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The 'Siege' at Honobia



These incidents took place at a rural homestead outside the town of Honobia, Oklahoma in January of 2000.

Some BFRO contacts went to visit the family. They stayed overnight and were impressed. Weeks later television stations and newspapers in Oklahoma mentioned the incidents but never told the whole story.


Mid January, 2000

The first message received by the BFRO, from the uncle of the Honobia family:

  "Too many incidents to mention here, please have someone contact us. This is no hoax and my brother is afraid for his family. This creature is getting bolder every time it returns. This thing is huge, walks upright, smells like a musky urine, burned hair type odor. He repeatedly comes back in the early morning hours after midnight and harasses them until just before dawn. It has on more than one occasion tried to enter their home. We don't know where to turn. Everyone thinks we are crazy when we mention it. Please, we don't know what to do but I do know that something needs to be done! There are stories we could tell that would make the hair stand on your neck..."

The message went on to explain that the family was having problems over the past two years with one or more nuisance animals that were prowling around outside the home at night. The animals were stealing deer meat from an outside shed.

The situation had escalated when the animals tried to get into the home. At one point the father went outside to confront the animal. He got a good look at one, and took a shot at was he claimed was a bigfoot running back into the woods.

We contacted the family after receiving the report. The man we spoke with first was the brother of the father of the family. He insisted that they were not kidding around. At least one bigfoot was coming around the homestead almost every night. It was coming onto the porch, messing with a window, wiggling the door knob as if it wanted to get into the house, and even stealing deer meat out of a freezer that was kept in an open-sided outbuilding.

Whatever it was wasn't alone. The family could hear chattering and screaming from the hills when the prowler(s) were near the home.

The wife was too fearful to remain in the house. She and the kids were relocated temporarily while the men armed themselves with assault rifles and prepared to defend the homestead against the nightly prowlers.

On the night before the first message was received, the father fired at one of the animals and thought he may have hit it. The following morning he found a substantial trail of blood in the yard and thought it was from the animal he shot.

One of the BFRO investigators, an airline pilot from Ohio, offered to visit the scene to hopefully collect some of the blood that was left in wake of the previous night's shooting.

Another BFRO investigator made contact with the residents by phone and began updating other BFRO members via email.

 

"I finally spoke with the shooter last night. When I spoke with him directly I got the facts straight about the situation at the house and the blood.

The shooter is named Tim. His brother (the one who originally contacted us) is named Michael. Tim says it was definitely a bigfoot that he shot at, and thought he might have hit it (it was approx.70 yds. away, at night).

There is a trail of blood in the woods, but it leads to the fresh deer kill, not away from the area where the bigfoot was standing when he fired at it.

Tim says the bigfoot ran after he shot at it, but then he and his brother could hear it and others on the hillside for several hours after the shooting.

That suggests to me that he didn't even wound it, and all the blood is from the deer. Miles and Roger will be there in a few hours and see this all for themselves and thoroughly look over the area. They will be armed.

Roger's father, a very skilled, 72 year old bear hunter, will remain at the property, possibly for a few days.

Tim says he doesn't care what we do there, but if the animal comes back to the house and scratches at the window again, he will go out and try to kill it. He's had to send his kids to stay with relatives and he and his wife are clearly terrified.

The volunteer, Roger Roberts, is a well-respected veteran private investigator in Oklahoma. He was in military intelligence in Vietnam, then a police officer for many years in Oklahoma before becoming a private investigator. He's on a first name basis with law enforcement officials throughout Oklahoma and is very familiar with every jurisdiction. Both Miles and I were very impressed by him after speaking with him at length on the phone.

Roger chuckled when I said we were wondering why Tim hasn't called the police about this. Roger said there are hardly any sheriffs in this area because there's a lot of weed growing in southern Oklahoma and the federal government routinely does unannounced sweeps and arrests crooked deputies.

The backwoods people do not talk to police if they can help it. Roger says this mentality is the norm for southeastern Oklahoma, firmly rooted over generations.

