Submitted on August 1, 2009
Couple has dusk roadside encounter north of the Red River on Highway 41. Read more...
I saw what appeared to be a large black figure too dark to really tell a definite color. There was an odor worse than that of a skunk. It acted very aggressive as in territorial. It had a low deep growl and was around 7-8 feet in height.
Walking through the brush, breaking of tree limbs, low deep growl. It would move when I moved and stop when I stopped.
It acted as if it was protecting its territory. It growled and had an odor worse than a skunk.
5:30 pm - It was almost dark. Cool, cloudy.
Paul Bowman, Jr.
This investigation was conducted as a result of an incident that allegedly occurred in Little River County, Arkansas, near Wilton, in November 1994.
During the course of my investigation of this report, the following information was provided to me: On Thanksgiving, 24 November 1994, at approximately 5:30 P.M., the witness was out deer-hunting alone northwest of the town of Wilton, Arkansas. He was walking along a power-line right-of-way that runs north/south, and decided to turn east down a series of railroad tracks that led back to town. According to the witness, grain cars full of corn were often left in this area of tracks, and the corn sometimes would spill out, making for a good food source for deer and other wildlife.
While the witness was walking along the tracks, he reportedly could hear something moving along with him just inside the tree-line to his north. The witness claimed that when he would stop, the movement inside the tree line would cease as well. He described the sounds as that of branches breaking and leaves crunching underfoot. As the witness approached the rail cars full of corn the sounds grew louder. He then turned and saw a dark figure 10-15 feet just inside the tree line, apparently standing upright next to a tree. The witness described his distance as having only the gravel berm and a ditch between him and the tree-line. Due to the time of day, the witness could not make out any detail as it was growing dark; he stated that while he still had decent visibility and lighting outside of wooded areas, within the shaded areas of the woods, visibility was such that allowed him only to determine that the subject was upright, very dark, bulky and quite tall.
The witness then said that the unknown subject let out a very deep, low growl that he interpreted as sounding "territorial" and ?aggressive? as if to tell him that he was too close. The subject growled for a few seconds, paused, then growled again. The witness said he had never heard any animal sounds like this prior to the event nor has he heard anything like it since.
The witness recalled becoming scared. He approached one of the rail cars and climbed up onto it, walking along the tops of the rail cars until he reached an empty coal car; walking on top of the cars eased his fear somewhat.
The witness then looked back at the subject. He noted that it had stopped growling and now appeared to be slightly squatting or crouching by a tree. At that time, the witness climbed down into the bottom of the coal car and waited. He said that after a few minutes, he could hear what he believed was the subject approaching along the tracks, with heavy footfalls crunching the gravel. The witness described the pace as normal-- not in a hurry but not slow, either. As it approached the empty coal car the witness noticed a very pungent stench, which he described as a cross between a dead skunk and a paper mill.
After 10 minutes or so, he could hear the subject walking back across the gravel and towards the tree-line, until the sounds ceased. The witness then climbed out of the rail car, and it was now fully dark with a rising moon. He quickly left the area and headed back into town without looking back.
The witness could not make out any detail of the unknown subject, other than it was very dark, bulky and tall. He described himself as six-feet four-inches tall (then and now), but the subject was taller than he was, perhaps seven feet tall or more. He said it had some "girth" to it, and likely weighed in excess of 300 pounds.
The closest water source was a small creek named "Lick Creek" that fed the Little River a few miles away, and ran approximately 200 yards to the west of the sighting location. (Anecdotally, the witness said that this particular creek has a railroad trestle over it, and that he and his brother had grown up hearing local stories and lore about a circus train that had derailed there decades ago, and that all the animals had escaped. The witness claimed that their local paper had written a story about this incident, and that some of the old men had shot a monkey near there. I could find no substantiation that such an event took place, but there are ample indications of train activity, including many fatal accidents throughout history. There is even a circus company based out of Ashdown, and a culmination of these facts could have led to this story).
The area around this sighting is sparsely populated, and is a mixture of flatland pastures and mixed forests. To the north there are two public hunting grounds and swampy marshes along the Little River. Although there are a few farmhouses and structures in the town of Wilton, its proximity to this watershed's wilderness lends itself well to supporting much wildlife. The forest is made up of a mixture of Loblolly Pine and hardwoods, with a scattering of cropland and pastures that support various livestock. The witness said that there is a series of caves near Ben Lomond, which is several miles away to the north. Also of note is an abandoned homestead near the Wilton Cemetery.
The witness said that there have been stories in the area since he was a kid of the "Gun Flats Booger" and the ?Fouke Monster,? and that many folks have tales that have been passed down throughout the generations. He also mentioned another possible incident a few years after this one where he was in area known as the "Pine Creek Bottoms" which is north on Highway 71 towards Mena at the Little River bridge. He was out late camping with some friends when something encircled their camp for a length of time. After they decided to sleep in his friend's Ford Bronco, something supposedly rocked the vehicle off two of its wheels and then struck it hard, leaving a dent. He said that his two of the friends have moved away but that the other refuses to discuss it.
My assessment was that the witness was truthful, forthright and calm; and he displayed demeanor and candor that remained constant. He provided explicit detail of the events and surrounding area (but not overly so). He told me that he has hunted all of his life and normally feels at home in the woods, but since this incident he completely refuses to go into the woods prior to dawn and will always leave before sundown, despite the fact that his father-in-law teases him for doing so. He has never told his father-in-law why he chooses to do this.
My overall assessment is that the witness was truthful and actually encountered something for which he could not provide a conventional explanation. Further I believe the account is plausible and is likely factual in nature.
The Little River begins in the Ouachitas of southeastern Oklahoma, meandering its way eventually to Millwood Lake and then on to the Red River.
Coal and grain cars were on the track.