Retro Charlotte

Cleveland County’s Bigfoot Jr.

Mackie Linnens with radio station WOHS points to area where 'Knobby' has been seen three times. 1979
Mackie Linnens with radio station WOHS points to area where 'Knobby' has been seen three times. 1979 The Charlotte Observer

In January, 1979 a Cleveland County man found the body of a grown goat dead of a broken neck. A search party invaded the woods and found tracks like those of an ape and a den under the roots of a huge tree. A local radio station latched onto the story - even broadcasting remotely from the site - and the search for “Bigfoot, Jr.” was on!

The Great Cleveland ‘Knobby’ Hunt

January 19, 1979, the Charlotte Observer

By Wayne Nicholas, staff writer

CASAR - An off-duty Shelby police officer, three radio broadcasters and a newspaper reporter set out Thursday to search for the mysterious creature known as “Knobby.”

Described as a large, frightening beast resembling an ape or bear, Knobby has been sighted by several northern Cleveland County residents since Christmas. Knobby is the suspected killer of a goat found with its neck broken Sunday in Casar.

The searchers had little luck Thursday afternoon as they combed nearby Carpenter’s Knob, from whichKnobby took its name. But they planned to set out again at midnight Thursday and search until this morning.

“We’ve got a new staff ready to start in the morning if we don’t hear from them again,” joked Jeff Loudermilk, an advertising salesman for radio station WOHS in Shelby, where the three broadcasters work.

Thursday, Shelby Police Sgt. Steve - who knows the area - Philbeck and WOHS newscaster Stanley Elmore were on Carpenter’s Knob looking for the creature, exchanging jokes as they went. As they broke out of the woods, Philbeck said, “Our Jeep should be right over there, if Bigfoot hasn’t driven it off,” (Bigfoot is the nickname of a mysterious - possible apocrypha - creature many have claimed to see in the Pacific Northwest.)

But a serious note crept in when Philbeck discovered several bushes scarred with what looked like claw markes near the top of Carpenter’s Knob.

WOHS News Director Mackie Linnens, also a searcher, said the station was conducting a search to help residents learn jsut what has been roaming their hillsides. Linnens and disc jockey Jeff Champion broadcast live reports throughout the afternoon.

Late Thursday, Linnens tried to persuade Steve Greene, chief engineer for the station, to join the overnight search.

“No,” Greene joked, “my insurance is not paid up.”