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DATE: Between 15th-20th
COUNTY: Clay County
LOCATION DETAILS: Small game access point off of C Highway not far from a small church.
NEAREST TOWN: Kearney
NEAREST ROAD: C Highway
OBSERVED: Myself and 3 friends went to a game access area close to Smithville Lake where myself and several other young men had witnessed a pair of red eyes looking at us in October or November of 2011. Myself and the 3 friends went back to the game access in May of 2012 late at night, close to 11 or 12. We walked around for a little while and didn't hear anything so we went back to the jeep and waiting with the windows cracked. We stayed there quietly chatting for around an hour or an hour and a half, then we felt a strange feeling and decided to leave. The driver turned the car on and the passenger pointed and screamed. Off the front of the car about 30 yards was a large figure squatted down looking at us with red eyes. The driver attempted to turn around and almost hit the creature in his frenzy of getting turned around. Myself and the passenger, as i was sitting behind the passenger, got within 7 or 8 feet of the creature through the window. The face still haunts me to this day and I have trouble writing about it these 6 years on. It was much more human like than I ever would have guessed. Simply horrifying and still gives me nightmares. It all happened in a span of 10 - 15 seconds by the time the driver got us out of there. One of the guys still will not speak about it.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing of any consequence.
OTHER WITNESSES: Four, talking in the car.
OTHER STORIES: Only one, myself and others several months before were out there as one of those gentleman's family lives out there. We were in high school and took some guys snipe hunting to mess with them. When returning a small group of us noticed some red lights, or eyes, at the tree line which were very high off the ground. We did not stay to find out what it was.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Very late, after midnight. Must have been a new moon or close to it and it was cloudy. So not much light out.
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded area not far from Smithville Lake. Creature was in the large field in the middle of the woods close to game access.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
Spoke with witness via phone. He now lives in Arkansas and is finishing a degree. I will address the reason they went back to this particular area in 2012. The incident in 2011, when they saw "something" looking at them, or in their direction, was a large gathering for a birthday party. 20 or more people had gathered, and he, and a few friends, had decided to walk away from the noise a bit. They were away from the group when they saw "something" with red "eye glow" about 10 feet off the ground. At that time, they could not ascertain whether it was in a tree, which they assumed, or something standing on the ground. The "eye glow" was "like tail lights". The "lights" went out and they turned around and rejoined the group. They chalked it up to an animal up in a tree, even though their instincts told them otherwise, since there are stories about a large creature(s) being seen in the area.
2012: I will preface this account of the 2012 incident by differentiating between EYE GLOW & EYE SHINE. Eye Glow provides its own source of light, such as a flash or spot light. It may, on occassion, even produce a beam, which may even be seen lighting up the ground. Witness indicates this was eye glow. EYE SHINE needs a source of light, as in ambient light or reflecting from headlights, flashlight, etc.
As stated in witness' account, they had gone back to this point to see if they could see and or hear anything, due to stories told about the area, and witness' own experience there before with the red eyes. When an "eerie" feeling came over them, they decided to leave. When they turned on the car, they saw the creature about 30 yards out, crouched in some tall brush. It was exposed with only head and mid chest exposed at that point, and estimate of grass it was crouched in was about 3-4 feet. Then it stood up, and the size estimate was 7.5 feet tall, at least.
At this point, I will quote the reporting witness exactly, from an email I received after asking for some clarification, "from what I remember the eyes themselves seemed to shine red when the lights of the car came on, like it was reflecting the light of the car's headlights. We didn't notice the creature until ****** (the driver) turned his jeep on. That being said the eye glow continued even after the lights were off the creature. So it was a combination of both. I believe that the Jeep's headlights came on automatically but I honestly do not remember that in particular. I hope that helps some!".
But, witness had kept his eyes on the creature as they were wildly "turning doughnuts" to get turned around to get the heck out of there, and he and one other witness, were certain the eyes were still glowing when the creature was not in the headlights. Hence the eye glow assessment. As noted, new moon so very little ambient light. As they got within 7-10 feet of creature, witness noted the following:
Description of creature. Minimum 7.5 ft height. Dark Brown hair. No neck and very broad shoulders. Witness could see that there was no hair on the cheeks or around the eyes. Huge eyes, and there was just a minute hint of red glow left, and he noted a "green, mucous like" sheen or glow to the eyes. They nearly hit the creature. "It was more human like than they could have ever imagined". There are several stories from locals, including the parents of one other the 4 guys in the car, who live out there, of creatures seen and or heard over the years. This is a massive Army Corps of Engineers lake, with 5,000 acres of land, 7,200 acre lake and 175 miles of shoreline.
Although they had heard the stories prior to this, witness, and most of his friends, never really believed, and or even thought about any of it until this incident. Things have changed for him. One close friend, co-witness, will not speak of the event.
Map and photos of the sighting location:
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.