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COUNTY: Mayes County
LOCATION DETAILS: See report.
NEAREST TOWN: Murphy
NEAREST ROAD: U.S. Highway 412
OBSERVED: Date: Mid October, 1987
Weather: No wind, very still, partly cloudy
Time: About (15) minutes after sunrise, around 0645 hours.
Temperature: 40's farenheit
Nearest town: Murphy, Oklahoma. Murphy has about (100) residents and is a very small town. The town is in a remote location and has very little vehicle or pedestrian traffic. Murphy is about (3) miles East of the incident location.
Incident location description: The area contains large sporadic open hay meadows. The meadows are surrounded by densly forested small rolling hills. Numerous size creeks run through the location. The Grand River is also located in the area. All types of wild game are in abundance.
Tree stand description: I was bowhunting for deer. The stand was on one of the above forested rolling hills. I had located my stand in a tree that overlooked a very small creek. A hilltop was directly behind me. The tree was abnormal in its shape because it grew almost sideways from the stump. I was able to literally walk forward on the tree and get on my stand. Very little climbing was involved. The stand was about (8) feet off the ground and about half way down from the top of the hill. The hill was about (5) stories high.
Person reporting description: I was (18) years old at the time of the incident. I was wearing full fall camo clothing and had my face painted with camo paint. I was wearing pure skunk scent to mask my scent.
Person reporting summary: I drove to the above location about (1) hour before daybreak. I parked in a hay meadow and walked about a 1/2 mile towards my tree stand. I walked quietly but I used a flashlight to navigate through the dense forest. I climbed into my tree stand before sunrise. I remained very still and waited silently. As the sun rose, the woods soon became very active with squirrels running around my stand and birds singing in the trees. I had been in my stand for about (20) minutes when the woods suddenly became still. The birds stopped singing and the above squirrels had disappeared. I found this very odd but I remained perfectly still in my stand. About (5) minutes later, (3-4) small rocks were thrown in my direction. The rocks were thrown from behind me. One struck the branches over my head and the other rocks landed on the ground within (10) yards in front of me. I continued to remain perfectly still. I then heard the sound of breaking branches behind me. The sound came from the top of the hill and continued down towards my direction. Something heavy footed was walking towards me from behind. I continued to hear breaking branches but the sound now sounded like branches were being stepped on as well. I also clearly heard the sound of footsteps in the leaves as the branches were being broken. The creature definitely was not afraid of being heard and was approaching me in a bold manner. I continued to remain perfectly still. The creature was breathing very heavy. The creature's breathing was unique in that I did not hear him inhale. The creature distinctly made his exhale breaths louder that his inhale breaths. The creature sounded like he was within (5) yards directly behind me. I also smelled a "musky" odor when the creature approached me. I continued to remain perfectly still. The creature stood behind me for about (2-3) minutes and did not move. The creature continued his distinct breathing. The creature then gave a short snarling growl sound. The creature then walked away stepping on branches as he left the area. The creature sounded like he walked back towards the top of the hill directly behind me. I no longer heard him after a few minutes. About (5) minutes later, the woods became active again with the sound of birds singing and squirrels playing. I remained still for about another (5) minutes. I then quickly got down from my stand and ran towards the above open meadow. I then got in my vehicle and left the area.
Witnesses: None. I was alone.
Physical evidence: None. I did not check due to fear.
Person reporting hypothesis of the incident: I believe the creature was on the above hilltop and saw me arrive. I believe he saw me walk to my stand and tried to make me leave by throwing rocks at me. I believe the creature approached when I did not leave and tried to intimidate me with his branch breaking, deep breathing and growl.
Credentials: I retired in 2015 as a detective from the Tulsa Police Department after (18) years of service.
Note: I have experienced a lot of fearful moments in my life but this incident was definitely one of my worst encounters and will not be forgotten.
ALSO NOTICED: See report.
OTHER WITNESSES: No.
OTHER STORIES: There were (2) newspaper companies (The Pryor Daily Times and The Jeffersonian) at the time of the above incident. I remember one of them printing a story about the "Murphy Monster." I seem to recall the paper interviewed a local rancher and he told them that he discovered some dead livestock on his property. The above news paper companies have since went out of business and have been replaced with "The Paper." The Pryor Public Library may have archived the above (2) newspapers and their stories.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: See report.
ENVIRONMENT: See above report
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
I had a phone interview with this witness. Being former law enforcement, his attention to detail and copious note taking after the event creates a well documented event. I will add briefly to what he has provided. Almost to the day, our conversation was the 30 year anniversary of his event. Clear as a bell 30 years later.
He surmises that the creature saw him drive up and park, as the headlights would somewhat illuminate the general area he enters into the woods from the hay field. Once you enter from the hay field, you would walk up a slight hill to his tree stand, and once in the stand, it gives a decent and clear view of his hunting area. As mentioned the early morning forest activity was humming with animals in various stages of activity.
Google Earth image of the area:
When the forest went dead quiet, which was something he had not encountered before, he realized something was up. His description of the event is really concise and exact, and from this point, I will only add small items I got from our conversation. The rocks were golf ball and or nearly baseball sized, not pebbles. They came quite close, but did not hit him. He saw a few hit the ground and roll down the hill, which is where the size estimate comes from. He felt he was "being told to leave", and that he was in the creature's hunting area.
The smell was a combination of urine, feces, and just filth and body odor. He heard branches, not twigs, but good sized branches being broken as the creature walked towards his location. This was not from stepping on them, but breaking them as it walked along, because he could hear the "heavy stomping steps" simultaneously as it was breaking branches. For him, it was an overt act of intimidation. The breathing description is wonderfully descriptive, and as conjecture only, the inhalation was more slow and deliberate, as to gather in the scents it was looking for, and exhalation was more of the intimidation factor. Again, conjecture only.
He is familiar with bears, and knows the actions to take when you encounter a bear, which is why he froze. But, as noted, bears don't throw rocks. This was when he realized he was in the presence of something else. He of course, wishes now, that he had turned around, but he was paralyzed with fear.
The rest of his narrative is good as it stands. He indicated this was one of his top 5 scariest moments in his life, and as a police officer, his life was in jeopardy on several occasions. This was right up there with those.
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.