If one visits near the banks of the White River between Jacksonport and Newport Arkansas one may hear locals refer to the area as the "White River Monster Refuge". Don't mistakenly think that the locals are pulling your leg - the area stretching through Jackson and Independence counties was designated as such by the State Legislature in 1973 in a bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Harvey. Why go through all the trouble to pass laws making it illegal to harm a monster?
The reason is that some have come to the area to do just that, and the citizens around Jacksonport and Newport care very much for their beloved "Whitey", even though it's been nearly 40 years since the last rash of sightings. Come to think of it, the creature seems to make its appearances every 30 or 40 years, so now may be the best time to make a trip to northeast Arkansas.
For more information on the White River Monster, see: