Forget the Wilson County Courthouse, the Neddy Jacobs Cabin or the monument to Confederate General Robert Hatton, this is what visitors to Lebanon's town square want to see. In a town with about 30 antique stores within a few blocks of the town square, the creature head in the window of Cuz's antique store is what people want to see.
The sign says:
Is this an Alien?
Ran over by car on Sugar
Flat Rd. in Lebanon, TN
Jan 5th 1989 - Never
Antique stores often have trouble making money, but I think Cuz is doing alright. Cuz's Antique Center is in the center, Cuz's Antique Store No. 2 is on the left and Cuz Jr.'s Antique's [sic] & Gallery is on the right. The creature's head is in a glass display case behind the main store's window.
When you go in the store, you can pick up a brochure that tells the whole story.
Here is the entire text of the brochure:
THE LEGEND OF SUGAR FLAT ROAD
The mysterious is all around us....
Incidents occur that should never happen...things that aren't meant to take place in the real world where the sun is shining brightly. And in 1987, on a cold, crisp moonlit January night, one of those things that don't happen happened in the hills of Lebanon, Tennessee.
On that particular night, a lover's tryst led two people closer to the unknown than they had ever wanted to get and when the night was over they'd relive it a thousand times.
The two had come to Sugar Flat Road (or Lover's Lane as it was often called) to meet discreetly. And since one of the parties was married discretion seemed like a good idea. As usually happens in meetings such as this, time seemed to stand still for the amorous couple. Before they knew it, it was well past the hour when they should have gone to their separate homes.
Excited (for apparent reasons) and anxious over the possibility of being caught at their illicit games they sped away from their place on the side of the road.
As the couple rounded a curve on the bumpy, old road two figures burst directly into the path of the truck from the line of small scrub trees and bushes that lined their route.
The brakes and the battered old truck did little to slow the vehicle and in the midst of crunching metal, breaking glass, and skidding tires the couple heard a horrible groan. Thinking he had hit a deer or a small bear, the driver swung his door wide and leaped out of the truck.
The thing (that's what we'll call it for the time being) lay toward the rear of the truck. The driver could barely make it out despite the full moon and the glare of his taillight. He took a flashlight from his lady friend inside the truck and went back to get another look at the lifeless form lying in the road. As he approached the thing, he heard an animal-type cry from the other figure standing just outside his field of vision. Frightened by this cry, he was also fascinated at the thing in the road. As the beam of his flashlight settled on the thing, he forgot all about its partner in the bushes.
Whatever he had run over looked for all practical purposes like a medium-sized man with one exception. It was covered with what looked to be hair or fur. It was also definitely dead. As he stood over the creature, his girlfriend's voice trickled in from the darknessand he realized that the most important thing he could do right now was get her home before they both had too much explaining to do.
He pulled the creature to the side of the road, disguised it as well as he could and got back into the truck. Despite her questions, he did little talking during the trip. After dropping her off he went home and drank the better part of a bottle of whiskey hoping it would calm him and put him to sleep quickly after the harrowing experience. But try as he might, sleep evaded him. The solution to his restlessness seemed to be to return to Sugar Flat Road and find out exactly what it was he hit.
He dressed quickly and drove off into the late night early morning sky. As he neared the site of the accident he drove by slowly looking for the body he'd moved to the side of the road earlier. He backed his truck into the tree line in front of a small building that for many years had been used as a voting place.
Now, in the quiet of the dawn he inspected the creature again. It wasn't a man. Of that he was sure. But what was it? With a shudder he took a shovel from the back of his truck intent on burying the thing deep in the ground and forgetting this night had ever happened. But as he dug into the soft earth, he began to reason that since the creature wasn't a man it was obviously an animal. And he should have a trophy. When the hole had been dug he deftly severed the creature's head with the point of the shovel, scooped it up and tossed it into the bed of the pickup. He kicked the thing's body into the hole, covered it with dirt and drove into town to a taxidermist's shop. The taxidermist shook his head in disbelief when he saw the creature's head, but despite never having seen anything like it before he agreed to preserve it.
For several years after the incident the head rested on the mantel. The reactions varied: Monster, Bigfoot, Alien, genetic freak...no one knew. The only person who had a definite opinion on the creature was the man's wife. And that opinion was "Either it goes or I go!" So it went.
But there continue to be spottings of the creature's mate up and down Sugar Flat Road.
Residents of the area have complained that chickens, ducks and turkeys often come up missing and the rumor is that if a dog barks at night it will probably never be seen again.
The creature's head now resides at Cuz's Antique Center on the Square in Lebanon, Tennessee. It's been there for several years now. And despite the national television and radio exposure, no one to this day can attest to the origin of this unusual creature.