For all of their massive size, the mysterious creatures known as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and numerous other regional names have mostly been traditionally considered to be gentle giants. They are typically shy, avoid human beings, and are rarely reported as doing anything remotely aggressive or menacing, only frightening in appearance and the sheer shock factor they produce when an unsuspecting witness stumbles across them. However, for all of their benign reputation, the literature of Bigfoot reports is not without its more sinister and sometimes down right terrifying reports. Bigfoot have been known to display aggressive bluffing behaviors such as hooting, barking, wood knocking, in which they bang objects against trees with tremendous force to produce startlingly loud sounds, throwing objects such as rocks or logs, and even straight out charging and attacking, of which there are very occasional reports. One area that seems to have its share of apparently very grumpy Bigfoot is a national park in the U.S. state of Texas, where there have been a good number of reports from one national forest that paint the giant creatures as less than peaceful and very prone to throwing large, heavy things.
One of four national parks in Texas, the Sam Houston National Forest is sprawled out over 163, 037 acres between Huntsville, Conroe, Cleveland and Richards, Texas, just about 50 miles from the metropolis of Houston. It is a popular place for hiking, camping, fishing and boating at Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston, and hunting. The area is also rich in archeological sites and wildlife, including endangered species such as the bald eagle and the red-cockaded woodpecker. Another animal that allegedly calls this place home is the Bigfoot. Sighting reports are common at Sam Houston National Forest, with sometimes over 40 a year coming in from all over the park, as well as reports of hearing eerie howling or wailing from the dark wilderness. There is so much Bigfoot activity here that some areas even post warning signs about the purported beasts, just in case. It is probably a good idea, because the Bigfoot in this particular national park have a reputation for being uncommonly aggressive.
The aforementioned wood knocking is very common in the park, and although it is unknown why exactly these creatures might do this, in cryptozoology it has traditionally been seen as a way of communications, as well as a bluffing or threat display. However, judging by some reports, one is lucky if this is the extent of their frightening encounter. In 2014, Bigfoot researcher and host of the Sasquatch Chronicles podcast, Wes Germer, went on an excursion here with guide Bob Garrett and his crew into an area of the park called Piney Woods, which is particularly known for its intense Bigfoot activity. It was not a particularly eventful expedition until one evening when they were sitting around quietly in their camp. Without warning, they were assailed by a cacophony of crashing brush out in the darkness. At first Germer thought it was one of the crew messing around out in the forest, but he soon realized that this was something else altogether. He says the sounds were from something far larger and more powerful than a human being, and that shortly after it all started something very big and fast charged the camp. Germer would recount of this:
My heart was just pounding in my throat. We hear this thing crash through the brush. And then we hear this thing start crashing, just crash! Crash! Crash! Crash. And you can hear it walking and you can hear it breaking branches as it’s going. This thing moved so fast, it probably covered 100, 150 yards like nothing.
The mystery creature then allegedly bolted back into the trees, the noise then abruptly stopping and the woods still and silent again, but this was not the end of the scary ordeal. Germer claims that he and Garrett picked up flashlights to go investigate, which was perhaps not the best of ideas. They estimated that the beast was still there, perhaps 30 or 40 feet off, beyond the tree line of the campsite and watching them. Garrett, who was armed with a rifle, claimed that he caught a glimpse of something very big lurking out there, but Germer didn’t see it, merely sensing that it was looming there in the gloom. They crept towards what they believed to be the location of the creature, but whatever it was does not seem to have appreciated this, as the two men heard a sound like “the beating of helicopter blades.” Germer says of what happened next:
And I knew what it was. It was a log coming, and it was a big log, and you could hear it being thrown. And I ducked down because I thought for sure it was going to hit one of us in the head. But it hit a tree right in front of us, and I just couldn’t believe that was happening. I knew what just threw that log at us. I knew what just paced us in.
Germer claims that this wasn’t even his first experience with a log throwing Bigfoot in the park. He says that on a previous expedition to the same spot a log had come sailing from the woods to smash into a spot where his girlfriend had just been sitting just moments before, and on another occasion he had cowered in his truck as it was bombarded by rocks, sticks and logs by the angry creatures. When they had finally left, he returned to his campsite to find it totally destroyed, as if a very large animal had ransacked it. That night, the aggressive displays would continue, of which he would say, “We could hear them run back and forth and the tree limbs and broken trees flew in to camp, nonstop.” They also heard noises that sounded like “a monkey trying to be an owl,” or, as Germer describes it, “a freakin’ werewolf.” This was also in the same general vicinity as the other incidents, so whatever is there obviously does not seem to like company.
