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COUNTY: Le Flore County
LOCATION DETAILS: Cedar Lake equestrian park
NEAREST TOWN: Heavener, OK
NEAREST ROAD: 59
OBSERVED: We went to LeFlore County to trail ride and during the trip there my husband and I joked about the possibility of seeing one. I even went to Honobia, OK with my daughter to the Bigfoot Festival in 2011 and learned a great deal. I also want to say that I have nothing to gain by fabricating a tall tale about Bigfoot. I have hesitated about reporting this encounter because my best friend of 40 years doesn’t believe me. But I assure you, this really happened. I am so excited about the encounter that we are returning to the area with our horses in a few weeks to do some investigating of our own and to trail ride some more since it rained on us all weekend this last time.
We went to the Cedar Lake, Ouachita National Forest in OK. The forecast called for rain most of the weekend but we had high hopes of doing a lot of trail riding on our horses. My parents pulled their RV and we hauled my Dad’s horse along with ours in our stock trailer. And our camp sites were on the edge of the campgrounds, right next to the forest. Saturday morning we went trail riding, and kept noticing a strange smell. (no one else from the camp was riding at this time, the 3 of us were alone in the woods) Smelled like musky skunk. And a few times our horses refused to travel up certain trails. After some encouragement they finally went on. Later that evening about 7:00pm my husband and I went to feed the horses at the camp site where our trailer was parked and saw a herd of deer passing through our camp site. They stepped just inside the tree line and stopped. We watched them for about 2-3 minutes then they ran off. I took some hay down to the woods and put it on the trail hoping they would come back. That’s when I noticed the skeletal remains of what I thought may have been a deer. After that, my husband and I went for a walk in the woods to gather firewood before it got too dark. We didn’t get very far when my husband asked me if I had seen that? I said, see what? He said that he saw something big and black dart across and down a hill. I told him that I didn’t see anything cause I was looking at the ground for firewood. He was feeling very uneasy and was ready to get out of the woods so we went back to camp with a few sticks of firewood. When we returned to camp, I was feeling kind of ornery, and decided to play upon my husbands “uneasiness”. I took a branch and went inside the tree line and made some “wood knocks”. It was getting dark so we got a small fire going in the fire pit. And we were all sitting in front of the RV and talking, when we started hearing coon dogs baying as though they treed a coon. (Could have been coyotes, I have never heard coyotes sound quite like this though.) So I’m thinking, “Great! We have to listen to the coon hunters all night”. My momma said that she heard a faint blood curdling scream/moan while those dogs were howling. So we made a few more wood knocks and the dog howling stopped and we never heard it again. Then shortly after that, we heard something walking in the woods, twigs breaking and leaves rustling. We thought it was deer so we went on about our business telling ghost stories and bigfoot stories when all of a sudden the trees in front of us started shaking violently! It sounded like something very big was coming thru the forest towards us! Like a dinosaur movie where you see the forest moving and hear breaking of branches long before the dinosaur jumps out. It was like that only we were not at the movies! This was real! We were all frozen in our lawn chairs! No one could move! We kept waiting for whatever it was to jump out at us! We could hear branches cracking, crunching and rattling and I saw the tops of the trees shaking in a circular motion. Then it stopped. And the forest was silent.
We had a spot light and we thought about shining it in the trees but we were all to frightened! My husband doused the fire and we all went inside the RV shortly after that. The next morning we walked down to the trees that were shaking to look for footprints. (about 20-30’ downhill) We didn’t see anything for all the ground clutter, leaves and pine cones, twigs and pine needles. I looked at the two trees that were shaking and they were fairly close together, I’d say about 10-12” apart at the base, they were 30’-40’ tall and about 12”-18” diameter. We also looked for fallen limbs and branches and there was nothing on the ground that wasn’t already there.
I’m HOOKED! I want more encounters, I want to see one!
ALSO NOTICED: noted above
OTHER WITNESSES: 4, we were all sitting in front of the campfire.
OTHER STORIES: in LeFlore county yes, just what I have read on this website
TIME AND CONDITIONS: night, about 8:30pm
ENVIRONMENT: lots of forest, Lake, hills
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Joel T.:
After talking to Kerri and her husband at length on the phone, and later with her father, I found them all to be very forthright about the encounter. And very willing to answer all my questions. The encounter was still very much vivid in their minds. I talked to Kerri and her husband first. Then later I called EH her father after getting off the phone with Kerri. Her father was quite a bit skeptical but offered up that he really can not explain what happened but that it most definitely did. Here are some additional things my investigation brought to light.
They were staying at the equestrian camp south of the lake. These camp sites are set up with corrals in each camp so your horses are pretty much right in camp with you. It is a really nice set up, I know first hand as I have been to these camp sites on many occasions doing some research in the area. There are many trails designed for horse riding that go for miles back into the hills and mountains. It was a cloudy, rainy weekend with no real wind to speak of.
Many times the horses would not want to go down certain trails and their horses are all older, well broke horses that never hesitate to go where they try to lead. On some trails they had to turn around and some they were able to coax them along. Each time the horses hesitated to go down a trail there was a "rank" smell in the area. EH also mentioned hearing a loud blowing sound on one trail. When I inquired if this blowing sound could have been a deer blowing or snorting at them he said he has heard many deer do that and this was not a deer. He likened it to a plane sound and that he served as a jet mechanic in the USAF and whatever made the blowing sound did it with some force. Later back at the camp while gathering fire wood Kerri's husband seen something black and large move very quickly for a split second into deeper cover which unsettled him. When I asked more about it he really had nothing more to add as it was something that happened so quickly he could not say what he thought it was. I asked about the "coon dog/coyote sounds and they were not sure that's what they were, and later her mother mentioned as they discussed the sounds that she thought she heard a "faint blood curdling scream" mixed in with the other howls. Lastly we talked about the trees shaking. I asked if it could have been wind, but they quickly shot that down and said it was definitely not wind. Only the two tree tops were shaking and all the other trees were still. Kerri once again mentioned it looked as though they were shaking in a circular motion. Once this happened EH said it might be best if they all turned in for the night. I asked EH what he thought it could have been and said he had no explanation of what it could have been, only that it happened and he had not seen anything like it. Nothing of note was found the next day nor did anything else happen.
I have researched in the Cedar lake area and have had a few class B encounters of my own including tree shakes. There is a long history of sightings and reports in the general area as well.
About BFRO Investigator Joel T.:
Joel grew up in and around the outdoors all his life. He has been hunting and fishing since he was very young. Joel was born in Northern California and has lived in Arkansas, Texas, and now resides in SE Oklahoma. He has had a fascination with the Bigfoot phenomena since he was a young boy in Northern California.
He has been on the 2011 Oklahoma expedition, 2011 Oklahoma private expedition, 2012 Arkansas Expedition, and many private outings in Oklahoma and Arkansas. He also conducts his own research in SE Oklahoma.