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Alex Hearn On Assignment
As an introduction for this latest update to our ongoing story, I thought these excepts from an article posted in the Arizona TIME PUBLICTION magazine might be helpful: This article was written by Shanna Hogan
"We’ve always wondered what those who have made hunting Bigfoot their life’s work were truly about. Do they really believe all of that drivel or is it just another excuse to go camping and drink beer? Somehow we had to find out, but who’d be willing to go camping with a bunch of gun-toting banshees in the middle of the forest? Have no fear. In honor of Halloween season, Shanna Hogan stepped up and not only interviewed this unconventional band of cracks, she actually spent an epic night hunting with them!"
Howling winds tore through the Juniper trees of northern Arizona’s high desert, about 50 miles south of the Grand Canyon. As thunder rumbled from the storm-blackened skies, Larry Jenkins heard heavy raindrops spattering against the aluminum siding of his narrow 8- by 20-foot cabin. Secluded on 40 acres of rocky desert at the edge of a meandering wash, Jenkins was utterly alone, miles from civilization.
To stave off the bitter cold, he tossed another log into his small wood-burning stove and plopped down on the edge of his mattress, which nearly consumed the entire width of the room. Wearily, he dropped his head to his chest. Exhausted from three grueling days of single-handedly constructing a backyard porch on his property, Jenkins could hardly move his arms. It was 2 a.m., and Jenkins was eager to get some much-needed rest when he was suddenly startled by a loud thud, and another and then another. The fierce pounding reverberated through the floor, causing the walls to shake. Traipsing furiously through the trees, something was approaching his cabin from the southwest; with each step the sound grew louder until it was at his doorstep. Paralyzed with terror, Jenkins could only listen as the massive creature loomed outside his door.
Cautiously, Jenkins peered through the pipe of his stove. Horror filled his eyes as he caught glimpse of the huge, hairy intruder, now outside stalking him. It was too big to be human, and it definitely wasn’t an animal.
Jenkins trembled with fear, separated from the creature by only a few thin layers of particle board. “I just sat here holding my breath. I was scared to death,” Jenkins recalled. “My heart was in my throat. That was the first time I, honest to God, knew he was outside.” For twenty minutes, the cryptic creature crept outside his cabin, before suddenly vanishing into the forest, leaving but a trace of its presence...
...The following morning, Jenkins discovered mammoth 15-inch footprints leading up to his cabin and through his backyard wash. Even more mysterious was what Jenkins found next. Broken off in one of the tracks was a grimy, jagged toenail measuring more than two inches in width… ''''SKIPPING AHEAD IN THE ARTICLE;''''
''''MORE OF THE ARTICLE:''''… “Wake up, Starshine,” a folksy voice said, rousing me from a deep slumber. Groggily, I rolled onto my back and slowly peeled the furry, pink eye mask off my face…
…I recognized Java Bob, whose real name is Bob Schmalzbach, from the “Searching for Bigfoot” website. Years ago, he owned a coffee shop until a chance encounter made him a believer. These days he’s second in command to world renowned Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi…
…Biscardi is a legend in the wild world of Bigfoot, and he’s been hunting for the mystic creature since the ‘70s. Biscardi is the reason we were all here, camping on Larry Jenkins’ property. After hearing Jenkins’ incredible story about the huge, hairy beast and the giant toenail it had left behind, Biscardi assembled a team of crack monster hunters, armed to the teeth with enough artillery to start a small war, and headed to the Arizona desert…
…Hearn is Arizona’s leading cryptozoologist, which basically means he has a website and spends his weekends hunting a slew of legendary creatures including big snakes, the mythical Thunderbird, El Chupacabra and, of course, Bigfoot. Cryptozoology is the search for new, unexplained, undiscovered animals, he explained…
…On the long drive back to the Valley, we reflected on our exciting adventure. “Okay, that was pretty bizarre, but actually a ton of fun,” I said. “I may have even been convinced to rethink my skepticism, at least a tad.”… ''''END OF EXCERPTS''''
In his own words, AZCRO’s Alex Hearn tells own story from 27 February 2010.
Jerry had described a long ride down numerous dirt roads. He had taken the long way around that day. Jerry wasn't sure why, but something told him don't turn around when he missed his turn? Now it wasn't the creature it was probably just the scenery, this area is beautiful. That is as beautiful as this part of Arizona can be. It's hard/solid red dirt that has a heavy mix of clay and lime. Volcanic rocks protruding through with jagged edges abound. Watch out for the cacti they'll get you if you're not careful... There are some very beautiful juniper trees through out this area though, and wild flowers dot the landscape.
The area I was headed towards
As hostile as it sounds the animals seem to love it; as they are plentiful. Wild Horses, Cattle, Elk, Deer, Javelina, Bobcats and Mountain Lions can be found through out the area. They seem to do well too, as there are reports of 300+lb cats in this land? Too large for mountain lions you say? Well some may agree, but this was also formally the home of another large cat the Jaguar, it may be back? Rather large Mountain Lions as pictured on www.azcro.net can be found in this area too. The one on the website was hit by a vehicle just south of here.
Now there's a possibility that Bigfoot may winter in this area. Larry's reports of the past few years combined with Jerry's new sighting, has to make one wonder. We all know what Larry saw at the cabin, and we are holding our breath every step of the way for the DNA results. Jerry's sighting was a chance encounter and I knew I had to get to the area as soon as possible.
