Holson Valley State Game Management Area,
Le Flore County, Oklahoma
I'm a former state prosecutor, former Marine, 18 year marriage, 2 kids, boring family guy.
In late March 2006 I went camping in dense pine forest in the area of the Goldville Divide south of Snake Mountain in the Holson Valley State Game Management Area of the Winding Stair Mountain recreation area in SE Oklahoma. I picked this area because it was the only area in Oklahoma I could find that wasn't subject to a burn ban at the time. My sons went with me.
I had no idea that this hill country in SE Oklahoma had long been the subject of Bigfoot stories. And my sons (12 and 9) and I were in some of the deepest parts of it. It was remote, primitive, and we thought we were alone.
Long story short? After dark we were exposed to the most unusual calls from the surrounding hills. During the night we received a visit from a very large biped; both my 9-year-old son and I awoke to crunching footsteps and saw the hulking shadow standing just outside our tent, about two feet taller than my Nissan Pathfinder. I was very well armed and I have some hunting and combat experience. I was so unbelievably frightened by the sheer mass of the animal that I didn't move. It left.
In early April 2007, we went back. We had pretty much decided to dismiss our late night encounter, but we went back to the same site. I really didn't expect anything.
Within 5 minutes of arrival, before I even pitched a tent, very, very deep ape-ish grunts sounded from the dense woods about 25 feet from our truck. I've heard pig grunts, bear grunts, etc. ... this wasn't that.
My sons and I laughed at the strangeness of it. I actually mimicked the grunts, and the animal grunted and huffed back at me. While we couldn't see the critter, it sounded for all the world like a gorilla. Then the animal stomped, huffed, and rushed away through the woods. Couldn't see it, but it was real "interesting".
That night the whistles, woops and grunts went around the campsite all night. The strangest thing is that I wasn't afraid this time.
So ... I realize that my story proves nothing. But as one old goat to a younger one, let me just say this. Be alert, be analytical; but don't let the bastards wear down your spirit. There just may be a few dragons left in the world.