Germer’s is not the only such frightening report from the area. In 1965, a man named Mike Christian was hiking along the popular Lone Star trail, and at some point was overcome with the feeling that he was being followed. The signs were subtle, a snap of a broken twig or rustle from the brush and trees, something that he would have written off as a deer if it hadn’t seemed to be always behind him no matter how far he walked. He then was afraid that perhaps it was a person with bad intentions. He moved along, coming to an area that was very thick with trees and brush, and this was where he said he heard a deep, guttural growl, which was enough to send him hurrying the other direction. As he did this, he claimed that there was a loud crack, after which a massive tree branch came crashing down right behind him where he had been just seconds before with incredible force.
This was when Christian realized that he was in grave danger. He began screaming and shouting in an effort to scare off whatever was behind him, running as fast as he could towards a meadow up ahead. As he reached the meadow, he says he came face to face with an enormous, 8-foot tall, hair-covered beast, which stood there with its chest puffed out right in Christian’s path. Before the terrified man could even come screeching to a halt, the Bigfoot allegedly leaned forward and issued a bloodcurdling roar that caused Christian to pass out from fright. He claims that when he awoke, he was miles from where he last remembered being, soaking wet and covered with cuts and bruises. He could not recall how he had gotten to that spot, later speculating that the creature had brought him there for reasons unknown.
The Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) has several similarly harrowing cases from the region. In the summer of 2009, a witness by the name of Stan Williams was on assignment as a photographer for Texas Highways Magazine and The Texas State Travel Guide to photograph the Sam Houston National Forest. In the late afternoon he was west of Coldspring, hiking out with his camera looking for shots. He claims he came to a clearing about a mile to two miles into the forest, where he waited for a few minutes in the hopes of getting a shot of some wildlife. As he sat there waiting, he apparently heard some crashing noises from beyond the tree line, and a strange sequence of events would play out. The witness says:
After a few minutes there was a loud crashing noise on the other side of the clearing that startled me, as deer make almost no noise. Before I could react, a small juvenile black bear came out of the trees, stopped in the clearing edge and put its nose up in the air sniffing. It then abruptly turned around and ran back into the woods. I started to go after it for a photo, but thought better of it as its mother would undoubtedly be nearby. I decided to go back the way I had come to give them space. I had barely turned when I saw a huge dark humanoid shape about ten to twelve feet away through some very thick yaupon brush. I’m 6’3” and I was looking up at a twenty to thirty-degree angle to its head and huge shoulders. Texas bears don’t get anywhere close to this size, more like an Alaskan Kodiak Bear in size. I froze. All of a sudden it’s hand moved and a 2-3” diameter tree trunk about fifteen feet long came flying toward me. I ran like a werewolf was after me, and it might have been. I was back at the car in just a few minutes, clothes torn and bleeding from cat’s claw and briars trying to stop me. I jumped in the car and peeled out, not stopping til I reached Coldspring.
The witness would only later process what had happened and come to the conclusion that he had had a very close and dangerous encounter with a Sasquatch. Unfortunately, he was not able to get a picture of it. It might seem odd that this professional photographer specifically waiting there in the clearing for wildlife to appear wouldn’t have been able to get a picture of the creature, but one of the BFRO researchers who followed up on the case has said of this:
This is a classic example why we get no close photos and few distant blobsquatch photos. Here you have a trained professional photographer with professional equipment in a wooded environment. Presented with a potentially life-threatening situation, he was stricken with fear. Fearing that he might be attacked by something so close to him, there was no thought to raise the camera to get a money shot. We spoke about that. He kicks himself to this day about not raising his camera. He was all about getting the heck out of there. He reacted like virtually anyone would, especially if they had no idea what they were encountering or what to expect from it. That’s what happens when someone is in self-preservation mode, even a professional photographer. Those who wonder aloud why we have no good close-range photos need only imagine his exact scenario and honestly consider what you would do.
Considering there are only a handful of reports of aggressive Bigfoot attacks, this seems to be an awful lot for one particular area. Why should this be? Is it that these creatures are particularly territorial and fierce in this region? If so, why? Why would these supposedly benevolent creatures be so amped up and wired for aggressiveness here? Or is it perhaps just tall tales and nerves? It is hard to say, but one thing that can be said is that the Sam Houston National Forest is certainly a hotspot for Bigfoot, and definitely has its share of particularly frightening accounts. Maybe the old adage is true, “Don’t mess with Texas.”