By Jeri Borst
Bigfoot is well known to area residents and travelers who frequent the area. The possible presence of the creature has even made its way into marketing campaigns, festivals and is the frequent topic of conversation.
The Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce recently added Barry S. Bigfoot to its team. Pasha Watson, chamber director, said the mascot was a natural fit.
“He is fun and photogenic. I think he has been well received and it is positive,” Watson said. “Our area does have a bit of lore. Barry goes around to whoever wants him to be at their business. It is a fun way to get people in door.”
Watson said several chamber members have some type of affiliation with Bigfoot.
Mary Alice Head, who owns The Shop on Mena Street, often receives travelers who notice the Bigfoot silhouettes on the property.
“Everybody that comes into The Shop has a story to tell and I’m a good listener,” Head said. “Most of the people are visitors to the area and it is interesting to share stories.”
Head has heard many tales from local residents and travelers over the years that may lead one to wonder if Bigfoot can be found in the area.
Torren Turbyfill, owner of Miller Signs and Graphics, admits he is curious to the possibilities of Bigfoot’s involvement in some things he has encountered.
“There is something out there,” he said. “I’m just not sure what it is.”
Eudell Head, a law enforcement officer, said he knows there is a creature in the wilderness.
“They are a very smart animal, but there is something else to it. I’m not sure what, but its different,” Head said.
“As a teen I had a sighting that I kept under wraps, but in 2005 I had second sighting that gave me confirmation,” he continued, noting the second sighting led to researching Bigfoot two days a week for several years.
“I kept it under wraps for so long because as a police officer you have to maintain a degree of integrity,” he said. “I felt like if I told people, they would look at me like I lost my mind and not appreciate me as a police officer. Now I’m at the point of getting close to retirement and I don’t care if people think I’ve lost my mind. “
Head said there is a fair amount of people who have had an experience or sighting.
“Most people have some instance of something they can’t explain and don’t talk about,” he said, noting he will be speaking at the Ouachita Bigfoot Conference this weekend. (See page 20 for more information)
“I have had large stones thrown at me and other experiences and I’ll be telling more of those story at the conference,” he said. “I hope to get people to open up more about it. If I am able to talk about it and not be afraid to tell my story, then they should be able to, too. I’m finding that more and more people are talking about things that have happened to them.”
Orville and Cheryl Murphy, owners of Board Camp Crystal Mine, said prior to 2017, Bigfoot was just something on TV.
“Then we began to experience phenomena on our crystal mine property,” Cheryl said. “They were leaving “signs” in the woods to let us know of their presence. As crazy as it sounds, we have become accustomed to finding multiple tree arches and rock stacks throughout our property, which cannot be made by human hands when there are no human prints left behind.”
“We and our guests have experienced rocks being thrown in our direction, items disappearing and reappearing, and crystal rock gifts are often found.”
“After 3 years of experiencing this phenomena on a regular basis, we are of the opinion that the Bigfoot is an intelligent interdimensional being and has the ability to “step” into our dimension and back again. That’s why it is so elusive and no one has found a dead carcass,” Cheryl said. “If Bigfoot was an animal we should be able to track it, but we only found two prints. We believe the electromagnetism of the quartz crystals could be a catalyst in opening and closing portals between dimensions by which interdimensional beings can travel. We have always preferred to approach the phenomena happening on our property scientifically. And what we define as “paranormal” is that which Science has yet to explain.”
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Murphy
Footprints and archways, believed to be signs of Bigfoot’s presence, have been found at Board Camp Crystal Mines.