Nov 20

SC EP:709 The Mogollon Monster

The oldest known documented sighting of the Mogollon Monster was reported in a 1903 edition of The Arizona Republican, in which I.W. Stevens described a creature seen near the Grand Canyon as having “long white hair and matted beard that reached to his knees. It wore no clothing, and upon his talon-like fingers were claws at least two inches long.” Upon further inspection he noted “a coat of gray hair nearly covered his body, with here and there a spot of dirty skin showing.” He later stated that after he discovered the creature drinking the blood of two cougars, it threatened him with a club, and “screamed the wildest, most unearthly screech”.

Another early documented sighting was recounted by cryptozoologist Don Davis. During the mid-1940s he was on a Boy Scout trip near Payson, Arizona, of which he gave the following account: “The creature was huge. Its eyes were deep set and hard to see, but they seemed expressionless. His face seemed pretty much devoid of hair, but there seemed to be hair along the sides of his face. His chest, shoulders, and arms were massive, especially the upper arms; easily upwards of 6 inches in diameter, perhaps much, much more. I could see he was pretty hairy, but didn’t observe really how thick the body hair was. The face/head was very square; square sides and squared up chin, like a box”.

Marjorie Grimes, a Whiteriver, Arizona resident, claimed to have sighted the creature a number of times between 1982 and 2004. She described the creature as black, tall, and walking in big strides. A number of people on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation also claimed to have seen the creature.



Tonight I speak to Ron and Ron writes “This took place on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. I got off work at 10:30 pm Saturday night in Phoenix, and a friend of mine, Mark, was waiting for me to pick him up and go for a two day camp and fish at a spot that was a favorite of mine as well as my friends up north in the cool pines. The month was August and all through the hot months I headed up north a couple times a month with family and friends trying to get out of the heat and fish.

I arrived at Mark’s house before 11:00 pm and we loaded his stuff up and headed up north and arrived at the spot around 1:30 am. We didn’t camp where we normally camped, Mark, for some reason wanted to camp in a spot we never camped before. We were next to a canyon where people don’t camp. We were camped on a trail that led down the canyon to the creek below. We left everything in my car except our sleeping bags and Mark’s rifle and flashlight. We threw down our bags thinking we could get all the stuff out of the car in the morning and set up camp for the next two days. In the moonlight, I could see my car which was around 100 feet away. I don’t recall how close the nearest campers were to us, but I could smell a little campfire smoke. Using a flashlight, Mark loaded the rifle, I saw him put one in the chamber and told me it was ready to fire if something approached us. I am not a gun person, fishing is my specialty. I love to fish and have my whole life. But guns were not my “thing.” But I knew all I had to do was grab the gun, aim, and pull the trigger if needed. We both settled down in our sleeping bags, with the rifle above our heads. The stock was above my head and the barrel above Mark’s head and the safety was off. In retrospect, probably not the best way to handle a loaded rifle.

A short time later I could hear footsteps in the bottom of the canyon, about 100 feet below us. It was walking in the sand, then I could hear the footsteps cross the creek and come up the trail. We were about 90 feet from the canyon’s edge by google earth. I sat up in my bag thinking I am going to get a fishing report from this person. I was expecting to see a guy I had met the year before. He had retired and settled in the area of Strawberry, AZ but this was kind of late for fishing. He fished the area a lot and gave me tips on fishing and he always had trout on his stringer every time I seen him. I was expecting to see him with a fishing pole, tackle box, and flashlight. But this guy was shorter than me, I am 6’ and 170 pounds, this guy is several inches shorter than me and about 150 pounds. The steps I heard coming towards me sounded long and heavy. So I am sitting up and waiting for a fishing report from someone. Then I see this black form stride up the trail and turn directly into me. This was nothing like I expected. When this “person” turned left at the top of the trail I was sitting there, this was less than 100’ away from us. It was startled because its body shook and its feet slid in the gravel when it seen me. It has nowhere to go but through us or back down the canyon. It stood there stiff as I sat there staring at it. It didn’t move an inch. I could see the canyon wall behind it, I could see the space that it filled when it came into view. I was looking at something that did not make sense. Where is the flashlight it needed to walk through the canyon at night? We just stared at each other for several minutes and neither of us moved. I was trying to comprehend this black figure that looked like an 8’ x 4’ door with a backpack on top of it. It never moved, neither did I and I did not speak to it. Then I began to wonder if I really saw this, are my eyes playing tricks on me. Then I laid back down wondering what just happened. A few seconds after I laid down, things started changing.

