; Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Thursday, April 28, 2022

'Bigfoot' Activity Baffled East Texas Couple

A couple, living in an east Texas country home, start to notice signs of unexplained activity. Then they hear loud roars and calls in the night. Years later, they realize a Bigfoot was the cause.

The following account was recently referred to me:

"About 20 years ago, I relocated from the Gulf Coast area to East Texas to join my then-boyfriend who was tired of living and working in the big city and wanted to move back to his college and post-college stomping grounds.

He, “Rex” (I’m changing his name here to respect his privacy), had an old “country” house that he rented for many years from a man who owned thousands of acres of land several miles outside of town in the piney woods of East Texas. Some of the land was grazing pastures, but most of it was heavily wooded, with mixed hardwoods, pine, scrub, etc. He rented that house spanned well over 20 years. He lived in it initially and then when he moved away, he kept it, just to have a weekend getaway place, then we both moved into it for awhile.

Just to get to this house, you had to drive the 7 miles from town out into the country, then take a dirt road (good ole’ red Texas dirt) off the highway that went for about a mile and half before it ended in a T-section where you had to turn and drive yet another mile before coming to a 45 degree bend in the road. To the left of that bend was a locked cattle gate blocking the narrow road that lead to Rex’s house. From that gate to his house was another half mile. There were no streetlights; these were just county dirt roads (very rutted) that traversed all through the piney woods.

When we were just going there on the weekends, we would sometimes go up on Friday night, after work, and it would be dark by the time we got to the locked gate. Since Rex was usually the one driving, I would be the one nominated to get out of the truck and fumble with the padlock combination in the dark, with just the truck headlights to see by. (This was before the nifty clip-on LED lights, so it would have been very difficult to hold a regular flashlight in one hand while trying to fumble with the combination and pull the lock free from the chain that was wrapped through the gate and fence post with the other hand.) I’ll be honest, from the time we left the hard pavement of the highway and turned down the first road, my heart would start to beat faster and my palms would get damp. I never could explain why, I just hated those dark roads. So by the time we’d get to the gate, my heart was usually in my throat by then. There was somewhat of a ditch on either side of the gate and tall thick weeds filled up both sides. I always felt uneasy there, though I never saw anything. Once unlocked, Rex drove the truck through the gate, and I’d fumble in the light of the taillights to make sure the chain was secure and the lock snapped tight. (The man that owned all the land out there was adamant that the gate stayed locked at all times.) We had one last half mile stretch to get to the house, and once we got to the house, and unloaded the car, and I was safe inside, I’d feel that I could finally breathe.

The house had a wood stove and Rex kept a pretty good supply of split logs and kindling on the covered front porch. On weekends, we would tidy up around the place, and one day as I tidied up the woodpile and swept off the porch, a piece old dried alligator gar skull (something Rex had “found” one from his walks), had fallen far behind the 3 foot-high wood stack as I tidied up and I just left it there, rather than move all the wood again. One Saturday when we arrived at the house, that piece of bone was lying out on the porch. I thought it was odd, but just shrugged it off and thought an animal might have gotten in the woodpile and dug it out. The skull was old and bleached out and I’m not sure there was much “edible” interest in it, so I don’t know what a raccoon or possum would want with it. It did look like it had been carefully laid there, as though someone had looked at it and then laid it down; there were not any fresh chip marks on it, and no pieces missing. If it was a possum or raccoon, they must have been pretty strong to move all that wood.

Sometime, within a few weeks/month after discovering the skull, our nearest neighbors in the country (another three quarters of a mile further past our house), called Rex at his home in the city and said they noticed water running along down the length of the house and out onto the road. They were on their way to work that morning and saw it and said they had not noticed any water on the road the evening before when they came home from work. They stopped and investigated for us, knowing we were only there on weekends (at this point), and found the outside water faucet near the back of the house had been turned on. This was puzzling because Rex was very meticulous to turn the water off at the main, before we’d leave to drive back home on Sundays. The main cut off was set below the ground in a concrete housing at the front of the house and had a lid covering it. There were several 100 year old oak trees around the front of the house so the ground is perpetually carpeted in dead leaves, and no one would know where that water main was, unless they had watch Rex go to it to turn the water on or off. We were definitely scratching our heads over this, but made doubly sure to turn it off at the main every time before leaving to drive back to the city.

Another afternoon, late on Sunday, before we headed home, we were sitting out back of the house in lawn chairs just trying to enjoy what remained of our last hours of the weekend. Rex fell asleep in his chair and I closed my eyes and was enjoying the late afternoon sun. My reverie was interrupted by what sounded like a lion. The roar was very deep and throaty, just like you hear at the zoo or on a jungle movie on TV. I sat bolt upright and glanced over at Rex. He apparently had not heard it, and never blinked. It didn’t sound extremely close, but like it was within a 100 – 200 yards. It only sounded once and it had sort of a reverberation to it. It reminded me of the sound the T-Rex made on Jurassic Park. I have heard cougars and bobcats before and it didn’t sound remotely like those. I know there were supposedly cougars in the piney woods, and we had coyotes and bobcats too, but this roar sounded different than those, it was so much louder and deeper.

