Class 3a

Southbound early-morning motorist has encounter on north side of South Canadian River.

Occurred January 1998
(Submitted October 21, 2010)

Witness Observation

Driving south on Indian Nations Turnpike about 4AM with light fog/drizzle (wiper blades/intermittent). I was approaching the bridge over the Canadian River and slowed due to patchy freezing drizzle. To the right side of the road (before the sign), I saw a figure on the outer side of the guard rail. I thought it was a deer at first, but as I got closer, it shielded its eyes from my headlights. I was traveling about 20 mph. It was standing upright, tall and thin, reddish-brown matted hair with some lighter skin showing through at the chest. What stands out from my memory, was the tangled hair hanging from its arm while it covered its eyes from the lights. It did not look like the "bulky" muscular artist's renditions of "Bigfoot". There was no other traffic as I approached the bridge. I am the world's biggest skeptic but the sighting left me shaken. I am not sure what I saw. There was fog and it was approximately 20 feet from the car as I passed.

Time and Conditions

4:00 am - Dark, fog/drizzle.

Investigator's Comments

Paul Bowman, Jr.

This investigation was conducted as a result of an incident that allegedly occurred in the winter of 1998 in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, on the north side of the South Canadian River.

I recently conducted a comprehensive interview with the witness, during which she advised that in January of 1998, at approximately 4:00 A.M., she was traveling southbound on the Indian Nation Turnpike in McIntosh County, Oklahoma in a rented Toyota Camry. She recalled that there was light, freezing drizzle and intermittent fog. The witness was en route to Lufkin, Texas from her husband's parents' home in Sapulpa, just outside of Tulsa, and was looking into some real estate there. She spoke with the Toll Booth attendant about the road conditions ahead, and was driving slowly?approximately thirty-five miles-per-hour?because of the slick nature of the pavement.

Approximately nine miles due south of the Toll Complex, while approaching the South Canadian River bridge, the witness reportedly saw a patch of color up ahead on the right side of the road; she said the color was reddish-brown. She stated that she often looks for deer and sees many along this stretch while making the trip with her husband. I can attest to this, as I have seen deer in this area for years myself. As she closed on the object she realized that it was too tall to be a deer, and it became clear that it was standing upright on the outside of the guardrail. As she slowed, the subject ahead apparently was raising an arm to shield its face from the headlights, which were on high-beam. She described the subject as being as tall as a basketball player?seven feet in height?and very thin and "skinny." She added that its arms were out of proportion to the rest of its body; they were longer than what she was accustomed to seeing in humans. The subject had shaggy, matted rolls of hair that hung from its arms as well as the rest of its body; the witness was emphatic that it looked like hair and not fur. The witness stated that the hair looked like dreadlocks, only much shorter; they appeared similar to clumps of matted hair on a dog. She also said that there was a contrast between the hair and the skin on its chest and the abdominal area, which she described as ?flesh-toned? and devoid of any hair.

The witness recalled that as she began to pass the subject, it just stood there, stationary and motionless, as if it were waiting for her to pass so it could perhaps cross the road. As she passed within twenty feet or so, she slowed down to twenty miles-per-hour or less and looked over her right shoulder, but could no longer see it as it was out of the view of her headlights. She did not see it again from this point.

The witness then told me that as she drove forward, the hair on her neck stood up and she felt nauseous. She consciously told herself that she did not see what she had just seen; she ?didn't believe in that sort of stuff." She continued on to her destination and did not tell anyone until she returned home late that evening and told her husband and son about the incident. She recalled that her husband laughed and made fun of her, but her young son thought it was "cool."

Over the weeks and months after the sighting she continued to be bothered by it and ran through the many scenarios in her mind in attempts to debunk it. After years of always wondering she did a Google search to find out if other sightings had taken place in the area and stumbled upon the NAWAC website; however her husband was quick to discourage her from submitting a report.

The witness described the subject as looking both ape-like and human, and that there was no doubt in her mind that what she saw was a real animal. She grew up in southwestern Louisiana and has heard stories all of her life but always assumed they were just made up. She has seen "all the bigfoot shows" but determined that what she saw?due to its thin build?did not match the densely muscular stereotypical description that has been commonly reported.

I found the witness to be intelligent, articulate, and down-to-earth. She was not overly eager but seemed somewhat relieved to discuss it with someone that would not immediately ridicule or make light of her story. I detected no signs of deception in her speech, and her account was logical and fluid in thought. She seemed to have good recall and her descriptions sounded as though she was describing a real event that she was truly replaying in her mind. She sounded like the incident had rattled her senses and is still troubled by it some twelve years later. I believe the witness honestly believes that she saw what she described to me.

The area of this incident is the South Canadian River watershed in eastern Oklahoma, which runs through deciduous woodlands of mixed hardwoods interspersed with open grasslands and pastures with light agriculture. To the east are rolling, forested hills that are sparsely populated. The sighting area is a marshy, riverine lowland with several small ponds typical of most flood plains along Oklahoma river systems, leading to an extended sandbar on the shore of the river. There is an open power-line right-of-way that extends diagonally across the area on the north side of the river.

The witness stated that the subject was standing on the outside of the guardrail, and it was before the bridge. There is a steep embankment there leading down to the river level from the roadway all the way to the river bridge.

Approximately twenty miles to the south and west of the location is the McAlester Army Ammunition Depot outside of Savannah, Oklahoma. It is a heavily forested military installation that is large in size where all manners of munitions are manufactured and stored in bunkers that are far away from base buildings and local habitations. It is reputed to have some of the best deer hunting in the state and offers annual hunting by drawing only. This is the only time when non-employee civilians are allowed on base. I personally have visited this base and can verify that there are clusters of buildings along the MSR (main service road) interspersed with large chunks of wooded areas. I have not seen the storage bunkers but have observed them from the air.

To the east and north of the area?approximately eight to ten miles?is the Canadian River Ranch, a fourteen-thousand-acre high-fenced area of rugged hills and dense forested woodlands. It has abundant game and is very sparsely occupied and intermittently visited?the landowner does not live there.

The nearest building is a roadside rest area with crude bathrooms on both sides of the highway, just south of the South Canadian River.

It is my opinion that the general area lends itself well to what would be considered suitable habitat for a species such as the sasquatch, and the sighting area in particular, especially during the winter months, would provide a good travel corridor in a sparsely inhabited area with ample game and food sources.

(Paul Bowman, Jr., is a former United States Marine and police officer; he is now a rancher and the owner of the Bowman Lodge, a hunting lodge for disabled veterans.)


The view from the highway where the subject was reportedly standing.


The South Canadian River where a sasquatch was allegedly seen in January 1998.


A power-line runs through the area.


The South Canadian River basin is rich with rolling hills, cross timbers, and prairies.



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.