Ozark, Franklin County, Arkansas
Summer of 1966 - 9:00 am
Location: Between the settlement of Low Gap and Hickory Grove Church and Cemetery, and near the head of Cat Holler. (Note: "Cat Holler" is the official name of this mountain hollow and the name of the county road that winds through it. See aside note at the end of this report.)
Nearest highway or road: Arkansas Highway #219 and Cat Holler Road.
General Land Use Description: At the time of the incident the area consisted of isolated residential property and unimproved woodlands.
General Terrain Description: Steep and rugged mountains with deep valleys (hollows) in the slopes. The area is situated in the southernmost part of the Ozark Mountains, and the predominate rocks are old ocean bed limestone and beach sandstone containing some coal seams.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: The area is near the North Fork of White Oak Creek, and a few miles north of the Arkansas River.
Witness Profile: 57 year old male who is a life-long resident of the area. He has hunted and explored the area extensively since a child.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: One summer day while the reporting witness was taking a nap at home, his brother and two sisters returned from a hike they had taken to a recently unoccupied house down the mountainside near the head of Cat Holler. The three siblings returned home in the late afternoon in a very excited state and awakened him. They told him they had seen an ape or gorilla near the unoccupied house they had visited. He did not believe a word of their story and was angry because they had disturbed his nap. The three siblings said that if he did not believe them they would go with him to the house the next day to show him the animal. After a very heated discussion he finally agreed to go with them to the home the next day.
Details of Encounter / Incident: The next morning they all walked down the steep hollow to the house and arrived about 9:00am. After searching through the unlocked house and around the yard and outbuildings they found nothing unusual. The reporting witness again became angry and accused his siblings of playing a prank on him and gave them "what for" for causing him to walk a long way down the mountain for nothing. He then angrily turned and started walking back up the mountain with the other three following behind and trying to convince him that their story was not a joke or prank. After walking about 300 yard from the house his older sister tapped him on the shoulder and asked. "Brother, do you still think we are lying?" Without stopping he angrily replied, "Yes!" She then said, "Well, look on the porch!" He turned to look and was stunned to see a small black, ape-like creature standing on the porch nonchalantly watching them depart. The reporting witness stated that while the animal made no threatening actions or sounds, its presence caused him to shiver, and "his hair to stand up." The group watched the animal for a few seconds and all broke into a hard run toward their home.
Description of Animal: The animal was said to have coal black, shiny hair that covered its whole body except it face which was of a lighter color. The witness stated the animal looked very similar to a chimpanzee, and was standing on two feet in a slightly slouched position with its arms dangling in front of its body. The animal appeared to be about 5 feet tall.
Date of Second Encounter: January of 1971.
Time of Incident: Nighttime.
Weather Conditions: Not raining; witness does not remember other conditions.
County: Logan County.
Nearest City or Town: Roseville.
Location: On an unidentified rural road in the Roseville area.
Nearest highway or road: Arkansas Highway #309.
General Land Use Description: Farm and pastureland.
General Terrain Description: Relatively flat bottom lands along the south side of the Arkansas River.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: The area is between the Arkansas River and Sixmile Creek.
Witness Profile: As shown above.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: Driving with a girlfriend on the back roads in the area in which she lived.
Details of Encounter / Incident: While slowly driving along an unimproved road at night the occupants of the car saw a small, primate standing on two feet beside the road. The animal stood still as the car slowly passed within a few feet of it.
Description of Animal: The animal was covered in shiny black hair except for its face which was lighter in color. The animal was between 3 and 4 feet tall and its coat appeared to be clean. The animal somewhat resembled a chimpanzee and gave the impression of being immature. It showed no fear of the vehicle, nor did it try to shield its eyes from the car's headlights.
Other Details: When the witness hesitantly told the girl that he and his siblings had seen a similar animal near their home in the adjoining county, the girl did not seem surprised. She said that such animals had been seen for years in the area in which she lived.
Date of Third Encounter: During the spring or summer of 1972.
Time of Incident: Late at night.
Weather Conditions: Clear at the time, but the area had experienced heavy rains that day.
Nearest City or Town: Roseville.
Location: Unidentified rural county road near Roseville.
Nearest highway or road: Arkansas Highway #309.
General Land Use Description: Farming and ranching; Relatively flat bottom lands along the south side of the Arkansas River.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: Near the Arkansas River, Sixmile Creek and a small man-made lake the witness knows as "Gattis Lake". ( See aside note at the end of this report.)
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: The witness was driving to a girl friend's home when he discovered the road was flooded from rains that had backed water from "Gattis Lake" over the road. The witness knew it was a very long drive to the home by other roads, so he decided to try to drive through the water. The car made it through the water, but the engine quit on the other side. He thought the problem was due to water inside the distributor, but was unable to start the car after trying to dry the inside of the distributor cap. When he was unable to start the car, he decided to walk about 1-1/2 miles to a friend's house for help.
