Rob Riggs and the Texas Bigfoot Enigma

Anomaly Archives presents Rob Riggs on Bigfoot

Saturday, July 26th, 2014  Free Event – Donations Welcomed!
Doors open at 6:30 pm – Lecture begins promptly at 7 pm CST.


Rob Riggs (Texas) is a twenty-five year veteran journalist, has authored the non-fiction book In the Big Thicket, and has contributed to another non-fiction book, Weird Texas (Sterling Press, 2005). He was a featured writer at the annual Texas Book Festival and has also done several television and radio appearances.


Rob Riggs and the Texas Bigfoot Enigma

The Anomaly Archives is proud to present for our fellow Austinites, Texas Bigfoot Researcher Rob Riggs. Rob is an anomaly within the cryptozoological world of bigfoot research. He leans away from the simple “blood and guts” interpretation of bigfoot as simply an elusive and undiscovered hominid of America’s wild-places. He tries to account for the stranger aspects of tales of encounters with the mysterious creatures by exploring the possible relevance of parapsychological research. He’s very well read across a wide range of related paranormal fields of study and has applied these far-flung areas of inquiry to the enigma of bigfoot. He believes the keys to unlocking the mystery likely involve a deeper understanding of aboriginal Native American cultures and their views on the psychic abilities of the creatures. He also feels that there may be clues to understanding these creatures through explorations of shape-shifting shamans, altered states of consciousness, and the mysterious energies associated with luminous ball-of-light phenomena known as Ghost Lights, which occur in both the dry desert West Texas region of Marfa to the humid swamp lands surrounding Bragg Road that runs through the Big Thicket in East Texas.

I first met Rob shortly after the 2001 publication of his fantastic book, In The Big Thicket: On The Trail of the Wild Man. In late 2002 I participated in an extensive interview with him that was published in two parts within the Austin Para Times news-magazine, and I was lucky to see him speak at a few bigfoot conferences and to accompany him (and another East Texas bigfoot researcher, Chester Moore Jr.) on an overnight investigation along a remote stretch of the Sabine river that was accessible only by boat.

We hope you will join us Saturday night, July 26th for Rob’s presentation.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy the following excerpts from my past commentaries on Rob Riggs and the Texas Bigfoot Research scene.

– SMiles Lewis


From my interview in WEIRD Magazine, March 2010…

Most people don’t think of Texas when they hear about bigfoot but I’ve said for years that any big discovery about these elusive creatures is very likely going to come from research done here in Texas. Our big state has a long history of bigfoot sightings with a wide variety of regional names associated with these creatures including Wild Man, Hairy Man, Swamp Ape / Skunk Ape, Wooly Booger, to name just a few. The Piney Woods of East Texas’ Big Thicket have apparently played home to a number of such human / bigfoot encounters as documented in Rob Riggs’ excellent book In the Big Thicket: On the Trail of the Wildman.

Texas has one of the best organized bigfoot investigation groups in the country: The TBRC – Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy is a non-profit outfit doing some of the best ongoing instrumented cryptozoology field research not just in Texas’ Big Thicket but also into the forests that spread from here into Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. They also have one of the best annual bigfoot conferences in the country, previously held in Jefferson and most recently in Tyler. In fact for a time, Texas was home to two annual bigfoot events, one put on by the TBRC and one hosted by another fantastic Texas bigfoot hunter named Chester Moore Jr., called the Southern Crypto Conference.

The Anomaly Archives has a sizable section of books and videos devoted to Cryptozoology and the hunt for bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti.

I realize that many people find it very difficult to believe in bigfoot, but consider this: legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall even thinks there is good evidence for the existence of an undiscovered North American primate…

Dr. Goodall: Well now, you’ll be amazed when I tell you that I’m sure that they exist.
Ira Flatow: You are?
Dr. Goodall: Yeah. I’ve talked to so many Native Americans who all describe the same sounds, two who have seen them. I’ve probably got about, oh, thirty books that have come from different parts of the world, from China from, from all over the place, and there was a little tiny snippet in the newspaper just last week which says that British scientists have found what they believed to be a yeti hair and that the scientists in the Natural History Museum in London couldn’t identify it as any known animal.

