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COUNTY: Baxter County
LOCATION DETAILS: On State highway #101 near its junction with U.S. highway #62 about 1.5 miles west of Norfork Lake.
NEAREST TOWN: Mountain Home
NEAREST ROAD: State road #101
OBSERVED: It was Jan of 03 in Baxter County AR. location Hwy 62 and 101 intersection. Time 2 to 3 a.m. Cold clear winter night. Coming home from fishing as we rounded the 30 mph curve right before the stop sign we were headed south on 101 an animal walking upright came into clear view as "he" was in my high beams and was on the west side shoulder. My buddy Joe who was with me and I said not a word to one another. We were now at maybe 20 mph as we watched this big critter who was standing upright take one step and went from the far side of the shoulder to the center line. Where "he" paused for a moment, looked us up and down altho we felt no fear from it Joe and I each felt like "he" looked at each one of us, me first then Joe. before turning his head straight . Then he leaned forward and put his knuckles on the pavement and swung his hips through his arms and was now on the far side of the east shoulder. And was gone.
OTHER WITNESSES: A close friend and myself in my truck.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 2 to 3 a.m moon light night clear and cold
ENVIRONMENT: The submitting witness described the landscape as "wood government lake strip."
To expand on his description, the investigator has added the following comment. The area is within the Ozark Mountains, and is about ten miles due south of the Missouri state line. The sighting occurred near Norfork Lake which is a U.S. Corps of Engineers lake which covers about 22,00 acres. The event occurred near one of the corps' fenced service areas.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tal H. Branco:
The two men, both avid fishermen and hunters, had been fishing at night for crappie off Bidwell Point. They had caught their limit and were driving home. They drove across the Highway #101 bridge -due south across the lake and then west - to reach U.S. Highway #62. As they were nearing highway 62 and slowing for the stop sign at the intersection, they were startled to see in the beams of the vehicle's headlights a tall dark figure walking upright down the embankment on the west (passenger's side) of the road. It then made one long jumping step to the road's center line where it briefly paused, turned to look closely at the vehicle and passengers.
Both men stated the animal then dropped with its knuckles on the ground, and "swung his body through its arms and leaped several feet high into a pine thicket alongside the road where it disappeared from view."
In speaking with the witnesses by phone they both agreed the animal was over seven feet tall, with a very muscular body and covered in dark brown, shaggy hair. They assumed that it was a male but could not be certain that it was. Both men believe the animal was not a mature adult.
When the animal disappeared, the driver turned to his friend and asked if he had seen what had happened. He replied that he had. Both men decided that they would not discuss the incident with others for a while.
The submitting witness described the landscape as "wood government lake strip." To expand on his description, the investigator has added the following comment. The area is within the Ozark Mountains, and is about ten miles due south of the Missouri state line. The sighting occurred near Norfork Lake which is a U.S. Corps of Engineers lake which covers about 22,00 acres. The event occurred near one of the corps' fenced service areas.
During our discussion of the event the men mentioned there was a "Catfish Restaurant" not far from the sighting location. The animal had come from that direction when seen, and disappeared from view down a hollow that entered the lake and formed Panther Bay. There have been numerous reports from this and other Arkansas lakes of enigmatic primates routinely checking containers near fish cleaning stations.
During the Investigator's several discussions with the primary submitter of this report, he mentioned an unusual audible event which he heard along the lake near his home three years ago. He said that event was partially the reason for him submitting this primary encounter which occurred thirteen years earlier.
He said that he was fishing off the bank of the lake near his home late at night. It was calm and cold. Directly across the lake was a ridge that formed a peninsula. He suddenly heard a large pack of coyotes high on the ridge excitedly vocalizing and moving down toward the lake. When the canines were about halfway down the ridge, they became silent. Immediately, from a location on the ridge closer to the lake, he heard two or three loud and quick noises like a hollow tree being struck by a heavy object followed by loud whooping sounds. At once the coyotes began frantically vocalizing and moving back up the ridge. Within a few seconds, the tree beating and whooping sounds were repeated, although he could tell they came from much further up the ridge. The witness said the same sequence of sounds, continued for about two miles up the ridge at an incredible speed, with the knocking and whooping sounds getting closer to the coyotes constantly. Near the top of the ridge all the sounds stopped. The witness stated he recorded the sounds on a cell phone, and when he listened to it later he was able to hear other whooping sounds that he had been unable to hear as the event occurred. (He said that unfortunately the recording was accidentally erased from that phone.)
After speaking with both witnesses it was evident that both were
About BFRO Investigator Tal H. Branco:
Tal Branco is a lifelong resident of AR. He began hunting, fishing and tracking many years ago in south AR. Since he was a teenager, his outdoor activities have been primarily conducted in the Ouachita Mountains, although during the past forty years he has also conducted field investigations of reports of enigmatic and unclassified animals in the southeastern U.S. and in the Amazon Basin of Brazil.