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DATE: Sat the 12th & 19th
COUNTY: Coconino County
LOCATION DETAILS: [Editor's note: Directions will be kept confidential, the campers plan to return to this location.]
NEAREST TOWN: Christopher Creek
NEAREST ROAD: 300 - Rim Road
OBSERVED: These events took place over two consecutive weekends. My husband and I like to escape the summer heat of the valley (Phoenix) as much as possible, and our usual means of escape is up to the Mogollon Rim in Coconino County. We have been going there for years, and we know most of it like the backs of our hands, including all the sounds and wildlife in the area. We generally stay away from the populated lake areas and travel further into the deep woods where there are fewer people. In fact, some weekends we may not see anyone at all, but most of the time maybe at most a couple of other campers riding ATVs or something.
Two weekends ago we were at a fairly remote campsite. We were pretty closed in by the trees. It wasn't a large open space like many campsites there. It had been raining on and off most of the day, and we spent the day reading and napping.
I was sitting in the front seat of our conversion van reading while hubby was back on the bed napping. I started hearing what sounded like an animal ripping bark from a tree and moving around in the dense growth. This went on for about 15 to 20 minutes. I was so sure there was an elk or other large animal nearby that I sat my book aside, grabbed my camera and waited. It was absolutely silent (besides a few snores from the back of the van) that I was hoping whatever it was out there would break the clearing and I'd get a great photo. After about ten minutes of silence and no other movement I went back to my book, figuring whatever it was had smelled us and moved on.
Not five minutes after I had put my camera down and resumed reading a branch about 4 feet long and 3 to 4 inches round came shooting out of the trees directly at the van like a javelin. It hit the side mirror dead on center, pushing it in towards the van. (It is hard to even move this mirror by hand. The force it took to force it in towards the van had to be tremendous). The force was such that it shattered the side mirror into many pieces. There's still a dent on the back metal portion of the mirror from the impact.
I had glanced up just a second or two before impact, whether it was from noticing movement in front of me or just glancing up by chance, I don't know. I saw the trajectory, and it was NOT a limb FALLING from a tree. It came straight at us, like I said before like a javelin being hurled at us.
I jumped over the front seat into the back and [my husband] woke up immediately. He saw what happened while I was babbling away like an idiot. His first words were, "Somebody threw that at us? Who was it?" We listened and watched for a while but didn't hear anything else. A while later I did think I heard movement in the forest, but by that time my senses were so alert I wasn't sure of what I was hearing. This happened in the mid-afternoon on Saturday, July 12, 2008.
The incident rattled me and that night I had a restless night sleeping. We usually sleep in the back of the conversion van with all the slider windows open and other windows popped out but the front two windows rolled up. I have no idea what time it was, but I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of something sniffing at the small slider window by my feet. Whatever it was, it was very LARGE. It was taking deep, deep breaths like it was smelling inside of the van and then -- for lack of a better description -- sort of huffing/grunting out the breath. Each breath in sounded was deep and long. . .much longer than a human can do it. The only way I can think of to describe the breath out is like when a horse sometimes exhales and blows its lips together to make that sound. It wasn't exactly that, but similar enough to use it as a vague description.
I laid there frozen, barely breathing, my heart absolutely pounding out of my chest. I kept poking at my husband trying to get him to wake up, but he didn't. I didn't want to say anything, I don't know why, I guess because I didn't want whatever it was to know I was awake. It was pitch black but I could sense it was large and aware of what it was doing. This smelling went on for a few minutes, of course it seemed like forever but was probably less than five. I was laying on back back and vaguely glanced a moving shape in the driver's side mirror but that's it. Weird thing is, I never heard it move away at all and it seemed like I laid there for a long time after the smelling stopped. Maybe I'm attributing things to something that I shouldn't, but I sensed a bit of curiosity in the creature by the way it was smelling at the window. Although I didn't feel entirely safe, I didn't feel extremely threatened either, or not enough to force my husband awake.
When we woke up in the morning the first thing we noticed is that the kitchen had been raided ... but very politely, neatly raided. It wasn't destroyed at all like it would be if it was a bear or a coyote or an elk or even a bird. We had a packet of biscuits in aluminum foil that had been what seemed like very carefully opened and all the biscuits removed and missing. Not a crumb left like it would be if an animal would have gotten into them and eaten them on the spot. Out of all the stuff on the table, that was all that was taken. Also something had gotten in the trash and removed only one thing. . .a Jimmy Dean sausage container. It was laying a few feet away near the edge of the clearing. Only something with a lot of dexterity could have opened that aluminum foil without ripping or tearing it at all.
We talked about this incident all week and went over what it could have possibly been, then decided to go back this weekend. We discussed the possibility of a "Big Foot", not knowing what in the world else could have done all this, been so precise, so aware. I've lived in Arizona my whole life and never even knew there had been Big Foot sightings here until we linked to your website through Google Earth.
To link this all together, we decided to go back this weekend to the same spot. While we personally had nothing occur at our campsite on this weekend (July 19, 2008), both our husband and I heard sounds in the late afternoon very similar to the recordings on your website.
It was Saturday afternoon and some people down the road a ways started shooting. Target practice, I assume, since it's not hunting season. All of a sudden we heard these horrible screams echoing through the woods. Like I said, they were very similar to the first three recordings on your website, only much angrier. We heard the sounds approximately three or four times, each incident in conjunction with the shooting. Each time it started, the howling/screaming/raging sound started. We have both spent a lot of time outdoors in Arizona and neither of us has ever heard anything like it. What ever it was, was very, very loud and long. The lung capacity was amazing. The sounds were spread out over approximately a 30 minute period.
ALSO NOTICED: The second weekend, the sound coincided with the shooting taking place down the road, but was much further away.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two witnesses.
OTHER STORIES: Just after the first incident on this website.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid afternoon and middle of the night on the 12th/13th. Late afternoon on the 19th.
ENVIRONMENT: Dense coniferous/aspen forest. Lots of logging taking place in the area.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator TF Zamiski:
After speaking to the witness on the phone I had the opportunity to visit this location. I found it using GPS coordinates the witness provided. Some pieces of glass from the broken mirror were still laying on the ground as she said. The trees were quite thick around the campsite at eye level which verified that she could not see what caused the bark tearing sound or what threw the branch. I wandered just a few yards into the trees in the direction the branch was thrown from and was unable to clearly see the campsite. In general the trees and underbrush are very thick around the whole area.
The witness said the biscuits were taken from a two piece foil wrapper with the biscuits sitting on the bottom piece and the top foil was crimped around the edges to the bottom piece.
The next morning they found the top foil was laid next to the bottom without being torn, biscuits gone and no crumbs left. A bag of chips and their coolers were undisturbed.
During a phone conversation after visiting the site I asked the witness about the thrown branch and what they did with it. Unfortunately they burned it, at the time not thinking anyone would need to see it.
The witnesses intend to return to camp there again.
About BFRO Investigator TF Zamiski:
Tim is a store manager for a medical mobility retail store. He attended the 2006 Arizona Expedition and the 2006 Wisconsin Expedition. Tim helped organize the 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 Arizona Expeditions and the 2011 New Mexico expedition. Active Investigator since 2005.