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DATE: July 1973
COUNTY: Camden County
LOCATION DETAILS: East side of main channel of Lake of the Ozarks
NEAREST TOWN: Sunrise Beach, MO
NEAREST ROAD: Spring Oaks Dr. but I don't know if it was there at that time
OBSERVED: One summer while I was in college, (1973) I was living at the Lake of the Ozarks with my high school friend at a house his father owned near Purvis Point. We were both from Kansas City, so it was a second home for them. I had been at the house many times over the years in High School and college. We had always talked about climbing the log flue which was a long scar in on a steep hillside you could see from the Lighthouse Marina looking east across the main channel as the lake makes the turn around the bend. This would be the closest thing to a mountain climbing adventure that the midwest would offer.
One afternoon we took his small aluminum fishing boat over to the base of the flue and as we started getting closer to shore and approaching slowly, I kept hearing little pfft sounds in the water around us. Whenever I would look over I would just see bubbles, but no splash so I thought it was some sort of fish. We pulled up to shore and tied up the boat. The hillside was quite steep but still climbable and fully forested with deciduous trees, but not too dense to make walking a problem.
Within a few feet of starting to climb and a few minutes of being there, rocks started falling around us coming down through the trees from up above. We did not know what was above us if there were any roads on the high ridge where people would be. So we started shouting up the hill that we were down there, and stop throwing rocks. The rocks were at first half a fist sized, but started getting larger after that, and soon there were football sized rocks crashing through the trees around us, coming downward from above. We quickly got scared and got back in the boat before we got hit by one, since they were large enough to kill us. The smaller rocks continued to fall in the water around us as we pulled away with one or two landing in the boat.
At the time we wrote it off as possibly someone having a whiskey still or marijuana patch they were protecting. Although we could never see any smoke in that area or clearings of any sort.
After watching Finding Bigfoot a few years ago and seeing how rock throwing is a common trait of sasquatch, I emailed my friend who still lives near Kansas City, (I moved to California after College) and told him I think it was a Bigfoot encounter we had. Then last night I saw your show from the Ozarks telling about others having Bigfoot encounters with rock throwing, so I thought I would write to you. I am 60 now, but never forgot it. In the 1970s we had heard of bigfoot, but thought they were only in the Himalayas or Pacific Northwest. There was never any talk of Bigfoot in that area, and in fact I never heard any coyotes while in the Ozarks either. It is still uninhabited there, although many homes have been built in the area that were not there in the 1970s.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1
OTHER STORIES: Not aware of any other
TIME AND CONDITIONS: early afternoon, clear sunny, hot
ENVIRONMENT: Native forest, deciduous trees mixed with small cedar.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brian R. Woods:
First, a little history of the area. Originally built as a source of hydroelectric power, Bagnell Dam was completed in 1931, forever changing the landscape and channeling the waters of the Osage River, and its tributaries, the Niangua River, Grandglaize Creek, and Gravois Creek. The area became, and remains, a popular tourist destination for vacations, fishing, hiking, and other recreational activities. Visitors don't have to go very far outside of the tourist areas to get a sense of what the area looked like before the arrival of resorts, party boats, and restaurants. The area is rich in history, with Native American tribes (now referred to as variations of the Osage Nation), beginning to migrate out of the Ohio Valley during the 17th Century, and into this area of Missouri, as well as into Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. The Osage River and the surrounding area likely provided a bounty of wildlife and vegetation for the migrants. Even over the past 40 years, the landscape has seen much development, but still retains a sense of the great outdoors, and spirit of what Missourians refer to as the "Ozarks".
Although not often thought of as a hotbed of Sasquatch activity, Missouri absolutely has its fair share of documented sightings, experiences, and unexplained activity. When focusing on the Lake of the Ozarks area, I have created a map using Google Earth to highlight several of the reports that have been documented in the BFRO's database. As you will notice on the following map, this area has had a few decades of documented reports of Sasquatch activity, including Report #1148, which happened four years after this one, in virtually the same area near Sunrise Beach.
It's important to note that, as in many other areas of the country where sightings and activities have been reported, waterways seem almost a crucial element to their likely habitat. The Lake of the Ozarks certainly would be a prime example of twisting rivers, creeks, and forested acreage enabling many different animals to reside in relative covert safety.
The witness explains that although he never forgot about his experience on that day in 1973, it wasn't until recently that he heard about other hikers, climbers, fishermen, and campers having rocks thrown in their direction, with a Sasquatch being the possible source. Hearing of this common thread among many Sasquatch-related reports led him to reconsider his experience, and report it to the BFRO for consideration.
In further conversation with the witness, he also stated that he and his friend probably didn't stay longer than about five minutes before the size and frequency of the rocks scared them back to their small boat in retreat. "I don't think we got any more than 50 feet before we felt threatened. We stopped walking to call uphill for them to stop, and I don't remember going any further than that. Because of the trees, we couldn't see the top, but I anticipate it would have taken an hour so to climb to the top of the ridge from the lake level." The witness and his friend saw no one.
About BFRO Investigator Brian R. Woods:
Brian is a former Emergency Medical Technician, as well as an outdoor enthusiast, and proud Scouting father. He's been a lifelong resident of the Midwest, surrounded by many miles of Missouri forests, waterways, and wildlife.