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COUNTY: Cochise County
LOCATION DETAILS: As you travel Charlestone Road from Sierra Vista to Tombstone heading north east, stop at the San Pedro River bridge, and head north, probably about 1/3 mile along the west side banks of the San Pedro River.
NEAREST TOWN: Tombstone / Sierra Vista
NEAREST ROAD: Charlestone Road
OBSERVED: My father and I along with one of his close friends named Chuck were hunting along the San Pedro River off of Charlstone Road midway between Sierra Vista and Tombstone. I was only 9 years old at the time but still can recall the events of that day. As we were walking along the river (not really a river but more a large creek), we all came to a sudden stop when we heard this "animal or thing" scream so loud that it made me freeze. I look at my father to see that he had turned ash white along with his friend Chuck. My father quickly changed out his shotgun shell for a mangum load. We beat a hasty retreat out of there and called it a day.
The scream I remember was a VERY loud single scream that lasted for maybe 5-7 seconds. My father and his friend (very experienced hunters) had never heard of any animal in all the years they had been hunting sound as this did, dying or alive, to include mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, bear, rabbit, etc. At the time I did not know that my fathers friend Chuck had seen movement in some mesquite trees about 30 yards away from the direction the sound was coming from. As we departed the area, Chuck saw large footprints in the sand of the San Pedro River, I am not sure how he did now see them before...
My father passed away in 1997 and I have told this story to many of my friends and to my wife and kids with the same reaction ..."nice story". Anyway, I retired from the military in 2003 and moved back to Sierra Vista. One evening while at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) with my friends and wife I ran into my father's friend Chuck...I couldn't believe it. After shaking hands and all the formalities, we caught up on old times. The bigfoot story came up and I had Chuck (who is now in his early 70's) tell the story without my interference to my wife and friends and he recalled the events of that day pretty much the same way I had been telling it for years. I felt a bit vindicated that our stories jived and that I was not making this up.
I really don't know what it was all those years ago but I do remember the very sound scream this "thing" made in 1972. Hearing the scream together with the footprints in the sand I suppose equates to a bigfoot event I'm not sure but I know what I heard.
ALSO NOTICED: No, it is all in the body of the report.
OTHER WITNESSES: There was three of us, we were all walking along the San Pedro River hunting.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: I would say about mid day.
ENVIRONMENT: Mesquite trees and brush, typical of southern Arizona.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Lyle McKinley:
I spoke with this witness for 20 minutes and the following details may be added:
- The scream began with a low pitch then gradually grew higher in a matter of a few seconds.
- The scream was loud and strange enough to stop all three of them "dead in their tracks" and strike immediate fear and concern into the witness' father.
This experience occurred within what is now the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area. The area is managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to preserve a very sensitive ecosystem dominated by large cottonwood and willow trees and year round water flow. Mule deer and javelina are common here and over 350 species of birds have been identified.
About BFRO Investigator Lyle McKinley:
Mr. McKinley has a college degree in biology from the University of Arizona and is a high school biology teacher. He has attended Arizona Expedition 2006, Arizona Expedition 2008 and Arizona Expedition 2009.