Monday, July 22, 2013

"Team Tracker Fouke Monster Final Wrap Up"


by Jason Judd, Boggy Creek Expedition, July 20-21, 2013:

Friday, I get everything together and my normal “sitting” gear. What is “sitting?” Well, it’s when you go out to the woods with a chair and stay awake all night long observing and recording—no tent. In my neck of the woods, I have had some luck with playing my guitar to draw in some very interesting grunts and oooo’s. So my normal gear includes a guitar. I also will add, swimming trunks and flip-flops are in my gear too.

Saturday, I leave at 5:00AM and actually looked forward to my 6 hour trip—southeast I drive, eagerly. I get to Fouke Arkansas about 10:45; obviously, I was a little too eager. :o)

I called Rick and left a message about how his foot was doing and to let him know that I was there.  I sent Stickfoot a text saying “I’m here!”  I walked in to the “Monster Mart” wearing my swim-suit, flip-flops, my favorite T-shirt (it says “watching sucks” on it), and my Team Tracker hat proudly and took a look around. There was a newspaper article dated just a month ago about sightings. There were a couple of ole’cats sitting in the front of the building and one on the inside. I spoke to them and after a while they were willing to share some stories with us. It seems that the local paper man sees the Fouke Monster so much that it doesn’t faze him anymore. During my wait for Stickfoot, I overheard a guy sharing stories with the ole’cat on the inside about how his best friend had been abducted by the same alien 31 times and thought to myself, “Oh Jesus, am I in this category of crazy now?” To believe in Bigfoot, which I feel has a credible reason of why and how it exists, isn’t in the same category as crazy is what I told myself. When Stickfoot showed up, we hung out with the ole’cats and waited on our Platinum member Thomas C. to show. Stickfoot was wearing full blown camo and proudly wearing his TT hat too! After receiving information about a slight delay (Thomas—haha.), Stickfoot and I head over to the local dinner (20ft away) and grab some grub! Chicken Fried Steak, mashed taters, graaaaaaaaavy, and a salad were just what the doctor ordered. Rick called me back and we talked about some things (C. Phillips) and I was told that my voice combined with my iPhone is a crappy combination—but in Rick’s words, “your phone sucks man.” Funny.

Thomas finally showed up, we loaded up our gear into Stickfoots truck, and headed to our secret, pre-plotted destination in the Boggy Creek area. We parked the truck, I put on my pants over my swimsuit, added a long sleeve shirt, put on my socks and galoshes; and, after a 4 mile hike, 2 of which were not on a trail, we found our perfect location. A natural “hallway” planted between two water sources that flood waters had created. There were lots of “hog holes” in this hallway and that concerned us a bit, but we were in the woods, no matter where we go, there will be danger of critters—so we stayed. As soon as we removed our backpacks and set up our chairs, a very loud “KNOCK” came from the south and I estimate about 100 yards away. There it was, the Fouke Monster telling his clan that they had company. In-between the knock and only about 30 yards from us was Thomas C. He was sitting on a log scoping out a location to place his gifting items relative to his “sitting” position—we could see him and he could see us. That knock brought Thomas right back to us. There is no doubt about it; it was a very loud, very to-the-point tree knock. This undoubtedly supported our decision to stay.

Yes, it was hot and humid. I presume that many will say how “dumb” we were for doing an expedition in the swampy, hot, humid, and bug infested woods, but just because we are uncomfortable, doesn’t mean that Sasquatch is. As my T-shirt says, “Watching Sucks.” So if anyone is going to comment about how “dumb” we were, keep it to yourself for we were looking for sasquatch, in “his” area, and not comfortably sitting in A/C watching TV or commenting on on-line posts from an armchair—“your” area.

I took out my string, tied it over my spot between two saplings, removed my shirts, pants, and socks and laid them over my string to dry. Now I was comfortable sitting in my swimsuit and flip-flops. That is how you make yourself comfortable in a hot, humid, but still shade-covered area; alas, I’m not a newbie at “sitting.”  There was rain in the forecast so a swimsuit is perfect, and it would have felt incredible to have a “shower.” The rain went around us, dang it. Thomas C., which I shared my flip-flop info with the night before, stated that flip-flops were an incredible idea—he brought some too. Stickfoot, to bare the heat, also stripped down to his skivvies and laid his trekking clothes out on some string as well. (Note: the string I use is from an old T-shirt. I cut it into strips “longitudally” and because it is a “loop” it is perfect.) Oh, and BUGSPRAY!!!!!!

At about dinner time, and still daylight, I started to play my guitar. From the same area that the knock came from, we heard a nice low-pitched Whoooooop. We were in for a scary night. At 9:00PM, we turned on the audio recorder, and Thomas C was in charge of taking note of the times-of-incident. We were fortunate enough to have mostly clear skies for the full moon to give us some light, but we were definitely in the dark, open to the elements, and no tent to sleep in.  About 60 feet away, I hear some footsteps behind me. I turn and see very distinctive eye-shine in a thick row of trees about at the 7ft level—whitish blue. It moved west to east about 10 feet, so I tell Stickfoot to look. This happened in a matter of seconds. It turned to the south and headed back into the deeper woods.

At around 1:05AM, a large tree or branch fell to the ground about 10 yards away from me! I instantly shine the flashlight on the noise in hopes to confirm if it was a natural fall or not. It was natural. But let me tell you, when you have something like that happen to you, your body tingles from the adrenalin rush.

2:15AM, a snoring sound was heard, and it was coming from the Stickfoot monster…..or Sleepfoot monster. :o)
He “time-travel” until 4:15AM. Nothing other than “burping spiders” and several barred owls were heard throughout the rest of night. I did find it strange that there were no hogs in this obviously hoggy area. I wondered if it was because we were talking and they stayed away, or if it was because there was a large hominid or hominids in the area that kept them away.

At 6:00AM, we all packed up, cleaned up, and headed back to the truck. We headed to the closest greasy-spoon and enjoyed our human environment again. Let me remind you of two taken-for-granted human things and how awesome a toilet and air conditioning are.

So, in one night, we had a knock, a whoop, and walking-eye-shine confirmed in the Boggy Creek area. If we would have had a “show” on Animal Planet, it would have been more compelling to watch this one night of us than a year’s worth of episodes from another “show.”

Jason Judd, Team Tracker