Tim wants us to take care of his problem. He doesn't want the bigfoot coming back to his house anymore and he doesn't care what it takes to make it stop. He will not move and not hold back from shooting at it if it returns.

I told him that we're sending some people who will help him figure out what should be done. I said the bear hunter will shoot it if there's no other way to handle it, but in any case to let us handle it.

There may be no other way to handle it because tranquilizing it would be, as we learned last year, basically impossible to arrange, especially if it needs to be done within a few weeks. This game may be over much sooner than that.

The presence of more people with rifles at the location will be the best deterrent to the animal, whatever it is, while this situation is being assessed and we're recording audio and video there.

We have always known that, in the natural course of things, there would someday be an overly aggressive bigfoot that would get itself killed by someone protecting his family/property. This may be the one, inevitably.

Matt "

A day later more was added:

 

"Miles and Roger and Roger's father are at the location and setting up. I spoke with Tim's wife briefly. She reiterated how frightened they were of this thing and described some of the incidents. Far from jumping to conclusions, she said her and her husband had denied the whole thing to themselves for a few years. It wasn't until after the deer meat (three complete quartered deer) had all disappeared from the large, chest-high freezer in the outdoor shed that the intruder started trying to get in the house at night. It didn't just scratch at the window, she said. It had pulled off parts of the window and was getting bolder in its attempts to get in the house.

The recent deer kill found outside had not been shot. One of its legs was violently twisted and broken. It had clearly been carried, not dragged, to the spot where it was found.

The most interesting thing was how the predator pulled out the internal organs. The belly of the deer had not been opened. The opening was up between the neck and rib cage. The predator made a hole large enough to stick its arm in and apparently reached down from above the rib cage and pulled out the organs.

Yuck.

Miles and Roger are surely photographing all of this right now.

There is no doubt in the lady's mind on the main question. She's adamant that it is not a bear.

The loud vocalizations, tree thrashing, chattering and whistling outside the house at night, are the most noticeable, recurring things. There was considerably more noise during the night the deer was killed. Note that the vocalization and tree thrashing aspects were not present at either the South Carolina location or the Kentucky location. I expect our three guys will at least hear something tonight ...

Matt "

Twelve hours later, more details:

 

"I was on the phone with the people at the house last night for a few hours. I was asking questions and listening to what was happening.

Things got very hectic at one point. These guys were actually shooting from the porch while I was on the phone.

I figured it would be best to let them go at that point and said I'd talk to them later. I don't know as yet all the highlights of what happened. All I know is what I heard last night on the phone, and what I heard from Tim and Michael this morning. I haven't heard from Miles and Roger yet today but they will report on what happened and what they brought back with them, if anything.

As of this morning they did not have a body, according to Tim and Michael. This morning Miles and Roger went to check out a cave in the area where one had been seen in during the day, according to another local witness who came to speak with Miles and Roger yesterday.

Apparently they all saw a few bigfoots last night near the property. I don't know how much, if anything, was gotten on tape. I do know that it was pouring rain all night last night, which complicated things greatly, especially with the recording equipment. I assume they are on their way home. I'll try to call Roger in a few minutes.

-------------------------

From my conversations yesterday and early this morning with the residents, we think we figured out what is so different about this situation. The underlying cause seems to be that lots and lots of deer congregate on Tim's property. He's got thirty acres in the mountains and he plants Austrian snow peas all over the property, especially near the house, because deer go crazy for them this time of year. People plant these plants specifically to attract deer. It makes it easier to hunt.

Many deer come to feed on his property. There's a deer overpopulation problem in the area to start with, so his property is apparently an effective magnet for deer.

There are so many deer that he doesn't even have to get off his porch to go 'hunting'. He bags lots of deer on his own property and has been doing it for a few years now.

He and Michael said that on some occasions the deer carcasses were snatched away by something.

We didn't get into details about each of those incidents, but some of those incidents involved frozen quartered venison being taken from a big freezer in an outside shed with no door. The freezer has no lock but does have a very heavy lid that needs to be lifted. The frozen deer parts were all taken eventually. When there were none left, Tim and his wife started hearing the attempts of something trying to get in the window, and loud 'hollering' outside.