National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday – 9/27/02

Folks should check out the recent film released in 2008, Wild Man of the Navidad. It’s a nicely done retro horror movie based on stories of bigfoot-like wild people from the Navidad region northwest of Victoria. And let’s not forget the Hairy Man Road legends in Round Rock which now has its own yearly festival.

WEIRD Magazine Interviews SMiles Lewis of the Austin Anomaly Archives

In June 2005, Rob Riggs helped sponsor the Texas Ghost Lights Conference with the Anomaly Archives. This phenomenal event featured such renowned researchers as Paul Devereux, Nick Redfern, and James Bunnell. Rob Riggs also presented and I MC’d the event. The day after this 6 hour conference we all went on a trip to Bragg Road in the heart of the Big Thicket. The photo below was taken by Nick Redfern during our trip to East Texas. In it, I appear to be imitating the lumbering gate of bigfoot’s most famous representative, “Patty,” from the Patterson Gimlin film footage.

“Preparing to investigate the Big Thicket in 2005 (on the left) SMiles Lewis and (on the right) Paul Devereux (Nick Redfern)” [Photo from Monsters of Texas by Ken Gerhard & Nick Redfern]

Flashback to the Anomaly Archives eNews – June 2005 …


  • In The Big Thicket: On the Trail of the Wild Man – Exploring Nature’s Mysterious Dimension by Rob Riggs.


A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to go on my first Bigfoot Expedition with a couple of friends who are part of the cutting edge community of Texas bigfoot researchers. Rob Riggs and I teamed up with our expedition leader, Chester Moore, Jr. Chester hosts the annual Southern Crypto Conference in Conroe, Texas (see the Events section for info on this exciting conference happening in two weeks) and is a leading light in the hunt for cryptozoological critters around the State. Chester Moore, Junior and Senior, had staked out the likely stomping grounds of a family of bigfoot critters at a spot on the Sabine river accessible only by boat. Recent activity found by their investigations led them to believe we would find plenty of evidence for the existence of one of nature’s most elusive lost mammals. Though we didn’t ever see any bigfoot in the flesh, we did see a number of signs of their presence, including tracks that were cast by the Chesters.

But that’s one of the biggest mysteries about the possible existence of bigfoot – where is the flesh and blood? In fact, just as in UFOlogy where you have two main camps of belief, one described as the Nuts-And-Bolts camp and another that could be categorized as the Paranormal or MultiDimensional camp, so too in Bigfoot oriented CryptoZoology where there exists a Blood-And-Guts camp and a MultiDimensional camp. The Chesters are a very open-minded bunch of “Blood-And-Gutters;” while entertaining the ideas espoused by Rob Riggs, they still think we are dealing exclusively with an as yet formally accepted North American Hominid and has even founded the American Primate Conservation Alliance. Personally, I feel completely convinced by the incredibly respectable efforts of Chester Moore as well as the other Texas Bigfoot Researchers. I fully expect the next biggest Bigfoot discovery to come from East Texas. That said, I have always been equally drawn towards the more inclusive Anomalist approach to Bigfoot research. And Rob Riggs has written a powerful tome exploring these more multidimensional possibilities inherent in an understanding of the larger Bigfoot phenomena as it relates to those recurring Spook Lights (aka Ghost Lights) that seem to haunt the same regions as the strange Wild Man.

Rob Riggs’ book is titled In the Big Thicket, and though there is little in that title to give it away, this book covers the gamut of Fortean / Anomaly subjects. With East Texas’ Big Thicket as the locus and launching point Rob explores the subjects of Ghost Lights (BOLs or Balls Of Light said to “haunt” specific locales), Bigfoot and related legendary humanoids (like those from the book’s subtitle, On the Trail of the Wild Man). PLUS Rob covers the connections between strange electromagnetic effects and their implications for non-local consciousness and the paranormal powers it can manifest.

