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Is Sasquatch hiding out in the little mountain town of Keystone?
Is Sasquatch hiding out in the little mountain town of Keystone?

Keystone's Bigfoot

Dec 11, 2020


Bigfoot followers are watching the little Black Hills town of Keystone, where a Sasquatch-related announcement is coming Saturday, Dec. 19.

This isn’t the first time Bigfoot made news in South Dakota.

The Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) reports 19 official sightings of the hairy creatures through the years, including one as recently as June of 2019 when there was a report of howling near Rochford, which is only about 20 miles northwest of Keystone (as the crow flies).

South Dakota’s most publicized Bigfoot brouhaha happened in the late 1990s when numerous strange and curious reportings occurred in Corson County on South Dakota’s northern border. Merle Lofgren, then the editor of the weekly McLaughlin Messenger, began to write stories about the rumors and sightings. 

Lofgren was well-respected by fellow journalists. He was also beloved for his wit and irreverence. His weekly column, “From the Top of the Hill,” became a running commentary on how a rural community responds to a worldwide mystery like Big Foot.

The McLaughlin editor’s reports got the attention of other media. In September of 1997, Larry Fuller, the publisher of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, chartered a plane and sent a team of photographers and writers to investigate. Tom Hasner, a veteran reporter, was aboard. 

Fuller told Hasner, “We are uncertain at this point what is actually happening in the McLaughlin area. We are, however, convinced that there is sufficient evidence of a monster-like creature to merit a further investigation.” 

Hasner learned that most of the sightings came after dark. “The descriptions match those of the elusive fact-or-fiction Bigfoot creature whose unusual habitat is the mountainous forests of the northwestern United States.” One local man said the descriptions were always the same: a seven-to-eight foot hairy creature with long arms and an offensive odor. According to the BFRO website, that description matches numerous sightings from throughout the USA.

Another man told Hasner that he went on a horseback search with friends and found tracks east of Little Eagle. “One of the guys wears a size 13 boot,” he said. “He stepped beside the footprint and hardly made an imprint at all. I guess he weighs about 240 pounds.” The Bigfoot prints left an impression 2 1/2 inches deep.

Lofgren died in 2008 and the beleaguered daily newspapers of today probably couldn’t charter a flight to Corson County for the Second Coming, so another Bigfoot sighting there could go unreported.

However, in Keystone there are rumors and rumblings — even confirmed sightings by unimpeachable sources — of a very large Bigfoot, something much bigger than eight feet. South Dakota Magazine has sent a correspondent to the vicinity of Horsethief Lake to keep watch. 

All we know for certain is that the public is invited to Keystone on Saturday, Dec. 19 (11 am to 2 pm) for what’s billed as a Bigfoot Bash. Unlike most Sasquatch sightings, this seems well organized. It will be hosted in the big parking lot of Dahl’s Chainsaw Art, with games for kids, food trucks, hot chocolate, live music and door prizes. 

Wear boots and bring a tape measure.


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