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DATE: 14 (est)
COUNTY: Apache County
LOCATION DETAILS: Near Hawley Lake on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.
NEAREST TOWN: WHITE mountains Az.
NEAREST ROAD: none
OBSERVED: hello..I was on vacation in north Az. the White Mountains..I started to fish early...7 am...I heard a noise...this was not a animal....I am from Michigan...I live now in Idaho.......this was the most loud and powerful..."SCREAM"!!!...I EVER HEARD!!!...THE NORTH AZ. MOUNTAINS ARE A DESOLATION.......ANY WHO...CALL ME!
ALSO NOTICED: no
OTHER WITNESSES: just me
OTHER STORIES: this was nuts...
TIME AND CONDITIONS: MORNING..EARLY...7 AM
ENVIRONMENT: beautiful morning...sunny
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Chuck Jacobs:
I spoke with the reporting party (RP) extensively by telephone, and the following can be added:
The RP is an avid fly fisherman who was vacationing in the area. He lives in another state, and is not very familiar with this part of the country. He was by himself fly fishing shortly after sunrise along a stream that feeds into Hawley Lake on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. He had walked and fished along the stream for a mile or so from where he parked his vehicle, and there were no other people around. Sometime around 7 AM he heard a very loud vocalization that he described in his initial report as a scream, but when questioned further he characterized it as more of a howl……very long and so loud that he “could feel it in his chest.” He said that although he had no idea what kind of animal could have made a noise like that, he did not feel frightened, and he continued to fish for another hour or so before leaving the area and heading back to his vehicle. He heard no additional vocalizations, and he did not hear or experience anything else unusual. I specifically asked about a “feeling of being watched,” and he advised that he did not feel anything like that. He said that he did not interpret the vocalization as being of an aggressive nature, and he did not feel threatened, which is why he did not feel the need to immediately leave the area. He characterized it more like a call to “let the world know that he (the creature) was there, and that this was his territory.”
The RP described himself as a life-long outdoorsman, who is comfortable in the backcountry and is familiar with all of the commonly-found wild animals and the sounds they make. He stated that he had never heard anything even remotely like this before or since, and he had often wondered what animal could have made a noise like that. He advised that he had never told anyone about the incident, but after hearing similar vocalizations during a television program about Bigfoot, he realized that must have been what it was, and he thus decided to file his report. He expressed surprise that someone from the BFRO would contact him, and appeared at first to be very nervous and hesitant to discuss the incident with me, saying that “he didn’t want anyone to think he was crazy.” After speaking with him for a little while on the phone, he relaxed a bit and willingly answered any questions I asked about the incident. I found the RP to be well-spoken and credible, and I have no reason to believe that he is being anything but open and truthful about what he experienced.
The White Mountains of eastern Arizona have a long history of Bigfoot/Sasquatch activity, dating back well over 100 years, with local Apache legends of the “hairy man” going back centuries. There are vast undeveloped areas on the White Mountain Apache Reservation and in the adjacent Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, much of which is high-elevation forest and prime habitat for a wide variety of wild animals. For the local Apache residents on some parts of the reservation, Bigfoot sightings are not uncommon, and at one time there were footprint casts on display at the White Mountain Apache Tribal Police Headquarters in Whiteriver. Hawley Lake itself is at an elevation of 8,200 feet, and sees recreational heavy use during the summer months, however it is inaccessible much of the winter due to heavy snowfall. Although the RP, not being familiar with the area, could not tell me exactly where his incident occurred, the most significant stream feeding Hawley Lake is called, quite appropriately, Trout Creek. From the RP’s description, it is most likely that this is where the RP was at when he heard the vocalization.
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.