266 – MOMO: Tracking Down The Missouri Monster with Seth Breedlove

Small Towns Monsters filmmaker Seth Breedlove has been bringing to life they mysterious cryptids from America’s out-of-the-way locations. We’ve already talked to him about The Beast of Bray Road as well as the strange flying beasts of Illinois and now he’s returning with another tale of large hairy beast sightings from the 1970s, Momo (which is a cute name for Missouri Monster).

But while Momo is a cute name, what people saw in the summers of 1971 and 1972 in Louisiana, Missouri, was anything but sweet and friendly. Louisiana is a sleepy Mississippi River town of less than four thousand people that straddles the border with Illinois in the northeastern part of Missouri. So when two girls reported seeing a seven-foot tall furry beast whose face was covered by hair and was accompanied by a foul stench that cornered them in their car and ate their peanut butter sandwich before it disappeared back into the wilderness, it caught people’s attention.

It was a year later though, when the story would capture the nation’s attention after three children saw the monster by a riverbed holding a dead dog that set off a flurry of monster sightings, huge tracks in the dirt, and lights in the sky. They told their father, Edgar Harrison, and he says that he saw two of the creatures himself, “almost like a human except it had black hair all over it.” Eventually the sheriff even organized a posse to look for the creature while Harrison camped out for 21 straight days to look for the beast. Alas, no creature was every capture, alive or on film, but some strange tracks were found (even though one famous footprint was admitted to be a hoax by one of the perpetrators.)

Edgar Harrison’s children still stand by what they saw in that summer of 1972, and Edgar is the closest thing to a protagonist in Momo: The Missouri Monster‘s film-within-a-film recreations. Seth and his team pretend their re-enactments are from a long-lost 1970s Z-grade horror film about the monster that is rediscovered for the documentary and cowboy cryptozoologist Lyle Blackburn is the horror host who leads you through the movie.

Lyle Blackburn talking about Momo

And Lyle (who has also been on the podcast) is no stranger to Momo himself, he wrote a book about the creature earlier this year and has his own fascination with the Missouri Monster.

This is probably the most fun of the Small Town Monsters series because while it takes the evidence seriously, and you can see that in the interviews with the local historians and townsfolk, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They embrace the 1970s grindhouse vibe with the film-within-the-film, but when it comes to the actual characters, they respect the humans who had to deal with the experiences and the aftermath of it.

That’s something that Seth gets into in the interview, how important it was to him to try and honor the experiencers while finding a novel way to tell the stories. If you haven’t seen Momo: The Missouri Monster yet, then this is an insteresting episode about paranormal storytelling, but if you have seen it, think of it like a special features interview with the director.

And in this episode and our conversation with Seth Breedlove about Momo: The Missouri Monster, we go over:

  • The timeline of the Momo sightings
  • How to properly create the 70s atmosphere in the movie
  • The town of Louisiana today and how they feel about the sightings
  • The recurring themes that come up in the Small Town Monsters series and what has tied them together for the filmmakers
  • The possibliity that Momo might have been an alien instead of a cryptid
  • How Allison (my sister) and I, who were superfans of Chicago ghost hunting legend, Richard Crowe, completely missed that he was the one who wrote the seminal news article about the creature in the first place for Fate magazine

You can watch Momo: The Missouri Monster right now by renting it from Amazon or you can purchase the DVD from the Small Town Monsters shop.

For this week’s song, we wanted to evoke the 1970s just like Seth’s movie did, so we went for a classic style Hard Rock song that might fit into the soundtrack for a grindhouse horror flick, here’s us going dad rock on “Momo”!

Baby I said you don’t have to believe me
but I will tell you it’s true
I was down Louisiana Missouri
when you thought I was stepping out on you

Something hairy something nasty something filthy
smelling like death itself
That furry bastard coming out of the woods
Had me screaming for help

Baby I was gonna run home to you
just as soon as I could flee
but the Sheriff, he enlisted me in his posse
to go up the hill and find that beast

looking for…
Something hairy something nasty something filthy
smelling like the Devil himself
That furry bastard coming out of the woods
Had people screaming for help

Fireballs o’er the Mississippi
Footprints on the ground
Momo’s stalking the hills of Missouri,
And he don’t wanna be found.

Something hairy something nasty something filthy
smelling like the Devil himself
That furry bastard coming out of the woods
Had people screaming for help

Fireballs o’er the Mississippi
Footprints on the ground
Momo’s stalking the hills of Missouri,
And he don’t wanna be found.

Fireballs o’er the Mississippi
Footprints on the ground
Momo’s stalking the hills of Missouri,
And he don’t wanna be found.

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