This person moved “fast” through the gravel and disappeared. It sounded like it moved towards us, not away. I sat back up in a hurry, now I am sure I saw and heard something. Mark just laid there wrapped up like a burrito in his sleeping bag. I can see across the canyon somewhat, I can see where this “person” was standing at the top of the trail. But I can’t see this “object” anymore. This large, black door is gone.

Then I began panning around to see if perhaps I missed it in some way. It was dark in front of me because of a few pine trees next to the trail. Behind the trees it was lit up by the moon and a small clearing there where before it dropped off into the canyon. I was just looking around, “where did this person go?” It took me several seconds to figure out that it was now directly in front of me and trying to hide behind a tree. I later used google earth to determine that the tree was about 27 to 33 feet in front of us. There were two trees next to it. Now I am concerned, really concerned. Why would someone walk out of a canyon at 2 am with no flashlight and try to sneak up on us? I sat back up and told Mark to “wake up.” He didn’t move at all, and I said it again this time loud enough that anyone within 50 feet could have heard me. I even gritted my teeth as I was barking at Mark. Mark didn’t move. I could not tell how tall this thing was at first because it was slightly bent down trying to conceal itself. Because of the moon’s light, and the clearing behind the trees I could see it under the tree, its outline if you will. I could tell a jet black, hairy head was poking out looking at me. We stared at each other, although I could not see any eyes. Just a jet black figure.

Now it gets worse, it stood fully upright and walked. When it stood up my eyes did not follow it up as far as the head at first. I saw everything else. Then it walked to the next tree to my left. As it was walking, this is where my mind was blown. I saw the jet black hair sticking off of the back going down the body. I could see that because as it was walking, the area behind it (the clearing) showed me a good outline. I looked at about a level that should have been where a normal person’s head should be. I was looking at its back, below the shoulders, it was big. I saw the hair, I saw the outline of this being. I have seen Shaquille O’Neal up close, he is the biggest human I have seen. This guy was bigger and wider. I remember thinking what the heck is going on, but not exactly those words. I was just blown away. I grabbed the rifle and told Mark to get up and he just laid there. I was sitting up in my bag on full alert. I really wanted Mark to get up so I could give him the rifle. I had fired a high powered rifle “once” years earlier and I got nothing out of it except a kick in my shoulder. The rifle did not feel comfortable in my hands but I clutched it but not pointing it in a threatening manner. When this thing reached the last tree to my left (about 45’ feet away), it stopped and turned facing me. Then it walked slowly back to the first tree (closest to me) and stood there looking at me again. It was no longer trying to hide anything from me, it knew I was watching it and perhaps it thought I could not see it clearly. I remember thinking Mark is not going to believe me and neither will anyone else. I gave up trying to wake him and I felt very alone. I also remember telling myself that the rifle cannot leave my hands unless Mark gets up. I “really” wanted him to wake up but I did not want to panic either, although there was probable cause for it.

After several minutes of this walking back and forth, the severe anxiety I was feeling was breaking somewhat and I was trying to figure what the heck is going on. The first thought that came clearly to my head was something that happened to two friends of mine on the Mogollon prior, they were former coworkers. They were deer hunting, got jumped at night, beaten up, and had everything stolen from their camp. This led me to think, we are being flanked, there is no other reason for this person to do this in front of us. But he just walked out of the canyon in the middle of the night without a flashlight. ??!! What is going on. Now I start looking back to the forest behind me and back at this thing. As I look back in the forest I can hear this stalker still walking tree to tree, I can hear the pine needles crunching with each step. I have a gun, I am in the moonlight, it can see me, and I can see his outline. He is somewhat manageable as long as I have the rifle and can hear him. The rifle has to be keeping him away, right? But this just doesn’t make sense, none of it does unless someone else is involved. Is he trying to get shot? I was thinking this guy is going to lose this battle if he attacks, I have to shoot. There was fear, anxiety, and anger flowing through me unlike any time in my life. This stalking lasted for over two hours. I remember pointing the rifle back toward the forest in a threatening manner and then hunkering down wondering if somebody was camped back there I didn’t know about. I am done looking at the stalker, I have had enough. He is just walking back and forth. I have the rifle and he is not provoking me to shoot him but I feel very threatened. Everything about this situation said to me it was human. It walked upright, it had the presence of mind to stand stiff as a board and confuse me, it hid from me, I heard its feet slide in the dirt, I seen it shake and go stiff when it was startled. It acted 100% human, albeit a disturbed and wayward giant one. The two things I could never grasp were the size and covered with jet black hair. I put that aside because that was probably more than I could handle at that time. Although for years I when I was camping I always wondered what was wrong with that guy.

