Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kangaroos Invade Illinois - It Really Happened (Or Did It?)

This month is the 35th anniversary of a notably bizarre, if not particularly spooky phenomenon that happened near where I live.

Just for the fun of it, and it being Halloween season, I thought I’d drop this little paranormal tidbit in just for the heck of it. The story turns up again and again on the internet, mainly because of Loren Coleman’s books on cryptozoology and unusual phenomenon, my fave being Mysterious America. This bit was from my late website’s Roadside Horrors section (by far the site’s most popular feature at that time). Roadside Horrors was devoted to telling about and providing directions to paranormal or oddball locations in the US and Canada.

RH, which I’m also working on updating, will be back in the near future (but not for Halloween this year). Here’s what I wrote:

Mystery Kangaroos of Illinois

Plano, IL

October-November of 1974 saw a truly peculiar series of sightings taking place simultaneously from inner city Chicago on out to the far west small town of Plano, IL. On October 18, Chicago police officers encountered an angry kangaroo. Cornered in an alley with a fence in the back, the out of place beast hissed at police officers attempting to subdue it. The animal took flight, easily hopping over the fence and disappearing physically though remaining a part of Chicago’s weird lore.

In subsequent days, the kangaroo, or others of its ilk, popped up around the city and in the suburb of Oak Park.

Finally, in November, a kangaroo was sighted by a local police officer heading home late on a country road outside of Plano, IL. The animal hopped off into the dark woods. In days following, a group of teenagers claimed to have seen it, though the beast(s) turned up simultaneously in Chicago.

By November 6, the kangaroo flap moved over to Indiana, though Plano remained in a strange spotlight with locals trying to figure out what sort of animal it was if it wasn't a kangaroo. I lived in the area at the time and still remember the brouhaha over all this. The local radio station, WSPY, was talking about it all the time, putting forth their opinions (mostly hallucinations) and generally making fun of it.

1 comment:

  1. That actually happened here in Valley View. They ended up being really big squirrels. That was the first Thanksgiving we didn't have turkey. The tail meat was the best. Crispy on the outside, tender in the middle.