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The following is an article from the Herald Dispatch on November 22nd 1966 titled 'Mason Bird Monster Presumed Gone Now' By Ralph Turner.

POINT PLEASANT - Authorities here have concluded that the so called Mason County monster was large bird of some kind and either has been or soon will be frightened out of the McClintic Wildlife Station area by hunters. 

It was a weak ago today that the first sighting was reported of a large red-eyed winged creature in the McClintic area. Since then there have been about 10 or more similar reports.  

The latest report was by four teenaged youths who said they saw a large bird with red eyes fly away from their car at a very high rate of speed. This was 3 a.m. Sunday.  

Monday was the first day of open deer hunting season in the McClintic reserve and Chief Deputy Millard Halstead of the Mason County sheriff's office said the influx or hunters undoubtedly would bring any large bird out in the daylight. All "monster" sightings have been at night.  

Duane Pursley, wildlife biologist and manager at McClintic, believes small game hunters, which have numbered about 200 a day over McClintic's 2,450 acres would have flushed any such bird out earlier.  

He said he didn't think a large bird, if it did exist, would stay in the area more than a day with all the commotion and hundreds of people searching at night for it.  

A West Virginia University wildlife biologist suggested last week that the "thing" is a rare Sandhill Crane . Mr.Pursley suggested that maybe the "Thing", crane or whatever the people reported seeing, wasn't as large as they thought it was during their excitement.  

"We have a lot of Canadian geese stop over here during migration periods, but nothing the size of what these people report," said Mr. Pursley.  

He said the hundreds of "thing hunters" had caused a littering and vandalism problem for the wildlife station. He said the area has been littered with cups, cans, bottles and paper and some signs have been damaged.  

"There was so much pressure - some people came in here with guns after dark - that we were ready to close off the station area tonight (Monday), but it's eased up and that doesn't appear to be necessary."  

Just what was seen in the dark of the night may never be firmly established. The mason County monster may become a legend. Maybe a new tourist attraction has been born. 

Moth289

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