Low Gap, Northwest of Clarksville
Johnson County, Arkansas 2005
Location: On McConnel Ridge on the west side of Mac Wood Mountain in the Ozark National Forest.
Nearest highway or road: NFR 1427.
The area is inside the steep, rugged Ozark Mountains, and about 7 miles from the mountains' southern flank which adjoins the Arkansas River basin; McConnel Ridge is bounded on the east by Dry Spadra Creek and on the west by the East Fork of Horsehead Creek. There is a small man-made pond on top of the ridge itself.
Witness Profile: Both young men are seniors high school students, cousins and residents of the area. Both are avid outdoors men and familiar with the classified animals native to the area.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: The young men were racoon hunting with a dog that belonged to the father of the primary witness.
Details of Encounter / Incident: The boys were driving slowly along the forest roads in a pickup truck while the dog ran the road in front of them searching for scent. There travels eventually took them to the top of McConnel Ridge and they soon arrived at the pond on top of the ridge. There they parked the truck and stepped outside to wait while the dog searched for scent around the pond.
After a few minutes the dog struck a trail that led below, and to the east of the pond. The dog's bawling soon indicated the trail was hot, so the boys retrieved a .22 caliber rifle from the truck and started down the ridge behind the dog. When they had gone about 100 yards, still in fairly open woods, the primary witness remembered that the last time he had used the rifle he had missed his target, and he decided to test the sights. Using his head light he selected a spot on a nearby tree as a target and fired. To double-check the sights, he reloaded and fired a second round.
Immediately after the second shot the boys were startled to hear very loud, monkey-like screaming sounds coming from inside a dense thicket, only about 80 yards from them.
The primary witness turned to his cousin and half-heartedly said, "Aw, that ain't nothing."
His cousin quickly responded, "Man are you crazy? What the heck was that?" Without further words, both broke into a run, got in the truck and drove off, leaving the dog still trailing down in the hollow.
They quickly drove to the home of the primary witness, and the boy's father was told about the incident. The father armed himself with a .30-06 rifle and a .357 handgun and all three drove back to the site.
When they arrived they found the dog had treed a racoon in a tree growing from the side of a high, steep bluff which none of the men could climb. While in the area the three smelled an unusual and obnoxious odor they could not identify. They tried to call the dog down off the cliff, but the dog refused to leave the tree. Finally the men gave up and left, knowing the dog would return home sometime that night or the next morning.
The next morning, as the father of the witness prepared to go to work, he saw the dog lying in the yard. He went to the dog to lead it to its pen and feed it. When he approached the dog, it unexpectedly began growling at the man. As the man started to reach for the dog's collar, it snapped at him. The man was totally confused by the dog's actions because it had never reacted in such fashion. The man then noticed the dog's ears were torn and the dog acted as if it had been hurt. The man eventually got the dog inside its pen and fed and watered it. He never knew what had happened to the dog to cause its injuries or to cause it to react in such a manner.
Description of Animal: The animal making the sounds heard by the two boys was not seen
Description of Related Sounds: Short, loud and high pitched screams that sounded like those made by "monkeys."
Description of Related Scents / Odors: A very noticeable and "obnoxious" odor.
Historical Notes: This area of Northwest Arkansas has for over a hundred and fifty years generated numerous reports from area residents concerning large hirsute bipedal primates that inhabit that part of the Ozark Mountains.
Investigator's Comments: Two days prior to receiving the report from this witness, the writer was in this area investigating reports from other residents. After examining topographic maps of the area surrounding another location at which a sighting of three animals had occurred, the writer decided those animals probably bedded in a area of the mountains near the head of the creek on which the animals had been seen. That night the writer drove alone to that part of the National Forest, and about 11:00pm played recordings of various primate sounds. Within minutes, there were vocalizations heard from both sides of the hollow. The animal making the sounds on the east side of the hollow quickly descended the side of the ridge and splashed through a swift flowing stream at its base. That animal noisily approached to within about two hundred yards, but was not heard again or seen. The animal on the other side of the ravine either began throwing rocks onto other rocks, or striking rocks together. That animal remained several hundred yards away until the writer left.
When the above report was received, the writer was very much surprised to see that he had been in the same area two nights earlier.
Report received and recorded by: Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project November 21, 2006
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