So fast forward to us having moved to the house full-time by the beginning of the summer. Being birders, we used to take walks with our dog and take our binoculars. Down about a quarter mile from our house, was an old overgrown road/logging trail created many years ago when the landowner had some of his acreage logged. We used to walk down that road from our house regularly, to bird watch and give our dog some exercise. We would stroll a half-mile down the road before heading back home. One day, we headed down that logging road and didn’t get very far when we smelled a God-awful stench, like something had died. Expecting to see turkey buzzards (always plentiful out there in country) circling around, there was nary a buzzard anywhere that we could see. In fact, there wasn’t anything stirring that day, everything was eerily quiet. We neither heard, nor saw anything moving. We had plenty of coyotes living around there, (we’d often hear them at night), so it’s unusual for anything dead to stay around long enough to starting stinking in those woods; there were plenty of things that would dispose of it quickly. We couldn’t see anything, so we kept walking.

We got about 50 yards or so down the trail, and right in the middle of it, was a HUGE pile of excrement. There haven’t been any bears seen or reported here in this particular area of Texas. The feces looked human; it did not look like deer, or cougar or bobcat scat. If it had been from a coyote, I can’t imagine how big the coyote would have had to been to produce scat that large. We avoided it and continued on down and still no wildlife movement or sounds. We didn’t go as far as we usually do, and Rex wanted to turn around and head back. Looking back on it now, it was though he seemed uncomfortable. On the way back, Rex was searching the trees and I was strolling slowly ahead about 15 yards. I felt something small hit my head, and fall to the ground at my feet. I looked down to see a pea-size rock. I looked up to the sky, wondering why a rock would fall from the sky (and wondering what the odds that it would land on me), but there was nothing in the sky and I looked around but saw nothing to explain where the rock came from. Another oddity I just ended up blowing off.

A few days later, we were sitting on the front porch drinking our morning coffee, when I noticed something laying on top of the wooden post on the side of the walkway that leads up to the porch. The post was part of a small wire fence that used to run across the front boundary of the house. We passed that post every day going out to the road for our walks and there had never been anything on it before. I walk out to it to see what is and there in the absolutely perfect center of the post, was a small colorful shell, like a tiny little seashell, yellow and sort of pretty. It couldn’t have more perfectly centered on the post in the middle of the concentric rings of the wooden post. On their way home from work later that same day, our neighbors saw us sitting on the porch and stopped for a minute in the road to say hello. I asked them if they might have left the shell there for us, but they didn’t know anything about it.

At night, Rex and I would often sit on the front porch in the cool of the evening after dinner. There was an old vapor light (the kind that gives off the greenish-gray color) at the corner of the front of the property, about 20 feet from the road running in front of our house, giving us enough pale visibility to see a small stretch of the road from left to right. There one 80-100 year-old red oak tree about 20 feet from the porch, to the right of the walkway as you were sitting on the porch looking out, that blocked a portion of the view of the road as it disappeared into the dark and the foliage of the trees that lined the road. That vapor light was partially obscured by the branches of another oak between us and the light, so that it did not shine directly on us as we sat on the porch. It was sometime between 9:00 and 10:00 and we had gone outside after dinner to sit on the porch and enjoy the cool evening breeze. We were there for a few minutes talking and all of a sudden we hear a voice coming from somewhere down on the road and to our right. The voice (a male) called out, “Hey,” like someone would call out to hail a friend from a distance, but whoever called out didn’t pronounce it, “Hey!” (as in, “Hey there” when you’re walking toward a friend you know), it was just “Hey.” The voice was reasonably loud and sounded like was less than 50 yards away, and definitely like it was calling to us. It startled both of us and our dog came to her feet and stood erect on the porch next to me, but didn’t bark and didn’t move a muscle off that porch to go see who the voice belonged to. She loves to chase squirrels and will bark at the sound of an approaching car, including our neighbor’s jeep as they come down the road, but she loved our neighbors dearly and when she knows it’s them, she would trot off the porch to go welcome them when they pull up. But she didn’t move anything except her ears, straining to hear more from where voice came. Rex called out, “Hey!” in return, both of us now alert, yet confused, wondering why our neighbors would be walking down to our house in the dark. It didn’t sound like Mr. or Mrs. J, and they never, came to our house uninvited and never walked anywhere. They would have traveled in their jeep and they never went anywhere late at night. There was no response to Rex’s call out and yet we sat looking intently at the road in front of the house in the dim light expecting our neighbors to walk out of the darkness and up to our walkway. Several seconds passed and…nothing. Our dog didn’t move, ears still poised. I whispered to Rex, “Was that “J?” He whispered back that he didn’t know, but it didn’t sound like him. A few minutes later and we realize that who/whatever called out to us, wasn’t going to reveal himself. After about five minutes of silence, Rex said abruptly, “Let’s go inside.” We went in the house with our dog, and Rex locked the door behind us.

