Ora Blue and Charley Wilson showing reporters the approximate size of the turtle.
In July 1948, two men, Ora Blue and Charley Wilson, claimed to see a giant turtle (weighing an estimated 500 pounds) while fishing on Fulk Lake in
When word of the sighting got around town, older locals recalled how in 1898, a farmer reported seeing the same thing in the same lake and was ridiculed by friends for his claim. The man who owned the lake, Gale Harris backed up the others claims, saying he had seen the turtle as well.
Local news picked up the story and a UPI reporter from Fort Wayne relayed the reports out on the wire services, causing the turtle to become a national sensation.
The Beast of Busco as it was dubbed by the media, attracted mobs of
sightseers to the lake but despite so many curious onlookers there was no further reports of the massive turtle, causing skeptics to question the authenticity of the earlier sightings. To vindicate his good name, Gale
Harris made several attempts to catch the beast. These included having fisherman drudge the lake from end to end several times and eventually escalated to Harris having deep-sea divers search the pond, though this attempt failed when the wrong equipment was delivered to Harris.
Finally Harris decided to drain the lake entirely, by pumping the water into an area sealed off by a dam with the help of Orville Bright and Kenneth Leitch. When the lake was nearly entirely drained the dam suddenly broke and released all of the water back into the
pond. The creature was never captured.