Geographical Index > United States > Texas > San Jacinto County > Report # 63398|
Submitted by witness Stan Williams on Sunday, September 22, 2019.
Photographer's daylight encounter west of Coldspring in Sam Houston National Forest
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COUNTY: San Jacinto County
LOCATION DETAILS: West of Cold Springs off Hwy 150
NEAREST TOWN: Coldspring
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 150
OBSERVED: I don’t know if you want a report this old. I just saw a program on TV that made me think of it.
It was either May or June of 2009. I was on assignment as a photographer for Texas Highways Magazine and The Texas State Travel Guide to photograph the Sam Houston National Forest among other East Texas locations on a multiple days trip.
I found a place to park my state car and hiked into the woods, camera in hand, in late afternoon light to try to get some definitive shot of the woods. I was maybe a mile to two miles into the forest and came to a clearing where vegetation had been removed for power lines. I stopped for a while to watch the opposite tree line for a deer or rabbit or such to come out, get my shot and move on.
After a few minutes there was a loud crashing noise on the other side of the clearing that startled me, as deer make almost no noise. Before I could react, a small juvenile black bear came out of the trees, stopped in the clearing edge and put its nose up in the air sniffing. It then abruptly turned around and ran back into the woods. I started to go after it for a photo, but thought better of it as its mother would undoubtedly be nearby. I decided to go back the way I had come to give them space.
I had barely turned when I saw a huge dark shape about ten to twelve feet away through some very thick yaupon brush. I’m 6’3” and I was looking up at a twenty to thirty degree angle to its head and huge shoulders. Texas bears don’t get anywhere close to this size, more like an Alaskan Kodiak Bear in size. I froze. All of a sudden it’s hand moved and a 2-3” diameter tree trunk about fifteen feet long came flying toward me. I ran like a werewolf was after me, and it might have been. I was back at the car in just a few minutes, clothes torn and bleeding from cat’s claw and briars trying to stop me. I jumped in the car and peeled out, not stopping til I reached Coldspring.
I parked the car and sat there until quite late as I pondered what had happened. It was only then that I concluded I might have just encountered a Sasquatch. I never told anyone but my wife as I might have gotten fired for being “unstable”. I had to go back two weeks later to a different part of the forest to get my photo I had missed previously. I’ve been retired for ten years now, so it doesn’t matter what people think.
ALSO NOTICED: No
OTHER WITNESSES: No, by myself
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Late afternoon, filtered sunlight, clear, long shadows
ENVIRONMENT: Pine and hardwood National forest
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
I had a very nice phone conversation with the witness, as well as multiple email exchanges. As he had mentioned he was a photographer for the Texas State Travel Guide & Texas Highways magazines for many years and had long running contracts with both magazines until he retired. He is a trained observer and as any professional photographer who is worth his salt, they know the minutia of how cameras work, lighting, exposures, distance etc.
I am from Texas originally and these two magazines are known to me and are very slick commercial publications.
As stated, he found a good place to park his state issued vehicle and headed into the woods off of Hwy 150. He was between Cold Spring and New Waverly Texas. Another assignment he had was to photograph a haunted historic jail in Cold Spring and he thought he would kill two assignments in one trip and get his shots of woods and some wildlife at the same time.
It was “late afternoon light” and he was looking for some photos of sunlight as it filtered through the very tall cedar and pine trees prevalent in East Texas. He was about 1- 2 miles into the forest when he got to a clearing for power lines and decided this was a good spot. This clearing was not the usual clear cut for massive powerline towers, which are in the 150 ft. wide range. This clearing was about 20-30 ft. wide. It was cleared for utility poles for a small community of homes close to the outskirts of the state forest. Small average telephone poles.
He sat close to one tree line and was “watching for deer or a rabbit so he could get his shot and move on”. After a few minutes he “heard a loud crashing noise opposite the side of the woods he was sitting in” and it did startle him. As he was thinking to himself that “that was no deer, because deer make almost no noise”, a juvenile black bear emerged from the forest and “put its nose up in the air and was sniffing”. As he mentioned it abruptly turned around and ran back into the woods it emerged from. He does not know if the bear saw him or ran because of something else. He did not speculate one way or the other on that. He also mentioned he started to follow the bear but stopped as soon as he started, as he figured the mama was very nearby.
He estimated the cub was no taller than 2-3 feet at the shoulder, and a full grown black bear in Texas can get up to 5-6 feet long and weigh up to 400 lbs. plus. He has seen bigger bears than that, so he assumed it was a younger one.
At this point he had just started to turn to walk back to where he was sitting when he smelled a “roadkill/dead animal smell”. Almost simultaneously there was a sound of a tree trunk snapping. He saw a huge dark shape about 10-12 feet away from me through some very thick Yaupon brush.
“I’m 6’3 and I was looking up at a 20 to 30 degree angle to its head and huge shoulders”. It was very definitely “humanoid in shape”.
Yaupon bushes are in the holly family and can grow to 20 ft. tall and are somewhat spindly and have red berries as they grow in the wild.
As he stared in shock at what he was seeing, the right arm moved over to it’s left side (this is when he saw fingers) and “ a 2-3” diameter tree trunk about 15 feet long came flying or falling towards me”. He told me the tree was probably not thrown as much as it was snapped and pushed down exactly towards where he was standing.
As for the fingers he saw it was a split second view. As the creature was reaching its right arm over to its left, he saw the fingers on the left hand already around the tree.
He said it was at least 8 feet tall. This was a silhouette of a massive upright creature seen through scrub. Enough ambient light in the woods to be certain it was something he wanted no part of. It was a “dark humanoid shape” and he could not speculate that it may have been the coloring of the creature or just the shadowing. Didn’t matter. He was outta there in a heartbeat.
This report becomes a Class B instead of a Class A. A Class A is a clear unobstructed view, and this was an observation through spotty scrub bushes, tall trees with filtered sunlight and shadowing as you would expect in a forested area, and everything he saw was in split second intervals. But he was certain as to what he was seeing.
This is a classic example why we get no close photos and few distant blobsquatch photos. Here you have a trained professional photographer with professional equipment in a wooded environment. Presented with a potentially life-threatening situation, he was stricken with fear. Fearing that he might be attacked by something so close to him, there was no thought to raise the camera to get a money shot. We spoke about that. He kicks himself to this day about not raising his camera. He was all about getting the heck out of there. That's what happens when someone is in self-preservation mode, even a professional photographer.
He reacted like virtually anyone would, especially if they had no idea what they were encountering or what to expect from it.
Those who wonder aloud why we have no good close range photos need only imagine his exact scenario and honestly consider what you would do.
About BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
Carter is originally from Texas & moved to Missouri in 1988. Professional drummer for 20 years. Improv & sketch comic and writer for 5 years. Lighting technician for major touring groups for several years. Experienced outdoorsman and was a trained investigator for MUFON. Studied Herpetology in college. Longtime special interest in Sasquatch long term habituation, burial research, infra sound, language & stick structures. He led three Missouri BFRO Public Expeditions:, 2012 & 2013 & 2014. Led public expedition for BFRO in Illinois in 2019.Participated in Iowa, 2012 Illinois. Michigan 2016. Private Expeditions: Illinois 2011, 2012, 2013. Missouri 2011, 2012 (3) 2013(2) 2014. Iowa 2012, 2014 & 2015. Consulted on two Animal Planet Finding Bigfoot TV shows. Expedition leader in Missouri 2013 (1) & 2014 (2) & Illinois Expedition 2019 (1). Led night ops on numerous BFRO expeditions. Hosted a public Town Hall meeting in Missouri in 2017.