Lebanon, Tennessee is a very small City located in the Northeast portion of that American State. It has few tourist spots, save several regional American Civil War ''attractions''. But it was what reputedly happened in 1989, that made The City an overnight sensation (temporarily at any rate). But first, let's examine the very common practice of Hoaxing as it relates to purported ''Beasties'' and oddities of nature. As early as the 19th Century in The United States, people made money charging others to view strange and amazing animals. In some cases, clever forgeries were ''made'' to bring forth ''fantasy creatures'', such as The Unicorn and related. Practically everyone has (at some point and time) – gone to a Carnival Side Show and ''seen'' such (obviously fake) ''wonders''. Which brings us to IF the following was a clever attempt at attracting tourism to the small Tennessee Town, or by chance luck – the so called ''Beast of Sugar Flat Lane'' is actually real. You judge.....
On January 5, 1989 – a couple was traveling down the secluded Sugar Flat Lane Road. It was dark and easy to not pay attention to the road ahead. Suddenly, ''something'' ran across the road. The driver was unable to do anything but plow thru. Striking something quite hard – He felt His vehicle ''roll over'' the object. The driver stopped and inspected the damage. He noted the impact point, blood and what appeared to be fur or hair. Going back to the rear of the car, the driver saw a dreadful sight. Thinking it was perhaps a deer or bear, it was in reality – the ''form of a man''. Retrieving a flashlight, the driver looked closer.
The ''man'' was definitely ''human in appearance'', but was only 5 foot 4 inches. Further, the ''body'' appeared to be covered in a white ''fur-like hair'' entirely. Only the face, hands and feet were uncovered in the substance. And the creatures ''skin'' was a pale gray color. In all, the driver soon realized that he had not in fact accidentally killed another human – but ''something else''. Fear, however overcame rational thought and the driver retrieved a shovel from His trunk, with the goal of burying the carcass. But after digging the hole, He decided that no one would possibly believe His encounter. So, using the shovel, He cut off the head of the ''beast''. In Town, The Man showed the bizarre artifact to the local Doctor and later Taxidermist. Neither Man could identify just ''what'' the creature was. It was not human or ape. The Driver had the head preserved by The Taxidermist – to keep as a ''curio''. But for several years, The Man had nothing but ''bad luck'' (of which he attributed to His new acquisition). He eventually sold it to a local Antique Shop, which quickly displayed it. For a very small price, people can come in to ''see'' and ''take pictures'' with the now named ''Beast of Sugar Flat Lane''.
The ''story'' was picked up Nationally and even was featured on a well known (Nationally syndicated Radio Talk Show which deals with The Paranormal and related subject matter). Lebanon, Tennessee became VERY well known. In time however, as with all such ''tales'' – people slowly forgot ''The Beast''. It is still there though and is very much a local ''attraction''. What Do You Think? Is PT Barnum's phrase of ''A Sucker Born Every Minute'' apt? Or is it perhaps ''something'' else?