The Beast of Busco is a famous Indiana cryptid that is said to live in the town of Churubusco in Indiana. It is thought to be a giant snapping turtle that the locals affectionately call “Oscar”.
|Cryptid Name:||Beast of Busco|
|Location:||Fulk Lake, Churubusco, Indiana, United States|
|Description:||Legendary giant snapping turtle.|
|Size:||Described as enormous, some accounts compare it to a car.|
|Behavior/Characteristics:||Mysterious, elusive, and rarely seen.|
|Diet:||Believed to be carnivorous, possibly feeding on fish and aquatic creatures.|
|Habitat/Environment:||Fulk Lake, a small freshwater lake in a rural area.|
|Evidence:||Limited to eyewitness accounts and anecdotal evidence.|
|Sightings and Encounters:||A few eyewitness sightings starting in 1898.|
|Skepticism/Explanations:||Some believe it was a misidentified or exaggerated common snapping turtle; others suggest it was a hoax or optical illusion.|
What Does The Beast Of Busco Look Like?
Eyewitnesses say that The Beast of Busco looks like an enormous snapping turtle that is bigger than a car or rowboat and is believed to weigh about 450 pounds / 204 kilograms.
It has powerful jaws and an armored shell that is dark in color. It is believed to have scaly and rough skin and just like a typical snapping turtle, it is assumed to have webbed feet and the ability to spend most of its time underwater.
Beast Of Busco Sightings
The first reported sighting of the Beast of Busco was in 1898 when a farmer by the name of Oscar Fulk claimed to have seen it in a lake on his farm.
Fifty years later in 1948, it was seen once again by two locals named Ora Blue and Charley Wilson who were out fishing on the lake that was owned by a farmer by the name of Gale Harris. Harris also claimed to have seen the creature and as reports about the sightings spread, Oscar, the Beast of Busco, began to attract a lot of attention!
Many attempts were made to catch Oscar but none were successful and to this day there is no concrete evidence that he exists.
The Hunt For Oscar – Beast Of Busco Documentary
Oscar attracted so much attention that a 2-hour long award-winning documentary was made by Terry Doran that features the events of the 1949 hunt for Oscar.
If you have time then this documentary is great to watch as it contains lots of original footage and commentary. It is broken down into four 30-minute sections which you can watch below (you can click the button with the two little arrows at the bottom right-hand side of the player if you would like to watch full screen).
The Hunt For Oscar – Part 1
The Hunt For Oscar – Part 2
The Hunt For Oscar – Part 3
The Hunt For Oscar Part 4
Possible Explanations For The Beast Of Busco
Although there hasn’t been any evidence found that Oscar exists and, there haven’t been any sightings for a long time, his story is still fascinating!
I looked into several turtles that could possibly have been seen that would explain the eyewitness reports. These include the Alligator Snapping Turtle native to the southeastern United States; the Common Snapping Turtle found in North America and the Arrau Turtle that is native to the Amazon River Basin. However, none of these turtles are bigger than about 30 inches / 80 centimeters which falls far short of the reported size of the Beast of Busco, which is said to be car-sized or even bigger.
There is however one extinct freshwater turtle species that could explain the sightings – Stupendemys Geographicus.
The Stupendemys geographicus was a massive freshwater turtle that lived approximately 10 million years ago in the rivers and lakes of prehistoric South America. It is known to be one of the biggest turtles to have ever lived with its upper shell reaching sizes of about 13 feet (4 meters)!
Turtle Days Festival
The Turtle Days Festival is an annual festival that is held in Churubusco, Indiana that celebrates the legend of the Beast of Busco. It is a fun family event that celebrates Churubusco’s unique history and is a great opportunity to learn more about the Beast of Busco legend.
There is a parade, live entertainment, food and craft vendors as well as turtle-themed activities that residents and visitors can enjoy.
It is typically held in late spring or early summer and usually runs over a couple of days.