Daniel Boone and the Yahoo
By Daryl Skaggs
The following article from the Appalachian History
*Originally posted in Be Safe and Keep Your Powder Dry
Yeahoh, Yahoo or Bigfoot
The legend of the Hillbilly Beast This Bigfoot-like creature resides in the foothills of eastern Kentucky, is huge and hairy, smells horrid, glides when it runs and has yellow eyes and a ferocious howl. Reports of this terrifying monster date back to the days of Daniel Boone, but increasing encounters provided enough interest that History Channel’s MonsterQuest featured the Hillbilly Beast in an episode aired in their fourth season.
The Hillbilly Beast quietly stalks and roams the back hills of Eastern Kentucky, near the Ohio River. This large and intimidating creature has called this land home, long before settlers moved into the neighborhood.
As years became decades ,….and decades became centuries,……the human population exploded creating a strained situation for the man-beast. Humans continually move further out into virgin and unspoiled territory, thus they are now coming face to face with the other being,….. that calls this land home.
Documented reports of these human / man beast run-ins, have been made to the authorities by the multitude, and many more just discuss their sightings privately among their family and friends.
A being that stands 8-10 feet tall!
Weighing in at an estimated 800lbs this creature is usually very dark in appearance, with hair covering the entirety of it’s body. The face looks incredibly human with an extraordinarily intelligent look in his eyes, when the creature swings his head around and catches you observing him. Witnesses have said, the eyes appear almost black in the daylight and glow a eerie yellow color when inkiness of evening descends. YAHOO
Long before it became the brand of a search engine, the creature whose uttered cry gave it a name haunted Kentuckians. Daniel Boone told tales of “killing a ten-foot, hairy giant he called a Yahoo,” says John Mack Faragher in a 1992 biography of Boone. The Yahoos are hairy man-like creatures in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, one of Boone’s favorite books. Boone and his explorer companions, it should be noted right from the get-go, threw around many of the terms used in that book rather liberally.
“[Boone] was encamped with five other men on Red River,” Theodore Roosevelt relates in his Daniel Boone’s Move to Kentucky (1897), “and they had with them for their amusement ‘the history of Samuel Gulliver’s travels, wherein he gave an account of his young master, Glumdelick, careing [sic] him on a market day for a show to a town called Lulbegrud.’
“In the party who, amid such strange surroundings, read and listened to Swift’s writings was a young man named Alexander Neely. One night he came into camp with two Indian scalps, taken from a Shawnee village he had found on a creek running into the river; and he announced to the circle of grim wilderness veterans that ‘he had been that day to Lulbegrud, and had killed two Brobdignags in their capital.’ To this day the creek by which the two luckless Shawnees lost their lives is known as Lulbegrud Creek.”
Folktale scholar Hugh H. Trotti suggests that Boone’s tall tales may be the origin of some of the Bigfoot tales in North America. Could the term “Yeahoh” used for such a creature in the following story simply be a corruption of Swift’s “Yahoos”?
—Told by Nancy McDaniel of Big Leatherfoot Creek, Perry County, KY to folktale collector Leonard Roberts, who published it under the title “The Origin of Man” in South From Hell-fer-Sartin (1955).
Kentuckians heard it passed down from Boone, who got it from Swift, how did Swift learn of Yahoo tales? Or did he simply spin them from his imagination?
Linguist Richard Stoney carefully states that Swift, a lover of word play, drew from many language sources, each of which refer to various personality facts of the Yahoos. But he also turns up the following morsel published in Australian Aboriginal Words in English (1835): “The natives are greatly terrified by the sight of a person in a mask calling him ‘devil’ or Yah-hoo, which signifies evil spirit.”
And from the 1844 edition: “They have an evil spirit, which causes them great terror, whom they call ‘Yahoo’ or ‘Devil-Devil’: he lives in the tops of the steepest and rockiest mountains, which are totally inaccessible to all human beings, and comes down at night to seize and run away with men, women or children, whom he eats up, children being his favourite food…The name… of Yahoo being used to express a bad spirit, or ‘Bugaboo’, was common also with the aborigines of Van Diem[e]n’s Land [Tasmania]…”
The tribes mentioned here are located in the region around Botany Bay (near Sydney and slightly westward), site of the first British settlement in Australia in 1788. Gulliver’s Travels was written in 1726. Did the aborigines, like early Kentuckians, absorb Swift’s tale from the new colonists and make it local, or did Swift, to create his characters, draw on much older aboriginal folktales, possibly passed along to him by seafarers pre-dating Cook?
Kentucky, according to legend, has its own Yahooes. Daniel Boone, perceived as a “Kentuckian” was actually born 1734 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Although it was said he was one who loved tall tales, as evidenced in the article above, it is also likely Boone and his companions would use terms from books such as “Gulliver’s travels” to describe a creature otherwise previously unknown anywhere else but for the descriptions in the Swift book. Hillbilly Beast in every way matches the descriptions of Bigfoot throughout our planet. Infact what would be described as Bigfoot, has been seen and documented on every continent in the entire world. Our bluegrass friend demonstrates the same behavior as his far away cousins, if he considers you trespassing on HIS territory. Rocks of every size will come flying out of the treeline in your direction, ……in an effort to scare you away….. and if that doesn’t work, he has been known to take it to the next level.
People who live in the area of a Bigfoot family, report the loud bangs of tree limbs, being pounded against each other, echoing a vibratory drumbeat for a long distance.
Monster Quest, which runs on the History Channel, recently trekked deep into the heart of the Kentucky wilderness and Cypress Swamps, to search for the Hillbilly Beast.
While exploring some of the hot spots, the team is surprised when they hear the crack of tree limbs and the rocks that are hurled in their direction, during their walk along the river.
Recording devices set up by the investigative crew, do a remarkable job picking up animal sounds in the distance, some of which may belong to our hillbilly friend. Out of the array of noises sent in for verification by specialists, 20-30 of the vocals could not be identified as belonging to any known animal.
A tooth is produced later in the show and shown to the investigators. The team proceed to photograph the tooth, with high definition, as they were not given permission to take the actual specimen. The photo is then sent to an expert, who is unable to identify what animal it could have come from.
Throughout the show, numerous eyewitnesses are interviewed about their encounters and they give a chilling and compelling reckoning.
The Cherokee Indians have a rich and in depth relationship with nature and they claim to have witnessed the Sasquatch many times, while the creatures sat to dig for roots and eat other greens. The Native Americans have come to understand that the diet of this hairy being, is as wide and varied as our own. In fact, the Indian tribes have profound respect for the Wildman of the Woods and they believe the creature to have supernatural abilities. Bigfoot spotted again in Henderson County,Kentucky
The Creature has been dubbed “Geneva Giant” and it has been seen again. Jason Skaggs said he was riding his motocycle on Trigg Turner road in Geveva,ky on Saturday July 18,2011 when the creature crossed the road in front of him. Skaggs said ” It crossed the road, from left to right, in 2 or 3 steps.” He also stated that once it cross the road it “just stopped” and stood there,then he said “I just gunned it and drove by as fast as i could on the other side of the road.”
This creature was also seen around March 12 by a couple of young boys who were fishing at a pond. Kaleb age 12 was one of the boys and he stated that they heard a noise and he looked up and saw the creature standing on the other side of the pond.He also stated the creature was 7 to 8 feet tall and cover in long black fur.
Kentucky has a long history of these creatures. Whether you say: “Yahoo”, “Yeahoh”, “Yayhoo” or any of the other KY slang names used for these creatures, all likely point to the creatures known to the modern World as “Bigfoot”.