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COUNTY: Coconino County
LOCATION DETAILS: The specific camp site location is withheld.
NEAREST TOWN: Payson
NEAREST ROAD: FR 117
OBSERVED: My Wife and I went up to the Mogollon Rim north of Woods Canyon Lake to camp for two days. We took our two small dogs with us. I thought if we went during the week there wouldn't be many people there and I was right. We set up camp in the rain at about 2pm. It rained till about 6pm we saw no one just these big trucks going back in forth on the road till about 5pm. It was very dark and we were trying to start a fire but everything was wet and all we had was a dull ax to chop wood. I believe we were being very noise hacking at the dead wood we were trying to cut to size for our fire. After we got the fire going we cook our dinner and ate. It was very quiet no sound at all then we saw a large full moon rising from the east it lit up the sky. We decided to go to bed around 10pm I put some more wood on the camp fire hoping it would burn all night. As we were in our tent the moon was like a big night light then we fell asleep. At about 3:10am I woke up to a sound that was unlike anything I have ever heard both our dogs sat up and were very still. It was like as if someone was screaming thru a loud PA system it was very clear. I woke my wife so she could hear the sound but it had stop then again it started we were both laying there trying to figure out what could be large in size that would make a sound so loud and long it was echoing in the canyon to the north of us. Then it stop it must of lasted about 5 to 10 min at the most. We stayed in our tent for about a 1/2hr but we both needed to GO if you know what I mean. So we put our shoes on I grab my wife's 9mm and we stepped out of our tent we could see all around us because of the full moon light. After taking care of business we went back into our tent and went to bed. I wont lie it was hard to me to fall asleep. The next morning after breakfast I took one of our dogs out for a walk in the direction the screams came from and saw nothing but about 200yard in the same direction I found what looked to be a possible shelter made from dead trees about 12 to 15 feet long and 4 to 5" in diameter. they were set up standing like a teepee there was one tree laying on the ground next to the structure I tried to lift it and found it was so heavy that I don't think two large men could pick it up much less stand it up like the rest. One other thing I saw was the trees were saw cut but there were no tree stumps around so the trees had to be carried there from else where. If someone did this for fun they had to work hard to do this and I cant see why. The first night we were there no one was camping any where near us but the second day we were there some campers set up about 1/2 mile to the north on the other side of the canyon. That night our dogs were on edge looking out away from camp and growling my wife said she could hear something large moving around in the woods to the west of us but when shining a spot light in that direction she didn't see anything. I put some more wood on our fire then we went to bed. The next morning we got up and made breakfast took our time cleaning up our camp site then packed and left for home.
ALSO NOTICED: That morning I went out to the north of our camp in the direction of the sound we heard and found a large structure made from dead trees that had been cut down they were large in size some maybe 4" to 5" in diameter. and 12 to 15 feet long they were up right like a teepee but there were no stumps around the area so the trees had to be carried there I saw one on the ground next to the structure and tried to lift the tree it was heavy I don't think two big men could lift them. I didn't see any foot prints around the area.
OTHER WITNESSES: It was only my Wife and I we were sleeping in our tent.
OTHER STORIES: Just on your web site trying to find answers of what we heard. The screams we heard were like the recording on your web site 1973 Puyallup Washington and 1978 Snohomish County Washington.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 3:10AM
ENVIRONMENT: Mostly pine forest with a canyon that curved around our camp from the west side to the north side we were camped on the west side of FR 117 about 100ft.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Chuck Jacobs:
I spoke with the reporting party (RP) extensively by phone the same evening after he submitted his report. He confirmed the events, which occurred only three days earlier, and advised that after he and his wife had returned home they visited the BFRO website and listened to some of the audio recordings there, which prompted them to file their report. He added:
- When they were setting up camp and he was chopping wood to get a fire going, the axe he was using was very dull, and he thinks this repeated pounding sound probably drew the creature’s attention.
- He described the screams they heard as very loud and close, and that they echoed in the nearby canyons. I played some audio recordings for him over the phone, and he advised that one of the recordings sounded somewhat similar to what he heard, except that the individual screams lasted much longer than the sample.
- He believes that the first scream woke him up, and he woke his wife, who also heard the subsequent screams. There were six screams in all, starting at 3:00 AM.
They spent two nights at this location. The screams occurred on the first night (a Thursday). On the second night no vocalizations were heard, but the RP’s wife thought she heard something moving in the darkness outside their camp. It should also be noted that another, larger group of campers came in on Friday afternoon, and set up approximately ¼ mile away.
This general area has a long history of Bigfoot activity, and there are several published reports from within a ten-mile radius. I have been involved in ongoing research in this general neighborhood, both on solo trips and with small groups, both daytime and at night, and have heard wood knocks and various types of vocalizations myself on a number of occasions.
The RP appears very sincere and credible, and there was no reason to believe that he was being anything but open and truthful about what he experienced. He indicated that he was excited by what happened, and advised that he would like to go back and camp there again to try to repeat the experience. We discussed some do’s and don’ts, and how to possibly use audio recorders to capture any future vocalizations.
The RP included detailed directions and GPS coordinates for the site, and a followup night investigation was conducted on Tuesday, 08.27.13. Although our camp did not get screamed at, a number of distant vocalizations and other noises were heard. There was also a lot of coyote howling activity noted. We tried wood knocks and calls, but got no response. A very loud and close howl was heard around midnight, which triggered a frenzy of coyote howls. It was quiet for the rest of the night after that. We also looked for, but were unable to find the stick structure that the RP reported. There were, however, a number of locations where trees from a forest service thinning operation were stacked in teepee-like piles for later burning.
About BFRO Investigator Chuck Jacobs:
Chuck is a retired fire officer, with an extensive background in firefighting, inspections, investigations, and education. He is also a long-time back country traveler, who has explored some of the most remote areas of the western states by Jeep and camper van. His interest in Bigfoot began many years ago, but he began seriously squatching when he learned about activity in his home area in the Arizona mountains. He has been on numerous trips, both solo and with small groups, and attended the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Arizona Expeditions.