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COUNTY: Pulaski County
LOCATION DETAILS: All I know is that it was about 5-10 minutes drive from a river crossing training site somewhere on Fort Leonard Wood.
NEAREST TOWN: Fort Leonard Wood
OBSERVED: I was going through Army basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Our platoon was on the last leg of our training and one of our final training events was guard duty at different locations throughout the post. We were paired up and given our assignments, issued our weapons and three live rounds (Barney Fife-esque), and proceeded to load up on a deuce and a half (army 2.5 ton truck). As we loaded up into the truck, I was the last one on since my last name starts with "Y", and we always did things alphabetically (significance to come later).
It was mid to late afternoon and the trainee I was paired with and I were assigned to guard a bridge crossing training site that army engineers use. It was the furthest guard site from main post, so we were to be dropped off first to guard it overnight (didn't really need any guarding since it was unoccupied at night and weekends, plus it was in the middle of nowhere - we were doing this merely for the training benefit.) I don't really have any idea where the site was and didn't really care, all that I knew is that we must've been traveling for about 20 - 30 minutes from main post when my sighting occurred. It must've been about 1600 - 1700 hours and we were on dirt roads. I was sitting on the bed of the truck looking out the back, while everyone else in the platoon were able to snag bench seats on either side of the vehicle facing one another. Everyone else was sleeping or drowsing at the time, except for me in my uncomfortable seat on the bed of the truck. We came to a "T" intersection and turned left.
About 30-40 feet from the intersection the other direction, I observed a bigfoot. What is amazing to me to this day is that I am the sort of person who really doesn't believe anything unless I observe it myself, but at that initial glance, I knew immediately that it was a bigfoot - not a bear, not a big person dressed up, just a bigfoot, no doubt. A bigfoot was on the road, looked in the direction of the vehicle, and ambled across the road into the woods. My second thought was to scream and yell to notify someone else in the platoon, but I immediately quashed this idea since by the time I would be able to rouse anyone, the bigfoot would probably be in the woods by then. No need for me to be rambling on about a bigfoot without any other eyewitnesses in this type of environment. So I alone observed it.
My sighting was of short duration, about 10 seconds if that, and I don't have a lot of details, but I remember that it was tall, had to be at least 6.5 feet to 7.5 feet. I don't remember any distinctive features, except for one. Bigfoot had brown to light brown hair/fir coloration. I though this was extrodinary since every previous thought that I had about bigfoot comprised of black fir. That's about it, except that during this short sighting, my mind went through all the possible explanations of what this could be besides a bigfoot and dismissed all of them. No doubt in my mind that I saw a bigfoot.
After my sighting, we were dropped of about 10 minutes later and I spent an extremely nervous night in the wilderness at this river crossing sight. Kind of glad I had my 3 Barney Fife rounds. I was not really surprised that they called this "Fort Lost-In-The-Woods" as a nickname, because it is really isolated. I have never really made a big deal of this sighting, or do I plan to. All I know is that bigfoot exists, and I saw it. I am probably one of the most credible witnesses that I can imagine. I spent 15 years in the army, most of them as an army intelligence officer, before taking an early out and now I am a civilian working for the Coast Guard as an intelligence specialist in a District office of law enforcement.
ALSO NOTICED: No, except for the light brown coloration.
OTHER WITNESSES: Unfortunately no.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Late afternoon, clear skies, warm (75-80 degrees), filtered light through trees.
ENVIRONMENT: Forest, I think combination coniferous and deciduous, probably in or near a river bottom.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone. He described the animal as being six to seven feet tall with shaggy tawnish-brown hair covering its entire body. He said that the hair was between two and three inches in length.
He also noted that it appeared to have a sagittal crest and did resemble the animal in the Patterson film. He was unable to make out any facial details.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions and travels throughout Illinois giving presentations on "Bigfoot In Illinois". See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at email@example.com