The Mogollon Monster is a Bigfoot-type creature claimed to inhabit central and eastern Arizona along the Mogollon Rim. It is said to be nocturnal and omnivorous and very territorial. It walks with wide strides leaving 22-inch footprints.
The creature has also been alleged to mimic birds, coyotes, and other wildlife, and will also make whistling sounds. It builds its nest out of pine needles, twigs, and leaves. It is also said that it will throw stones from a hidden location.
Its feeding habit generally includes wildlife such as deer and it is reported that the creature decapitates its prey before devouring it. In most reports, just prior to an encounter, there is an eerie silence.
The Mogollon Monster is said to be over seven feet tall and covered with reddish brown hair. Its large eyes are said to be wild and red. Witnesses say it has a strong pungent odor similar to that of dead fish, skunk, decaying peat moss, and musk of a snapping turtle.
The oldest reported sighting of the Mogollon Monster was in 1903 in an edition of The Arizona Republican.
In that account, I.W. Stevens reported seeing the creature near the Grand Canyon and he described it as having long white hair and a beard that hung to its knees. It had two-inch claws on its fingers and its body was covered in gray fur. Stevens also said he noticed the creature drinking cougar’s blood then threatened him with a club and “screamed the wildest, most unearthly screech”.
In the mid-1940s, Don Davis, a cryptozoologist, was on a Boy Scout trip near Payson, Arizona, and had an encounter with the creature. He described it as huge with deep set eyes that were hard to see. The face had hair along each side, and its chest, shoulders and arms were immense. Its body was covered in hair and its face was squared like a box.
Tribal police lieutenant Ray Burnette says that local citizens call in reports of seeing the creature and have fear in its voice. The people who are calling in these reports are local citizens and have been deemed trustworthy.
Usually sightings of creatures are either hoaxes or misidentifications according to science. In the early 1930s grizzly bears inhabited the region; now, black bears, mountain lions, or elk could be mistaken for the creature.
Video footage, footprints and hair samples have been documented, but no irrefutable evidence has been found and its existence remains skeptical.
The Mogollon Monster is portrayed in local stories told around campfires, featured in local songs, and in several books.
Every September, near Pine, Arizona, there is a Mogollon Monster 100 trail race that follows the Mogollon Rim for 106 miles.
Payson, Arizona, in 2013 held its first “Mogollon Monster Mudder 5K.” It is a timed mud run as part of the “Mountain High Games.” The run uses mountain trails with obstacles placed around the course, and a prize is given to the one who has the best Mogollon Monster costume.
Image Caption: Topographical map of Arizona showing locations of Mogollon Monster sightings circles in red. The majority of sightings have been reported in the Mogollon Rim area. Credit: Jedijoe82/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)