Shortly before the sun started to come up, it turned and walked back down the trail into the canyon and after a short time I could not hear its footsteps in the creek or sand. I didn’t follow it, I was glad it left. I kept looking back behind me in the forest waiting for daylight. My anxiety went down and then up as it was leaving because I thought this would be when the others get involved. I really didn’t know.

I laid there until the crack of dawn watching behind me and then I yelled at Mark “the sun is coming up.” He sat straight up and threw himself out of the sleeping bag and said “what was that?” I could tell he never slept a wink. I said “were you awake” and he said “yes, what was that?” I said “no, who was that?” He said again, “no, what was that.” I wondered what he meant by that because he never moved a muscle, I saw it, and he did not. I told him this trip is over! I handed him the rifle, we grabbed our sleeping bags, flashlight and took off back to Phoenix. I was back home before anyone else in the house was up. Shortest camping trip of my life a little over seven hours including four hours on the road.

I never smelled anything except a little campfire smoke lingering from somewhere. The campers were in the opposite direction. This stalker never made a sound other than walking back and forth. No deep breaths, huffs, nothing. For the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t grab the flashlight and shine it at it. I would had to climb over Mark to get it. If I had shined it, I would have probably required years of counseling, medication, and an immediate change of shorts. I just felt holding the rifle was the most important thing at the time and I could see and hear him walking.

In retrospect, at least what I think I know now was this, this stalker was headed for the campers up the road. There was perhaps food to be had. Mark and I were in its path to a late night snack. Obviously, it was shocked we were there camped on the trail it used. Camping on a trail, in the forest, that won’t happen again in my life.”






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81 Responses to “SC EP:709 The Mogollon Monster”

  1. Richard W

    If you have ever-heard them walk, the heavy footsteps, you would know it’s not a human. Even for the first time. Must have been pretty bright moonlight to see the hair. I can understand the dark outline. Great night vision. Good interview.

  2. Tracy R. B

    How lame of Ron’s friend, Mark, to have been awake the entire time of the stalker encounter and said or did nothing to lessen Ron’s anxiety.
    Frightening encounter.
    Ron’s comment, “Took a bus to crazy town and got off” had me laughing.
    Thank you.

    • Sandra C

      The one guy skilled with a weapon won’t help and another leaves them there. He needs better friends.

      I thought he did just fine with the gun though. Having it ready and obvious, but not pointing it at the creature or taking a shot. Doubt anyone could have done better than that. He has good instincts.

  3. Tracy C

    Thank you Wes- thanks for sharing Ron. You’re pretty darn tough for a catch and release kind of guy.. seriously, that night on the trail must have been terrifying

  4. Dovie D

    Thanks Wes. I can’t imagine being outside waking up to seeing this right in front of me. Not outside like that. Wow. Thank goodness it seemed more curious then wanting to harm you.

  5. Maynard w

    Late in the episode he mentions Chevellon Canyon Lake. Thats whete I camp for two weeks at a time, three times a year. I’ve heard maybe woodknocks twice there. Over the last five years I’ve spent about 26 weeks up there tent and hammock camping. Thanks Wes and Ron.

  6. Matthew J

    First of all, I’d like to tell Ron he done good! I am a USMC Veteran and good with a rifle and I am glad you did not shoot for a variety of reasons. But if the creature were to attack you or Mark, that would be the time to go Rambo on it. Good thinking of covering your 6 when you made sure a team of thieves didn’t get you from the rear. Scary situation.

