Freeze column: Junior and far reaching Bigfoot coverage

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

Last month, I reported on the debut of Junior the Wonderhorse. Junior has been practicing quite a bit since, and has improved by using a lead rope for his spinning trick. I am going to get him a hula hoop, and see if he will take to it. My neighbor Ollie McKnight came over the other day to see him perform, and he refused to do it. Then one of the other female horses started to play with his lead rope, so Junior quietly walked over, took it, and started to spin it. More reports on Junior will be upcoming.
At this point, I won’t say that Junior can talk. However, I have instructed him not to give Susan Shinn an interview if she stops by. There is plenty of time for that later. Gene Doby at Doby’s Upholstery is going to bring Junior an apple for his increased business from livestock damaged upholstery. I haven’t told him about that yet.
When writing the stories about Michael Greene’s Bigfoot hunt in conjunction with Animal Planet, I had no idea where they would be read. Retired Air Force Sgt. Thomas Finley, now at home in Essex, England, wrote me for more information. He also sent along two of his own paintings of Bigfoot. Finley is also a Bigfoot hunter. He has been interested in Bigfoot since a visit to the Olmstead County Fair while a youngster in Minnesota. There was a creature frozen in a block of ice called the Minnesota Iceman, and it was purported to be a Bigfoot.
“As a child of eight, I was afraid that the ice would melt and the creature would get me when I was sleeping,” said Finley.
His interest continued through high school, and he once wrote to the FBI about the “Iceman” case. An FBI agent called the house and asked why he needed the information. Finley’s mom told the agent that her son was just 15 years old and was writing a paper for school.
Later, when Finley was interviewing Cuthbert Otten, a mechanic for the famed Flying Tigers of World War ll China, and became even more intrigued. Otten told him of an encounter with a large hairy, man-like creature near the edge of an airfield.
“It was big, and looked like the gorillas that you see in the picture books.”
The Chinese forces on the base called the creature a “Forest Demon,” and said it was bad luck to see one. The next day, Otten rode off into the brush with his friends looking for the creature with Thomas machine guns. They didn’t find him.
Finley is a disabled veteran who formerly worked a sensitive job for the military. He now lives in Essex, England, with his wife Nicola and they have two grown sons. Finley works for an international charitable organization. He has been an artist his whole life and loves to paint Sasquatch, or Bigfoot. Finley has not seen one up close, but is looking for someone who has so that he can do a better portrait of one. One of his hobbies is collecting personal accounts from people all over the world who have had experiences with the paranormal, Bigfoot and other mysterious animals and UFOs.
Finley makes an offer to our readers. He would love to hear from any readers who have stories on any of the above subjects. He prefers older or previously untold accounts, possibly those that would go unrecorded. All who write will be sent a packet of material and a signed print of Bigfoot or UFO artwork that he has personally done. Contact Tom Finley at
Currently Finley’s favorite quote comes from an Osage elder who was asked about his tribal belief in Bigfoot.
“Just because you cannot see him in the forest doesn’t mean he is not there,” said the elder and Finley believes these are good words to live by on the subject.
He also had a few unusual words seldom heard from a Bigfoot enthusiast. “Personally I hope that Bigfoot is never found as it would mean an end to a great mystery,” and then continued “When painting Bigfoot it should be noted; a Bigfoot a day keeps the doctor away.” Finley says “I am not an expert, but I am interested in the accounts people have of these beings. It sounds like fun to me, and I’m sure it will be for Mr. Finley also. I hope gets some good information.