A few times Tim ran out after it, but it would always flee into the woods. The first time he got a good look at it was the night he shot at it -- a few night ago.

The most baffling thing for all of us was why these things weren't running away after being shot at. They'd pull back a bit in the trees, then move to a different part of the hillside and could be seen through the brush when the spotlights reflected off their eyes.

Miles told me on the phone last night that both he and Roger were seeing what Michael and Tim were describing in terms of the red eyes and other movement in the trees. Supposedly a lot more happened after I got off the phone.

Tim and Michael were trying to kill the animals. Apparently there was more than one target at some points. I asked Roger on the phone if it was possible these guys are just freaked out and shooting at raccoons in trees. Roger sounded very nervous, and didn't want to talk much. He just replied, "No, this is serious business. They've definitely got a problem here." I called back a while later and was only able to talk to Miles and Roger for a few seconds. Miles last words about what was happening: "Its pretty much shoot to kill at the moment."

This morning I asked Tim if he ever spotlights deer at night from his porch. He does. Then we established that indeed, MOST of the time when he's spotlighting the woods and shooting from his porch is when he's shooting at deer, not bigfoots. So if the animals who aren't running away from the loud gunshots are some kind of predator (like bigfoots) that's been in the area a while, then those predators may have noticed that sometimes after those spotlighting-gunshot incidents, a wounded deer would be struggling up the hill trying to get away... and will be much easier to catch.

Deer will always take off running when they hear gunshots, especially within 50 yards, that's how they know they weren't seeing deer's eyes while the shooting was going on. Te animals may have thought Tim and Michael were taking shots at deer, as they usually do, and that's maybe why they aren't running away.

Tim's sound stunned when I explained the deer connection. He slurred out a long steady ".. oh my god" as if it finally all made sense to him.

The bigfoots might be hanging around the property waiting to grab a wounded deer. I explained that these predators might not understand that they are the intended targets now, because all they would see is a spotlight shining through the trees toward them, then a very loud BANG from an assault rifle.

The animals may be expecting to see wounded deer running toward them up the hill. They may have watched that pattern for years.

It's possible they either don't realize that there are bullets whizzing by them, or they've gotten used to it. At that range the shot is so loud you wouldn't hear a bullet hitting the trees next to you. And they wouldn't see when the guns are pointing right at them because the spotlights would be in their eyes at that moment. It may appear to be business as usual with all the shooting going on.

Matt"

Addresses questions from other BFRO advisors :

 

"Miles and Roger are probably on their way home. Miles will give his update as soon as he can, I'm sure.

I wish I knew more but I'd rather not give all the details that Michael and Tim gave to me. I'd like to hear Miles' version because that's going to be more accurate.

Q: Could there be a way to deal with them that is non-lethal?

A: I don't think so. These residents are going to shoot these things on sight, and they don't give a hoot if we have a problem with that. To them it's a dangerous nuisance predator. They said we could do whatever we wanted to, but they are going to do whatever they want to.

Assume we could do the impossible and get a tranquilizing team assembled. The team would NOT want to lay in wait there with these guys shooting up the place. Nothing is going to stop these guys if they think they see one from the porch.


Q: What has led them to take the fairly unusual step of frequenting a human habitation and attempting to break into a living space?

A: They are after the deer and the deer meat.


Q: Could something be done to alter this behavior which would not put humans or BF at risk?

A: Yes, he's got to deter the deer. If the deer leave permanently then the bigfoots will leave eventually. I told him to put up scarecrows and remove as much of the snow peas as he can to keep the deer away. I also told him to string up more lights around the house.


Q: I can imagine that if it were me in their shoes, I'd be out there with as much firepower as I needed, but have we examined what brought this situation to its current crisis? Is it unreasonable to expect that if you keep fresh game hanging around your property that it is going to attract unwelcome visitors?

