|BFRO Home||Reports Database||New Report Additions||FAQs|
|Media Articles||Hypotheses & Projects||About the BFRO|
COUNTY: Crawford County
LOCATION DETAILS: Conservation area
NEAREST TOWN: Cuba
NEAREST ROAD: Riverside Road
OBSERVED: Two friends and myself were driving back roads in our home town out of boredom in the evening. We stopped at a small conservation area known as Riverside off a dirt road that shares the same name.
There is a boat ramp off the Meremac River and a picnic table about 50 yards off the road and obstructed by woods and brush. There are trash barrels at the location and fishermen empty their coolers and discard fishing waste when they take their boats out of the water. There are farms and residences in the area, but nothing for about half a mile due to the area's proclivity to flood. There have also been incidents of violence in this location in the past (person on person) so there's a local aversion to the area, which makes it particularly absent of people at night.
The three of us were talking and walking down the boat ramp to the edge of the river (the trees and brush make the ramp the only place that the river is visible in this area). There is a small gravel bar/island that is heavily wooded about 200 feet from the edge of the boat ramp where the river forks and splits. There was a decent amount of moon light and we were watching the water. We heard some noise in the brush on the island or maybe the opposite bank. A few moments passed and what sounded likes a rock hit the bank on our side (maybe fifteen or twenty feet down river) followed by what sounded like another rock landing in the river (presumably in the same vicinity of the first rock).
We froze for maybe ten seconds, then we heard what we all collectively determined to sound like an ape yowling from about the same direction of the noises and rocks. I would say the sound was more like a one tone, moderately deep exhale or grunt that had a shrill undertone that gave it an aggressive feeling. We left immediately.
We've all lived in rural areas for most of our lives and know the sounds of local wildlife. This sound wasn't one any of us had encountered before.
We never saw anything.
OTHER WITNESSES: Three witnesses total. We had been together all evening. There were no drugs or alcohol involved.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Night. Between 8-11pm
ENVIRONMENT: River, dense woods and brush, refuge.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brian R. Woods:
I had a chance to speak with the witness on the phone 4/14/16.
The witness describes himself as a person who is very familiar with the recognized animal noises that can be heard in this part of Missouri. For example, he mentioned familiarity with the sounds of coyotes, bobcats, birds, different owls, and even the occasional mountain lion. An interesting story that he relayed to me, was concerning a time when he was a small boy, and was out in the woods with his father. He walked a short distance away from where his father was standing, and actually walked into the close vicinity of a mountain lion. He compares the feeling that he had during this experience, with the feeling that he had on the night of the mysterious rocks and vocalizations that he and two friends heard. According to him, it was a completely different gut feeling. Whereas he knew to be very cautious near the mountain lion as a child, he described a different feeling of uncertainty and fascination when the rocks were thrown and the vocalizations occurred. He described his friends as being just as mystified as he was, but they all agreed that it was best to leave the area. He interprets the rocks, and a certain heavy breathing huffing sound, followed by a very distinctly "primate-like" howl, as not so much aggressive as it was an attempt to establish a certain dominance or territorial claim. His theory is that the nearby trash dumpster, where fish remains (fishing dock nearby) and other garbage is often deposited, might be a frequent food source for the strange animal that seemed to be just out of sight in the darkness. Almost as if it intended to make its presence and command of the area known, to intimidate the witness and his friends into departing. That's exactly what they did.
The witness provided me with a map image of where he claims the experience occurred (click image for a larger, more clear version).
He describes the area as "very rural", with property and sparse residences being owned by the same families for many years. To this day, he says the land is virtually the same as it was at the time of his experience, and there hasn't been notable development or additional homes built. The fishing dock and the immediate area have somewhat of a negative reputation, which largely keeps people away after dark. It was apparently the scene of a violent altercation between two men in the late 1990's, and because of this, locals tend to think of it as not somewhere to be after the sun goes down, for fear of undesirables being there. The witness reports no other vehicles being there that night, and no evidence of other people. In fact, the area is technically "closed" after dark, most likely a deterrent intended to keep loiterers away. There are several Conservation Areas nearby, including the Huzzah Conservation Area to the east, the Woods Memorial Conservation Area to the southwest, and the Mark Twain National Forest to the southeast.
The witness and his friends have discussed that night several times over the past few years, and have gone through the process of ruling out common explanations. After reading and learning of experiences that others have had, the witness feels that his experience has several common elements that bolster his belief that it may have been a sasquatch throwing the rocks and making the huffing and low, extended howl. He understands that this can never be a definitive answer, but is unable to account for the events by other explanation.
The witness was well-spoken, precise, and consistent with his account of his experiences that night.
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.