Route 180 Bigfoot Sighting

In the Summer of 1990, a shortcut on a Grand Canyon road trip wound up taking a young couple straight into the realm of the supernatural. Making their way along Arizona's twisting Route 180, Ken H. and his companion found themselves on an isolated stretch of road. What they encountered there was a terrifying glimpse into the unknown. Ken takes up the story:

"The trip started out normal enough. Just a typical drive through the mountains. There were few cars on the highway that evening, as I remember it, and the road was kinda curvy, winding through the mountains. By this time the sun had set and it was getting dark.

This is when it happened.

The old farmhouse.
Several eyewitnesses reported sightings of strange Bigfoot-like animals in the Arizona mountains during the Summer of 1990.

I remember coming around a curve in the highway and there was a long straightaway in front of us before the road turned again. As we began to proceed down the straight section, we both noticed a very large animal walking down the right side of the road. Since I had just come out of a curve, the car wasn't moving very fast, and when I saw the animal, I slowed the car even further.

I remember my ex exclaiming, 'Is that a bear?'

As we came closer to the animal, it became apparent quickly that what we were looking at was not a bear. There was a very large, hairy mass walking away from us on two legs. I can still remember the arms swaying as it strolled naturally down the side of the road away from us.

As we got closer, about 50 yards or more as I remember it, the car's headlights shone past the creature. It was at that time that our companion on the highway became aware of our presence. It stopped, and I stopped.

I remember this vividly—the animal went to turn around to get a look at us. Now this was odd because the animal had no neck, or not much of one, so it couldn't turn its head to look at us, it had to turn its whole upper body. That apparently wasn't good enough for the creature so it turned around completely to face us.

I remember my ex saying nervously, 'What the hell is that?' I don't think that I answered her. I just sat there in amazement at what I was looking at, somehow trying to wrap my my mind around it.

What was there before us was this giant...well... ape. It was about seven to eight feet tall (about the same height as a road sign, to my estimation), covered in brown fur, large, with very little definition. That is to say that it didn't have a typical human build. Kinda built like a 'brick wall,' like a football lineman, large from head to toe.

Facially the animal looked a lot like a character from 'Planet of the Apes.' There were areas on the face that looked 'hairless,' mostly around the eyes, nose and mouth. The eyes were like a cat's—they reflected green in the light from the car's headlights. Overall looking very much like a 'great ape.'

The animal was covered in very 'shaggy' fur, possibly an inch or more in length. On the arms the hair was twice as long or so than it was on the head and body. The color was mostly a chocolate brown color, but I remember there being lighter spots in some areas.

I had heard enough stories from my father, who was an avid hunter and owned a gun shop that catered to hunters, and had seen enough TV to know exactly what we were confronted with—a Bigfoot.

The Bigfoot was very curious about us and our car. I could read its facial expressions. I remember that I wasn't scared; the animal never acted in an aggressive manner. It just seemed to be as perplexed about my ex and me as we were about it.

I remember the Bigfoot paused and rubbed its tongue across its front teeth, again in curiosity, like it was calculating its next move.

It took one or two steps toward us and my ex went ballistic. Apparently she took the moves as a sign that it was going to attack us. I thought that it was just coming over to get a better look at us. Anyway, she pushed back into her seat and began screaming. The Bigfoot stopped its forward approach when she went off. Puzzled by the commotion, it stopped, then took two long strides into the timber, disappearing from sight.

My girlfriend stopped her panic attack and we sat there silently looking at the spot where the creature once stood. I think we sat there for some time before I snapped out of my trance and decided to get out of there in case the Bigfoot came back.

I remember driving over onto the left-hand-side of the road, just in case the creature came charging out of the woods at us or something.

We looked into the woods as we drove past the spot where it had been and saw nothing. Amazingly, after we had gotten back on I-40 in Flagstaff, we both acted as if nothing had happened.

In the days and months after our encounter, my girlfriend refused to talk about the incident. We, of course, broke up months later, and I haven't seen her since.

For years I kept the story about my run-in with Bigfoot to myself. I didn't want to be ridiculed or called a liar, so I kept quiet about it.

It wasn't until my wife April and I had been married for a few years that I shared the story with her. She was always perplexed at why I was so obsessive about TV shows and books about Bigfoot, so I told her my story. At first she had a hard time believing it, but she knows that I am an honest person and she has seen how emotional I have been about it. She believes me now.

Wanting to help serious efforts to study the animal, I submitted my story to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization in 2005. I was interviewed not too long after that by Cliff Barackman about the encounter. Barackman, who has done extensive research in both Arizona and California, told me that my sighting was just one of several that had been reported in that same area that same year.

Now I know some of you out there are not going to believe me. That's okay, I don't care if you do or don't. I know what I saw. You never ever believe in these sorts of things until they are right in front of you. Seeing is definitely believing!"

Ken's brush with Bigfoot has influenced his endeavors, as he's the editor of one of Odd Encounters' favorite websites, Monster Island News, a site dedicated to classic monster movies. Check it out!