Monday, January 18, 2016
RIP "Smokey" Crabtree
Smokey was a legendary character in the field of Bigfoot studies. When Charles B. Pierce showed up in Arkansas to make his film about the Fouke monster, Smokey was hired has a consultant and wildlife guide for the movie. Smokey also appeared in the film along with other members of his family.
Crabtree grew up in Fouke and spent his youth roaming the Sulphur River Bottoms, hunting, fishing and trapping. After a career that included a stint in the navy, some time has a golden gloves boxer and work on the Alaskan pipeline, he spent his later years running a bookstore and small museum in Fouke. He wrote about the monster himself and he could frequently be found at conferences speaking about the topic.
Many cryptozoologists cite the Boggy Creek movie as an influence on their early interest in the field. I'll never forget seeing the film myself when it came out in the early 70s. And what monster hunter could forget the beginning of the film when the words "This Is A True Story" appeared on the screen.
Crabtree was the go to expert on the Fouke monster for many years. When Smokey's son "Lynn," was fourteen, he had one of the most significant sightings of the monster and his account was also featured in the movie.
I was fortunate to meet Smokey on a few occasions, he was a great guy. During his life, he worked in 18 different countries and almost every state in the US, but he always called Arkansas home.
Smokey passed away on January 16, 2016 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 88 years old.
Rest easy Smokey, you'll be missed.