Class 1b

Two NAWAC Investigators find interesting trackway.

Occurred May 7, 2016
(Submitted June 17, 2016)

Witness Observation

On the evening of May 7, 2016, NAWAC members Marvin Leeper and John Hairell were patrolling the backroads of Atoka County, located in southeastern Oklahoma, to test Leeper’s recently purchased dash camera. Both men are faculty members at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma; Leeper is an English professor and Hairell teaches biology. As the evening wore on, Leeper headed to the Caney-Tushka vicinity and an area where, approximately 40 years earlier, Leeper and a friend experienced a highly strange encounter that involved possible wood ape chatter.

The men arrived at the location of Leeper’s previous encounter around midnight and proceeded to let the woods “settle” while scanning the area using infrared, thermal, and acoustic instrumentation. The men did not observe nor hear anything other than familiar animal activity. Thirty minutes later the duo decided to take a short walk down to a nearby creek to check for signs of wood ape activity. Approximately 25 yards from the truck, Hairell spotted a human-like footprint in the mud and immediately called attention to it. Leeper closely examined the print and determined that it was likely made by a wood ape. Both men then noticed multiple footprints forming a trackway in a single file pattern coming from the creek going toward a nearby fence.

The trackway consisted of nine prints and was 28 feet in length. Seven of the prints were well defined, with four exhibiting clear toe definition (see photo). The toe to heel distance between prints was 36 inches. The footprints were 12 inches long, 4.5 inches wide at the ball of the foot, and 3.5 inches wide at the heel. The impressions did not appear to exhibit evidence of an arch, but the men believed they did show indications of a mid-tarsal break. The tracks had variable depths, based on soil softness, ranging from approximately 0.25 inches to 3 inches. The men estimated that the tracks were probably less than 24 hours old, based on the appearance of minor cracks in the mud along the edges of the prints.

Both men returned to the track site later in the day and made a plaster cast of one of the better defined tracks (left foot). The recovery of the cast was complicated by impending rain and the appearance of a couple of teenage boys who were fishing the nearby creek. The men feared that the setting cast could possibly be ruined by the teenagers, but to their credit the cast was left undisturbed. The cast was later recovered and allowed to cure. The cured and cleaned cast appears to present dermal ridges and a mid-tarsal break, but the three lesser toes are not clearly visible. The cast is in the possession of Leeper.

In conclusion, what appears to be a significant trackway was discovered in an area known for wood ape activity. Preliminary analysis of the tracks suggest that the tracks were possibly made by a juvenile wood ape, based on length and depth. Atoka County is rich with reported and unreported sightings of wood apes, and it will be the destination of future investigations by NAWAC members.

Physical Evidence

A trackway of a number of prints.

Time and Conditions

12:00 am - 78º F, partly cloudy, humid, light S.E. wind.

Atoka_county__ok Leeper_single_print

The tracks were 12 inches in length.


The trackway continued for over 20 feet.


Additional reports in this county

Occurred Spring 2007 in Atoka County, OK

Submitted on September 15, 2007 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Family reports repeated encounters on property near Tushka.

Occurred Summer 2006 in Atoka County, OK

Submitted on August 2, 2007 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Two children have encounter while playing on creek not far from home. Read more...

Occurred 6/1/1992 in Atoka County, OK

Submitted on November 19, 2000 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Boys have early morning encounter at watermelon patch off road. Read more...



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.