Slide-Rock Bolter (Macrostoma saxiperrumptus) is a
bizarre creature first written about by William Thomas Cox, the State Forester
of Minnesota in his book ‘Fearsome Critters of the Lumberwoods’ (published
in1910). He collected lumberjack tales
from all over the U.S.A.
The Slide-Rock Bolter
is from south west Colorado and dates back to folklore of the 19th Century.
Miners and lumberjacks would often come down from the mountains, with stories of
a creature they called a ‘land whale’ . In general, the Bolter is perceived to be larger than a blue whale, camouflaged to blend in to its surroundings. Some
describe its grey-brown coloured body as
covered with scraggy, brush-like
growths, whilst others say it appears to be a fat, smooth rock. Once hidden, it is difficult to spot.
It is believed to live in the mountains of Colorado where
the slopes have more than a 45 degree angle . It has an immense head, with
small eyes, and a mouth that extends back beyond its ears. It looks somewhat like the
shape of a whale.The tail consist of a divided flipper, with enormous
grab-hooks, which it fastens over the crest of the mountain or ridge, hanging
there motionless waiting for prey. After sighting a human or animal, it will
lift its tail, thus loosening its hold on the mountain.It then slides down the
mountain at speed, assisted by grease it produces from its mouth, like a
toboggan, scooping up its victim on its downward path. The body is so large that trees in its path are broken and
flattened . Its own impetus carries it up the next slope, where it slaps its
tail over the ridge and waits for the next victim(s).It can swallow parties of
tourists according to legend. Some
claim its tail, is similar to a crab’s pincer, others say it is forked with hooks.
A forest range decided to lure a slide-rock bolter
to its own destruction. A dummy was dressed up with plaid jacket, knee
breeches, and a guide book to Colorado. It was then filled full of gunpowder
and fulminate caps and posted in a conspicuous place.The next day a bolter took the bait. The explosion
flattened half the buildings in Rico and the surrounding hills Flocks of
buzzards feasted on the corpse the whole summer.
that the lack of recent sightings of the slide rock bolter suggests that it is currently lying dormant
high in the mountains but whenever
hikers go missing in the area, rumours spread that the Bolter is responsible.Others claim recent tourists have
seen large swathes of crushed foliage consistent with the downward trajectory of
the monster.Did lumberjacks and miners invent the Slide-Rock Bolter in response to
the visible evidence of environmental damage left by the industries?
Unless some evidence
such as remains of a Bolter or photos of one comes to light, it will remain a myth,a