Submitted on August 30, 2003
While going to shoot target practice, two men see upright, hair-covered figure. Read more...
I was in the Air Force (Security Police or now Security Forces). I was also a member of the base SWAT team and involved in the martial arts. I had just gotten off duty but was asked to respond to a call about a baby crying in base dump. I only went with them because we had to discuss an upcoming base SWAT team training exercise. This was at Bergstrom AFB (now Austin-Bergstrom International Airport).
I responded with three other guys. One was a black belt and SWAT team leader armed with a .38 caliber pistol. Another companion was a 3rd degree black belt armed with a .38 caliber pistol too. The third was a K-9 handler, with his dog. The dog was a holdover from those bred for duty in Vietnam. He was considered to be so dangerous that they had clipped and tattooed his ears to ensure no one accidentally handled this dog.
The call came from a general?s wife, so it had to be checked out.
We went to the dump area. I was then a very remote area of the base. There was a maze of deep creeks and natural drainages in this area. The closest civilization was Bastrop, Texas, and a small prison. The dump was fenced on three sides by a six foot fence with (I believe a 12" "Y" outrigger on it). The fourth side of the dump was a four foot high barbed wire fence. Beyond the fence was a freshly plowed field.
The area was maybe two acres in size, in the shape of a triangle. We arrived and entered through a gate on one of the short sides of the triangle. To our right were several large trailer sized dumpsters (maybe 8), and about 10-12 smaller (Dipsy Dumpster) on our left.
The K-9 unit went first. As he approached to dumpsters on the right, we heard the sound of a baby squeal. The cries seemed to move from one dumpster to another; moving further away from us. This was weird, but then the K-9 handler told us that he thought it was just a baby rabbit. He said he has heard them squeal like that.
After he got down to about the 5th dumpster, the sound came back towards us at the gate. We got a little creeped out by this so the senior Sergeant told us to just do a quick walk through so we could get out of there.
As we started back towards the vehicles, we heard the noise coming from the dumpster on our left, so we started checking them. When we finally got down to the 7th or 8th dumpster, we heard what sounded like a very large bodied impact against the end dumpster. Now these dumpsters were about 4 to 4.5 feet tall and maybe 6 feet by 6 feet wide. There was about 10-12 feet of space between them.
When we heard the banging sound against the end dumpster, we let the dog handler order (what we thought was maybe) a person to come out.
He gave them the order; there was no response. He then long leashed his dog and gave the order again. By now the dog was pulling and tugging to get to where the sound came from. The winds were blowing away from us, so all we could smell was the stench of the dump.
The dog handler gave a final command for the person to come out or he would release the dog. There was no response. The dog was going nuts now to get to the sound. The handler pulled the dog back, unclipped it from the leash and sent him towards the sound in attack mode.
Just as he reached the end dumpster, preparing to run around it, this huge creature leaped from behind the dumpster running. We all had our flashlights trained on the dumpster at about human height. This thing was huge. About 7-8 feet tall; covered with long dark brownish black (matted) fur. It did not turn towards us, but ran out and across the field.
It took two steps and stepped right over the barbed wire fence in as it ran off. Our flash light hit it about the shoulders. This was not a man. The stride covered the 10-12 feet in two steps, and then over the barbed wire fence without jumping.
Most importantly, this killer K-9, was frightened so badly, that he locked up all fours and abandoned his full out charge towards this creature and started screaming as if he had been hurt. He was looking up at the creature, and started backing up even as his momentum caused him to continue sliding forward. When he finally got his traction, he turned and ran past us back towards his kennel truck with his tail tucked between his legs. He was screaming in terror and was pissing himself looking over his shoulders to ensure the creature was not following him.
I would have doubted my own eyes, but this dog's behavior was one of pure terror. The dog was trained to attack on command without fear. I had never seen him behave in this manner, so I feared for my life. I knew he was responding to something real, so I was terrified too. We were no more than 15 or 20 feet away when this happened. The creature could be seen running across the field (in silhouette) disappearing into the woods.
Since we had to report this in an official government document, we delayed and discussed what we would put in the blotter until about 3:00am. Had we told the desk sergeant what we saw, we thought we could have lost our security clearances, so we simply said it was a rabbit or something.
I do not know if the report is public information now or not but it will validate the response if nothing else.
10:00 pm - It was a dark night, but there was enough natural light to see the silhouette.
This investigation was conducted as a result of an incident that allegedly occurred in May of 1981 on Bergstrom Air Force Base in Travis County, Texas.
I spoke to the witness at length on the evening of 11 November 2011. The witness was serving in the United States Air Force at the time and was stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base, which lies roughly twelve miles southeast of Austin, Texas. The witness worked security detail for the base and was also a sniper on the SWAT team. He was technically off duty but was visiting with three men who were on duty when a call came in that night?at approximately 22:00?reporting what sounded like a crying baby coming from the area of the base dump. The call came in from the wife of a General, whose living quarters were about one-half mile away from the dump area; despite their suspicion it was nothing, the men traveled to this remote part of the base to investigate. According to the witness, the dump was an irregularly-shaped, roughly triangular piece of property, approximately two acres in size. Three sides of the dump were protected by a six-foot high chain link fence featuring what the witness described as a twelve-foot ?Y? outrigger on top. The fourth side of the dump marked the property boundary between the base and private farm land and was delineated by a simple barbed wire fence about four feet high.
