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COUNTY: Taney County
LOCATION DETAILS: Ruth Henning conservation area - aka Henning Park scenic overlook
NEAREST TOWN: Branson Missouri
NEAREST ROAD: 76 highway
OBSERVED: I've told this story to numerous people over the last 16 years and have been made fun of quite often. But though I have forgotten many things from my 20's the pictures in my mind .. even the sounds of breaking twigs .. everything from that night is still crystal clear. I have not questioned what we saw ever and still hold true to the fact that what we saw was nothing other than what is called " big foot ". It was August I believe 1994, Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area outside of Branson Mo. 1:00 A.M. A friend of mine and I had just got off work and pulled over at what was then the scenic overlook. A trail at that time wound back and forth in appropriately 60 foot lengths as it progressed up the hill to an old fire tower. If i was there I could show you exactly where we were and where " it " was but i will do my best to describe. We had gone up the path two turns when we heard a loud snapping sound in the quiet night. we both instantly froze and looked up. Between the 3rd and fourth path turn we could see it. a huge large slightly slumped big foot. Long arms ... sillouetted almost by the city lights and open area behind it .. we just stood there. Shocked... the friend I was with after what seemed like 5 minutes of frozen still .. yelled HEY .. and then one foot from it ... a second slightly shorter one stood up and turned to look right at us then they both ran off. The running was so significant because they ran on back legs but hunched over with long arms and it was loud. Snapping twigs and pushing their bodies right through small trees in the way. We waited a moment and then walked the trail to where they had been standing. Using a close by tree to estimate the height of the tallest. it had to be at least 7.5 feet tall if it wasn't slumped. We heard another snap in the woods and ran full sprint to the fire tower at the top of the hill and stayed there the entire night. We didn't talk much about it ... still in shock I think .. Please contact me for photos of the park and any information. Thank you.
ALSO NOTICED: broken tree limbs and underbrush was noted after coming down the hill out of hiding the next day. Other info in long description of event i wrote. Smell was awful still in the same area the next morning you could smell like a sweet yucky smell.
OTHER WITNESSES: just 2 of us .. walking.
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: warm - August I believe but not sure. I think it may have been during football season ? clear night
ENVIRONMENT: forrest with trails, photos available. creek at the bottom, large hills caves and bluffs in the area. Old homestead and fire tower.
Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area - Lookout Tower
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Robert Driscoll:
Spoke with the witness who was very mature and credible in her testimony about her face to face experience. She is a lifelong resident of Branson and has been to the Henning Conservation area since her experience. Her testimony relayed the following in detail:
... The animal observed was 7-8ft tall, dark shiny straight long hair, extremely large in the shoulders, 3-4ft across the chest, heavy legs, very long arms and small flat head and short neck.
.....The second animal to the right of the larger one was about 2 ft shorter, dark shiny straight long hair, small chest, waist and legs.
.....After shouting at the animals the larger one led the smaller away from the area toward the fire tower lookout area.
.....Both animals, with the larger in lead, went crashing through the tree line, making their escape, south of the parking area.
.....There was no vocalizations heard from the animals.
......Witness was adamant about the location, on the second tier winding trail to the Lookout /Fire Watch tower. The animals were silhouetted against the Branson skyline and city lights.
......Witness did not find any credible evidence other than broken saplings caused by the escape of the animals.
About BFRO Investigator Robert Driscoll:
Retired Police Officer, Latent Crime Scene Investigator
Attended 5 BFRO Expeditions: Missouri Exp 2009 and 2010; Tennessee Exp 2010 and 2011; Illinois Spring Exp 2011