Source: Bart Nunnelly's Mysterious Kentucky

Summer Shade is a small KY town nestled amid the hills and
hollows of what lowlanders like myself would call 'Hill
Country'. It is located in Metcalf County and the scenery
there is strikingly beautiful and much different from the
marshy lowlands of Western KY. Mountains, valleys and
stone-bottomed creeks dominate a landscape that is covered
with seemingly endless expanses of thick, virgin forests.
Within these forests, and scattered upon the sides of the
stony mountains and creek banks there, can be found
entrances to countless darkened caves which open into murky
caverns containing passages which lead deep underground,
connecting to the largest known cave system in the world,
nearby Mammoth caves. Who can say where all these tunnels
lead and what might be found within them? Perhaps even an
unknown species or two might live in such immense
subterranean networks as these and utilize them as
convenient and highly effective escape routes when needed.

In 1995 my brother, Robert, moved to Summer Shade. His
property consisted of roughly seventy-five acres on two
parallel ridges covered with thick growths of Pine and Fir.
A small, rocky stream ran near the house, separating it from
the barn and completing the picturesque scene. All was well
for a few months. Then he noticed that some of his chickens
were starting to disappear. He could find no trace of them,
nor any spoor left behind by any nocturnal visitors to his
hen house, it seemed. They were just gone. He thought little
of it, even though our family had found out the hard way
back in Spottsville some 20 years earlier what a steady
disappearance of barnyard fowl might mean. Chickens were,
after all, usually the primary targets of any and all
roaming predators, being easy prey items, especially when
cooped. Aside from the chickens, none of the larger
livestock seemed bothered and nothing else on the property
was disturbed. Nonetheless, as the weeks went by, the
chickens continued to vanish and he remained bewildered as
to why. It was not until after two family friends, Tim S.
And Chris W. (real names on file), had come for a lengthy
visit that the unidentified chicken thieves were finally

When they announced that they were intending to stay for
several weeks Robert graciously offered them the use of a
good sized camper to sleep in. They took the camper about
100 yards from the house and parked it beside a heavily
wooded area so as not to disturb anyone or be more
bothersome than was necessary. When they retired of an
evening they would drive to a dirt access road and walk a
few steps to the camper. Later, the bedraggled pair told my
brother that several times, as they returned to the camper,
their headlights had illuminated what appeared to be
'little, hairy creatures'. These things were only 2 to 3 ft.
tall, they claimed, and were covered from head to toe with
dark brown hair. They shied away when the light hit them and
ran swiftly out of view, alternating between bipedal and
quadrupedal locomotion. Moreover, each time they were
witnessed they appeared to travel in groups of from two to
four individuals.

One night, as the two were readying for sleep, they heard a
strange noise, a 'chattering' sound, coming from the
darkness outside. They looked out very quietly, and were
alarmed to see a considerable group of these creatures in
the woods just outside the door. Worse yet, they seemed to
be stealthily approaching the camper, darting from tree to
tree. Despite this, every so often one or two of them would
let out another 'monkey-like' grunt. Chris immediately
grabbed the handgun Robert had given them for protection. He
would've started shooting, Chris said, if Tim hadn't stopped
him. He feared that such an act might anger the others.
Maybe even enough to make them swarm the camper all at once.
Then what? They certainly couldn't shoot them all. They
noted that the diminutive critters were covered in dirt and
dried mud, as if they were freshly returned from a digging
endeavor on one of the many nearby creek banks. They were
relieved when they decided to step outside with their
flashlights and again the creatures made a swift retreat
from the lights but, even so, neither could sleep a wink
after the episode. They hadn't wanted to say anything about
it at first. But now things were getting serious.

The adults of the household could tell that both the boys
were telling the truth and did not disbelieve their story.
They had absolutely no reason to make up such a tale.
Besides, Robert himself had seen a somewhat similar
creature, up close and in broad daylight, back in
Spottsville when he was 10 years old - and that one had been
around ten ft. tall! Surely, if that was, indeed, what they
were dealing with now, the three foot variety couldn't be
all that scary. Especially not with such an array of
firearms available. Nearly the entire family were avid
hunters. How much trouble could they be? He completely
failed to take into account the overwhelming advantages that
even smaller animals may afford themselves by traveling in
groups. But he would become rudely awakened to this fact one
evening not long after.