Rob Riggs expertly weaves together these seemingly disparate subjects relating personal accounts that are as much travelogue as journalistic investigation. In fact Rob’s background in radio and newspaper journalism facilitate his skillful ability to present his ideas in a straightforward and naturally flowing manner. This chronicling of his own encounters with luminous phenomena in the Big Thicket and elsewhere are presented alongside the experiences of other witnesses to the weird.

Rob’s conclusion combine the research of many fine investigators of these mysteries, however, his ideas about the ultimate nature of the phenomena are very unique. He suspects that the ghost lights might not only appear to be intelligent creatures with a connection to the wild man, bigfoot, and other lycanthrope type shape-shifters, but that that they are in fact the luminous disembodied consciousnesses of advanced human shamans like those in the folk traditions of voodoo, cajun folktales and the Haitian Society of “Flying Men” researched by Douchan Girsi.

Wild ideas indeed. But Rob invokes the cherished research of such famous (and some infamous) luminaries as earth lights researchers Paul Devereux and David Clarke, tectonic strain theorist Michael Persinger, Fortean and Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, ParaCryptozUfologist Ted Holiday, guerilla ontologist Robert Anton Wilson, writer Jacques Bergier, journalist John Keel, contact artist Paul Laffoley, Cycles of Heaven author Guy Lyon Playfair, Douchan Girsi – author of Faces in the Smoke, and of course ufologist Jacques Vallee.

Some other researchers whose ideas fit into all this quite well, include Jenny Randles, Albert Budden and Dr. Greg Little. All three of these researchers have written multiple volumes explicating the intricate connections between these Spook Light phenomena and strange encounters with anomalous entities. While none of them goes so far as to suggest that the lights represent the wandering consciousness of yogis or shamans, each of them postulate that the lights interface with human consciousness in some way and that there may in fact be an Overmind such as the collective unconscious or indeed the Archetypes themselves from that same Jungian realm, at work in these multiple mysteries.

Anomaly Archives eNews – June 2005


Join us Saturday night, July 26th at the Austin Center for Spiritual Living.

Doors open at 6:30 pm – Lecture begins promptly at 7 pm CST.

Austin Center for Spiritual Living,

5555 North Lamar Boulevard, Building D, Suite 115,

Austin, Texas 78751-1073

Click Map Images Below For Location Detail…

Event Sponsored by Anomaly Archives – Scientific Anomaly Institute

About Scientific Anomaly Institute

The Anomaly Archives is the lending library of the Scientific Anomaly Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks: Preservation and dissemination of scientific research into anomalous phenomena Research and analysis of accumulated collections Education of the public regarding scientific investigations into these phenomena Purposes of the Institute: * Managing and developing an archive and library for documents and literature with regards to a multi-disciplinary approach to anomalous phenomena, * Supporting, promoting and pursuing research to obtain increased knowledge about anomalous phenomena, and * Pursuing and stimulating a critical, scientific discussion of anomalous phenomena, and providing a forum for information, support, and sharing among researchers while, Functioning as the archives and library for like-minded organizations, and other groups in the community that have similar interests. Our collection houses over about 5,000 books as well as research materials such as, videos, documents, magazines, and personal correspondence. Along with the S.A.I. collection, we also curate the collections of "Rare UFO & Paranormal Book Collector/Seller" Robert C. Girard, INACS (Institute for Neuroscience And Consciousness Studies), and others. And previously those of Austin MUFON (Mutual UFO Network), Austin IONS (Institute Of Noetic Sciences) and JSA (Jung Society of Austin). We house many great books that discuss a wide range of scientific subjects including: -UFOs and Ufology -Consciousness -Parapsychology -Fortean Phenomena -Cryptozoology -ParaPolitical Science -Human Potential Please come pay us a visit!

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