“Today in Fort Smith does not intend to get into the Bigfoot/Sasquatch business on a regular basis, but after we published the story last week of a sighting in the Ozark National Forest literally hundreds of readers and people have contacted us to share their experiences. Some of them are obviously people who are trying to troll us this weekend and not credible at all, but the tale told to us is close enough to the location of the sighting from the first story to get our attention. Just call this Part 2 of "Is There Life Out There". And we know...His name is "Darrell".”
Such are the challenges that come with being the editor of Today in Fort Smith – “Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma's local news leader!” On July 30th, it published a story about local “Crawford County woodsman” Jake Pixley, who claimed he saw a Bigfoot in the Ozark National Forest – an experience that Pixley says “has completely changed his perception of what he knows--and doesn't know.” Since that story hit, Today in Fort Smith has been swamped with other local Bigfoot sightings, including an incredibly gruesome one, which together could make it a top Sasquatch hotspot in the U.S.
Pixley is an author, a former security specialist and an expert in behavioral analysis. In late July, he says he was hiking in the park when he heard the sounds of walking, a stick hitting a log, rocks being moved and guttural growls, but saw nothing. He went back two days later and took a video of something moving in the woods that he couldn’t identify. While "I'm not saying it's a Bigfoot,” he’d like to go back to the undisclosed location with a Bigfoot expert.
As mentioned before, that article opened the Bigfoot floodgate in Fort Smith. A man named Chris said a “tall, dark, hairy figure” vandalized his campsite near Campbell Cemetery in the Ozark National Forest and threw rocks at him for two hours. A Greenwood woman claimed she saw an 8-foot-tall hairy Bigfoot while hiking in the Ozark National Forest near “the Campbell Cemetery Sign” – an even she claimed made the forest “unnaturally quiet.”
“However, there seems to be a lot of interest (and sightings) in the area and this latest story, however fantastic, comes from a local couple who are totally sincere about their experience.”
With that second disclaimer, Today in Fort Smith reported the story of a couple who heard a growl that caused their dogs to whimper and cower. When they imitated the growl, something began throwing rocks at them. They then let the dogs loose – an action they soon regretted.
“We couldn’t hear the dogs anymore but the creature(s) were still out there. They began throwing something else at our tent – pieces of our dogs.”
Today in Fort Smith says the couple appears totally sincere, but they have no evidence of this horrific encounter – they claim they left it at their campsite. Despite that …
“We are now believers.”
Arkansas is famous for the Fouke Monster sightings, which seem to have started in the 1950s but became better known with "The Legend of Boggy Creek" docudrama and a number of other films, books and annual conferences. While sometimes described as more apelike, it usually gets categorized in the Bigfoot bin. There have been many other reported Sasquatch and “Arkansas Wild Man” sightings, sounds of the unexplained Ozark Howler and a “Wood Ape” sighting in 2017 by actor Rob Lowe. The Bigfoot Research Organization lists 109 Arkansas sightings and, as a sign of its state popularity, Bigfoot is a team mascot for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
Does all of this prove there’s a dog-killing, stone-throwing, loud growling Bigfoot in the Ozark National Forest? Of course not. There are plenty of non-Bigfoot explanations for these reports and no one brought any evidence other than a blurry video and an air of sincerity. However, as we’ve seen with UFOs, as the reports increase, the disbelief decreases. If Bigfoot wanted to hide, the densely wooded Ozark National Forest is a good place. The challenge is doing the due diligence to get closer to the answer. Kudos to Today in Fort Smith for not giving in and continuing to report the more interesting accounts.
If you decide to head to the Ozarks to hunt for Bigfoot, wear a mask, socially distance and don’t let your dogs out of your sight.