Could bigfoot be living in West Central Texas?
I don't think of myself as either a skeptic or believer when it comes to the topic of Sasquatch, though I certainly have been on the skeptic side most of my life. Until now that is. After several visits to a remote bridge on the Colorado River in West Central Texas recently, I'm finding it hard to hang on to that skepticism.
It all started when a friend of mine called another friend asking for some firewood; he said he was going camping up at a local lake because he thought he found a big-foot print. At first I was like yeah, right, but then I started to feel hurt that he didn't think to invite me, as I am at least open-minded about such things despite my skepticism. I let him know that I wish he had invited me, and the next weekend he called me and suggested that I come with him to the site to have a look around. My curiosity got the better of me, plus I had not been out of town in a while, so I decided I would go.
Sunday, May 11th, 2008
First Afternoon Visit
The first thing that impressed upon me was a strange collection of wild turkey feathers that were collected under tree…
We went to a camp site at the lake on Sunday afternoon, May 11th, 2008 and prepared to go to the site. It was a longer drive than I expected from the camp site, nearly 20 miles I believe, but we arrived with plenty of sunlight, and began exploring the area, looking for any additional prints or other signs that might lend more credibility to the print my friend found a couple of weeks prior.
The first thing that impressed upon me was a strange collection of wild turkey feathers that were collected under tree that could have easily been a bedding place for a larger animal, perhaps a deer. It was not far from the bridge (maybe 25 or 30 feet) and not really well hidden, but why those feathers were laid out in the fashion they were I cannot explain by any rational logic. I certainly can't think of why a human would do such a thing, nor could I think of a predator expected in that area that could accomplish the task. After staring at this in disbelief for a few minutes, we moved down to the river bank.
We found plenty of raccoon, bobcat, and turkey prints, along with a large number of cow prints in the muddy areas where the original print was casted. So many cow prints that it quickly became clear that if any other prints had existed in this area, they were now forever hidden in the recent stampede through the area. We explored up and down both sides of the river bank though in earnest.
After foraging for signs for an hour or so we started losing daylight and decided to go back to camp, eat, and relax for a few hours before returning to the site later that night.
Sunday/Monday, May 11th and 12th, 2008
First Night Visit
We returned to the site just before midnight, got out of the car and prepared to venture down under the bridge as we had done during the day. It was already in the lower 60's and was dropping rapidly, so there was a definite chill in the air. As we started across the bridge (the best way to descend under the bridge is in between two separate parts of the bridge), we took a look down into the river canyon, and almost immediately got spooked by the bridge itself, which I came to learn, makes a lot of creaking noises.
After calming my nerves down a bit, we started hearing a cow in the distance that sounded extremely agitated, along with an occasional barking sound, like a dog. I realized later that night that the barking sound was actually another sound being made by the bridge. The dog in itself would have been odd to me, since there didn't appear to be any ranch homes within miles of the spot that we were visiting. But that aside, I reluctantly descended beneath the bridge. I believe we walked down to the riverbed and looked up and down the small canyon, illuminating the darkness now and then with flash lights, as it was fairly overcast and the light level was very low. We didn't explore much, opting to sit down under one end of the bridge and observe.
The cow continued with it's distressed outbursts, almost constantly the entire time, moving closer to us and then farther away, repeatedly it seemed. Perhaps it heard us arrive and didn't want us in it's favorite drinking hole, as one friend suggested, but I'm not so sure. If you would have heard the noise it was making, I'm sure you would feel as anxious about it as I was. I continued to grow more and more uncomfortable sitting under the bridge and my friend, noticing my fidgeting by now, said it was getting chillier than he expected and that we should get back to camp. He was just making me feel better, but we cut it short and walked out after a fairly short time (two hours tops).
Though it was really uneventful, the odd behavior of the cow, and my anxiousness in general, left me wanting to return and observe this spot again, with a different mindset and the comfort that only comes from returning to a place you've been before. I felt bad about how uneasy I was as I reflected on it for the next week, and when my friend called me a week later, I couldn't resist but get the gear ready. I talked my girlfriend into coming as well, and we headed back that very next Sunday, May the 18th, 2008.
Sunday, May 18th, 2008
Second Afternoon Visit
This time, we drove straight to the site, as it was already getting late in the day; we got a late start on the trip. After looking for any other public access to the river bed in the area with no luck, we parked in the usual spot and traversed the bridge. My girlfriend had not been on the previous trip, so we set out to show her where the track was found and then started exploring the surrounding wilderness in more detail than we had before.
