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COUNTY: St. Francis County
LOCATION DETAILS: Beck Spur area between Forrest City and Palestine.
NEAREST TOWN: Palestine
NEAREST ROAD: Ar. Hwy. 70
OBSERVED: I got up one morning in August and decided to walk next door to my mother's home. When I walked through the bedroom door, I noticed that she had a gun lying next to her on the bed. She immediately began telling me that something had been outside her window the previous night. She stated that she felt someone watching her and she then heard movement outside her bedroom window. She then described a smell to me. She said that it smelled like a cross between a wet dog and a "pole cat" (skunk). I wasn't exactly sure what to think so I walked outside and began to look around. Right outside of my mother's bedroom window was the most exact footprint. I was shape like a human footprint but with no arch, like someone flat footed. I measured the print and took photos. It was 17 inches long and approximately 7 1/2 inches wide at the ball of the foot. It was very distinct.
ALSO NOTICED: I found a few reddish brown strands of hair on a tree close by. Some unusual whistling noises.
OTHER WITNESSES: My mother and 2 cousins who assisted with the photographs.
OTHER STORIES: Several sightings in this area over the years. I have an uncle that saw this thing walk across the road in front of him on his way home from work one night.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 2 or 3 am. 2 days after a good rain. Prints were perfect in the mud. Hot, sticky summer night.
ENVIRONMENT: Heavily wooded, river and creek bottoms.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tony Gerard:
I spoke with the reporting witness and her mother by phone. She related that the hair found (which was not kept) was about two to three inches long. The color was brown with a reddish tint and the texture was similar to a Saint Bernard dog's hair. The foot print showed four toes clearly, including a big toe "just like a person", and gave a hint of a pinky toe. The pictures were sent to me, but did not show enough detail to be included with this report.
The mother related that she was sleeping with a fan in her trailer window to draw in the cool night air. She awoke because of a strong odor "worse than a skunk". The smell was animal- like, but not like anything she had smelled before. She then heard something moving in the weeds behind the trailer, which prompted her to go get her gun. She said she heard the movement for about half an hour; the smell stayed in the trailer for the next hour and a half. She said that she did not hear anything touch the trailer during this incident.
When asked about the "unusual whistling noise" her daughter had reported she related that had occurred about a year before the smell/footprint incident. She said that at dusk a "nasal screaming whistle, not like you'd do with your mouth" had come from the nearby woods. The sound only occurred once. She described it as "eerie". She lived in the location another year before she moved. There were no further incidents during this time although she reported that she often felt like she was being watched.
About BFRO Investigator Tony Gerard:
Tony Gerard is a community college biology professor.