Details of Encounter / Incident: He had no flashlight but there was light enough from a clear sky and a nearly full moon that he could clearly see the road and objects alongside it. After he had walked quite a distance from the car he began to get the feeling that something was on the road behind him. When he stopped and turned to look, he saw what he at first thought was someone approaching him closely. As he looked at the figure, it stopped. He could then see that the figure was not as close as he first though, and then the realization struck him that the figure was much larger than a man he at first assumed it was, which made it appear closer. He was immediately seized by an overpowering fear and, for a few seconds, was unable to move. During that time the man realized the figure was huge, covered in hair and walking like a man.
The witness briefly considered running away, but he thought that if he did the animal could, if it chose to do so, overtake him in seconds. He said that it took all his will power to turn and slowly begin walking up the road. After walking several yards, the man turned to see if the animal was still following him. It was, but it stopped when he stopped. Both he and the animal stood dead still for several seconds staring intently at each other. At that time he considered saying something to, or shouting at the creature. He quickly decided not to do either, because he could not bear the though of hearing the response the animal might make.
He turned again and started walking slowly. At times he could hear the sound of a foot striking the road, but other than those sounds, the area was silent. As the long walk continued the animal stayed behind him, gradually getting closer until it was no more than 30 or 40 feet behind him. The man would occasionally stop to look at the animal, and it would stop and silently stare back.
The animal followed the man until the friend's house came into view. As he approached the house, the friend's dogs began barking loudly and running toward him. The dogs ignored him and, when they got beside him, began barking frantically at the figure behind him. He heard the animal make a quick movement on the road, and the dogs wheeled and began yelping as if someone was beating them. As the dogs disappeared yelping under the house, the man turned around again, thinking the dogs has scared the animal away. He said the animal was still there, standing quietly watching him.
At that point the man began hurrying to the house. After he knocked on the door and the friend opened it, the first thing the friend asked was, "What the devil did you do to my dogs?" When he told the man what had happened, he was not sure his fiend believed him, but the friend listened to his story intently.
Description of Animal: The witness stated the animal was "huge", and estimated it was 7 feet or more in height. Its neck appeared to be very short, and its head was large and shaped somewhat like a human's. Its upper torso was reportedly massive and its mid-section was lean. Its shoulder looked to be 3 feet or more in width. Its arms and legs appeared long and muscular. Its hair was long "like a setter dog's" and in the moonlight looked to be light brown and "reddish" in color. The witness said that while the animal leaned slightly forward when it was still, its posture did not appeared to be slouched.
Description of Related Sounds: No vocal sounds were ever heard, nor could he hear the animal breathing.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: The witness does not remember detecting an odor from the animal.
Other Possibly Related Incidents: This witness stated that when he and his three siblings were children they often played in the creeks that ran through the area near their home. At the junction of two of the creeks there was a curved and uneven water channel in the limestone rock in the creek bed they called "The Devil's Twist." It was a favorite place to play because when water was running through the channel it made a natural water slide. On one occasion when they were there laughing and screaming for a long while, they suddenly heard something jump out of a large tree nearby, and heard it walk away through the dry leaves on two feet. They immediately left and ran home.
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: The writer spoke to this witness by phone several times over a period of about a week. The witness repeatedly stated that he understood his reports of the encounters might be unusual but "that every word was the God's truth', and that he would be willing to take a "lie detector test" at any time to help prove the truth of his statements. He said that he had told very few people outside his family about these events, and when he did, not many people seemed to believe him. He said that he had for years wanted to make these accounts part of the public record and decided to do so after reading about these animals in The Reclusive Forest Primate Chronicles columns carried in the Ozark Spectator newspaper. The writer believes the witness is credible and sincere in his accounts of these events.
Periodic field research continues in this area. Information recently received indicate some of these animals still inhabit these and adjoining counties.
Aside Note: The writer was unable to locate Gattis Lake on maps available at the time the report was written. While reviewing USGS topographic maps and associated land mark references for Franklin and Logan counties, the writer was surprised to see listed in the Franklin County index a hollow named Big Foot Hollow. The stream passing through that hollow is named Big Foot Creek. The creek empties into the well known Mulberry River just west of the small town of Paradise situated on scenic Arkansas Highway #23.
According to some older residents of Franklin County, the unusual name "Cat Holler" for the hollow mentioned in this report was not due to the misspelling of the word "hollow." The name was reportedly given the hollow because of the "hollering" of cats that originated from the area during the night. (The only mistake in naming the hollow was most likely the animal to which the first settlers attributed the sounds.)
Report received and recorded by: Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project.
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