Several years ago, reader Dan R. had a short and violent encounter with a strange biped near the Big Sandy River in Kentucky.
While attending the Ashland Community College with friend David W., Dan learned of a strange creature called the Rush Monster- known for its inhabiting of the Rush, Kentucky area near the Straight Creek. Fueled by the strange tales of the area and the closeness of the West Virginian Mothman stories, Dan and David joined fellow friend Shawn K. to do a bit of monster hunting.
Using an old Willies Jeep that Shawn had, the trio traversed the abandoned logging and mining areas of the local countryside during the night. For several months, the group didn't encounter anything unusual- they passed the time by rambling around the roadless terrain, shooting guns and discovering areas they had never been. Until one night.
As Dan reminds us, "Bear in mind I did not at the time believe in any of this stuff, but after that night I still do not know what to think.
During the summer of either 1984 or 1985, the trio had gone to a local area known as "The Castle," the namesake coming from a lone hill that rose from the ground without an accompanying ridge or drop off. Throughout the night, the guys had been using white gas lanterns that had eventually heated considerably . Wanting to check out a new spot, they deposited the lights at The Castle to cool and continued on to visit a recently uncovered graveyard that had been found several nights before.
After locating and walking around the graveyard for some time, the group decided to collect their equipment and head in for the night. On the way back to their lanterns, with Shawn driving the Jeep, Dave in the passenger seat and Dan in the back compartment, Shawn caught sight of something near The Castle. Using a powerful spotlight that was mounted on the Jeep, Shawn focused on the apparent creature while screaming, "Sweet Jesus Christ!"
Pulling out his .45 automatic, Shawn opened fire on the creature. As Dan turned to see the action, he saw a large hairy biped running up a hill. With Shawn screaming for support, Dan opened fire with his bolt action rifle. With both men being excellent shots, they thought the animal would be severely injured. After the creature disappeared into the foliage, the scared trio quickly drove home.
Needless to say, the guys rearmed and kept their firearms close at hand for the rest of the sleepless night. Returning the next day, they found several casings from their .45 and 8mm Mauser but no trail or proof of the creature.
A bear? As Dan points out, "bears do not run on their hind legs" even though the "black bear [was] starting to make a comeback in that part of the state." At this point, the case of the Straight Creek Monster is still open.