Pranks are usually harmless jokes or elaborate schemes and can be quite entertaining. Still, they rarely span half a century and captivate an entire town. Meet Eugene Hendrick, the mastermind behind a prank that convinced the community of Brantley, Alabama that Bigfoot was among them.
The Birth of a Prank
In the 1970s, Eugene Hendrick had a rather unusual idea when people in Brantley began spotting strange tracks near the river. According to Hendrick himself, “I cut some big ole feet and bolted some shoes to them and walked around by the river making tracks. I even made claw marks in the trees.”
This got the whole town talking, as people gradually started to believe in the presence of Bigfoot. It got so much attention that even the local police and their search dogs got involved to solve the mystery.
Decades of Mystery
As the years passed, Brantley’s Bigfoot legend only gained momentum. The stories circulated among the townsfolk, and the belief in the existence of this elusive creature deepened. But, Hendrick eventually opted to bring his elaborate prank to a halt.
He stashed away the counterfeit feet, shrouding them in secrecy for several decades, crucially leaving the town’s mystery intact.
The Big Reveal
In 2017, the prank took an unexpected turn. Hunter Royal, owner of the Old Gin Greek County Store in Brantley, introduced the “Sasquatch Burger” to his menu, reigniting the town’s fascination with the elusive creature. Seeing the renewed interest, Eugene Hendrick felt it was finally time to unveil his 50-year prank.
He confessed to being the mastermind behind Brantley’s enduring decades-long Bigfoot mystery. While the prank officially came to an end, its legacy endures. The store now sells a range of Bigfoot-themed merchandise, and the town even acquired a colossal 3,500-pound concrete Sasquatch statue. Hendrick, an artist, put his skills to use by painting the statue, adding a unique touch to Brantley’s newest landmark.