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COUNTY: Le Flore County
LOCATION DETAILS: Highway 144 east of Octavia at new Big Eagle Fork bridge; south on Big Eagle Fork 300 meters approximately, but north of bluff.
NEAREST TOWN: Octavia
NEAREST ROAD: highway 144
OBSERVED: I was fishing the creek that runs through my mother's property with a lure. I was just downstream of the fork in the creek that goes to your left as you're going downstream. My wife, children, mother, sister and brother-in-law were swimming and fishing about 500 feet upstream at our swimming hole. I had been noticing that my lure was running funny and was looking at it trying to fix it before making another cast.
Downstream from my position, the creek makes a slight curve to the right. I was standing on rocks, as close to the waters edge as I could, fishing in the fast water just below the rapids. After messing with my lure, I looked up, toward downstream, to make another cast. When I did, I distincly saw the legs, from the mid thigh area down, (my vision was impeded of seeing anything higher than that because of tree limbs),of what I thought at the time was a man, another fisherman, about 50 feet away. It was in full stride, in the edge of the water, walking out of the water onto the bank at the right. I saw it take two steps, one from my left to my right, and another diagonally away from me, disappearing into the thicket. I remember thinking, "there's another fisherman down there", and continued to fish while looking to see where they went. The foliage on both sides of the creek is extremely dense in that area.
Having grown up visiting my grandparents and later my parents in that area, and being very familiar with the terrain and forestation from hunting it and fishing it my whole life, I was suprised to see anyone there, that far from the bridge for several reasons. One, it was over 1000 feet downstream from the bridge and there was no car parked anywhere near the bridge, two, we had been swimming and fishing for over an hour before I had the encounter and there was noone fishing by while we were there, three, there is no residence or access by road anywhere nearer than the upstream bridge, four, the terrain is extremely rugged, full of underbrush including a thick maze of briars and poison ivy, and from experience, anyone who is there is either fishing up or downstream, five, the treck up or downstream is rugged and time consuming to trevail causing one to wade, cross at fast water areas and walk in the water on slick mossy rocks, there is nothing that would bring one to that remote area unless they were fishing. As a result, I made about three more casts while intently watching to see this "other fisherman" to reappear. He never did.
I began to get a little spooked while thinking, "What did I just see"? I walked on downstream looking intently for what I saw to reappear either downstream or on the bank area where I saw it disappear. Nothing. I couldn't hear any sound other than the rapids rushing behind me. It would have been hard to carry on a conversation where I was standing when I saw it. I began to second guess myself when I couldn't see anybody or anything. Then I realized, if I saw what I that I saw, there will be water on the rocks and bank at the edge. Even though I was spooked, I decided I has to investigate any traces of something leaving the water. I waded down to where I saw it leave the water, and sure enough, there was a wet footprint on a big rock and several sprinkles on others rocks and dirt on the bank. I peered into the thicket and saw nothing but a faint trail to the other fork of the creek, probably only about 30 feet away. I decided I had seen enough, and was sure that whatever it was was there close watching me. I hightailed it back upstream to where my family was still swimming and told them the story. It wasn't until then that my mother told me about the recent sighting at Honobia, which is only about 9 miles west.
I'd like to mention here that I never really believed there was any credibility in the big foot sighting stories, but I was quickly convincing myself that what I saw wasn't human. When I saw it, and I only saw it for a second, I that it was someone who was wearing dark navy blue overalls. The legs were a consistent diameter from top to bottom and I saw no indication of a human-like foot, like the pants legs extended over a persons shoe. I saw no distinction in color, it looked like a solid dark blue or black. My sister and brother-in-law had a video camera on the bank and the three of us decided to go back to the spot to see if we could get something on tape. All we got was video of the still wet rocks, and some disturbed soil where some rocks had been embedded in the dirt. It appeared that something had been sitting there. You could see indentions of where rock had been in the dirt and in the bottom of the indentions, the dirt was still damp looking, proving it hadn't been that way long. I also found a length of dung which we videoed that looked something like coyote only bigger in diameter than I had seen before from a coyote. My sister and her husband agreed with me that no human would bust through that thicket just to visit the creek.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was about 4:00 pm. The light was good since it was mid-afternoon but it was slightly overcast.
