherwise, I believe that Whiplash is the only explanation..

Until we get a clearer picture, we'll just have to wonder..

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 7:25 AM

The following was posted today (10/14/10) about the Youtube video of the "Unidentified Advance, MO Animal":

"At 1:55 the thing's height can be determined by comparing to the size of the headlight on the old truck. The headlight is 7 inches tall. With the bezel the headlight is 10" tall. This animal is over twice the height of the headlamp. This determines the animal is at least 15" tall and not more than 20". Most likely it is 18" tall. Cats stop to look. Cats put their rear foot in the track of the front as they walk. This is an 18" tall species of cat it appears."

So if the cat in the video is 18" tall it definitely is not a "house" cat!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Oct 18, 2010, at 3:46 PM

An 18" tall cat? Yikes! Sounds like one of those 1950's sci-fi movies about a radiation experiment gone loco! The youtube video of the strange catlike creature marauding the streets of Advance in the dead of night can be seen at,


As of today the video has been viewed 3,390 times, and it is still unknown what the creature is!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Oct 27, 2010, at 5:25 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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