Turtles the size of small cars

Turtles the size of small cars

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A Chupacabra was spotted recently in Missouri.  At least, a few people who saw it *thought* it was a Chupacabra, a mythical goat-like creature said to have glowing red eyes and might be responsible for the deaths of many farm animals from Texas to the Caribbean. Whether that‘s true or not, lore plays a pretty big role in our history and culture.  Indiana is home to a few different creatures, none with the same notoriety or ferocity as Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, but we do have “Oscar.”  Oscar is a really big turtle that was spotted in a small lake in Churubusco in the late 1940‘s.

Known dramatically by a wire service account as the “Beast of Busco”  more than 60 years ago, this turtle was the size of a small car.  But no one actually photographed Oscar.  In fact, deep sea divers, and an expensive attempt to drain the small lake never turned up a car-sized turtle.  But that hasn‘t stopped Churubusco from capitalizing off of the account.  Known as “Turtle-Town U.S.A.” Cherubusco holds a “Turtle Days” celebration in June.

Phil Bloom with the Department of Natural Resources says we can go deeper into Hoosier lore, and find a time before Europeans, when there was the Pukwudgie, smaller, somewhat elfin “people of the forest.”  The Pukwudgie was part of Indian lore, though there are still accounts of Pukwudgie activity today, at Mounds State Park in Anderson.