    Soon after I graduated Parris Island, I met a little fella from Texas and he was my roommate in a USMC training school. He tried that “snipe hunting” crap on me but I did not bite.

    Sadly, you picked 2 friends that would make a little girl blush. It’s a shame that you couldn’t have soaked that coward Mark with water to “wake” him up. What a chump for play sleeping while you are up for hours facing the scariest situation you’ve had, basically all alone.

    James leaving you guys like that without so much as a hint that your life might be in danger in your area is a really shi**y thing to do. I hope one day you have Mark & James go camping with only each other for protection.

    Ron, go again but take a larger, well armed group but let them know about what you saw. Try to enjoy yourself camping but try not to bring or have to depend on self only cowards.

  7. Melissa H

    Wow, what an encounter, I would have been terrified too, thank you for telling your story to us, I am sorry how this has affected you and ruined your love of the area. I hope that by knowing what it was you can make peace with it, god bless you

  8. m99

    Well now, what a really great episode. Thanks Ron for telling your experiences on SC. I don’t think I’ve heard a better description here. Thanks for what you do Wes, by providing an outlet for people everywhere to get some of this off their chest. Great show. Good job you guys. Be Blessed.

  9. Rodney P

    I couldn’t imagine being in Ron’s situation, that had to be terrifying to witness. Thank you Wes for finding these great guests with great encounters keep them coming buddy.

  10. Tobye H

    I’m from Ireland, but I’ve driven out of Phoenix onto the rim and over to Pagosa Springs, Colorado… Through the various forests on the way (I got lost in the Navajo reserve for a few hours too). And I’ve been through the areas where the monster has been seen…. I didn’t feel comfortable getting out of the car to take a leak in those areas, let alone lay out in a sleeping bag over night!

  11. Erica and Jeremy P

    You think Ron realizes he friend went out there looking for this thing yet, just didn’t tell him?
    – camps middle of the trail where no one in their right mind would camp
    -loads gun, takes safety off.
    – knows what it was just by the sound

    • Don H

      That 911 call isn’t actually from the show. It’s one found by a well known researcher, I forget who (maybe Ron Moorehead?) while following up on a possible sighting.

  12. Marc C

    Had some close encounters solo camping between Knoll Lake and Bear Canyon Lake up on the Rim. More amazing than terrifying. The Bigs are definitely all over the place!

  13. Walter M

    Ron, guns are tools. No loaded gun ever shot anything unless a human was involved. You are no more in danger around a hammer than a gun. It is the human with the gun that is to be feared.

  14. theresa m

    Thanks for the show Wes, and Ron, thanks so much for sharing. Your so called friends are total, dangerous jerks! Before I listened to the show I read the Blog above and my blood boiled when you wrote that Mike did not wake up but did not move either. I knew then He! Was! Awake! Bastard!

  15. Luis C

    I am sorry to tell you , but your friend play stupid the whole time , he want it to experience the trill , but at your expenses !
    Friends like that , are not friends , He got one on you ! I am sorry to hear that , when you go in the woods , better know who you going with !

  16. Charles W

    Shoutout to Arizona. For some reason Wes thinks Arizona is all desert – it is actually covered in mountain ranges and high elevations, with some desert between. We have alpine, thick thick woods, tons of areas with lush forest, then ponderosa, then foothills, very high desert which is grassland and savannah, then the Saguaro Desert. Even down near Nogales is all mountain ranges. The more common sighting locations for the Mogollon Monster are above 7,000 ft, which is more than 1/3 of the state, a state larger than most countries. Look up the FBI case of Robert Fischer, who they hunted along the rim country after he killed his family. It is endless caves, woods, cliffs, and canyons up there. There are trees from the Rocky Mountains to the Chuska range to the reservation high country to the Mogollon Rim to Mexico along the woods from Show Low south into Mexico. A squatch could migrate over 1,000 miles with cover pretty much the entire way, maybe even to Canada. The deserts of the Southwest are only a portion in the lowest elevations. The mountains with woods are everywhere. In SoCal there are ranges outside San Diego, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and near every populated area. Western states are full of mountains and trees.

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