First what did Jerry see? Well as he was coming over a ridge, the 2nd one of three, he noticed someone or something walking in the distance. There was a very large man walking up the last ridge. At first glance he was huge and all dressed in black; it first seemed like he was just lumbering along. As Jerry got closer, he realized that this person wasn't wearing any clothes; in fact he was covered in hair? The creature seemed to now be hurrying to clear the peak, which it soon did. As Jerry got to the peak he figured he would clear the hill and there it would be, right there on the other side. It's only a 1/4 mile from the 1st peak to the 3rd. You know Jerry must have been hurrying now too, trying to see what this was, but nothing was there? Where could it have gone? Well Jerry did the right thing he called us.
When I got to the area that Jerry described you couldn't miss the 3 peaks, and as you got to the top of the 3rd peak. The terrain continued as described. I looked for the displaced rocks, that Jerry mentioned were the only ones out of place. Well in this short time no rocks could be described as misplaced. I was able to find some tracks from a cat near the road, and where something else had walked off into the brush, but in the hard pan there was no way to tell what kind of animal it was. It would have to be large to make any marks in this hard pack dirt. I investigated about 100yds off the road looking for tracks or a hiding spot. I didn't find any caves or anywhere a person could hide. The trees seemed too small to climb. I decided to make camp at Larry's cabin and come back at dusk to see what kind of animals roam here at night.
On the way to Larry's cabin the roads were great. The 12miles into the cabin on the dirt roads was the best I have ever seen it. I found the key and unpacked, just in time to head back to town for some ice. After picking up the ice I headed to the 3 peaks area again. I parked and waited out the sunset, which was not far from happening. As the sunset the clouds rolled in from Seligman? That's weird it was a beautiful day when I left town?
The clouds were beginning to roll in!
Heading back to Seligman it started to flurry, but soon stopped. When I reached town, the ground looked as though it had rained quite hard. I headed straight back to the cabin. I made it in and was about to start an outdoor fire in the pit, when the sky just seemed to let loose. Snow flakes where the size of a 1/2 dollar and they didn't seem to be slowing. Before long my truck had 3"-4" on it. I tried to find a local weather report, but it was pretty obvious I wasn't getting out in the morning.
The unexpected snow I found myself in
Come daybreak it was a beautiful day, the sun was shinning and the brush was glistening with the snow and ice. The sound of the water flowing in the creek was like music? Well except for there is no creek here... At least not usually, but there was today. By the end of the day it was flowing pretty good too. As the day went on I knew I had to try to get home. I packed up and headed out of the property. Larry mentioned that as you cross over the creek is the worst part of getting out of the property. I knew I needed a running start so I angled up and around as I approached, that was the first mistake. I was stuck in the mud, back and forth to no avail I tried to rock the truck. This truck wasn't going anywhere? I walked the 200yds back to cabin and made some calls to let people know I was stuck and not getting out today.
I was hopelessly stuck!
I went back a few times to fight with the mud. I would soon tire out, as every step was like hell on earth with what seemed like 10lbs of mud on each foot. Finally I just needed a nap and to rest before dark. I let people know I was going to charge my phone and rest for the next battle. I knew I had to get my sleeping gear and equipment back to the cabin before dark. I woke at 430pm ready for a lot of walking back and forth. I got to the truck and said lets give it one more try? An hour later I was out of the mud. I now had to get back to the cabin with out getting stuck again. It didn't happen, about 50yds was all I got and then it happened again. Mad at myself I started digging. I dug my way out and pulled out forwards this time. I made sure not to get stuck again and I was back at the cabin, w/only moments to spare before dark. I unloaded again, set up my bedroll and lanterns. This time I decided to have some food and then get some sleep.
My car and the mud I "collected"!
I ate and made some calls; the most important were to Java Bob, Larry and Father Ray. Larry said you would have to wait for a freeze and for the ground to harden? Later speaking to Father Ray, I got a detailed weather report that was good news. At midnight it would be down to 32*, at 4am it would be 26*? That would be cold enough to freeze the mud hard. I knew I had to get up and get going a first light, but I also had to wait long enough to let the ground harden too. Java Bob, of course, went over my plan with me. He made sure I knew what to do, and to let people know what I was doing. He mentioned that I could call him no matter what time, it was especially if I woke up through the night and wanted to talk to someone. Well he made me feel so good I slept right through the night, thanks Java Bob!
My only source of heat and shelter
At daybreak I walked the route out of the property. On Larry's private road I could see where the hunters from the other mountain had fought with the slop the day before. There was no way I was making it through that. It was lucky that I got stuck where I did? However now the ground was hard and glistening with ice crystals, but still slightly soft? I had to try. I packed up and headed for the road out. I made it out of the property, and up to the top of the last peak before the cabin. From there I called and sent txt messages to all the wonderful people that were concerned about me. I let them know that I still had 12 miles of frozen mud to cross, but I made it out of the cabin lot. The ride out was as expected, but drivable. I could see where the boys from up the hill had drove off the road 5-6 times the day before, and they were in 2, 4wd vehicles. A large railroad tie was shattered in the road on the way out; I guess they must have hit that when it was covered by snow.
The signs from other people who had been stuck on the way out
I reached the gate and called and sent a txt messages again to all, then I was flooded with calls. It felt great to have people that cared about me and it felt even better to be free. I conquered the Mud and the Snow of Northern AZ all by myself...
BTW: Please don't try this on your own. I shouldn't have either, but it's what I do!You can never be totally prepared, but I always pack in excess, as the guys will tell you. I've been an outdoorsman my whole life; I grew up in a pretty rugged area of the northeast too. I've seen the old man of the mountain; this week I think he was helping push my truck. God Bless.
Written by Alex Hearn
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