ANTUR VILLAGE, GADAG:The discovery of unusual footprints in Antur village of Gadag has caused panic and excitement among villagers who believe an alien may have landed in their backyard. To lend weight to their conspiracy theory, some villagers claim to have heard a heavy breathing at around 2 am on Sunday and some 20-30 large footprints, which do not resemble anything they have seen previously.
This incident has led to many from Gadag city and surrounding villages flocking towards Antur, to know more about the elusive ‘Bigfoot’.
Women and children have remained indoors in fear. A villager recalled, “The sound of heavy breathing continued for nearly 10 minutes. Then dogs started barking and there was silence for sometime. The next morning we woke up to the news of footprints being found.”
Following the rumours, forest department officials visited the village and checked the footprints in a farm near Boodeshwar mutt. Each footprint is 3 ft apart from the other. One forester acknowledged the footprints do not resemble those of any known animal, including elephant. Some forest officials have decided to conduct a night vigil. “We’re not sure if this is a prank and someone has created these footsteps. But the fact is the footprints have been found in different fields in the village. We are carrying out night vigil for two days to boost the morale of villagers who are in fear,” said a forest official. Sixty footprints:
For now, the “alien of Antur” has become the village’s talking point. “The footprints are not of wolf or any other animal known to us. The marks are bigger in size. It seemed that the animal walked along the farm. More than 60 footprints were found in a single field. Many people in the village sleep outside their homes. But on Sunday many remained indoors during night hours,” said another villager.
“Dogs were barking in a different tone that night. Some had scratched the floors where they sleep as they may have seen something unusual,” said Bhudesh Mullalli from Antur village.
It’s not the first time that pranks and rumours have caused a scare in rural Gadag. Many years ago, the words ‘naale ba’ meaning come tomorrow, originated here forcing everyone to remain indoors.
It was later discovered that arrack mafia, who had to work during the night, had spread the rumours of a ghost called ‘mohini’. It was said if ‘naale ba’ wasn’t written on the door, the ghost would come knocking.
A community of weavers in Gadag also spreads rumours as part of their rituals or beliefs. “This practice of the community is known as neelget suddi in rural parts of Gadag,” said a resident of Gadag city.