As part of our series on Texas cryptids – those creepy creatures that inhabit our local legends – Texas Standard interviewed an expert on a creature that’s been reportedly sighted nationwide: Bigfoot.
Bowman has chased Bigfoot all over East Texas and Oklahoma. He spoke to Texas Standard’s Michael Marks about some of his experiences.
The audio included in this interview was recorded by Bowman and his colleagues in the field, and is courtesy of NAWAC. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:
Texas Standard: Tell me about some of the field research that you guys conduct.
Paul Bowman: So what we tend to do is we have we have a research area. We’ve had a couple over the years.
One was in the Big Thicket National Preserve, which is an hour or two north of Houston. We’ve done work in Sam Houston National Forest, but mostly in southeastern Oklahoma. We have an area where we lease some property that is known for a lot of activity. We’ve been there since 2006.
What we started out doing was using camera traps. We used, at the time, what was state of the art game cameras. It took a considerable amount of time and money to do a project like that long term.
And so in 2011 we had sort of a shift, a paradigm shift, and we started doing long term research trips where we would have overlapping teams, four or five people. They would be replaced by another field team. So we we would maintain a constant presence in the area for 6 to 8 weeks. That actually turned out to be quite fruitful.
When you say “fruitful,” what do you mean?
Well, within the first two weeks, back in 2011, we started having contact. These creatures would would come up to the edge of our camp. They would throw rocks. In some cases, they would run through camp in the middle of the night. And it was quite a change from what we’d been used to.
What sounds do they make that people may not expect?
What got me were the things… like we’ve heard mouth pops. All kinds of grunts, growls, huffs, barks.
There’s one that really gets me. I’ve only heard it one time. I call it the “mouth squish,” and it’s kind of a strange squishing sound that they would make with their mouths, we assume. And then, of course, there’s the faux speech. It sounds like gibberish. It’s incomprehensible, you know, as far as language goes. But it sounds like somebody is trying to talk.
We’ve had countless visuals. Of course, the very first question everybody asks is “why no pictures?” And the short answer is that these contact events are usually 1 to 2 seconds, maybe 3 or 4 seconds in length. My own visual, of course, I had in 2014, even if I had had a camera at the ready, I just don’t think I would have been able to get something on film. It sounds crazy. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, and I get that.