LONGVIEW, TEXAS 1970
In training at Fort Ord, California Nick E. Campbell writes, “I suppose that even in the Army you can find Sasquatch reports. This one comes from Private David Lawson and Private Reverend Royal Jacobs, both from Longview, Texas. They both stayed in my barracks here at Fort Ord and offered me this short report.”
“In or about the year 1965, there was a rash of reports of giant hairy creatures roaming the thickets and back country between Jefferson and Longview, Texas, but nearest to Longview. A man and his little daughter reported it as being a large, black and not a bear. Several head of cattle and a couple of people were supposedly killed by it. Private Jacobs was a member of a posse that hunted the creature when he was a teenager. He told me that he saw the body of one of the murdered persons and that the victim had been torn apart. At the time, he threw his gun back in the car and went home. I can’t blame him, he was only 14 or 15 at the time.”
“These two men are training here for the Texas National Guard. Private Jacobs is a licensed minister and Private Lawson is in my platoon and has been associated with Jacobs for years. I will vouch for them both; they are always being put on the spot by other guys because of their devotion to religion and honesty. Before I sign off, I would like to mention another place they told me about. They called it “the Big Thicket” and said it was north of Houston near the town of Lufkin. It’s an area where people disappear and others tell Sasquatch-type stories.”
Nick Campbell, October 2, 1970
Credit George Haas’ Bigfoot Bulletin, Oct. 31, 1970
The TBRC has been working to document this incident. We had a David Lawson sign our online guestbook. Here is his entry:
I am a professor of counseling psychology at *** university (name of University removed to protect identity) and have been fascinated and intrigued by reports of the elusive bigfoot creature going back to my military training in California in 1970. I was raised in Longview area and spent growing up years in the bottoms of east Texas. I recall many strange sounds and experiences but cannot confirm a sighting as those that I have read on your website. I would be interested in obtaining any regular mailings or information about your organization and bigfoot.
I contacted him by email to enquire if he was the same David Lawson that was mentioned in the letter that Nick Campbell had written on October 2, 1970. He replied:
Craig, yes that was me. I was quite surprised a few weeks ago when I happened upon that report. I recall talking with Nick but the story that Royal Jacobs related in the report is not something I remember in any news stories at the time. I knew Royal from high school and he was often given to embellishment and tall tales. However, it is also possible that the events he related happened, but I have no recollection of them.
As a teenager I spent much of my growing up years (1960s) in the river bottoms and woods of east Texas. Many of the bigfoot reports that I’m reading on your website (e.g., around Kilgore, Palestine, Jacksonville, Henderson, etc.) were areas where I camped out and hung out as a teenager. In retrospect, many of the odd and “spooky” occurrences that we experienced as kids (e.g., odd animal noises, smells, feeling watched, etc.) may have been related to a bigfoot, but we never actually saw one or had any solid evidence of one (e.g., foot prints, sightings). There were a many stories of wild men and hairy creatures but I tended to pass them off as rural “urban legends.” Until I talked with Nick in 1970, I don’t believe I’d ever heard of bigfoot or sasquatch (I had heard of the abominable snowman/yeti in Tibet) but had no idea such a creature might exist in East Texas), so there was really no existing animal or conceptual scheme in which to place these experiences other than the “wild man” category. Whether or not Royal Jacobs had more direct experiences with bigfoot would be something you’d have to take up with him. I assume he’s still in Texas somewhere but I have no idea where. I haven’t seen him in over 30 years.
I’d be more than happy to talk with you but I don’t have any additional substantial information other than what I’ve shared here. If you’d still like to talk with me my home phone is xxx-xxx-xxxx. David Lawson
TBRC Member Nancy Poole did some digging in the newspaper and library archives in Jefferson and Marshall and found an article dated September 1st, 1965 that mentions the Marion County Monster Legend. Here is the link for that article. We are still searching the archives for verification of this event.
In Loren Coleman’s files is a UPI clipping, dated September 20, 1965, from Jefferson, Texas, entitled “Town Fed Up With Monster Hunters.” Sheriff Luke Walker is quoted as being upset by the Bigfoot hunters from three states who had overrun his small northeast-Texas town since a thirteen-year-old boy came running out of the woods three weeks earlier telling of seeing a big, black hairy thing. This is recounted in Loren’s book, “Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America“.
I believe that this is in reference to the above article from the Marshall News Messenger.
TBRC Member Charles DeVore of Karnack did some investigating after getting the article that Nancy found. He started searching out names mentioned in it. Here is his report:
I first went speaking with some old timers. None of them remember anything about any killings being attributed to bigfoot.
I next went searching for ex-sheriff Luke Walker. I found he had passed away approximately 16 years ago.
I next went to Deputy George Whately. I found that he passed away approximately 10 years ago.
I caught a little good natured ribbing about needing to hold a séance to contact Sheriff Walker.
I then went to current Jefferson law officers who were very helpful and directed me to one who worked for Sheriff Luke Walker back in the early 70′s. This officer relates that he had spent many hours with Sheriff Walker back then talking over events of his career and their was no possibility that any bigfoot killed anyone around Marion County during the 60′s or any other time in Jefferson history. This officer even called several people that he knew that were around back then and none of them knew of any bigfoot killing.
Next on the list was Dwain Dennis who owned the Jefferson newspaper at that time. Found Mr. Dennis at his home in Jefferson. Found him to be in good health and with a very sharp memory. He corroborated the Marshall News Messenger story about the 13-year-old kid who claimed to have been chased by a bigfoot. He had interviewed the kid himself that day. Related that something had scared him very bad but to this day is not sure what it was. He feels that the tracks that he found were all faked evidence.
He and his wife spent all their spare time for about 6 weeks researching into that story and a few related stories that sprang up from the original. His newspaper articles generated calls from throughout the country and from several foreign countries. Many other stories sprang up in other media and tabloids and got embellished from there. While many people did come to Jefferson to learn more or chase down embellished rumors, or hunt down the imaginary killer bigfoot, there was no posse organized to hunt it down. All the wild stories were generated by other outlets and totally false. He stated that there were NO KILLINGS in or around Marion County or Jefferson that could even remotely be blamed on a bigfoot.