|BFRO Home||Reports Database||New Report Additions||FAQs|
|Media Articles||Hypotheses & Projects||About the BFRO|
COUNTY: Pope County
LOCATION DETAILS: Ozark National Forest, Piney Creek Wildlife Management Area. off of Road 1800A. This is approx. 8 miles off of the main Hwy of 164.
[Just below Pilot Rock Mountain and the "Arkansas Sphinx" rock formation]
NEAREST TOWN: Dover, Arkansas [or Hagarville]
NEAREST ROAD: Pilot Rock Mountain Road
OBSERVED: howls, whoop's, either rocks banging together or wood knocks or both. there was also a terrible odor and heavy breathing outside my deer blind. breaking limbs as it was going through the woods also. heavy footsteps.
OTHER WITNESSES: no
OTHER STORIES: No, but a friend of mine found strange hair on his property several miles away.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 5:15am Clear, almost a full moon with lots of stars. Cold, approx. 35 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Mountain Ridge, deep woods leading down to Piney Creek. open food plot areas close by.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tal H. Branco:
I called the witness on November 11, 2018 to discuss his report and to arrange an onsite meeting when the weather permitted.
That meeting occurred on January 6, 2019, and is briefly described below the following details of the witness's original experiences on site.
About 5 am the witness parked his truck on the north side of the NF road. On the south side of the road there was only a few feet of shoulder, and below that side there is a very steep and long slope to the valley floor beside Piney Creek.
It was before daylight and he set up a ground hunting blind several yards from his truck. The chosen site overlooks a large green field food plot. There was thick brush, vines and trees between the site of the hunting blind and the location of his truck. While seated inside the blind, its back wall blocked his view of the thicket behind him, his truck and the road.
At 5:15 am he heard a pack of coyotes vocalizing as they came up the side of the steep slope on the other side of the road from his truck. As the coyotes traveled higher, he heard loud "hollering" sounds on the slope.The coyotes became quiet but then he heard the sounds of rocks banging together and/or wood striking wood.
Shortly afterwards he heard an animal noisily running up the slope directly toward the road and making short "whooping" sounds. Very quickly the footsteps of the animal could be heard pounding across the road toward him and stopping in or behind the dense thicket behind him.
Immediately he heard the sounds of loud, fast and raspy breathing sounds, mixed with agitated growling sounds. At that time he began to smell a very strong and obnoxious odor.
After about five minutes, he heard the animal break and run, following the tree line to his right. It ran out of his hearing toward the backside of the food plot. He said at that time the area became "dead quiet".
At daylight, he could see there were no deer in the food plot. About 6:30, he saw a doe enter the back side of the food plot and pass behind a small island of trees and brush. As the deer emerged from behind the island and came within range of his rifle, he shot and killed it, leaving it where it fell. (It was cold that morning, and he hoped to kill another deer before leaving.)
About three hours later, he saw a spike buck entering the green field, following the same general path as had the doe. When the buck came into view from behind the island of trees and brush, he made a clean shot with his .270 rifle and the buck fell.
He walked to his truck, placed the rifle inside, walked across the field and drug each of the deer to his truck. As he was loading the second deer he heard loud hollering and very aggressive screaming sounds coming from the green field.
He loaded the last deer, closed the tailgate and stood by his truck a few seconds. He quickly realized the unseen animal - or animals - were quickly charging toward him. He stated it seemed to him that the sounds were coming from two areas of the green field, although he stated the animal's speed may have confused him as to the number actually charging him. He quickly got into his truck and left the area as fast as the road's condition allowed.
On January 6, 2019 this investigator and a close and trusted friend met the witness and his young son at Dover and drove to the encounter site. It was mid-afternoon when we arrived. We walked around the wood lines and the green field as the witness discussed the details of his encounter.
The food plot contains a thick growth of winter hardy grass, and shows abundant evidence of deer feeding on it. The field also showed that feral hogs have also foraged there.
We all returned to the trucks to wait until dark in the hopes of hearing vocalizations from any wildlife. We stood on the far side of the road, overlooking the steep slope. Because the witness and his young son were so eager to hear any animal sound I suggested the witness make a particular loud vocalization himself. He made the sound with no response. I went to our truck and played a recorded call of a Bigfoot. As soon as that call ended, and while I was still in the truck cab, the two other men and the boy heard deep growling sounds from the steep slope below them and a single whooping sound from another location further down on the slope and to their right of the growling sounds. We all listened for some time after that, but heard nothing more. We all left the area after a short while.
The writer firmly believes the witness is very credible, and looks forward to returning to that area with him and his son.
[Matt Moneymaker's note:
The area of this incident is below the "Arkansas Spinx" rock formation.
This view of the Sphinx looks down the slope into the gully where the incident occurred.
About BFRO Investigator Tal H. Branco:
Tal Branco is a lifelong resident of AR. He began hunting, fishing and tracking many years ago in south AR. Since he was a teenager, his outdoor activities have been primarily conducted in the Ouachita Mountains, although during the past forty years he has also conducted field investigations of reports of enigmatic and unclassified animals in the southeastern U.S. and in the Amazon Basin of Brazil.