In 1898, farmer Oscar Fulk reported a massive snapping turtle swimming in the nine-acre lake on his land in Churubusco, Indiana. Then in 1948, other locals claimed to have seen the beast that they estimated weighing 500 pounds. Curious crowds descended on the property and the legend of the Beast of Busco was born. The mysterious reptile was nicknamed Oscar, after farmer Fulk, and the town celebrates him during the Turtle Days festival in June. There's even a small Oscar statue in the town center and a children's book by Aaron Mathieu, assistant director of the Whitley County Historical Museum. Now, the private lake and surrounding land, totaling 43 acres, is up for sale. According to the listing, there's "great deer and turkey hunting" on the property. Hunt for Oscar at your own peril though. From WPTA21:
"A farmer, Gale Harris, was on his roof with his pastor," [Mathieu] explained, "they supposedly saw a large turtle in the middle of the lake. He went and told some friends and they set out to capture this 'Beast of Busco'".
But Oscar remained evasive.
"They set up traps, tried to drain the lake, numerous operations to try to capture the turtle," he continued.
Harris' obsession, in the mid 1900's, to capture Oscar, attracted the attention of locals.
They would flock to his farm, and park their cars in his fields, hoping to catch a glimpse.
"He was off on this hunt. The money, income coming in, would be a problem," Mathieu said, "for someone to take it to that extreme? I do believe he did see something."
image: cropped cover of Oscar – The Beast of Busco by Aaron Mathieu