I stumbled upon another strange creature lurking in the American West – this time in Arizona’s mountain region. It’s called the Mogollon Monster. Researchers make the case it’s another Bigfoot based on eyewitness reports and evidence gathered in the wild. Is this creature bringing us closer to the truth about Bigfoot, or is it just another disappointment? CryptoVille investigates!
Facts about this creature are about as rare as the monster itself! I struggled to find what I felt was some solid information about this beast. The few accounts I did find all seemed to regurgitate the description found on Wikipedia. (Unknown Artist’s rendition above right.)
That said, if you are new to this creature, I’ll present the basic description here, based on Wiki’s explanation then give you my humble opinion.
What is a Mogollon Monster?
The Mogollon (pronounced something like mo-gee-ohn) Monster is named for the area of Arizona where it’s seen, the Mogollon Rim. This rim sits atop a mountain range and seems like a Bigfoot-friendly environment with its Ponderosa forests and Pinyon-Juniper woodlands.
Witnesses describe this creature as bipedal and covered with hair everywhere but on the face, hands, feet, and chest. They report that the hair is “black or reddish brown,” and that it’s long. The beast stands around 7 feet tall and has large eyes often said to be red. It also smells terrible, not unlike its other Bigfoot cousins. (Artwork left by Scott Davis.)
Reports state that the creature is highly territorial and can, at times, be quite violent. They seem to be nocturnal and like many apex predators, seem to be omnivorous.
People report that the creature walks with huge strides, swinging its arms, and can mimic animal calls such as those of birds and coyotes. They whistle in the forests and researchers have found nests they attribute to this beast, made out of “pine needles, twigs, and leaves.”
People claim the monster has raided their campsites looking for food, and that they have had stones thrown at them from the forest. A few people have reported hearing a terrible cry coming from the woods, sounding like “a woman in ‘great distress’.”
(Photo right of the Mogollon Rim.)
Wiki shares the following reports with us:
In a 1903 edition of The Arizona Republican, someone 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.” He apparently got closer to it and reported, “Upon further 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.
Don Davis, who went on to become a cryptozoologist, saw the creature in the mid-1940s during a Boy Scout trip. He said, “The creature was huge. Its eyes were deep set and hard to see, but they seemed expressionless. His face seemed pretty much devoid of hair, but there seemed to be hair along the sides of his face. His chest, shoulders, and arms were massive, especially the upper arms; easily upwards of 6 inches in diameter, perhaps much, much more . I could see he was pretty hairy, but didn’t observe really how thick the body hair was. The face/head was very square; square sides and squared up chin, like a box.”
The Native American people living in that area, 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!”
Tribal police lieutenant Ray Burnette said, “A couple of times they’ve seen this creature looking through the windows. They’re scared when they call. The calls we’re getting from people – 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.”
There are some Native American legends that deal with this creature. Here’s a synopsis of those:
- A prehistoric tribe exiled their chief. Angry, he prayed to his spirits to transform him into a “hirsute bogeyman” in order to scare his rebellious tribe. He still lives today, defending his territory.
- A rival stole the chief’s wife, so to get his revenge, the chief had the medicine man transform the thief into the horrible creature.
- Some Indians attacked a pioneer who managed to get away into the woods where he went insane and was cursed by the spirits. (Presumably turning into the Mogollon Monster.)
- A white man murdered an Indian woman. He was punished by being “hung from a tree by his hands, stretched to a height of eight feet, then skinned alive, and left to die.” (This according to the Weird US) He continues to roam the woods, presumably as the Mogollon Monster.
From what I can tell the ongoing research into this creature’s existence seems pretty sparse. One man who was trying to get the research going was Mitchell Waite (photo right). Unfortunately, he passed away earlier this year. Hopefully his partner Susan Farns will continue with their efforts. The link to their website is in my reference section, Mogollon Monster.
The BFRO website lists a bunch of sightings around Arizona. If you want to check those out, the link is in my references section below.
More Recent Sightings
According to the website Cryptozoology News, a young woman was hiking the Canyon Point trail around New Years of last year when she had her sighting of the creature. Her name is Y. Estevez and she said, “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.”
She further explained that she liked to take pictures of all the animals she encounters when she’s hiking so she pulled out her camera to get some shots of this pig-thing. She said, “I figured it was just a pig … kind of hairy though, which seemed a little odd for a hog. As soon as I made a little noise, the animal turned its head and looked directly at me. Now that’s when I freaked out. It was staring at me.” (Photo above left from Mogollon Rim Visitor Center.)
Trying to scare off the animal, she began to make noise and wave her arms about trying to appear larger than she was. “The creature gets off its four legs and stands on its hind legs. 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.”
At Halloween of last year, Fox10Phoenix interviewed Mitchell Waite for nearly five minutes. It’s interesting and I have to give kudos to the news team for reporting the story intelligently without the usual giggles and winks that drive me crazy.
Here’s that video:
What To Make of All This
The fact that the living Native Americans see and experience this creature to the point where they call their police department tells me something is happening in that area. I thought the report by hiker Y. Estevez was very compelling too – her report sounds genuine and believable.
I perused the photos on the Mogollon Monster site and while they’re interesting, they are all still too blurry and poorly defined to ever convince the scientific community. If it won’t convince the scientific community at large, then it’s useless.
It seems very possible that we have another Bigfoot relative calling this area home, at least some parts of the year. But as always, it’s going to take some serious and sustained research to get the evidence we need – clear, indisputable evidence.
What do you think about this creature?
Fun Fact: Artist Trent Penrod of Pinetop’s Burly Bear mountain gift shop has used a chainsaw to sculpt five statues of the infamous Mogollon Monster. Five towns along the Mogollon Rim put one of the sculptures on their Main Streets to acknowledge and celebrate the local legend. (See photo below, taken by the artist himself.)