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Mystery Cat and Possible Bigfoot

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posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:00 AM
I've been interested in cryptozoology since the 1970's when I first read Bernard Heuvelmans' book On the Track of Unknown Animals. I am a biology teacher who now lives in Missouri, and I just wanted to relate two honest instances of possible crypto "encounters".

The first took place in 2003 as I was driving my sons home from school in Frohna, Missouri. It was near sunset, and we had just turned north on Hwy 61 toward Longtown. A mile or two ahead, the road was flanked on both sides by woods, and as my vehicle approached that point in the road, I observed what looked to be a large black cat emerge from the foliage on the right side of the road and proceed to "slink" across the highway to the opposite side, where it disappeared into the undergrowth. The creature appeared to be about 4' long, not counting the tail, and about 18" to "24 high at the back. As I mentioned before, it didn't walk or trot but rather "slunk" along, like cats tend to do. It paused briefly in the center of the road as my high-beams caught it, then moved quickly to the other side. I asked the boys if they saw what I did, and they responded, "Yeah, what WAS that?" The next day, I mentioned what I'd seen to some of my students, and they immediately began recounting sightings their dad's (mostly farmers or hunters) had of large cat-like animals in the area over the years and of livestock killings that did not appear to have been the work of dogs or coyotes.

Postscript: When my wife told her supervising teacher what I'd seen, she said that her husband, a state-licensed trapper, was already aware of a creature like I'd described being seen in the area, and that he and other trappers were on the hunt for it.

The second observation was by my 34-year-old son who regularly hikes in an area off Hwy 32 called Pickle Springs. Ever since he was a kid, he has been interested in Bigfoot (probably thanks to his old man). On several occasions, he has reported seeing unusual signs of what he believes is Bigfoot activity in that area. These have included a partial track of what looked like a very large humanoid foot, 3"-4" saplings twisted until they splintered (in the middle of thickly-wooded areas with no evidence of storm activity, etc.), bark scraped off trees too high up to have been done by deer, black hair caught under a large fallen tree about 6' above the ground (as if something tall walked under it), and periods of eerie silence in mid-summer when the woods should have been filled with animal and bird activity. He actually saved some of the hair, which had a strong skunk-like stench, but lost most of its smell in his pocket. I think he still has it in a baggie. Since there have been quite a few bigfoot sightings in this area of Missouri over the years, I thought it was worth relating his observations.

[edit on 4-9-2006 by Coast Wizard]

[edit on 4-9-2006 by Coast Wizard]

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 07:09 PM
It's nice to see a teacher who is interested in Cryptozoology, too many people of academic standing reject the concept of Cryptozoology all-together.

Now, concerning your accounts:

All the facts seem to be in order. Therefore, there is no reason to doubt them based on what you've said so far. So, if you are trying to pull the wool over our eyes(Not saying you are) you've done some research first, which would lend you some respect in my eyes.
I've always thought that if people are going to try and fake something, they might as well do it as well as they can.

Now that the two possibilites are out, I'd most likely go with the one that your telling the truth, as it's much more plausible.

Perhaps your first son ought to get that hair tested if he can.

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 09:30 PM

Not only am I interested in cryptozoology, but I'm also a Creationist and have been since the 70's when I first heard Dr. Gary Parker speak in Pasadena, CA. I even took to lecturing on it and drew the ire of a few of the "committees of correspondence" who publicly accused me of being "anti-intellectual." Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! On top of that, I am someone who has always been very interested in Tesla, ever since I saw a demonstration of a Tesla coil at the Griffith Observatory in L.A.

Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I have included the following quotes on my blog because I believe in what they say:

"If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it." - Marcus Aurelius

"I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world." - Margaret Mead

[edit on 4-9-2006 by Coast Wizard]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:18 PM
I am the aforementioned son, and I thought it would be worth the trip in here to talk a little bit more about what my father has already alluded to. Additionally, it's cool to find a crypto message board - this being my first, incidentally.

Pickle Springs is located 5 miles Northeast of rural Farmington, MO. The route through HWY 32 is wooded with patches of corn and soybeans intermixed. The area itself is a state park, with the primary draw being extraordinary rock formations and a labyrinth of deep crevices in the ground, some of which are part of the hiking path and others of which are inaccessible without great effort.

My brother has hiked this area with me on several occasions and commented that portions are steeper than some treks he has been on in Nepal (albeit not nearly as long or high-altitude). My uncle has hiked it and compared it to Mount Whitney (again, not nearly as long or high-altitude).

The flora consists primarily of deciduous trees, although there are patches of conifers growing together. For the most part the hike winds through a recession, at the bottom of which runs the namesake - Pickle Springs. Water is abundant.

During the winter you get a fair amount of visibility throughout the woods since the deciduous trees have lost their cover, but in the spring the underbrush and canopy returns and both vertical and horizontal visibility are obscured. At this time of year with the sun beginning to set on the horizon, long shadows are cast by the mottled patches of light that permeate the upper layers. This is easily the spookiest time to hike.

The fauna consists almost entirely of squirrels and snakes as well as thick swarms of flies and abundant spiders that seem all too quick to form webs across the hiking trail. I cannot recall having seen a bird in 6 years of hiking this area, although I don't know if that bears significance.

I have used Pickle Springs consistently to maintain my physical health, given the challenging nature of its inclines. Sometimes I have gone there every day for months. And I can safely say that this sort of frequency makes me a very good study of the changes to the environment (should there be any).

I know if weather might have affected the area between visits. I know well enough to know that almost no one goes to Pickle Springs on weekdays. I know that Summer is the busiest time of year, and the other months of the year see very few visitors. I have been out there for hours alone and witnessed everything in its natural state. I have seen snakes swallowing toads on the trail, turtles meandering along, woodchucks drinking from the creek, and scores of squirrels foraging in the leaves. So many so that I have often thought how easily it would be to survive off squirrel alone were I stranded out there.