We talked about the mysterious voice for several minutes and how strange it was. It made no sense that our neighbors would come down that pitch black road in the dark, at night, uninvited and call out “Hey,” and hide. We ruled out a hunter too, because it would be suicide to walk around on very remote private property at night, and risk getting shot at by the homeowner. The land around there is so choppy with ragged terrain, barbed wire, marshy creeks, etc., that no one would dare traverse around there, that far away from anywhere in the pitch black of night. A hunter certainly wouldn’t call out to someone sitting on their porch and then not come up and say hello or show themselves. No one in that area does that kind of thing. If some hunter was poaching and was deliberately sneaking about, he wouldn’t draw attention to himself by calling out to us. The fact that our dog did not bark her usual alarm or go tearing off the porch to address whoever was down there, made the matter all the more confusing and unsettling.

Needless to say, we flagged down our neighbors the next afternoon as they returned home from work and asked if they had tried to come for a visit the night before. We explained what we heard, and they just shook their head, puzzled as we were. The husband showed definite concern as he confirmed the gate at the end of the road, was locked when they came in the previous afternoon.

I observed other things that summer. Teepee like stick structures placed in tree limbs in the woods behind the house, as well as small saplings that had been bent and weighted with a log or something to create an archway over the pathway. I thought to myself, how does nature create these oddities on its own? They looked like they were deliberately placed that way, but it made no sense, since there was no one else living out there, and no storms or windy weather to explain the archways and patterns of the limb placements. I always got creeped out walking in the woods behind the house, even though it was fairly bright and sunny when it filtered through the treetops. We only explored back there once or twice, and I never wanted to go back out there again.

One night, a friend called and asked if could come out to the house to look for owls. Rex and I walked with him down the road as he did owl calls and then would stop to listen. We had lots of owls living out there and heard them almost every night. We didn’t get down the road too far and I just got an overwhelming sense of dread and fear and told the guys I was going back to the house. They just laughed and tried to reassure me they were out there with me, so I would be fine, but I just couldn’t go any further and hurried back up the road until I could see the house and the vapor light, then sprinted all the way to front porch.

If you take these incidents, one at a time, they are trivial (except for the voice, that was particularly troubling), and I tended to brush them off and didn’t dwell on it. It wasn’t until I moved back to the city and accidentally stumbled onto some websites, that I begin to wonder if all the incidents were related. I found many stories similar to mine about some of the things I saw and experienced, that now make me wonder if we had a Bigfoot or perhaps a Bigfoot family living out there with us.

Many years later now, I’ve since spoken with Rex (we remained friends), about some of the incidents and told him what I was beginning to conclude. He said he wouldn’t be a bit surprised, as many of his college friends had weird experiences out there when they all were hanging out there back in his college days. He said he just chalked some of it up to them smoking too much weed, but something had definitely scared them a few times. He also told me about a scream/roar he heard one night while he was asleep in bed; he said it was so deep and so loud and he’d never heard anything like it before or since. He said he thought later it might have been a cougar, because he heard they could scream, but he said he could “feel” it hit and vibrate in his body, all the way into the house.

Even though all these events were seemingly unrelated and insignificant, they stuck in my mind all these years and when I spoke with Rex recently, he clearly remembered each event too. Like something just wasn’t quite right, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. It wasn’t until many years later, that I accidentally tumbled across a Bigfoot informational website that described very similar oddities experienced by other people. Bigfoot was never even on my radar then. Rex has long moved out of the house and last we heard, the house was bulldozed down. The property is still private and our neighbors moved out long ago.

I wish I could go back there and look around again, now that I understand what to be looking for. I suppose a person could have done the things I described, but they’d have to have really gone out of their way to get to our house way out there and they had to know they ran a huge risk of getting shot for trespassing. Plus, why would they even bother doing some of those things? It just made no sense. Our neighbors were kind, decent people and not ones to play tricks on us, and they always kept an eye out on the property when we weren’t around, so I guess I’ll never know what/who it was." M

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Have you had a sighting of a winged humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area / Lake Michigan region? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'O'Hare Mothman.' - Chicago / Lake Michigan Winged Humanoid Regional Interactive Map - Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated.

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