Following some animal paths, we found obvious signs of the cows, deer, and wild turkey that we had all observed in the area. We also found some less obvious droppings; we decided it was from a bobcat, as it was full of hair and about the same shape as our domestic cats' droppings, only slightly larger. As we moved deeper into the underbrush, the paths became less defined, and it started to look like the trees were growing sideways, with many downed and starting to grow new branches vertically from the horizontal trunks. We at that point observed several large branches that had obviously been moved from their original location, to define the paths we were following. It felt at times like we were entering chutes constructed to force us down a certain path.
Approaching the deepest point we explored that day, my friend stopped ahead of me and asked if I heard something. He claimed he heard something on the ridge above us, and observed some rocks falling down from the top as if dislodged. I did not hear it but we continued forward a little further, coming upon a strange impression in the leaves where a large tree had been recently. There were what I believe to be signs of it being dragged over some other vegetation and branches in the path just ahead, but we were running out of daylight and still had to drive the 20 minutes to the lake to setup camp, so we started back. My friend told my girlfriend and I to go ahead while he paused and observed the area for a few extra minutes. He emerged from the underbrush a few minutes later and we left for the lake.
Sunday/Monday, May 18th and 19th, 2008
Second Night Visit
We arrived back at the location, again just before midnight, but much more prepared than the first time. Adding to our comfort level was an almost full moon that was illuminating everything clearly in the night. We started onto the bridge, and my girlfriend claimed she heard another car door on the other end of the bridge, but after a few more creaks of the bridge in the silence of the night, we all realized it was just the bridge. We descended beneath it and my friend setup his pad immediately and took up his position high above the creek bed. My girlfriend continued down to the creek bed, and I, feeling somewhat concerned about her carefree attitude, followed reluctantly.
My heart attack stopped, and I settled into the realization that she was going to do what she wanted.
To further shake my nerves, when she reached the river bed, she proceeded to climb through the partially collapsed barbed-wire fence that split the canyon and walked down the edge of the river. I climbed through as well, and stood on an outcrop in the middle of the river watching her walk into the deep shadows created by the trees that lined it. Suddenly, from the darkness she had disappeared into, I heard a series of knocks; two sticks being struck together as if someone was hammering nails. "Rap, rap, rap" in groups of three. I flashed on my LED in her direction and saw her crouching on the ground. It was her banging a small stick on a larger one. My heart attack stopped, and I settled into the realization that she was going to do what she wanted.
After 10 or 15 minutes of intermittently banging various sticks together, she slowly returned to the fence. At about the same time, my friend, whom didn't know what the heck we were doing, came down from his spot and we gathered on a small ledge above the river bed directly under the bridge. We all sat in a circle, looking over each others' shoulders for maybe another 10 or 15 minutes, smoking a cigarette and waiting for something to happen. It didn't take long.
My friend suggested I go check it out and I suggested he do something as well.
From over my right shoulder, to the west side of the bridge across the river, came the sound of wood-on-wood knocking just like my girlfriend had been making, in groups of three. It was very loud and startled all of us to attention. After one or two sets of three knocks, a second source of knocks started to the east side of the bridge, in the same pattern, but slightly out of sync with the source to the west. In the rush of adrenaline we were all no doubt feeling at this point, I then heard another source of knocking further down the river to the west, joining the first and second sources. This continued for a short time and then stopped as quickly as it started. Several minutes later, as we stay silent and still waiting for another event to grab our attention, we heard the distinct sound of something bumping into my friend's vehicle on the road above the bridge. I observed what I thought to be several shadows blocking the moonlight from that direction just after the noise, though the bridge blocked all but a very tiny view of the area beside where the car was parked. My friend suggested I go check it out and I suggested he do something as well.
The rest of the night we sat in our spot, waiting for some other sign. We heard various branch breaks on occasion, but nothing of any real significance occurred for quite some time. Finally, after my friend observed smelling a musky odor, and my girlfriend and I also caught a whiff of it shortly thereafter, a very loud and terrible screech came out of the darkness behind us. The screech lasted for several long seconds and was only briefly mixed with the gobble of a turkey, but it couldn't have been more than 50 or 100 feet behind us, and the dying rabbit quality of the sound made us all very uneasy. We left shortly thereafter, not knowing what had just happened.
After reflecting on the screech and turkey gobble for a few days, my friend and I decided it was most likely a barred (or similar) owl hunting a turkey, as they apparently make the horrible noise to get the turkey to gobble and reveal it's location. We had observed several large owls flying around the area at night when driving to and from the bridge on the previous trip.
However, I can currently find no viable explanation for either the knocking sounds or the tampering with the vehicle. There was absolutely no traffic across the bridge during the day or nighttime visit, no houses anywhere in the vicinity, and I find it highly unlikely that anyone went out to this remote location to scare someone or try and make us think there were big foot in the area. But other than a human response, a semi-intelligent primate is the only thing I can conceive of that would formulate a knocking response like the one we experienced.