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COUNTY: Crawford County
NEAREST TOWN: Pittsburg
NEAREST ROAD: Lee-Hurt Road
OBSERVED: In the early summer of 1981 when I was 13, my cousin, his small nephew, and I were exploring some of the wasted slag heaps left over from the strip pit mining days located around a mile behind my aunt's house. The slag heaps undulate as they go, rising upwards near twenty-five feet and then dropping back down again like a series of small hills. Great for mountain biking. In between these small hills are small pools of collected water from rainfall, which serve as excellent locales for frogs and tadpoles to live or other animals to drink from. The hills themselves are composed of clay with broken shale serving as small spines sticking out from the surface, not a place you want to walk barefoot through, which I have, only to have my feet sliced open time and time again.
Anyhow, as we were walking though these hills, I came upon a large footprint, which I would estimate to be at least 18 inches long and 7 inches wide. There was only one print and it had been made in the soft mud of one of the small frog ponds, as if whatever had left it casually walked by and stepped one foot into softer ground. I did not stop to look around for any others, but I did realize that it was very peculiar for anyone to be walking around barefoot a mile from nowhere along ground that would quickly cut your foot. The sheer size of the print led me to immediately believe it was none other than bigfoot.
ALSO NOTICED: Not that I can think of. But the strip pits have been a place to go and swim and have fun for decades. Yet there are many of them that no one goes to and are largely unexplored.
OTHER WITNESSES: As a verifiable witness, just myself.
OTHER STORIES: Not in this specific area, though the strip pits and mining areas of Arcadia, Kansas located north of Pittsburg are even more unexplored, not to mention bigger and more overgrown. It is common knowledge that State Wildlife officials have relocated black bears from the area and that there have been several mountain lion sightings. I have also heard that someone witnessed a large black cat, potentially a panther, skulking along a tree row.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around 4:00 p.m. on a good sunny day with few clouds.
ENVIRONMENT: Blasted slag heaps consisting of clay and shale detritus dug up from strip pit mining. Some trees and lots of brush, particularly thorn bushes. Small water pools located in between the slag heaps.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone.
The witness stated that the footprint was eighteen inches long by seven inches wide. As it was in an area of quite rocky ground he was only able to see one print in softer mud.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org