October 7, 2015

6 Crypt-id Monsters That Live In Northern Arizona (Part 1: Land Dwellers)

Most locals have heard of the Mogollon Monster, but descriptions of exactly what kind of creature it might be has changed over the years. A rash of sightings of a particular type of creature would make that animal a sort of "Mogollon Monster du jour."

As a result, this author will not give the title of "Mogollon Monster" to any of the forthcoming six.  Instead, it is hoped that people who have seen these strange creatures and are afraid of coming forward might learn that they are not alone in their experience.

Some of these monsters are truly bizarre, but every one of them has been seen in other locations on our planet.

Part 2 of this duplet will focus on "The Cave Dwellers;" this article focuses on "The Land Dwellers."

If asked today, most residents would think that the Mogollon Monster is Bigfoot.  However, if one were a purist, the first account of the Mogollon Monster, recorded in the Arizona Republican in 1903, describes something else:

1. Troll

A man "named I.W. Stevens reported seeing the creature near the Grand Canyon. '(It had) 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 (closer) inspection, he noted ‘a coat of gray hair nearly covered his body, with here and there a spot of dirty skin showing.' He saw the creature drinking the blood from two felled cougars and when it saw him, it picked up a club and screamed at him." (*1)

Thought by many to be a medieval fairy tale, the Troll has been spotted in european forests for centuries even to this very day.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most recent recorded sighting of a Troll on the Mogollon Rim occurred late in 2013 and was posted by Cryptozoology News: (*2)
A 28-year-old woman believes she came across an unidentified animal...while hiking the Canyon Point trail located in the region of the Mogollon Rim. 
Y. Estevez, a sociology student who claims she was alone at the time of the incident, says she saw a “troll” looking creature drinking from a pool of water. 
“It was on its knees, drinking water, when I found it. Drinking, making noises like a pig, so at first sight the animal looked like a pig to me." 
But upon closer inspection, she saw that "it had long hair, grey and bluish, and I swear it looked like one of those trolls from a fairy tale. Ugly stuff. The face was human looking, no hair on it, but full of bumps. The eyes were kind of a brown-red. Thick big nose, small lips. No expression on its face at all. It then took off running like a person.”
There are some intriguing photos of a troll on the Mogollon Rim that were taken with a wildlife camera. Although these images are copyrighted, the reader can view them on the original website by clicking here. (*3)

2. Bigfoot

This ADOT photo posted 1/1/2015 shows possible Bigfoots on SR 260.

Evidence and sightings of Bigfoot in Arizona are so frequent, it would take a book to cover them all.  The Bigfoot Research Organization (BFRO) lists at least 32 sightings in Coconino County (*4) and at least 8 reports of Bigfoot in Yavapai County (*5), but these listings are hardly inclusive of them all.

During the 1980's, evidence of a Bigfoot living in Hell's Canyon (near Drake, AZ) was reported by some deadwood harvesters.

"We use to cut firewood in the Kiabab National Forest (and) saw many tracks, many times." Additionally, a possible living quarters was discovered. "The site that was most bizarre was (a) cave with a very big tree...covering the entrance." (*6)

"Often, reports of the elusive beast involve a piercing, sometimes deafening scream or howl unlike that produced by any known wildlife. (*7)

"Those who say they've crossed paths with the beast regularly describe an eerie silence prior to their encounter, an appreciable stillness in the woods that commonly surrounds predatory animals. more common are reports of a strong, very foul stench, which has been described as that of dead fish, a skunk with bad body odor, decaying peat moss and—by someone with an exceptionally keen sense of smell, apparently—the musk of a snapping turtle." (*7)

ALSO ENJOY: 20 Buried Treasures Near Prescott That Have Yet to be Found

Local Indian legend believes that some Bigfoots leave the Mogollon Rim in the wintertime for the Sierra Prieta mountains of the Prescott National Forest. (*8)

"The Native American people living in (the) area, (particularly) the White Mountain Apache Nation, have had encounters as well. In 2006, Collette Altaha said, 'We’re not prone to easily talk to outsiders, but there have been more sightings than ever before. It cannot be ignored any longer.' Marjorie Grimes, a resident of nearby Whiteriver, said, 'It was all black and it was tall! The way it walked; it was taking big strides. I put on the brakes and raced back and looked between the two trees where it was, and it was gone!' (*1)

"Tribal police lieutenant Ray Burnette said, 'A couple of times they’ve seen this creature looking through (their) windows. They’re scared when they call (us)...They weren’t hallucinating, they weren’t drunks, they weren’t people that we know can make hoax calls. They’re from real citizens of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.'” (*1)

3. Giant Jack Rabbit

The Nuralagus Rex was a type of giant prehistoric rabbit. 

We end part 1 with perhaps the LEAST intimidating monster of them all... The Giant Jack Rabbit!

Perhaps the idea of a giant jack rabbit grazing about northern Arizona forests may seem outlandish, if not humorous, but such an animal undoubtedly did exist, at least in the past.

Archeologists have discovered fossils of "Nuralagus Rex," which could easily be described as a giant jack rabbit.

"The 26-pound (12-kilogram) prehistoric species was about six times bigger than the common European rabbit, found on most continents, according to an analysis of several bones." (*9)

As late as 2006, "residents of Felton in northeast England have confirmed that a huge, floppy-eared creature is leaving behind giant paw prints and a trail of destroyed carrots, leeks, onions, and turnips following nighttime raids." (*10)

As far as northern Arizona goes, "author and Bigfoot researcher Mitchell Waite says that his team spotted the giant jack rabbit, but claim that when they attempted to capture it on video, the camera 'malfunctioned' unexpectedly.' (*12)

“'The rabbit was sitting near the water tower,' he said. 'It was watching me, sat on its hind legs with ears up.'

"This lagomorph creature, he claims, has been spotted by 'several witnesses' in the past." (*12)

Could the Nuralagus Rex have continued to survive in the forests of Arizona?

Tourist Tips:

One of the views on Forest Rd 300
If you are interested in seeing the Mogollon Rim, there is a backroad (dirt & gravel) that offers some breath-taking views of the Verde Valley, Arizona's "second grand canyon." It's Forest Road 300. If you have a higher clearance vehicle, it's definitely worthwhile!

CLICK HERE for Info on the Scenic FR 300 Drive

(*1) http://visitcryptoville.com/2015/06/25/mogollon-monster-of-arizona/
(*2) http://cryptozoologynews.com/mogollon-monster-startles-hiker-arizona/
(*3) http://www.mogollonmonster.com/photo_gallery_3
(*4) http://www.bfro.net/gdb/show_county_reports.asp?state=az&county=Coconino
(*5) http://www.bfro.net/gdb/show_county_reports.asp?state=az&county=Yavapai
(*6) http://www.oregonbigfoot.com/report_detail.php?id=01207
(*7) http://www.phantomsandmonsters.com/2013/01/searching-for-mogollon-monster.html
(*8) http://www.bigfootencounters.com/stories/yavapai_cnty07AZ.htm
(*9) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110323-giant-rabbit-minorca-biggest-bunny-science-nuralagus-rex-largest/
(*10) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0411_060411_rabbit.html
(*11) http://cryptozoologynews.com/trailer-park-harassed-mogollon-monster-giant-jackrabbit-blamed-interfering-electrical-devices/
(*12) http://cryptozoologynews.com/trailer-park-harassed-mogollon-monster-giant-jackrabbit-blamed-interfering-electrical-devices/



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