Class 3a

Coon hunters report observation of unknown animal while coon hunting.

Occurred October 1, 1963
(Submitted January 2, 2001)

Witness Observation

Only in the past few years have I associated a previous experience with an investigative report. I presumed at the time I was not believing what I saw. I was 16 yrs old at the time and was out with my cousin and a few others "coon hunting," south of Tyler, Texas in a creek bottom known as "Marlow Bottom." We heard the dogs "on tree" and went to see what coon (raccoon) was treed. We approached with our Coleman lanterns, flashlights and guns drawn.

I believe there were five of us there...we saw a huge animal of some sort, covered in red fur, flaying its arms and making a dreadful howling noise toward the dogs. One of us, I don't remember who, shot toward the animal and there was a terrifying growl that absolutely scared the wits out of all of us, including the dogs. We immediately left the area at a run. At the time we didn't think anyone would believe us, so we chalked all of it up to a disbelief and forgotten. There were no reports of a Sasquatch, Bigfoot, or anything like that that we knew of in 1963.

Time and Conditions

midnight - Occurred around midnight...pitch black and cold around 40 degrees. Bottom land...with narrowing of creek boggy mud and heavily leafed forest floor...of mostly oaks, pine, sweetgum and poplar trees....isolated from any residences.

Investigator's Comments

Daryl Colyer

This investigation was conducted as a result of an incident that allegedly occurred in Smith County, Texas in 1963.

In October 2003, I interviewed the witness, aged 54. The incident reportedly occurred when he was a young teen, but it left an indelible memory in his mind.

The witness remembered the incident as occurring in late October of 1963. The witness and four others were out in the deep woods of East Texas, south of Tyler, "coon" hunting. The hunters had a total of four dogs with them. The witness remembered that one of the dogs was a beagle; not normally a coon dog, but the witness commented that the little beagle was one of the better coon dogs on the hunt. Other dogs included a black and tan, and two other mixed coon hounds.

Around midnight, the men heard the dogs off in the distance on a "hot track." The men immediately pursued the dogs and as they got closer; it became obvious that the dogs had "treed" their prey.

Finally arriving on the scene, the men heard a very strange, loud, howling sound originating from the tree around which the dogs were gathered. The witness remembered that the beagle, though he was still actively participating in the hunt, appeared to have had his "belly ripped open" and "had a trail of guts hanging out that he was dragging behind him." One of the men immediately grabbed the little beagle and tried to "stuff his guts back in."

The witness stated that the men illuminated the tree around which the dogs were circling and were astonished at what they saw. The witness described an animal in the tree as a "huge, hairy thing." The witness indicated that the ?thing? was screaming loudly, shaking the tree limbs and moving its arms violently in the large pin oak tree. The witness said he was not able to see a face, but from where he stood, it appeared to be a ?big monkey? with hair or fur that was ?reddish or burnt-orange? and appeared no less than ?around six feet tall.? The men observed the subject from a distance of approximately 75 feet.

The witness further stated that one of the men ?took it upon himself to shoot the thing.? So, with a .22 rifle, the man fired at least two rounds into the tree at the unidentified subject. With that, the subject became even more violent and louder. The hunting party, along with the dogs, immediately fled the scene, retreating back to the safety of their vehicles. Once there, the men decided not to speak of the incident, since they were unsure of what they had encountered. The men surmised that the little beagle had gone through a fence, and in the process had split open his abdominal section. The dog had been seriously injured, but did manage to survive the incident.

I asked the witness if he had any idea what it was that he, his hunting partners, the coon dogs and the little beagle had encountered that cold, autumn night in 1963. The witness stated that there was no explanation for it, and that the men saw what they saw. It was clearly just a huge, hairy thing? high up in the pin oak.

Summary: The witness stated that only one of the other witnesses is still alive. He added that he would make an attempt to contact the other surviving witness and would then contact me so that I could gain the other witness?s perspective of the incident. Further, the witness and I discussed a whole litany of animals to determine which, if any, could have been chased up into that pin oak tree. The witness and I both agreed that based on his recollection, the animal likely fell into the category of primates and was certainly an unknown, undocumented animal to the Piney Woods of East Texas. The witness stated that what he and his hunting partners saw that night was either an unusually large orangutan or what they encountered that night was a bigfoot.

Additional reports in this county

Occurred 6/2001 in Smith County, TX

Submitted on October 3, 2004 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Three teens report sighting on Blackhawk Creek near Whitehouse. Read more...

Occurred Spring 1973 in Smith County, TX

Submitted on August 1, 2002 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Couple parked at Lake Palestine has late night encounter. Read more...

Occurred 2/2002 in Smith County, TX

Submitted on April 24, 2001 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Repeated encounters at family's residence.



Class 1a
A sasquatch/bigfoot specimen has been collected (alive or dead).
Class 1b
A report investigation results in a sasquatch observation or the documentation of clear tracks or other forms of physical evidence by an investigator.
Class 1c
An investigator determines that a visual encounter with a sasquatch/bigfoot by a very reliable observer is a distinct possibility, tangible corroborating evidence is documented, and all other sources can be reasonably ruled out.
Class 1d
A visual encounter with a sasquatch/bigfoot is a distinct possibility involving two or more reliable observers, and all other sources can be reasonably ruled out.
Class 2
Investigator determines that a visual encounter with a sasquatch/bigfoot is a distinct possibility, the observer is exceptionally trustworthy, professionally trained, and experienced in the outdoors and/or is accustomed to looking for and recording details (e.g., biologist, anthropologist/archaeologist, ranger, trapper/tracker/seasoned hunter, bird watcher, game warden, naturalist, law enforcement), and other explanations can be reasonably excluded.
Class 3a
Investigator determines that a visual encounter with a sasquatch/bigfoot is a distinct possibility, the observer is credible, and all other sources can be reasonably ruled out.
Class 3b
Unidentifiable vocalizations were reported and there is accompanying tangible evidence to possibly indicate the presence of a sasquatch/bigfoot, the observer is very reliable, and other sources can be reasonably ruled out.
Class 3c
No visual encounter occurred, but physical evidence was found to indicate the presence of a sasquatch/bigfoot (tracks, hair, scat, etc.), the observer is very reliable, and other sources can be reasonably ruled out.