Posted by: Jerry Hestand on February 2nd, 2017
Follow up to “Gorilla” sighting from Texas in 1960
When I joined the Texas Bigfoot Research Center in 2001, I was asked to investigate sightings in the northern part of the state into Arkansas along with Southern Oklahoma. Little did I realize that I would accumulate dozens of reports from this area over sixteen years of investigating.
It soon became quite clear after a few years that there was a pattern of Bigfoot sightings on creeks that fed into the Red River that forms the border of Texas and Oklahoma. Interstate 35 runs north and south from Dallas to Oklahoma City and is the western edge of most Bigfoot sightings that I have followed up on. The reports spread sporadically from this area east to Miller County Arkansas which is home to the famous Fouke Monster.
Most Bigfoot reports on each side of the river are separated by time and distance and usually have the commonality of being grouped into pockets of small towns or communities that sometimes have a moniker for their local monster such as the Callisburg Troll or Boggy Bottom Monster. These small communities are usually located near a lake or large forested region that is protected such as a wildlife management area. However, there are instances of man-like apes revealing themselves to unsuspecting and frightened individuals and are not usually seen in the same location again.
Such was the case of the 1960 “gorilla” sighting near Sherman, Texas that was reported in the local newspaper. When I first heard of this story via the internet I was surprised that a Bigfoot was seen in this location but then I had to remember the story was nearly sixty years old and the countryside had changed a lot in that period of time. It was time to investigate the area for myself.
I found the location of the sighting on Google Earth and drove to the tiny group of homes. It was getting near dark and I was looking for someone outside their home to approach, not wanting to knock on doors and causing possible alarm. Luckily a car pulled in front of me on Blue Creek Circle and I pulled over and I asked an elderly couple if they had any knowledge about the strange incident from 1960.
I was amazed that the lady of the house had information for me. The woman had lived in this location for about thirty years when the road was first built which was not long enough to hear firsthand stories about the Blue Creek Bigfoot from 1960. To my great interest she claimed that neighbors had told her that an unusual large, dark animal of some sort had been haunting the nearby woods for as long as they could remember. The woman then said that she knew it to be true because she had her own encounter ten years earlier.
She was walking her dog along the edge of Blue Creek late one afternoon when she noticed a strange structure made out of underbrush and saplings that she had never seen before. She approached the unusual dwelling and quickly saw that there was a large, black animal laying in it. The creature had remained motionless until she came too close and invaded its comfort zone.
Her dog became anxious as though they were in a dangerous situation and pulled at its leash to return the way they came. It didn’t take much convincing from her dog to compel the woman to leave post-haste as she and the dog ran all the way back home. She concluded because of its size and the fact that it was covered in jet black hair that it could have been nothing but a Bigfoot. She kept the incident to herself and made sure not to venture into that part of the woods again.
I thanked the lady and left her some information in case she came upon any more accounts of Bigfoot activity in the area. She thanked me and seemed interested and enthused to be of help and promised to ask friends for stories around the small neighborhood.
Next I drove to a road to the east which named Independence Springs Road which is east of Blue Creek. This would be the logical area for the Bigfoot to proceed if it was seen by Mrs. Curtis Wilson later the same night as J.O. Conrad as described in the Sherman Democrat story.
It was here I saw a young man shoveling rocks out of the back of his truck onto his driveway. I drove up next to him and explained what I was about and asked if he knew anything regarding the gorilla. He said no, he was somewhat of a skeptic. However, he claimed a bow hunter friend had claimed to have seen a Bigfoot near Bonham Lake several years ago. The friend would become angry if the subject was brought up because of being laughed at. Bonham is about thirty miles to the east of Sherman. Bonham Lake is near the Red River and there are areas of dense forest separating the lake from the river.
He warmed to our conversation and he told me that he had hunted the Blue Creek bottoms and it wouldn’t be any problem for a Bigfoot to hide in this area, especially in the Choctaw Creek bottoms located nearby. Deer, hogs and other large animals inhabited the area in abundance. The young man also claimed to have seen large black cats and mountain lions near his home. My bet was that if a bottomland could support a mountain lion there would be no problem for a Bigfoot to find sustenance in such a habitat. Incidentally, Blue Creek feeds into Choctaw Creek that runs into the Red River. Choctaw Creek runs through Starr Road which is the location of the W.B. Thompson sighting near the end of the 1960 newspaper article.
Once again I thanked the individual for his help and decided to leave the area just as the sun began to set. I couldn’t resist driving to the last house on this dead end road. I peered off into the dark tangled undergrowth that surrounded the little creek as I slowly drove through the twisting narrow blacktop lane. The winter sun was casting its last rays of light through the bare branches of the tall hardwood trees as I began to use my imagination. How did Mr. Conrad handle the realization that he had seen a gorilla from his bedroom window so many years ago, and how would I rationalize the same thing should I spot a gorilla from the window of my Jeep? Thoughts such as these are what has kept me investigating Bigfoot for over a decade and a half and I haven’t lost interest yet!
Jerry Hestand is a native of North Texas and has been involved in Bigfoot research since January 2001. A former member of The Texas Bigfoot Research Center (TBRC), Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) and the North American Wood Ape Conservancy (NA-WAC). His research has crossed the four state area of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. His main focus has been the Fouke, Arkansas area researching “The Boggy Creek Monster.” His research has also led him to the mountains of South East Oklahoma in search of the "Wood Ape." Mr. Hestand is a retired elementary educator. During his tenure he led an after school “Bigfoot Club” for students that was featured in the May 16, 2010 issue of the Sherman, Texas newspaper Herald Democrat. He has had numerous encounters with the Southern Bigfoot and a very close encounters in the mountains of Southern Oklahoma.