Fouke, a small town with a big legend, is located in the heart of Southwest Arkansas. Almost everyone you bump into has seen, or heard about the Fouke Monster.
“The size, the cone-shaped of the head, the black eyes,” says William Lundsford, Bigfoot Researcher.
“Goooooonnnnnngggg. And that’s the way it sounds,” says Tom Zorn, Bigfoot Researcher.
Sightings of the ape-like creature around Fouke date back to 1908. Eyewitnesses describe it six to nine feet tall, up to 400 pounds with brownish red or black hair and unusually long arms. We’re told there is more than one Bigfoot and they travel in groups. Most sightings occur in the dense woods and along waters that lead to Boggy Creek. This is where William Lundsford would have his first encounter with the hairy beast nearly 40 years ago.
“He began to stand up and he lifted this branch and he kept standing and kept standing and he kept standing. And I immediately just freeze,” recalls Lundsford.
A 17-year-old Lundsford was fishing, when he spotted Bigfoot 45 yards away squatting by a tree.
“I can’t hardly breathe. There’s tears that are streaming down my face and I’ve actually wet my pants,” he says.
The encounter, now a continuous video loop. The emotion from that April day, still fresh.
“I can see everything just as it happened, I can feel everything. It’s been so many years ago, but it’s so effected my life,” says Lundsford.
He’s not alone. Many people in Fouke have had similar encounters. Their stories of Bigfoot spread quickly across the U.S. Soon, directors translated those stories on film and in books. Eventually the legendary beast made a name of its own in Fouke. You can find movie posters, books, newspaper clippings and memorabilia inside the town’s museum. Another story recorded, was Heather Owen’s.
“Right here, I slammed on my breaks and it was probably from me to you,” says Heather Owen, had encounter with Bigfoot.
In 2011, Owen was driving down Williams Road in the dead of the night. In an open field behind a bale of hay, Owen says Bigfoot stood up.
“All this was was smashed down, along with the fence!” she recalls.
Whether it’s a smashed down fence, or a hand and footprint cast, Wayne Combs isn’t buying it, “I’m skeptic. Seeing is believing I guess. The only thing that I can believe in that I don’t see is God.”
The 78-year-old, born and raised in Fouke, has hunted and fished Boggy Creek for years without finding a trace.
“He must be a magician or he can fly because where’s all the tracks?” says Combs.
Even if there were footprints, another skeptic says it’s not enough.
“If we could just have one strand of hair or one drop of blood,” says Daryl Powell, Skeptic. “You know we found bones from dinosaurs from thousands of years ago, but we can’t find one set of bones from Bigfoot.”
“He don’t like cameras. I haven’t found a picture yet and I’ve got cameras myself,” says Combs.
No one in Fouke has been able to capture a photo of the ape-like humanoid, there are only sketches of the beast from memory.
“You’re not going to capture one,” says Tom Zorn, Bigfoot Researcher.
“Oh they’re extremely fast,” says Lundsford.
However, FOX16 may have uncovered something. A Bigfoot researcher took this screen shot image of a possible Bigfoot sighted in my news story in November. We asked people what they thought about it.
“That is very much the body shape of the Bigfoot that I saw,” says Lundsford.
“Yeah, possibly!” says Owen.
“The possibility is there,” Zorn reacts.
And then there’s another image, a baby Bigfoot attached to the arm.
I think it’s pretty doggone close,” says Lundsford.
Those who have seen and believe are now avid researchers, regularly scouting the woods and the creek, tracking prints and hoping to prove its existence. Many now garner a collection, a piece of the puzzle, they hope can eventually solve this peculiar and legendary mystery.
“I feel like I’ve truly seen quote the 8th wonder of the world and seen something that does exist that isn’t supposed to exist,” says Lundsford.
For now, its existence will continue to lie in secrecy, among the murky woods and waters in Fouke.
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