Grant County Arkansas
January 20, 2010 3:45pm
Overcast and cold
General Land Use Description: Undeveloped, unsuitable for farming, ranching or significant timber production due to periodic flooding; river bottomlands.
Witness Profile: An older man who has hunted a major stretch of the particular river’s bottoms since he was a child. Although he has hunted the bottoms alone and with others nearly all his life, he stated he had never seen or heard an animal in that area that he could not identify by sight or sound before the incident described in this report.
Activities of Witnesses Prior to Encounter/Incident: The witness was driving his pick-up truck from his home to check on the cattle on his ranch several miles away. He was accompanied by an long-time male friend.
The witness routinely traveled the same route from his home to his ranch, which is situated above the flood plain of the river, and very often stopped at a point on the state highway where a utility right-of-way crossed it. He said (and this writer can confirm) that the land on both sides of the highway had for many years been owned by either local residents or local timber companies that allowed basically unlimited public access to the river bottoms for hunting and fishing. The area contains numerous swamps and oxbow lakes, and was, until recently, covered by old-growth hardwood forests. Much of that hardwood has now been harvested. The area is noted for its abundance of wildlife, including deer, bear, turkey, bobcat, cougar, raccoons, fox, coyote, squirrels, and, since the 1970’s, a large population of feral hogs, including Russia Boar. The area is also noted for its populations of large rattlesnakes, cotton mouth, and copperhead snakes.
The witness (nor the general public) no longer has access to those uninhabited areas, and most of the old roads (including some that were once maintained by the county) are now barricaded by locked gates. The witness said that he often stopped on the highway shoulder at the mowed, utility right-of-way crossing just to be able to look for wildlife in an area he had once hunted and fished so often.
Details of Encounter / Incident: The witness drove his pick-up onto the highway shoulder at the utility right-of-way crossing. The men sat in the truck and watched the right-of-way for a few minutes without seeing any type of animal. Then the witness noticed - through the passenger side window - movement along the timber line on the north side of the right-of- way. He at first thought it was a human walking away from the highway and about 500 yards from it. When he noticed that the figure appeared to be of a uniform color and much taller than a person, he told the passenger to watch it while be picked up his binoculars. The passenger watched the moving figure while the witness focused his binoculars on it. The witness saw that the figure was too large to be a person, although it was walking erect on two legs like a human. He then handed the passenger the binoculars. The witness had a hunting rifle with a 24X range-finder scope in a case inside the truck cab and he began to extract them. He said he “fumbled around” and finally got the rifle out of the case and looked through scope at the swiftly walking figure. After watching it for a brief time, he gave the rifle to his friend, and he took the binoculars and continued to watch it.
He stated that during the time they watched the figure, it stayed along the edge of the wood line, but occasionally walked out of their sight for a few seconds in the woods beside the right-of-way. He said that through the rifle scope he could clearly see that the man-like creature was carrying what he thought was the body of a small hog over its right shoulder and holding two of the shoat’s feet with its right hand. (The witness said he could not be sure the animal being carried on the shoulder was a actually hog, but that it was the shape of a hog, not a deer. He said that it could have been the body of a medium size dog.)
Description of Animal(s) if Seen: The witness said the creature, “Taller than any professional basketball player by a head or more.” He said that that its upper body, “Would put a body builder’s to shame.” He particularly noticed that the creature’s shoulders were massive, and that the upper torso tapered to the waist. He was also struck by the fact the creature’s legs and arms were very long in relation to its total height. He at first stated that, “The thing’s hands could have touched its knees as it walked”, but he immediately said that the hands may not have reached the knees, but, “Pretty close to them.” He said the creature was not running at any time, but was taking long, quick steps and, “Swinging its left arms in long arcs like it was using that arm to keep its balance.” He said that the body was covered in a, “Burnt brown colored, stringy looking hair.”
Other Reports From This Area? There have been numerous reports of sightings of such creatures in the immediate area for over 100 years. Several such reports have been submitted to the writer during the past few years. The writer has confirmed the presence of at least three such creatures that forage within one mile of the location of this witness’s sighting.
Investigator’s Comments: The writer has spent much time during the last three years in the bottomlands referenced in this report. During that time many of the area residents have shared information and have provided access to many thousands of acres of dense, secluded areas of woodlands that are prime habitat for both typical wildlife and the enigmatic primates that many of us try to study. During this time the writer has met, and worked closely with one individual who has had several sightings of these creatures because of the unusual amount of time - both day and night - he spends in the bottoms. This individual has known the witness for many years, and at times had told him about the presence of the enigmatic primates in this area they both know well. This witness refused to believe such creatures existed anywhere, much less in the bottoms he had hunted for about 65 years.
After his recent sighting, the witness called the individual the writer has worked closely with for the last few years and wanted to apologize to him for not believing him when he tried to tell him about the enigmatic primates in the area. The witness said he now knows the truth from his own experience. The witness was then asked to contact me, which he did several days later. While speaking to the witness, he disclosed personal information that, in the opinion of this writer, precludes the possibility that his report is anything but factual and truthful. The credibility of this witness is not in question.
Tal H. Branco -February 16, 2010
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