A listener writes “My story begins a few years ago in the area just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ve been an avid outdoorsman my entire life, hunting, fishing, basically anything outside.
Being a young man of around 25 years old I took every opportunity I could to get outside. I went so far as to take a job as a ranch hand on a working cattle ranch which allowed me to be outside 24/7 and in nature. This ranch is where my first encounter with a cryptid (If that’s what you want to call it) took place.
It was in the spring time and myself and the ranch foreman had been out checking the cattle and mending fences where needed that morning. It was mid morning and we were traveling across an open hay meadow in route to a pasture of cows we needed to check on. As we neared closer to the pasture and the gate in which we would have to pass through I noticed something strange. I was riding on the back of a flatbed pickup and could see all the way to the horizon.
Just above the gate perched on top of a telephone pole was literally the biggest bird I had ever seen in my life. From several hundred yards away I could tell it was massive. I’m talking 6-8 feet tall and that’s being conservative. I alerted the ranch foreman and told him to look at the size of that bird. He acted like he struggled to find it in his line of sight which was crazy to me. As we got closer to it I began to feel uncomfortable because this thing could literally pick a man up and fly away. What is that?! I said, look how big that thing is. Oh yeah said my boss that’s a baby eagle or something. What??? He was not seeing the same thing I was. Or his view of it was skewed through the windshield or something because this thing was truly amazing. It’s feathers were brown and a mix of lighter tan colors. Head shaped just like an eagles head. As we pulled up just feet away from this thing it took flight and had a wing span of at least 10-15 feet. It was truly amazing. My boss still denies seeing this thing to this day and I don’t know if it’s because he couldn’t believe it or he genuinely was not seeing what I was. Anyway after that I lost sight of it. Although I did see it one more time a few weeks later. This time it was flying off in the distance and I didn’t say anything about it to the foreman. The bird appeared to be uninterested in us or harming anything, even though it could easily take any animal it wanted on the ranch.
That was the beginning of the end of my views on the wilderness. What came next still troubles me to this day and although my senses have increased 10 fold in the woods I refuse to go to certain places alone and without being heavily armed.
2 years ago I traveled to southeast Oklahoma on a hunting trip in hopes of taking a black bear. I had camped in the same spot the previous year and never noticed anything abnormal. In fact I had killed a bear my first day there. The next year we made plans and started scouting the same area in the mountains near Talihina, Oklahoma. It was no secret that this area was a hotspot for Sasquatch. It’s literally plastered on every convenience store window and local hotel sign in the area. I chocked it up as a tourist trap and to have no real weight to it. I was wrong…We tracked deep into the mountains at least a solid mile from any paved roads, hiking up old forestry dozer lines and searching for bear sign. As I topped a bench on the mountain I noticed a small pond. Fall time in Oklahoma can still reach the 90 degree mark and bears will hang out around water sources to evade the heat. This seemed like a good spot for a trail cam. I had previously purchased a cellular trail cam so I could get real time photos while I was back home in Tulsa and see what kind of activity went on at the hunting spot. So myself and my brother posted it up on a tree near the pond and hiked out.
Fast forward to a few hours later. My phone goes off and it’s the trail cam. I open the photo and all I get is a black blob of hair. Then nothing, the next photo is of the ground. Great! I thought the good news is there is a bear up there. The bad news is he has destroyed my camera. The drive is 2 hours one way to our hunting spot so I figured in a few days I would go back down and fix it or replace it if I could.
That weekend I headed down and hiked in. As I had assumed the camera was on the ground. The odd thing was the buckle had been released on the strap which would be difficult for a bear to achieve but what the heck I thought maybe he got lucky. The camera was undamaged so I placed it back up this time putting it a bit higher. I would say around 6 feet. I headed home and waited. The following morning I receive a notification. It’s another picture. This time it’s the same exact thing a black blob and then nothing! Again! It’s been ripped off the tree. By now I’m frustrated and I drive down the next evening. The camera is in the exact same position unsnapped and thrown of the ground. Ok I’m thinking this it stupid, two times a bear has ripped it down and nothing. Not even a picture of it approaching or anything. I put it up this time so high a bear would have to climb the tree to pull it down. And I leave. What came next was frightening.
