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COUNTY: Independence County
LOCATION DETAILS: Newark is a rural town. There were probably 3 houses within 100 yds.
NEAREST TOWN: Newark
NEAREST ROAD: Junction of Hwy 65 and Macedonia Rd.
OBSERVED: My children and I were driving back from my mothers home in Cushman, AR on Thanksgiving day around 10 PM. We were approaching Newark on hwy 65 south. Just outside of Newark, Macedonia Road turns off the hwy to the left. We had to stop for traffic as we came up on that road. There were 2 cars in front of us...the 1 in front was waiting to turn left onto Macedonia Rd. There were 3 cars in oncoming traffic and 1 car on Macedonia Rd waiting to turn left onto hwy 65 toward Newark. As our truck slowed due to the stopped traffic ahead of us, I saw something very dark in a crouched position behind the car directly in front of us. As the vehicles started to move the figure stood and stepped all in one motion off the side of the hwy. It was on 2 legs and taller that the cab of our full size pick up. In the crouched position it was taller than the hood of my truck. You could see the profile of a head, shoulders, back, buttocks, legs and arms swinging wide. I was speechless. My daughter, 11 at the time, also saw the figure and said "Did you see that??" As she locked her door. I was a MAJOR skeptic until this. It really left me scratching my head. I had heard stories of sightings around here, but never believed any of them.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing I know of.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2. Myself- driving. My daughter- riding in the passenger seat.
OTHER STORIES: My brother and a friend reported having an encounter in roughly 1996-97. Their encounter took place about 4 or 5 miles from this location, also along the White River bottom lands.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10pm. Clear. Cool. No street lights in the immediate area but plenty of headlights.
ENVIRONMENT: Just oustide of Newark. Beyond the houses there are fields and railroad tracks within a mile. Also a small creek in the area and approximately 3-5 miles from the White River bottomland.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tal H. Branco:
A few more details of the event were obtained after speaking at length with the reporting witness.
She was driving a large pickup truck with her eleven year old daughter in the front seat and her ten year old son in the back seat. About one mile from Newark, at the point the Macedonia Road intersects Highway 65 from the north, the traffic in her lane was stopped while the second car in front of her was waiting to make a left turn onto Macedonia Road. As she approached, and was slowing to a stop behind the two vehicles, she and her daughter saw a very large, hair covered figure crouched down behind the vehicle in front of her. She stated that it was in a position with one knee and the knuckles of one hand on the pavement, with its body facing the road shoulder on the passenger's side of her truck. (She described its position as, "Like a football lineman waiting for the snap of the ball".) She and her daughter stared in speechless amazement at the figure for several seconds. When the traffic ahead of her began to move, it arose to its full height and at the same time initiated a single leap from the center of her traffic lane past the four feet wide road shoulder and onto the grass beside it. The figure was so close to the front of her truck that its next movement was outside the beams of the truck's headlights and it disappeared from their view in the adjoining woods. She said the figure had long black hair, a "domed shaped head" and was "hunched forward" as it ran. When it moved quickly toward the road shoulder, her daughter immediately locked her door and asked, "Did you see that?" Of course her mother had seen it, but was so stunned by the event, she did not answer. Then her daughter asked what it was that they had seen. The witness stated she had always been a skeptic about Bigfoot stories, but was sure of what she had seen. She did not want to alarm her daughter any more so she evaded giving her a direct answer.
When they arrived at home, the young girl excitedly began telling her father about the incident, and the mother tried to intervene. The father asked the girl to describe what she had seen. After she finished, the father told her she had described a Bigfoot. He told he had heard about them from the older members of his family all his life. He told her that most of all the reports came from the White River and Black River bottoms in Independence County and adjoining counties.
At all times during the writer's telephone conversation with this witness, her statements were very credible and concise.
As the mother mentioned in her report, in the late 90's, her brother and a friend of his were driving in the White River bottoms one night near a community dump, when a similarly described animal ran across the road behind them. They said it then ran alongside the then passenger's side of the vehicle in an open field. When they saw it beside the vehicle, they sped up to about 35 mph on the country road, and the animal ran past the vehicle and crossed the road in front of them.
About BFRO Investigator Tal H. Branco:
Tal Branco is a lifelong resident of AR. He began hunting, fishing and tracking many years ago in south AR. Since he was a teenager, his outdoor activities have been primarily conducted in the Ouachita Mountains, although during the past forty years he has also conducted field investigations of reports of enigmatic and unclassified animals in the southeastern U.S. and in the Amazon Basin of Brazil.