Thursday, April 10, 2008


A large cat like creature attacked a man as he was picking flowers in his garden in Decatur, IL in July 1917. Over three months NELLIE, as it was named, terrorized the community leading to groups of 300+ men searching the area. Sightings continued and hunters found only sets of large prints. That same year, a car hit NELLIE on the highway. The party rushed back to town to summon the police. By the time they returned NELLIE took off over and embankment and was never seen again. Many believe that NELLIE may have been misidentified as a large Puma or escaped zoo animal.

The PIASA or “giant bird that devours man” as it was named by local native Americans, was discovered near present day Alton, IL. In 1673 Fr. Jacques Marquette was introduced to this tale by the local tribe located along the Mississippi River. Marquette described the creature as large as a calf with horns like a deer, a beard, a face like a man, the body covered with scales and a tale so long it wrapped around the body. Legend describes the PIASA as a birdlike creature who could carry off a deer but had a taste for human flesh. Fear throughout the tribes spread. Today the creature is immortalized in a painting on the rock bluffs just north of Alton on the Great River Road.

I've got all four done now and I'm finishing up the frames for each them. Each frame measures approximately 11x17 and each plush sits pretty snuggly inside with about an inch of space all around them. So far I'm pretty happy with how they are all turning out. Once they are all done I'll post more pics.

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