I recently received a telephone call from ‘Joe’ who had a harrowing encounter with an upright canine when he was 15 years old, while growing up in Delta County in west central Colorado. He had resisted talking about this incident until he heard of recent upright canine encounters told to him by friends and associates in his current residence of Fayetteville, Arkansas. I have been keenly aware of the upright canine activity throughout the Ozarks during recent years. Upright canine sightings and encounters have become more common throughout Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi according to witnesses who have contacted me.

Joe states that when he was a teen, he and his friends would hang out on the Gunnison River, not far from its confluence with the Uncompahgre River near his hometown of Delta, Colorado.

One late night in the mid-1990s, at approximately 12:30 am, Joe had arranged to meet a friend at their preferred spot along the Gunnison River. They had a routine of exploring an old abandoned factory that still had lights working around it. These lights would illuminated the river and shoreline. The river at this location was fairly shallow during the summer and could easily be crossed.

While waiting for his friend, Joe decided to kill some time. There was a auto parts lot / junkyard (still there) near the location that interested Joe. He has always be fascinated with automobiles and is currently an auto mechanic. He knew the man who owned the lot, which was guarded by a German Shepard that was very friendly with Joe. Many times the dog would wander down to the river in order to greet and play with Joe.

As Joe began to make his way towards the lot, he had to pass a huge downed tree that laid along the river shore. The end of the downed tree had a large bundle of exposed roots and debris from the river. As he walked by the tree he noticed a pair of long ears visible from the other side on top of the downed tree. Thinking that was the German Shepard coming to greet him, he starting calling out to it. In fact, he tossed a few pebbles at it in order to get its attention.

Then suddenly, an unimaginable creature stood up. The light from the abandoned factory gave Joe an uncompressed view of this beast. He was witnessing a 7-8 ft tall humanoid with the head of a large wolf. The canine teeth were clearly visible and its orange-yellow eyes looked directly at him. Joe said the eyes looked like distant lights coming from a tunnel. He was truly shocked at this sight.

Joe let out a scream. The beast reacted by grabbing the exposed roots and leaping on top of the downed tree. Joe’s description was that of a sparsely haired bi-pedal canine with a wide muscular chest and human-like arms ending in human-like hands and long fingers with talons. The waist and hips were narrow, with muscular hocked legs extending down to long human-like feet. The beast was standing on the balls of its feet.

Joe instinctively ran towards the river and quickly waded across it to a chain linked fence. As Joe looked back, the creature was on all fours watching him from the far shore of the river. The beast was watching Joe, but then directed its attention upriver. It suddenly took off running on all fours upriver at what Joe described as ‘an incredible speed.’

Later, he was told by the man who owned the auto parts lot that he should never walk near the river at night. His comments were ‘there are many things out there that we can’t comprehend.’ He was also told by a shaman and elder of his family’s tribe that Joe encountered ‘a spirit of the forest, since it did not attack him.’

When I talked to Joe, his voice was noticeably shaky as he recounted his experience. It’s obvious that his encounter has affected him throughout his life. Lon

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