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DATE: 15 or 16
COUNTY: Crawford County
LOCATION DETAILS: We had put in our canoes at the Highway 19 bridge, floated north about 4 or 5 hours before camping before nightfall.
NEAREST TOWN: Cook Station or Wesco
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 19 or Highway M
OBSERVED: The sighting occurred sometime afer dark. I was in my sleeping bag sleeping on a sandbar with three other guys on the Meramec River after an afternoon of canoeing and fishing. I was awaken and was looking upstream into a beautiful bright, full moon. The light being given off was so bright, that you could read by moonlight alone. Suddenly about 20 yards upstream to my left, a very large, very massive creature walking on two legs, stepped into the river to cross. It appeared to have a very massive upper body. Because of the moonlight and angle I could see that its body had a very "furry" appearance to it. When it walked, I could see its arms sway and its knees bend with every step. I also noted a very pronounced crest on the top of its head and a very pronounced ridge on its eyebrow line. I was on my back looking upstream and propped myself up on my elbows for a better look. As I did this, Greg who was off to my left propped himself up also and said out loud, "What the hell is it?". I answered, not taking my eyes off the creature, "I don't know, must be somebody ripping off cabins." Implying a human form. Immediately upon Gregs words, the creature turned at the waist and looked at us only taking its eyes off us to look at the other bank when it exited the river. When it looked at us, its face blacked out due to turning away from the moonlight. I remember hearing the creature cutting the water, which was about 3 feet deep, as it walked. The water flow was very fast and no man could have crossed this area and remained standing for very long. The water came up to the creatures knees. I could see its knees bend as it lifted them to walk. It exited the river on the right side and we lost sight of it. This sighting lasted only about 10 seconds, but lives vividly in my memory. The next morning when Greg and I recalled what we had seen to the other guys, we were severely ridiculed. Because of this, we didn't go and check for tracks or other sign. We both agreed that what we saw was not human and far too tall and massive to be a person or bear. We both then agreed that it had to be a Bigfoot we had seen. I do recall that the draw that the Bigfoot had come out of prior to entering the water was very dark, with thick brush and a spring fed creek in it. As we were floating by, I remember having a very uneasy feeling about it as I was looking at it and would not have gone into it.
ALSO NOTICED: None other than the wierd feeling about the area that the Bigfoot came out of before entering the water.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were four of us on the float trip, but just Greg and I saw the Bigfoot, the other two were sleeping.
OTHER STORIES: I have not heard of any other stories in this area. However, after finding your site and linking with others, I have heard some of the recorded vocalizations and remember hearing these through our many float trips through this and other areas in Southern Missouri. We thought at the time that these loud screams were just exotic birds that the local farmers kept.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Sometime after dark on a very bright moonlight night. The moon was full and you could read by moonlight alone. Excellent conditions.
ENVIRONMENT: We were camped on a sandbar facing upstream (north) on the Meramec River. The area that the creature had come out of was very thick brush, very dark due to being between two limestone cliffs with a creek running out into the river. The creature had crossed the river and exited into a very large meadow with an old farm building in it. A large treelined ridge was about 1/2 mile in the distance to the east.
Follow-up investigation report:
I found Jim excited about the subject matter each time I spoke with him. He was happy to hear that there was interest in his report since it had been so pivotal and dynamic in his life. His qualifications were exceptional for making observations as he is a trained observer (geologist and geophysicist) who also had some anthropology instruction while in college.
. Although his view was backlit from the moon, he was close enough to receive a great observation of this target species. The thing he emphasized to me most was its density. In other words, how massive this creature was. He stated that it had an absolutely huge barrel chest and the deltoid muscles on its shoulders were just tremendous. It crossed the river in rapids where the sound of the current hitting it could be heard. A man would not be able to cross the area it did and on its way out of the river, it lifted itself effortlessly up on the shore which was four or five feet up... and then it was gone. He also pointed out in later correspondance that the arms were especially massive in the biceps and triceps regions. With regard to its movement, he emphasized the leg bend at the knees and the swaying arms. He mentioned that he did not remember the detail in the hands except that they looked longer than normal for the body size. With a silhouette to look at, they were not easily observed anyway. He could see individual digits but did not focus his view there. He also mentioned a hairy "texture" to it, but not a long flowing "blowing in the breeze" type hair.
The head shape showed two major features, namely an enlarged brow and a very pronounced sagittal crest. Jim also described a huge oval shaped face that was very large but undetailed due to the backlit situation.(blackened out by shadows) In other comments regarding its head, I was told it was somewhat conical in a front view. As it crossed the river from left to right, its head stood out and was described to me as high, massive and with a bit of a sloping forehead. It did turn to look at the men as one of them blurted out "What the Hell is THAT??" Now that was at a distance of approximately 20-25 yards away. Regardless, this may suggest superb hearing. When it turned to look at them it turned its body, not its head. Jim described this as though it tilted forward and turned from the waist up to its right to observe the two staring men. (Two had fallen asleep.)
Jim also had numerous comments on the location... he let me know he had an unusual feeling about the stream emptying out into the river and felt the the top of the hill alongside it would have been a great place to be very near cover (several steps) and yet have an expansive view of the entire area. The vegetation there was dense and the campers spent much of the day fishing where that stream emptied into the river, it was loaded with smallmouth bass and they landed many.
Jim told me that he felt humbled and blessed to have been able to have this experience. He also wondered if the animal was in the draw when they floated by. He just had a strange feeling about that thick underbrush that surrounded the base of the cliff. . .