A: All I could do is ask questions to help him figure out the cause, and from that point we came up with a simple strategy: Make the deer go away and everything should cool down. That's what they are going to do, but they're still going to shoot if they see one. These guys are very firm about reserving the right to shoot on sight. All the king's horses wouldn't change Tim's mind about that. I asked him if he'd sell the property. He said it isn't for sale. They don't want to move.

I suppose it's like this ... Imagine you didn't know anything about this subject and you lived way out in the mountains. Recently you've had a real live monster, maybe more than one, trying to get in your windows, and now your wife and kids are petrified. You've gone out to shoot at it and it still comes back to the edge of your property, and your wife and kids know that.

Then some research group shows up and says, "Hey, don't shoot the poor monster. It's special." That doesn't fly with these guys. If it was a bear trying to get in the house, they'd shoot it. They'd hunt it down if they couldn't get it in the act. If it was a person trying to get in, they'd shoot him. They don't see why they should cut a bigfoot any slack.


Q: I believe we need to try to at least ask these questions of ourselves. I hope as you do that the presence of a lot of armed humans will be enough to keep these things at bay, but I'd really like to know the full history of the encounters between the bigfoot(s) and this family. Could there have been measures taken to head this off?

A: I think we're going to be learning some things as we go along here, but we can't stop this particular ball from rolling. I've done absolutely everything I can do. I think I heard the most relevant points of the encounter history with this family. It all adds up to a correlation between three species being present there -- humans, deer, and bigfoots.

The deer are the things to focus on, because they can be removed from the equation. If the deer leave, the bigfoots will probably leave too. Tim and Michael are taking my word on this. They said don't want to have to kill the bigfoots if necessary. Unfortunately if they even see one, then it becomes necessary as far as they are concerned ...


Q: Again, I'm not there, and I can imagine the fear and anger these people are feeling, but the questions must be asked, if for no other reason than it will add to our knowledge base and hopefully allow us to defuse a future situation like this. By the way, the explanations regarding the reluctance to contact local law enforcement is entirely plausible; it really is something to have a guy like Roger around who knows the local terrain and mentality of the locals so well. I got to question what the father is doing there though, it sounds like this could easily turn into a hunting expedition which you warned against.

More emails:

  "Tim and Michael were only amenable to letting me send people initially if I was sending a hunter in the mix. Roger's father was the hunter. I didn't tell the residents ahead of time that the hunter was in his 70's.

I had to explain to Michel on the phone after they arrived that they are more investigators than hunters but they can defend themselves. Roger's father turned out to be more interested in sleeping in the car than anything else. He got out of the car and came in the house when the shooting started though ...

I think they were all up for most of the night and then all day long again today. That's probably why I haven't heard from them. I'm as eager as the rest of you to hear all the details.

Matt "

From Miles, one of the investigators who went to the site :

  "I met Roger Roberts and his father-in-law in Tulsa and we drove down to the site, arriving shortly before dark, Friday afternoon.

Roger is a private eye and was very helpful picking up on details and asking good questions.

It was quickly beginning to cloud up with very dark ominous looking weather, which probably cheated us out of close to an hour of good daylight.

We looked around the scene. The deer was badly eaten up at this point (less than 48 hours had gone by since the kill) mostly by his dogs I imagine. He had about 15 beagles running loose. There are other predators in the area, but since it was only about 75 yards behind their house, I doubt if it was anything but the dogs that were responsible for the damage. I witnessed them eating on it.

Anyway, it was too far gone to tell anything, just a skeleton from the hind quarters forward to the upper neck. The witnesses were all appeared to be honest. It is my opinion that they are truthful and that there is bigfoot activity in the area.

The gate was impressive. It closes against the corner of the house. There were absolutely no signs of scratches or anything that gave the impression that the damage was faked by clamping in a vise or something. The total area of the bending was approximately 14 inches. There appeared to be 3 or 4 spots along the middle of the crease that were the points of contact, like a hand wrapping around it and squeezing. They were each approximately two inches apart, centered in the folded area.

Several friends and neighbors stopped by throughout the evening that had heard about what was going on. When they heard about what was happening, they began to open up and relate stories of their own. For the story telling session, we just let them talk. I can spot a lir and Roger has a lot of experience with questioning and interviewing, and we are both convinced these people were on the level about their experiences.

