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COUNTY: Pulaski County
LOCATION DETAILS: The only way is to float to the area on the Big Piney River through Fort Leonard Wood. Downstream from Ross access on the Big Piney River.
NEAREST TOWN: St Robert mo
NEAREST ROAD: J hwy several miles away
ALSO NOTICED: With the remote location of the incident and the access only by water because of going through a military base there was only one thing it could be.
OTHER WITNESSES: One guy saw the foot prints in the sand and the half eaten fish.
OTHER STORIES: No because it is so remote. I am going to make the float again in summer of 2019.
ENVIRONMENT: We were camping overnight on the river bank and at dawn the next morning I had mother nature called. So I exited the tent and walked up the gravel bar a ways. It was at a spot were the river bend and neck down real shallow there were huge log jams from the flood we had in spring of 2017 and it was on top of one of the log jams overlooking our tent and canoes. It jumped off the log jam and ran across the river very fast when it seen me. I did my business and returned to camp I didn't get back in the tent but just stood there and waited for the other 4 guys to get out. I didn't say a word about the incident to the other guys and we stopped about a mile down stream and my friend got out of the canoe first and said "who in the world has been here with a 14 inch or so bare foot". I looked at him and walked to look at it and there was a hog sucker fish laying there half eaten. I looked at him and said it has to be the Bigfoot that I saw that morning and then I told him what I had experienced. There is no access to this spot for miles and only by water.
Government forest on one side and Fort Leonard Wood on the other but down stream a ways.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
I spoke with Steven via phone. He has lived in the area for many years and is well acquainted with the terrain and wildlife. As an annual event, he and a group of his friends take a float trip the weekend after the 4th of July holiday. This event took place on July 8th, since the weekend before was the holiday weekend. They had 2 canoes and 1 kayak.There were 5 of them for this trip.
The area they chose was the Big Piney River from Ft. Leonard Wood, a massive military training base on 61,000 acres. It is well guarded and regularly patrolled.The public is free to use the river but may not step foot on the military land. The other side of the river from where they started is public land. There are heavy woods, ample waterways. The food sources are vast and numerous for the support of apex predators.
They had left the afternoon of the 7th and made camp that evening. As he reported, he awoke at 5:30 A.M. on Friday morning to go take care of "the call of nature". Plenty of good lighting on a clear morning. The log jam he mentioned was butting up to the river bank & sand bar where they had pitched camp. The jam was around 10-12 feet tall, and was the result of serious rains and flash flooding earlier that spring. He was on the back side of the log jam, out of sight of camp. As he was "squatting down, taking care of business" he heard "branches breaking and a louder snap". When he stood up, he saw the "huge creature", standing and it just took off running, heading across the river.
"It was at least 8 ft.tall, dark brown with some black in there". It was "huge and all muscled up from the waist up", which was all he saw of it.
It never looked back during the time he had sight of it, which was 2 seconds, 3 at the most. He surmised that it had perhaps seen him while he was squatting down and it turned to run away as he was turning around at the sound of the snap.
He stood there "in awe" of what he had just seen, and it was "very clear" to him what he had just seen. As he stood there he could hear the creature take a step, then "it hit the river, and cleared the river in a couple of steps" and was gone. The river at the point it crossed is about 18-20 feet wide at most. One giant splash mid river, one not as loud as it possibly was half in the water and half on the bank.
He gathered himself together, finished his "business", then headed back to camp. The spot on the jam where he saw the creature was a perfect observation position. It overlooked the camp, boats, campfire and food storage. He also figured it had been watching the camp, as they had "cooked up a storm" the night before, and perhaps was hoping for some leftovers.
He then went back to camp, had some breakfast, and said nothing to his group. Then they hit the river,and floated down a mile to mile and a half. As they normally do when they hit a sharp bend in the river, they stop and check for deep fishing holes created by the fast current of the river hitting the bank and funneling down. This was where he and one of his friends saw the footprint and the half eaten hog sucker fish a few feet away. The head and about half the fish had been eaten then just left there.
His buddy was the first to see and mention the print. "Who in the world has been out here barefoot"? When Steven saw it he said to his friend, "well, it must have been the Bigfoot I saw this morning". To which the friend replied,"well, looks he crossed by here didn't he?" His friend did not seem all that surprised.
As an investigator, I have been to this area as well as within a few miles of it investigating another sighting which was a Class A event in the summer of 2018. That sighting was by a law enforcement officer and a relative of mine.(#59071) There have been several other sightings in, or very near, the military base. Some of these events were published reports, and some are/were confidential, and have not been reported publicly.
About BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
Carter is originally from Texas & moved to Missouri in 1988. Professional drummer for 20 years. Improv & sketch comic and writer for 5 years. Lighting technician for major touring groups for several years. Experienced outdoorsman and was a trained investigator for MUFON. Studied Herpetology in college. Longtime special interest in Sasquatch long term habituation, burial research, infra sound, language & stick structures. He led three Missouri BFRO Public Expeditions:, 2012 & 2013 & 2014. Led public expedition for BFRO in Illinois in 2019.Participated in Iowa, 2012 Illinois. Michigan 2016. Private Expeditions: Illinois 2011, 2012, 2013. Missouri 2011, 2012 (3) 2013(2) 2014. Iowa 2012, 2014 & 2015. Consulted on two Animal Planet Finding Bigfoot TV shows. Expedition leader in Missouri 2013 (1) & 2014 (2) & Illinois Expedition 2019 (1). Led night ops on numerous BFRO expeditions. Hosted a public Town Hall meeting in Missouri in 2017.