"A creature that looked similar to the Minerva Monster in Ohio was seen in Missouri in 1972. People started calling it the Missouri Monster, or MoMo. But, MoMo isn't the only strange thing seen in Missouri. River Road, which stretches north from Highway 54 along the Mississippi River, has a longstanding tradition about a 'phantom man' who walks across the road and then vanishes into thin air. Travelers heard what sounded like a woman's scream emanating from an old abandoned lime kiln in the 1940's. The screams were always heard around midnight, and they were never explained.
"A couple was found dead in their car around the same area in the winter of 1954. A woman sat in the passenger seat almost looking like she had just went to sleep, and a man was found crouched under the steering wheel completely nude. His clothes were found in a pile 20 feet behind the car. The deaths were listed to be caused by asphyxiation even though one of the windows was rolled all the way down (in -10 degree weather!)
"The MoMo story started in July 1971, when Joan Mills and Mary Ryan were having a picnic near Highway 79. While they were eating, they smelled an awful odor. As Mary Ryan said: 'I never smelled anything as bad in my life.' Joan thought they might be smelling a whole family of skunks, but was then shocked at what she saw standing in the bushes. 'I turned and saw this thing standing there in the thicket,' she said. 'The weeds were high and I only saw the top part. It was staring down at us.'
"The two described the creature as an ape-man. Mary Ryan said this:
"'It was a half-ape half-man. I've been reading up on the Abominable Snowman since then, from stories to articles, and you get the feeling it is something more like a gorilla. This thing we saw was not like that. It had hair all over its body, like an ape, but its face was more like a human.'
"When the creature made a gurgling sound and stepped out of the brush the women rushed to the car. They locked the doors, and the beast followed them, caressed the hood, and then tried to unlock the doors, a definite sign of intelligence. It walked on two feet the whole time, and its arms 'dangled way down.' The two said its arms were covered by hair but its hands were hairless. The two could do nothing by wait for the beast to leave, because Mills had left her keys in her purse, which was still sitting at the picnic area. Mills' arm hit the horn, and the noise caused the beast to 'jump straight in the air and move back. Mills didn't know what else to do, so she just kept beeping the horn. After a while, the creature realized it was in no danger. It proceeded to walk over to the area where the two had been eating, picked up a peanut butter sandwich, sniffed it, and ate it. It then picked up Joan's purse, but dropped it and walked back into the woods. Joan got out of the car and grabbed her purse, and the two left."
And that was only the beginning.
More on the sightings of MoMo can be found in my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America.