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Southern Maricopa County 1987
Painted Rock Reservoir, NW of Gila Bend, AZ

I do not care what the skeptics say, I saw one in 1987.
The encounter happened in May of 1987 at Painted Rock Reservoir / Lake about 30 miles Northwest of Gila Bend, Arizona. My four friends and me were on a weekend Fishing Trip. The only one with a rifle was me, so I was responsible for the group. We arrived at the lake at about 5:30 pm and loaded ourselves down with our supplies to stay overnight right up against the face of the Dam. As we walked the distance of about two thousand yards to the dam through Salt Cedars taller than us we knew we were there for the night, No chance walking out in the dark. The Dam was very high and to the north of us was a sheer cliff a few hundred feet high, the dam to the East; South was impassable Salt Cedars and one way in to the west which you did not try to navigate at night with all the Rattlesnakes and other wild animals around such as Coyotes and Mountain Lions. As I said, we were in for the night. . Just before dark we all saw Special Forces Personnel on Quad Runners and three wheelers with high-powered weapons and tranquilizer guns but we paid them no mind. We were after catfish. Everything was fine until about 2:00 o'clock in the morning. We heard strange rumblings in the bushes all around us and it was rather un-nerving because I was the only one armed and that was only with a 410 single shot shotgun. The noise stopped and I dozed off. To my surprise, this was a night with a full moon. So besides our Coleman lantern, you could see well. As I was laying there half asleep, it all of a sudden got dark and it awakened me to see this huge hairy thing not ten feet above me!!!!! I shiver to this day just writing you about it. All I said was "oh great, a damned Bigfoot." I thought I was dreaming but I was not. There it was right above my head. I got to my feet and it took off into the darkness.

I cannot be sure but it looked like a female because it had what appeared to be mammaries. One of my friends was just outside the camp taking a relief and I yelled to him to look out, he came running back into camp scared to death. Evidently he ran straight into it coming back to camp.

By this time we were all wide-awake and my other three friends were armed with nothing but hunting knives and we all stood guard in all directions. We were boxed in and no way out until light. Then came that God-awful yell and we were absolutely scared out of our skins.
The rumbling in the bushes returned and then we heard the fish in the slew going crazy and we found out why. Not 15 feet from us stood this huge creature in the middle of the water!!!!!! This thing stood about 9 Feet tall, I know because I stand 6 feet tall and in that water came right up to my neck but on this creature it barely came up to its waist.

We were terrified as it stood there looking at us. I did not want to shoot, God Help Me, because I was not sure. It looked almost human !!!!!!

I was keeping my rifle pointed at it just in case. Then our lantern started running low on fuel and we had no backup except our fire. We soon found the bright lantern light was the only thing keeping it back. Lantern low on fuel, we decided to build the fire as high as we could and refuel the lantern fast. My friends did so and I held my shotgun on it. Just as the lantern went out; it charged straight for me so I fired at it point blank range dead in this things chest but it did not go down!!!!!!!!!! My friends got the lantern going again and there it stood holding the right side of its chest. It Just looked at us and then turned and it cut through the waist high water on it 25 feet to the opposite shore in seconds and it crashed through the trees and it started yelling again. About this time it was approximately 4.30 am. We were praying for the sun to rise so we could get out of there!!!!!!! When morning came we investigated and we found the footprints and we found blood from whatever it was. We saw the hole the thing made when it crashed through the trees the night before and it was big enough for us to walk through, no problem. We did not stick around. We got the hell out of there. As we made our way to my truck, we saw two Special Forces Agents. One remarked to the other "well at least one of those guys were smart enough to be armed." We said nothing. We got the heck out.

Nobody believed us when we reported our encounter to the Police and the Game Warden. Here is the funniest part. Two days later the Game Warden tried to arrest me for shooting an endangered species. When I told him, you arrest me but first you have to tell me what it was I allegedly shot. He then backed down from arresting me but told me to stay where I could be found for further questioning. I swear I am not making this up. It actually happened and I really fell apart two weeks later on my birthday. My Brother showed me a sketch of what we had seen that was not accurate deliberately so he would know with my completing the sketch he knew we had really had this encounter.

To this day it still scares me to death. I was 31 years old back then, but today I can still see and hear it as if it were yesterday.

Roger A. Peterson, Douglas Arizona
Thu Mar 22 00:29:20 2001
Credit Source Tom Akren, Tucson AZ