This week, the Hillbilly Hunters set off to Pike County, in Kentucky, in search of the legendary Hell Hound.
This infernal creature was first reported as far back as 1939, and reports continued throughout the 1940s. They came mostly from the moonshiners who were working their magic, way back in the woods, in log cabins. There were so many reports of the beast that a bounty of $20 was posted, and incredibly, this generous reward was duly collected when a hunter managed to kill one of the creatures. Unfortunately nobody could identify the corpse, and sadly, no trace, either physical or photographic, seems to have survived.
The first four members of the Hillbilly Hunters arrive in this cattle raising area, and they soon ascertain the facts. Firstly, the Hell Hound is actually blue because of its nocturnal habits, and it seems to have some kind of mane. It is about four feet tall at the shoulder and between seven and nine feet long. It is a creature which seems to have lost all fear of Man, and is using the tractor trails through the cornfields to get closer to the farmers’ barns and outbuildings. A Hell Hound then be quite capable of dragging off an adult cow.
The team are shown a Black Angus calf by the worried farmer who owns it. The poor animal has enormous wounds on its back, which seem to me like no predator that I recognise. They appear to be symmetrical, and I think careful thought should be given to the idea that they may have been carried out with a knife by the member of some crazy cult.
A second farmer, Drew, shows us his video, which he took looking through a stand of trees towards a small barn, from which HH duly emerges. I do feel that experienced photo analysis from a person who has talents in this field might well be able to establish what creature this may be. I am clearly no expert in the wildlife of Kentucky but as an English outsider, I might even put suggest that what Drew saw was a very large wild boar.
The last two to arrive are the enfants terribles of the programme, Willy and Wild Bill, who now has some fluffy dice dangling charmingly from the mirror of his vehicle, put there by his mother-in-law.
The two of them quickly make what looks to be an extremely strong trap from long lengths of local bamboo.
Wild Bill immediately steals the show as he mimes shaving himself with a macheté. “ I spent time or two trying to bust out of the old jailhouse, never figured I’d be building one.”
Quite extraordinarily, Wild Bill, having climbed the tree for the trap, then sees HH on the far side of the field. He sets off on the chase, brandishing his macheté. He gets a glimpse of him… “He’s a dandy big’un.” Is he fast? “ He can put her down the old canyon”. Bill measures his height and puts his hand out, “He stands about yay tall.”
In the night hunt, the team hears growls and roars and they find where HH takes his cows to dismantle. It is awash with blood and fat and goo.
Standing next to a greenhouse which is brightly illuminated from the inside, they see the blurred shadow of an animal, presumably HH, come hurtling past them at huge speed. They chase after him, and three of the group manage to physically touch him, probably the first time he’s ever been literally in contact with Man. They may not manage to capture HH, but their determination remains as strong as ever.
“I am on his ass and I wanna get him.”
“I wanna put the old heat on his hide.”
“I’ll see if I can’t get his old hide on the wall. ”
But as Willy says philosophically though, “He lives to be hunted another day.”
The usual discussion then follows…
I gain fantastic enjoyment from the Big Six. Their program remains enormously entertaining, and is certainly the highlight of my viewing week. I try always to watch it twice, as on first viewing, you can miss many informative details.
I know from various sources on the Internet, that there are many people out there who seem to be ferociously upset by this program. As I’ve repeatedly said, I think the programme is marvellous. I do not think it makes anybody look like an idiot, either a local inhabitant, a Hillbilly Hunter or, hopefully, a reviewer.
And whether or not you believe in the Hell Hound of Pike County, Kentucky, there will always be doubt in your mind, because so many similar creatures have been seen across the world.
In one of my future blog posts, I will be talking about the Beast of Gévaudan, which ravaged the bleak highlands of central France some 250 years ago. It is an established fact that this animal killed many people, perhaps in excess of a hundred. Eyewitnesses, of course, varied in their descriptions, but none of them seems really to be describing a known animal.
Here in England we have our very own Hell Hound, an enormous black dog, with red eyes, who is called “Old Shuck”. He is never a very nice doggy to meet with, as he usually foretells the imminent demise of the person who sees him.
This charming little chap may well figure in another blog post in the future.
Above all, though, until next time, never forget the company motto, “I am a Marine and I will get the job done.”