As it happened, one night Robert and the 2 boys, now
accompanied by Chris' father James, found themselves outside
after dark trying to locate one of the horses that had
escaped the fence. All four were armed with handguns of
varying calibers. It was best not to take any unwarranted
chances. Especially in karst country. No telling what could
be hiding in the caves. The two adults carried powerful
flashlights in addition to their weapons. As they searched a
forested area near where the camper had sat the group became
aware that they were not alone in the woods. They could see
small, dark figures moving swiftly and noiselessly through
the trees around them. The two boys pointed wildly at the
things in silent vindication. The men shined their lights to
and fro and drew their weapons. The boys followed suit.
Whenever the light beams would hit one of the beings it
immediately shrank back into the night and out of sight,
running at first on its hind legs before dropping down to
all four, then rising once again. They exhibited no
eye-shine, they noted, and these too appeared to be covered
in mud. Robert also related how, when standing, the
creatures' front legs looked somewhat longer than the back

The worst of it, he later told me, apart from seeing the
weird little boogers in the first place, was that they were
intent on advancing toward the group of witnesses,
maneuvering their way in on all sides in an apparent attempt
to surround them. Only this time, the creatures were
operating in complete silence. What these things had in mind
as an end result, fortunately, was never discovered for,
when one of the things became bold enough to approach within
a few inches of James, the alarmed quartet opted for a hasty
departure from the area. James later told me that one of the
creatures had rushed in from behind him and ran straight up
into a tree without slowing down at all. The force of the
movement was such that he could feel the wind on his neck.
They all considered themselves lucky that they had somehow
managed to make it back to the safety of the house without
firing a single shot.

I subsequently interviewed each of the witnesses and they
all agreed on every detail and each strongly attested to the
fact that they weren't particularly interested in going
outside after sundown because of it. I walked much of the
area in question but could find no evidence in the form of
physical traces of the reported creatures nor apparent signs
of digging on any of the nearby creek banks. By the time I
was able to make it to the site things had quieted down, it
seemed. In the ensuing months Robert informed me that every
single chicken that he owned, not surprisingly, had

Business and personal reasons kept me from returning to
that part of the state for many months. Then, in May,1998,
another sighting took place. This one by Robert's son, DJ,
and one of his friends, a neighbor from down the road a
piece. My mother had recently returned from Yuma Arizona and
decided to move a trailer onto the property next to Robert's
house. She had immediately purchased three dairy cows to put
out to graze with the horses. The two youths were busy
entertaining themselves in the back yard on the day in
question, when they noticed that one of the cows had
separated from the other two and was running around in the
field. On closer inspection they saw that it was being
chased by one of the strange, hairy creatures. This one was
slightly larger than the ones previously seen by his
father-around four or five ft. tall. It also looked quite
dirty, they told me, before describing the same curious
ambulatory gait as the other witnesses. The only reason the
thing didn't catch the cow, both boys claimed, was because
it had accidentally ran into an old barbed wire fence and
stumbled to the ground. After this the creature seemed to
give up the chase entirely. Moreover, the two claimed to
have witnessed a footprint left behind by this thing before
a subsequent thunderstorm obliterated any and all traces of
evidence which may, or may not, have existed at the time.
They described it as looking like the print of a man, except
for the toes, which appeared to be split-hoofed.

The fact that one of these unknown creatures was,
evidently, confidant enough in his own abilities to single
handedly attempt to bring down a full grown heifer says much
about the animals' apparently aggressive natures. Not
mentioning, of course, the fact that a 'pack' of them had
already tried to surround four armed men. The pattern here
seems to suggest a mostly nocturnal animal. That they were
all covered in dirt or mud in every sighting appears to give
credence to the supposition that they might utilize, on a
regular basis, the intricate and extensive cave systems that
exist in the area. They would almost certainly be
omnivorous, taking full advantage of every available food
source. Could these mysterious creatures actually live in
the area, as described, yet still remain unknown to modern
science? The answer is yes.

South Central Kentucky, like the rest of the state, is no
stranger to reports of hirsute, ape-like humanoids both
small and large. Sober witnesses have been describing such
things, from all parts of KY., for generations. According to
Loren Coleman's 'Mysterious America' (Faber&Faber,1983),
in nearby MONROE CO. there exists a location called 'Monkey
Cave Hollow'. The name was given by early settlers and
referred to the strange tribe of 'monkeys' which inhabited
the area, living in caves and foraging for roots and
berries. According to Coleman, these critters were hunted to
their apparent extinction, with the 'last of them'
reportedly shot and killed around the turn of the 20th
century. I humbly submit the strong possibility that at
least some of them got away.

The region seems to be a favored haunt of these mysterious
'monkeys'. Bordered on three sides by the state's largest
lakes; Barren River Lake, Dale Hollow and Lake Cumberland,
the land between and around these bodies of water remains
largely virgin and unspoiled. At present writing I have been
to the area several times and gazed upon the many mountains,
valleys, forests, rivers and streams. More than enough
resources to adequately sustain and conceal large numbers of
creatures such as these. With room to spare. I've explored
some of the regions stream
beds and forests and marveled at
the natural beauty to be found there. In some of the caves one
can put his ear to the ground and listen to the swift water running through the
darkness far below. Much of this regions wilderness areas
are so remote that they are frequented by very few people-if
any. I have no doubt that scores of the areas caves
eventually interface with the aforementioned Mammoth Cave
system in nearby EDMONSON CO. which remains a unique enigma
in itself and still holds many secrets that have yet to see
the light of day. One of them, I'm certain, must be the
existence of small, monkey-like, nocturnal humanoids.