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COUNTY: Johnston County
LOCATION DETAILS: The sighting was north of Mannsville OK.
NEAREST TOWN: Ardmore, OK
NEAREST ROAD: Just east of Highway 177
OBSERVED: In January of 2003 two friends and I were bobcat hunting in western Johnston County. It was a cloudy day, which increased our chances of seeing some cats. I enjoy hunting but was a little green behind the ears as far as hunting bobcats. However, two of us were able to harvest our 1st cats at two different stands. The other guy was not an experienced hunter and just enjoyed being out seeing some country he had never seen. He and I were driving together with the other friend following us. We crossed a cattle guard going into a heavily wooded pasture and we're driving somewhat slowly. Then out of the woods came something. It was about 30 ft in front of us, and walking on all fours. It was very muscular with a heavy coat of grey fur. I was amazed and the definition of the back muscles. After about three seconds I asked, "What is that?" In a long drawn out reply he says "I...don't.... know?" I then said, "Why won't it look at us?" I never accelerated and just continued to creep down the road. It was odd how the front appendages really didn't support this creature. It's back legs kind of kicked out as it scurried across the road. We were able to view him for probably 6-7 full seconds. It's hard to tell how tall this thing was because it stayed bent over as it walked (like a monkey). From what I saw, it stayed at around 3 and half ft above the ground. But its butt was never more than 6 inches off the ground as it walked. Within seconds it vanished. We both thought it looked and walked like a gorilla. I said it has to be a large bobcat if anything. And that's what we kind of agreed upon for years. Until recently I saw a close-up photo on Monster Quest of a creature in Florida that appeared like a gorilla. Last month I called the friend and asked him what it was he thought we saw five years ago. We agreed this thing looked to be about 150 to 175 lbs in weight and could no way be a bobcat. I told him that in 1999 in that same area I did hear a scream one night about a half mile south of the sighting. He asked why I never told him that story. I guess I never linked the two occurrences till recently.
ALSO NOTICED: I did hear a scream there in August of 1999. The passenger with me claims it was a screach owl. There were some deer near our vehicle that were more alarmed by the scream than our presence.
OTHER WITNESSES: One other wittness. I was hunting and he was just along for the ride. I think the bobcat incident beforehand rattled him because it was right at his feet and he didn't see it til it was about 12 ft from him and I wounded it in the front leg. He's an avid outdoorsman but more of a hiker/mountain biker.
OTHER STORIES: I didn't think much about it at the time but after reading several stories about wood knocks and dens, I realized that I may of alarmed one when I walked into it's core area 20 years ago. I remember seeing brush piles in this area where there was no reason for them to be there. I didn't think much of it at the time and then I began to hear what sounded like someone splitting or chopping wood. Just recently it dawned on me that the sound could have been wood knocks. After hearing the noise I saw a figure in the distance moving around up the hill. I was walking along the creek headed west. Later that evening I told my father that there was a squatter living on our ranch on a hillside south of the creek. The reason I say squatter was because the upright being that was moving around acted as if someone had come into it's territory, our ranch was big enough to where my father would not of known if someone was living out there. We tried to ride on horseback through that area a week later to make sure but it was too thick.
Anyway, just this year I realized that all the encounters (the primate crossing the road, the whoops and the tree knocks) happened within a mile of each other on a 24,000-acre ranch. We leased this pasture to the same family for over 30 years and even though we sold the ranch 8 years ago I find myself wanting to call this family to ask them if they ever saw or heard anything strange while deer hunting.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: This sighting happened about 3pm on a cloudy winter day. The temp was close to around 60 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: It was a pasture called the Hells hole. lots of cedar and brush however this was only about 50 yards from a rather large wheat field and was about 400 yards north of where we had just killed a bobcat so this creature would of heard the shots (we had to run it down and finish it off with a shotgun, it was rather disturbing to hear it squall like that).
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Troy Hudson:
I spoke with the witness and I believe him to be credible. A business man in the area of the sighting and an avid outdoorsman.
This sighting was within 30 miles of Report #23637 and is very similar in description to the creature. We hope to be able to do an on-site investigation in the near future. The property has shifted ownership.
About BFRO Investigator Troy Hudson:
Troy is works in federal law enforcement and has extensive experience in homeland security issues. He is based in Texas and attended the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 BFRO Expeditions in SE Oklahoma and West Arkansas. He serves as the Expedition Coordinator for Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. Troy is currently organizing Southeast Oklahoma Expeditions (Spring & Fall) 2009.