Geographical Index > United States > Arkansas > Miller County > Report # 7971|
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, February 11, 2004.
Coon hunter and dogs experience close encounter in Sulphur River bottoms between Doddridge and Fouke.
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DATE: Dont Know
COUNTY: Miller County
LOCATION DETAILS: Close to Miller County Wildlife Management Area, not far from Mercer Bayou in an area called Thorton Wells not far from Fouke, Ark between 71 and Old Blackmon Ferry Rd.
NEAREST TOWN: Fouke, Arkansas
NEAREST ROAD: a few miles from Blackmon/Ferry/rd.
OBSERVED: I'm probably going to regret telling this story. Everyone I know will probably laugh me out of the country. I myself for many years would hooraw and laugh every time someone would mention these creatures. Here it goes. I live in Northeast Texas not far from Texarkana. I haved lived in the Texarkana area for quite some time. I don't coonhunt anymore my business has become more demanding. Coonhunting is a sport that really demands a lot of time. I found I didn't have the time to devote to it so I got rid of my Walker hounds. I was so into the sport at one time I had hunting Licenses in 3 states. I had several Night Champions to my credit.
Several years ago on a cold night in Jan/Feb I believe it was in 2000 - don't remember the exact date. I was coonhunting in Miller County, Arkansas. I don't know exactly how far from Mercer Bayou we were but I know we were in an area the ole timers call Thornton Wells. While we were hunting in this flooded timber, our dogs split treed. I went to my dogs who had treed on the other side of the swamp.The other guys went to their dogs on the other side. I got to the tree my dogs were treeing at and looked at my coon and caught my dogs. Everthing seemed ok so I decided to amble back toward the others. I could just barely hear their dogs treeing way across the bayou. Suddenly I heard something walking in the flooded timber. (Bare in mind this whole area is 8-15 inches flooded with brackish swamp water.) I could tell by the gate that it was someone coming in the flooded woods. So I called out to them thinking it must of been one of my hunting companions. To my dismay no one answered - instead all I heard was a deep throated gurgling growl and the awfullest putrid smell. The smell was like when you kill a wild hog and grab him by the hind leg and then you give out dragging him and put your hand up to your nose and the smell knocks you over. I also heard a whining kind of a whistling sound. My dogs were on my leash and were whimpering. Now these weren't just any dogs. These were UKC Lipper bred Walkers, they probably weighed in at close to a 100lbs.They would could rip a 20lb coon apart. Yet there they were cowardly crouched behind my legs whimpering. I knew I had seen them tear coyotes to shreads that had tried to come into a tree where they were treeing. I couldn't understand it. Still in all I was not concerned about any of this and got my dogs and started back across the swamp. After a few mintues I heard this sound of someone or something walking in the water again. So I stopped and turned around and standing right behind me was a creature of immense size. He must have been at least 8 or 9 ft tall. He was covered from head to toe with a real dark hair and when my coonbuster coon light hit in the eyes his eyes glowed like a deer in a spotlight. Talking about the hair on the back of your neck standing up, I was scared. I don't ever remember being that scared. He made a hissing sound and reached down and took his hand and started scooping water and throwing it up at me and making a deep throaty noise. My dogs started chomping at the leash and growling trying to get at it, having regained their bravery. I grabbed the leash and tore out across that swamp so scared that for awhile I went in the wrong direction. I got to a big Cypress knee and caught my breath. I could hear the thing behind me sounded like it was about a 100 yards or so back. It followed me for a ways then after a while I could hear it across the bayou making a moaning sound and moving away slowly. I got my breath and my compass and my bearings and started back to the truck. When I got there I didn't say a word to my friends about what I saw and heard for fear they would laugh me down. Needless to say I never returned to Thorton Wells nor do I plan to. For a long time I kept this to myself I even had nightmares about it. The only person I ever told was an old coonhunter from Doddridge, Ark. He's dead and gone now but I do remember something he said to me that day. He said, if you're smart you'll keep that to yourself I know from experience that people will laugh at you and call you a liar. I've hunted in the Sulphur River bottoms many nights but never have I seen anything like that before or since. I'm not one for tall tales but I thought I would share this terrifying ordeal with you all because it seems we might have something in common.
ALSO NOTICED: While making my way out that night on a dry knoll I saw a huge foot print about 22 inches long with 4 toes.
OTHER WITNESSES: No witnesses except for those two Walker hounds.
OTHER STORIES: Yes, but until that night didnt give any credence to the Fouke monster hooplah.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: A clear moonlight and cold night in Jan/Feb 2000 around 1 to 3am
ENVIRONMENT: Swamp, Flooded timber Cypress bottoms, Bayou type area.
Follow-up investigation report:
I interviewed the witness in his home on February 15, 2004. I consider the witness to be highly credible.
As my wife and I discussed the incident with the witness, it became apparent that the witness had indeed experienced a life-altering event. The witness made it clear that he will never again return to the area and now is loath to even enter any forested area. The witness stated that he has never been as frightened as he was that night in the Sulphur River bottoms.
Something of note that struck me about the incident was the splashing of the water by the creature as the witness and his dogs attempted to assess what they were seeing. Apparently, in an attempt to chase away the witness and his Walker coon dogs, the unknown animal splashed water with its hand toward them. The witness said he could clearly see its hand, which he described as looking like a "huge monkey hand." The witness added that the skin was visible on the hand and that it was gray.
The face was also a "grayish color" with no or very little hair on it. The hair on the head appeared "slicked back" and the animal in general appeared "wet." The overall coloration was "dark, rusty brown" or a "similar but a little darker than pine needles" after they have fallen on the ground and turned color. The witness said he did see a "flash of teeth" and they appeared human but much larger. The witness apparently was haunted because the face, as he described it, was "like that of a person."
I found the reaction of the coon dogs of interest as well. Initially, before the witness established eye contact with the bigfoot, the dogs were "nervous" and "whiney," and stayed behind the witness. Upon seeing the creature, the dogs became emboldened and it was all the witness could do to keep the dogs from breaking free from their leashes to attack the creature. The witness felt that the dogs may have saved his life, but I told him that based on reports that I've investigated and others that I've read or heard about, his dogs may have been killed had they been free to attack.
After the interview, I drove to the general area of the sighting. It is ideal for the species, as is generally the entire Red River - Sulphur River corridor from Southwest Arkansas over to Grayson County, Texas.
The majority of the reports that I have investigated have been in the Red River - Sulphur River corridor. I am confident that the animals live along these rivers and the family of creeks along these rivers. Much of the environment is heavily wooded, marshy, muddy, and downright inhospitable (to humans).