Before I continue, it's worth noting that since my childhood I have spent much time in the woods of both California (Big Bear, Arrowhead, Yosemite) and Missouri as a camper and hunter. I have encountered deer, fox, coyotes, martins and scores of other forest dwellers. Suffice to say I have a good feel for the woods.

One more quick note. I am 6' 7" and 290 pounds. This factoid becomes significant in the next post.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:47 PM
For this section I will list the strange observations I have made in my 6 years of hiking Pickle Springs. My recounting of events is accurate to the best of my knowledge, and I record them here as someone who is fascinated by cryptids, but not altogether convinced of the existence of many of them. That having been said, these observations are as unbiased and factual as I can possibly make them. Lastly, it is my eventual goal to video tape a walk-thru of Pickle Springs, highlighting each area of interest for you in order that you may judge for yourselves.

Footprint in Sandstone
My father neglected to mention that the area in which I found the footprint in the stone is called Spirit Canyon, so named by the Native Americans from this area.

The footprint was found accidentally as I was taking a break hiking out of Spirit Canyon. The inside portion (heel, arch and two toes) of a right foot left an impression in the sandstone. How can this be? I don't know. You would have to ask a geologist how sandstone can capture something like that. In any event I attempted a plaster casting, but stupidly didn't consider the adhesive characteristics of porous sandstone in contact with wet plaster. Before destroying the footprint and my mold in an attempt to remove it I noted that the print was longer than my size-13. Perhaps around 14 inches or so.

Broken Saplings
Along the trail I have noticed many broken saplings. The oddest detail being the fact that they are broken at about eye-level with me. The smallest one was about 3 inches in diameter. There were absolutely no signs of tool marks or chewing (human, beaver or porcupine). They were simply snapped. I attempted to snap one myself but was unsuccessful. The fulcrum point would have needed to be at least 6-feet up and a tremendous amount of downforce applied. Worth noting is that this area is in a low spot (as much of Pickle Springs is before the inclines) and the surrounding area was unaffected. Broken saplings are a regular theme out there.

Stripped Bark
Within 15 feet of the footprint there is a very large tree, and about 20 feet up the tree there is probably a portion of bark roughly 6 feet long and 12 inches wide that has been stripped away.

At the lowest point in the valley there is a bridge that crosses Pickle Springs. One of the guide rails is a bit higher than my knee. I collected a musty piece of dark brown hair from a nail that was protruding about 1/4 inch. The hair didn't smell like a skunk as much as it smelled like musty leather and urine. The consistency was long, thin and soft. It made me think of alpaca actually, but there isn't anything like that roaming around out here. I saved the hair in a baggy, but not until it had scent-marked my pocket.

I have been out there in the past when the silence was completely disconcerting. In fact, I'm getting chills just typing this. On those occasions I usually ran out of there as opposed to my usual hiking pace. But only in the low spots. The high spots coming out of the valley are more 'normal feeling.' Make of that what you will, and I realize that this sort of observation is completely subjective.

I absolutely, positively have heard loud noises crashing in the underbrush. Never within visual range of me though. I have been out there before with my brother as my witness to this. Not running, but a crash and then nothing. Was something thrown? Did something fall from a tree? I don't know, but I do know this. On consecutive days I have heard a similar loud crash at the same spot exactly on the trail.

That's everything. Now you know everything that I know about Pickle Springs. If you find yourself in Southeast Missouri you should make a point of stopping there. It would be worth it for a more educated observer to generate a hypotheses.

Happy hunting.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:58 PM
I stand corrected by my son about the location of the hair that was found, but he's the one who was there!

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:39 AM
idk about aussie bigfoots but im 99% sure we got a good population of big cats goin

posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 08:09 AM
I say have your son take the hair in for testing see if you can identify a species with it or something. Have you had any sightings besides that one day?perhaps you should take a team and investigate the area and see if ya can find anything

posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 12:40 AM
Let me begin by saying I devoutly believe both of you here (father and son). You have nothing to gain by any of this, other than simply your own satisfaction and the spread/search for the truth. The amount of detail you've provided is great and I look forward to following this thread. Just a few things:

First can you please get pictures of the hair sample, and also go back and take pictures of the broken saplings, stripped bark, etc - and post them here? That would be GREAT for all of us to see and analyze. Also keep us updated if you find anything else interesting. Any chance you could have some of the hair analyzed or tested as the others have suggested? (make sure you don't give them all of it)

In terms of the footprint I don't know how that could happen in sandstone, maybe it was some sort of natural, odd divot or perhaps something used/created by the Native Americans that used to populate the area. I also find it extremely strange that you say you can't remember seeing a bird there for 6 years, birds are everywhere in droves - especially a park. I know the quiet and eerie sensation that you're talking about that happens sometimes, it's happened to me before and is so unnerving. Usually it's the birds stopping that begins the feeling for me, but I suppose in your situation it was insects, or otherwise? Any bigger animals in your area at all, such as deer, bear, even smaller things like foxes, raccoon, etc? How about porcupine...their meal of choice is the bark off of trees, especially coniferous - and they tend to strip it and eat it anywhere up along the entire trunk in sections, even 10-50 feet off the ground. Was the stripped bark off of a pine/evergreen, or different tree?

Final question...I find it interesting that both you and your father registered a day apart back in September of 2006, yet he didn't reply or make a single post until 5 years later, and you only made 1 comment about the frustrations of Bigfoot not being discovered (either by video or death). Why is that, did something happen to bring you back here 'randomly' after 5 years? Again just curious.

P. S. - Take your camera and get us some pics of your findings!
edit on 18-9-2011 by Ajax because: (no reason given)

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