ENVIRONMENT: The location of the sighting was on a creek bank just below fast moving water from a shoaly place in the creek. The creek had deep and extremely heavy foliage on both sides. It was just downstream in the major arm of a fork in the creek, (easterly), which is the first fork or split in the creek that occurs downstream from the bridge.
Follow-up investigation report:
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigators Roger Roberts and David Willbanks.
In response to report from Octavia, Oklahoma on July 1, 2000, a follow-up investigation was conducted by David Wilbanks and Roger Roberts. Mr. Roberts conducted the initial telephone interview with the witness J.B. Mr. Roberts concluded during the interview, that he was both sincere and credible. Based on this interview information, Mr. Roberts asked David Wilbanks to make a search of the area in question.
On July 9, 2000, approximately 1200 hours, Mr. Wilbanks conducted a search of the area, using specific directions provided by the witness. Terrain was difficult with the creek being clear and mostly shallow with moss covered rocks. There was a set of rapids on the eastern leg of the creek and about 30 yards north of the incident location.
Footprints would not be possible in the creek, as it rock covered. The shoreline on both sides of the creek is generally very dense, native trees and vines, with the ground being covered by brush and leaves. Again this area is not suitable for track impressions.
Mr. Wilbanks began moving back from the sighting area on the west bank of the creek when he noticed a distinct humanlike footprint in a muddy backwater streambed. This track was photographed and cast, measured approximately 11 inches in length, 6 inches at the ball and 4 inches at the heel. Mr. Wilbanks reported that during the time he waited for the plaster cast to dry, he noticed movement in and around his location and heard a "whoop" sound. The movement consisted of sound of sticks being broken. About 35 minutes into the cast drying process, Mr. Wilbanks noticed a very strong "dead animal" smell which lasted about 10 minutes and faded away. There was no wind and he had not noticed this smell previously.
Mr. Wilbanks departed the area with the cast and contacted Mr. Roberts who proceeded to his location from Tulsa, OK. Upon Mr. Roberts arrival, Mr. Wilbanks led Mr. Roberts into the area at 2330 hours. Night vision was used to no avail, although on a couple of occasions, movement was detected on the eastern shoreline. At one point, a large "animal" was flushed on a rocky and brushy shoal in the creek, but was unidentifiable. This operation was terminated at 0300 hours.
At, 1200 hours, David Wilbanks and Roger Roberts proceeded back into the area where the cast was made and were able to find 4 more tracks with the same measurements. These additional tracks were within a few feet of the track which was previously cast and one set had a stride measuring 52 inches. No other evidence or activity was noted during this search and the operation was terminated at 1700 hours, July 10, 2000.
On July 22, 2000 David Wilbanks and a volunteer associate returned to the Big Eagle creek area and set camp at 1900 hours on the west fork of the creek and approximately 40 yards due west of the witness's sighting location. The campsite was about 100 yards south of the area where the tracks were located. David stated that about 2200 hours, they both heard what sounded like a person walking along the rocks on the east fork of the creek. It stopped walking and started turning over rocks in the creek and they could hear the rocks splashing and striking other rocks. This activity ceased after about 10 minutes and they believed their presence was discovered at that point.
At this point, "it" started walking along a dry streambed towards them. It was definitely a large animal on two legs. It would pace back and forth, but stayed just out of flashlight range. This lasted about 45 minutes, then it seemed to leave the area. At about 2400 hours, "it" returned and repeated this behavior for another 15 minutes. After that the sounds ceased for the last time.
No visual sighting was made and no smell was noticed. No tracks were found the next morning as the terrain was very rocky and brush covered
BFRO Note: Roberts and Wilbanks are currently gearing up for more stakeouts at this site with various types of imaging equipment.
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