The session went on until about 11 pm and since they indicated nothing ever happens until around 1 or 2 a.m., Roger and I went driving around with a spotlight to see if we could spot anything from the roads. It rained all night by the way.

NOTE: That area is extremely remote and heavily forested and mountainous. I have been all around the country hiking (Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Alaska, Great Smokey Mountains, etc.) and I was really caught by surprise. No, it is not as rugged and isolated as the Northwest but it is just like the Smokies. It is a perfect spot with all the protected government land.

Anyway, when we got back, they were all out on the front porch and they said they had just shot at one across the road. That started the hunt. Basically, we hung around outside until about 4 a.m., in the rain, low 30's, shining lights. The brothers shot at 2 more "somethings" that I never saw. They described the eyes as "reflecting pinkish red". The term "like a red reflector or taillights on a car" was used. I did see something a few minutes after the initial sighting that they shot at. That reflected like a red reflector. It was there for just a second in the trees across the road (thick small saplings and brushy area) around 7 or 8 feet high. It was definitely there, not the reflection of wet leaves or anything like a tower light in the distance.

Anyway, they would see something and shoot, but there would be no scream or sound of anything running away. There were no screams all night or any definite moving in the brush. Of course, listening was hampered by the sound of the rain on the wet leaves."



Miles and Roger shot some videotape of the situation with their camcorder. They tried to document the eyes on the hillside but it was too fleeting to capture on tape. The heavy rain complicated matters by forcing them to stay on the porch most of the night.

The following morning they looked for tracks on the hillside. Due to the thick leaf litter and the heavy rains there were no tracks that could be clearly distinguished from the boot impressions of the residents.

By the end of the day it was decided by Miles and Roger that the residents could adequately protect themselves. They didn't need another hunter waiting on the porch. The residents weren't interested in allowing a surveillance project, or anything else that would require attracting the animals back near the home. They wanted the bigfoots to get the message and keep out.

There were other reasons the investigators were not inclined to stay longer: The nervous shooting by the residents made it a hazardous, unpredictable situation. The investigators had to cautiously position themselves much of the time to keep out of any potential line of fire. They never knew when the crackle in the brush might lead an unfortunate accident. There was also an inherent conflict between different objectives: deterence and research. Even doing research on adjacent land wasn't a safe alternative.

The investigators packed up, thanked the residents for their hospitality, told them to be safe, and asked to be contacted if any evidence of any sort became available. It never did.

As with any small town situation, word got out about what was happening at the property. Not only did everyone seem to know what was going on, but the location soon came under surveillance by the state fish and game office. The residents could no longer do 'hunting' off the back porch, or shoot fairly indiscriminately into the night.

The family was eventually persuaded to stop trying to shoot the creatures, and instead deal with the underlying cause of the problem. They needed to get rid of all the deer meat and stop hunting deer on the property. The increased presence of fish and game vehicles in the area made the argument an easier sell.

It wasn't long before they indicated that everything died down. They said the bigfoots seemed to keep a greater distance. They were heard off and on howling from the nearby hill tops, but they didn't try to enter the home again.

The family heard less and less vocalizations as the weeks went on. Eventually the vocalizations ceased all together. It was assumed the animals moved into a different area. There was plenty of places for them to go. The property is in the Kiamichi Mountains, on the edge of the vast Ouachita National Forest.

A few weeks later the BFRO sent another investigator from Oklahoma, Sue Lindley, to explore and solo camp in the general vicinity of the home. She came well prepared and camped for several days alone with her dog. She returned a few weeks later to set up an automated camera at a promising spot. She found and heard a few interesting things on that trip, but nothing definite. The camera trap yielded nothing.

The best thing the BFRO could do at that point was to wait to hear from more witnesses in the general area who might provide tips on another visited property. When a tip finally came in months later, an expedition was organized -- the Ouachita Expedition. That expedition yielded no video or photographic evidence, but the participants say they heard probable vocalizations and believe another expedition is warranted.


 

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