A few days later I get a picture, open it up and I kid you not it is a literal picture of my camera on the tree. A PICTURE OF MY TRAIL CAM FROM MY TRAIL CAM! Doesn’t make sense does it? I examined it for hours trying to figure it out. The picture didn’t look right to me. Something was off. This time I’m freaked out and intrigued at the same time. So I head back down when I got the chance and hiked in to check it out. Guess what I found? Something had unsnapped my camera moved it to a branch that was over the pond and faced it directly over the water. The picture I received was a reflection off the water. I was relieved to see it but also very confused. What could have removed it then re installed it all without catching a glimpse of what it was. If it was a person it most certainly would have taken a picture of at least their feet or something? I place it on the tree one more time and never receive another picture. A few weeks go by and I head down to the spot and find my camera has been destroyed. Something jabbed a stick or rock or something straight through the IR light and broke it. No picture of this happening by the way.
So I remove my camera and abandon all trail cam attempts. The odd thing is we had another one less than a mile away and never had a single issue. But we also never captured much wildlife on it either.
So a month goes by and it’s time to head down October 1st for the opener of bear season. We head down with a plan for staying a whole 10 days. I would have company for most of those days and spend around 3-4 days alone while my buds were heading back to work. Most of the week goes by and I kid you not I never even saw so much as a single bird out there. My stand was near the trail cam spot and my buddies were hunting around 800 yards to my east. One evening my friend said he was going to take my shotgun out and try and get some squirrels while I hunted.
I told him that sounded good and to take the radio in case I got something so I could reach him. The radios were spotty in the mountains but it was good enough to get out to let someone know you needed help. Very limited cell phone service but enough to send a text occasionally. At around 6 pm I was sitting in my stand and I heard something I will never forget. The most blood curdling howl/scream I have ever heard to this day. It wasn’t close, I would guess it about several hundred yards up the canyon. It screamed a second time. And Wes to this day I have no clue why I didn’t get the hell out of there while it was still daylight but I didn’t. I sat until dark, pitch dark. I had a small headlamp and turned it on. The woods were dead silent and the leaves were dry and crunchy. No big deal I thought if anything has come up on me I would have for sure heard it. I started my hour long trek out of the mountains back to camp. I was nearing the cleared trail when my anxiety began to lift. I made it to the trail I thought, I’m home free now. Just before I stepped on the trail the loudest crash I’ve ever heard in my life came from across the road. The only way I can describe it is as if a D8 bulldozer was pushing down a 2ft in diameter tree except you would take away the sound of the dozer. It was insane. Next came the feeling of dread, I had this terrible terrible feeling come over me like I had never felt before. Every hair on my body stood up. My ears started ringing and I could feel the blood and adrenaline rush to my head. I pulled my 9mm pistol from my holster and began fanning the woods where the noise came from with my light. Nothing. Not a single thing moved or made a noise. Just then I heard a noise behind me like an object hitting the leaves above me. I jerked around just in time to see a rock the size of a softball come flying through the air and hit the ground then roll right to my boots. I couldn’t believe it. Who’s there?!? I said. I have a gun and I’ll shoot!! Are you messing with me?!?! I said thinking it could be my buddy pulling a prank. But nothing responded. Not even a peep. It was at this moment that I realized I needed to leave and leave in a hurry. I can’t explain how I did it but I ran backwards a solid 100 yards down the trail over rocks and fallen logs with my gun extended just waiting for something to rush out after me.
After I got back to camp I must have looked anxious because my buddy asked me what was wrong. Nothing I said, what’s for dinner. I passed it off and decided not to say anything because I knew he wouldn’t believe it. Why were you yelling up there? He asked. What? I said, I wasn’t yelling why did you think that. He said he had heard someone screaming bloody murder up my way and thought something was wrong. This is when I knew that what I had witnessed was not in my mind. So I told him what had happened. Your crazy he said and he started explaining off everything that had happened and how it could have just been someone up there jacking around. But I know what happened to me. And it wasn’t that. The rest of that week I spent it either in town or with a fire roaring so big at camp I could see a solid 100 feet into the woods. I was alone there for a few days and I never went back out even when my buddies returned. I know they all think I’m crazy and that’s ok but this is something that will mess with me for the rest of my life. I never want to experience that again but if it happens it happens. I refuse to let it get to me and make me stop what I love doing. If anyone out there is doubting what they’ve heard or seen I promise you your not crazy. I know what’s out there and you do to.”