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DATE: 18 or so
COUNTY: Coconino County
LOCATION DETAILS: Sitgrieves National Forest, 30 something miles east of Payson.
NEAREST TOWN: Payson
NEAREST ROAD: 260
OBSERVED: Was out on one of my snowmobiles after we already got 3 feet of fresh powder on a boat launch road for Willow Springs Lake on the Mogollon rim above Payson, Az where your team is at right now on 3-8-12 in Payson. I was the first tracks in virgin powder. When I got over a mile & a half or so from the highway a hundred yards or so from the lake I observed foot prints crossing the road deep in the forest heading south. Not snow shoes or boots. At the time I was trying to figure out what the hell I was looking at spaced 4 feet apart in 3 feet of fresh powder. The thought did cross my mind of you know what but I never heard of the Mogollon monster in the 6 years I've been living and snowmobiling here in the Payson area. I know what I saw and only told a handful of friends and family about it. The forest service closes all the forest road gates on December 15th every year and most all the wild life heads south for lower elevations out of the deep snow.
ALSO NOTICED: No
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9:00 in the morning, clear sky's as the snow storm passed with 3 feet of fresh powder for the playing.
ENVIRONMENT: Ponerosa pine forest near a mountain lake in 3 feet of fresh powder in December.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator TF Zamiski:
I spoke with this witness by phone on 11/5/12.
In his report he mentions our team being in Payson. This refers to the Payson town hall meeting back in March of this year for the Arizona episode of "Finding Bigfoot".
He decided to leave that mid December morning just after a heavy overnight snowfall. Driving up onto the Mogollon Rim on Hwy 260 he parked along the highway near the road into Willow Springs Lake around 9am. As he stated the forest roads were closed except for snowmobile access and the road to the lake was not plowed. When he came upon the trackline he circled his snowmobile back around for a closer look. After turning off his machine he examined the trackline to see who or what could possibly be up there under these conditions. The tracks were actually bare footprints with toes, larger than his boot. The stride was 3' to 4' long in two to three feet of snow on the road, much longer than his stride would be without the snow depth. The trackline came from the woods to the north, crossing the road then back into the woods heading south. South is the direction off of the Mogollon Rim to lower terrain and less snow depth.
Unfortunately he did not have any way to photograph the tracks and went back to his machine to continue his trip. During the ride he saw no sign of any other vehicles or tracks.
The footprints were just hours old at the most since the snow stopped earlier before dawn.
Those who are not familiar with the Arizona high country national forest region may be surprised to hear about snow storms. In fact, at elevations of 7000' feet or more the winters can be brutal with several feet of snow from one storm. The forest service actually has height extensions on the forest road markers for cross country skiers and snowmobilers to follow and locate roads.
About BFRO Investigator TF Zamiski:
Tim is semi retired. He attended the 2006 Arizona Expedition and the 2006 Wisconsin Expedition. Tim helped organize the 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 Arizona Expeditions and the 2011 New Mexico expedition. Active Investigator since 2005.