The witness decided to tag along on the response to this call even though he had just gotten off duty. He accompanied three other airmen who were working security that night. The witness described his companions that night as fearless men who were armed with .38 caliber handguns, the standard weapon for the Air Force at the time (the witness was not armed as he was off duty). In addition, one of the men was a SWAT team leader and another was a K-9 handler who had his sentry dog with him. The sentry dog was described as being a German Shepherd weighing somewhere between 75-100 pounds. The witness, as noted in the original report, described the dog as extremely dangerous; the dog?s ears had been clipped and tattooed so that there would be no confusion between it and some of the younger sentry dogs that had been trained in a different manner and were not considered as dangerous and difficult to handle.
The four men arrived at the dump and entered the gate. To their right was a row of approximately eight large trailer-sized dumpsters, and on their left was a row of ten or so smaller dumpsters of the sort one might see outside restaurants or convenience stores. The men advanced with the K-9 unit leading the way. As they approached the dumpsters on the right, they heard a sound not unlike a baby squealing. The strange cry was repeated several times and seemed to be moving down the row of long dumpsters away from them. The K-9 handler told the others he thought the squealer was nothing more than a baby rabbit. One of the men suggested that the group do a simple walk-through and leave so as not to waste time investigating what seemed a frivolous report. The group proceeded with their walk-through, but their mood changed a bit when the squealing sound was repeated. The squealer had somehow doubled back and was behind one of the smaller dumpsters on the opposite side of the yard, much closer to them than before. As the men walked the line of dumpsters toward the sound, they suddenly heard a very loud and heavy impact against one of the dumpsters. The witness described it as sounding like a very large and heavy body striking the backside of the dumpster. He said it was very loud and powerful enough to shift one of the heavy dumpsters slightly. The men were now on high alert.
The men had walked up the middle of the dump property between the long dumpsters and the smaller ones on their initial reconnaissance. On the way back they were positioned in the narrow 10-12 foot alley between the row of smaller dumpsters and the barbed wire fence separating the base property from private farmland. The K-9 handler immediately ordered whomever was hiding behind the dumpster to show himself or he would release the dog. There was no response. The handler repeated the order and ?long-leashed? the dog that was now tugging at his restraint and barking furiously. The handler gave the order one final time. When there was no response, he released the sentry dog and gave the attack command.
The men all had their flashlights trained on the dumpster and watched as the sentry dog bounded forward. The witness reported that just as the dog reached the corner of the dumpster, a huge creature stood up and leaped or ran toward the barbed wire fence. He described the figure as being of massive proportions, seven to eight feet tall and covered in dark, matted-looking hair or fur. The sentry dog attempted to stop and began backpedaling wildly once it sighted the figure. The dog?s momentum caused it to continue to slide forward to the point that it almost bumped into the creature despite its attempts to stop. According to the witness, the dog began ?screaming? and, once it regained its footing, turned and sprinted past the men, away from the creature, with its tail tucked between its legs. The witness recalled that the dog was so terrified that it was ?pissing all over? as it retreated. The witness said that he had never seen that dog, or any dog, for that matter, act so completely terrified.
The creature took approximately two steps, clearing the 4-foot high barbed wire fence without seeming to jump, and ran across the open farmland toward a wooded area. The witness said that no person could have run as fast as the creature he saw that night did. He said the movement was smooth and fluid. That fact, along with the sheer size of the creature, convinced the witness this could not be a person in an ape suit or costume. The witness stated that while it was dark, there was enough moonlight to see the creature in silhouette until it made it to the wood line.
The stunned and rattled men returned to their vehicles and discussed what to do. They decided that it would be detrimental to their careers if they reported what they had seen and decided to say it was only a rabbit. The men discussed their experience periodically and always tried to find an ?acceptable fit? to what they had seen. They all considered themselves to be rational men and wanted to find an explanation they could accept. The witness said that they never could come up with that more rational explanation and eventually had to agree they had seen a sasquatch that night.
I asked the witness if the squealing sound he heard that night would have been loud enough to be heard from the General?s quarters, approximately ½-mile away. He stated that he did not think so and said that thought had puzzled him as well. I also asked him if he felt that the creature he saw was the source of the squealing. He said that he didn?t know but the noise was not heard again once the creature was spotted. He added that he has since heard a rabbit squealing and the noise he heard that night in 1981 would be a very close match. He speculated that the creature he saw might have been attempting to catch a rabbit, causing it to scream in fear. He felt it more than possible that the creature he saw never vocalized at all.
The witness has lost touch with the other three men over the years, so I was not able to follow up with them. Having said that, I found this witness?s account compelling and could detect no signs of deception. He related his account in a calm but very intense manner. He remains convinced that what he saw that night in 1981 was not a person and that he encountered a sasquatch.
*Bergstrom Air Force Base was closed in 1993. The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport now occupies the site.
(Mike Mayes is a teacher and a coach.)