The Lawrentian Vol 88– No. 4 Oct. 11, 1963
Monster Haunts Appleton, Attracts Statewide Notice
By Dusty RhoadesIan Fleming in all his tales of 007 could hardly have invented a more hideous henchman than the phantom of the Appleton sewage plant. In a matter of three evening last summer, horrified, curious and frightened Appletonians were treated to a thing more powerful than “Oddjob,” more deceptive than “The Three Blind Mice,” and most of all, more real than any of James Bond’s terrifying adversaries.
First seen by a couple walking on the foggy banks of the Fox River on August 26, the creature was described as an eight-foot tall animal-like-thing draped in shrouds. It was reported to have hopped about like a rabbit, and it threw mud balls at people and disappeared into the woods below Telulah park when pursued.
The next evening it was seen by a few more residents, and on the third evening 15 people were ready with clubs and flashlights for the appearance of the phantom.
Almost exactly at midnight, the lights of the pursuers focused on the creature, hovering menacingly on his customary mound of dirt. Nearly surrounded, the phantom delivered a salvo of mud and deftly escaped into the fog.
By August 29, the next day, repercussions to the Appleton monster were felt. According to Ambrose Misevicz, a watchman at the sewage plant the government sent two agents in a special truck of electrical equipment to the scene. A department store in town, featured a window display with a mock monster and a sign, “The Sewage Plan Monster Uses Fieldcrest Sheet, Why Don’t You?”
Dogs were acting strangely at night, area residents were alarmed and the whole incident was beginning to attract state-wide press attention. The police switchboard was flooded with calls from worried townspeople.
Perhaps the most interesting development concerned a visitor named Mrs. Paul Blob, who, Misevicz told the Lawrentian, came down from Clintonville in hopes of finding the monster, because she belonged to a group which strongly believed in such phenomena.
According to Misevicz, Mrs. Blob told of a space landing in northern Wisconsin. She told him they were friendly creatures but in need of water, which they were given in return for a recipe for muffins.
By the fourth evening the police had barricaded the roads to the sewage plant from all automobile traffic and were combing the area. Approximately 750 monster-hunters arrived on foot to hunt in the fog and await the midnight appearance.
Whether it was frightened by the publicity, the crowds or had other pursuits, the monster did not appear on that or any other night. Later, there were reports that the creature was two boys playing a prank on the original couple and that there was no monster at all. Publicity quickly subsided, and the whole incident drifted out of the public eye.
None-the-less, the pages of the latest James Bond thriller, the vicarious tortures of a Goldfinger or Mr. Big, seem a safer pursuit this Halloween than the banks of the river just below Telulah park.