Cindy’s Story


Thom Cantrall

     It was a warm, pleasant spring day in southeast Oklahoma. I was near Honobia at the “Looking Back Bigfoot Festival” in April of 2014, having been invited to speak here by the organizer of the event. It was my second time in Honobia (pronounced Ho Nubby) having spoken here in 2011 as well. I was eagerly awaiting

Robert Swain’s Cartoon

my call to the stage when two ladies walked into the venue.

     One I knew. Rebecca is a very good artist and I had spent a good deal of time talking with her my first time in southeast Oklahoma. She had made for me a pendant necklace that I wear to this day. The other I did not know but probably wished I did… She was beautiful. Dark hair, dark eyes and a lithe, trim body that belied her mien. She looked troubled and I wondered about her. Very quickly, a voice came into my mind that stated, “This is her, get to know her… she needs you.”

     I stopped dead still for a moment and looked again. I knew that voice, having heard it often before but I had no idea he was here in Honobia on this day. In fact, I didn’t know at that point if he was there. I had last seen him on the banks of the Touchet (pronounced Too She) river in southeast Washington only a week or so prior. He had come to Honobia with me in 2011 when the physical situation became confused and I needed help… now, here was his voice again… “…help her…” How could I, a crippled seventy year old help a young and beautiful woman? What would she need from me?

Akanneesha by Alex Evans

   I did my presentation and talked to people immediately after. Several were interested in my books and a few wanted the T Shirts I was offering for sale. When those people thinned, Rebecca came to my little table and asked me if I had time to talk to them for a bit. She offered to buy a cold drink if I had the time to enjoy one. Well, she didn’t know me very well if she thought I would not make time to drink a cold Diet Pepsi and talk to two pretty women! I told her I’d love to do just that and we moved outside of the hall so the next presentation could begin without us interrupting it or creating confusion. We moved to one of the food and drink vendors outside and found a comfortable spot to sit and relax.

     “Thom,” Rebecca began, “This is my dear friend Cindy. She came with me here today from Oklahoma City to meet and talk to the man that talks to the bigfoot.”

     I think I blushed profusely at that comment. I had never heard myself referred to in quite that way before and it was more than a


little disconcerting. I recovered enough composure to grasp the well featured, slender hand that was offered and return the firm and warm handshake I found waiting for me there. “Hello Cindy, I’m so very happy to meet you. I’ve known Rebecca for a couple of years now and I was very happy to see her here today.” Then, pausing a moment, I continued, feeling very much like Kenny Rogers in his song, “The Gambler” … in seeing this woman was out of aces… I then continued, “It seems to me you need someone to talk to… can I help with that?”

     Cindy blushed a bit as she began to speak. She told me that she had been a Federal Agent and was in the Murrah Building

The Alfred P. Murrah Building

in Oklahoma City on April 19th, 1995, the day that Timothy McVeigh decided to extinguish the lives of so many and to alter the lives of so many more by exploding a bomb in front of the building. That day, in simply a matter of moments, Cindy’s life, in one sense, ended… a beautiful young wife and mother with a very responsible and important position within our government one moment in time became a single widow without child and with a back broken in two places in the next.


     Over the next hours, Cindy told me of the anguish she lived under… of the pain she lived in… of having undergone twenty seven different surgeries to help her regain a sense of normalcy. In watching her, I could see that 1995 moment living vibrantly just below her conscious being as she related things she felt I needed to know. The intervening nineteen years were not enough to erase the pain. No years would ever be enough to

Murrah Bldg. AFTER

compensate her for her loss. Here was this beautiful person trapped in this web of terror… living it over and over again how many times in how many ways?

It seemed like it’d been but moments when we’d noticed the sun telling us time was waning. I invited them to come see me this evening at the cabin where I and my

Murrah Bldg from the Air

friends were staying and, after describing how to find that cabin in this land of unnamed roads and unnumbered houses, we parted for the afternoon.

     Evening arrived right on time and we enjoyed a very nice dinner while sitting and enjoying spring in the Kiamichi Mountains. Some took a long walk into the adjacent woods while others of us contented ourselves with pleasant conversation or quiet contemplation. Time passed quickly and I began to become concerned that Rebecca and Cindy had not yet arrived. Finally, I thought that it was simply a case of them changing their minds about coming over this evening about the same time as I started to fade.

     “Go to bed, we need to talk,” came the voice of my Teacher once more.

     I must admit that, although it was only just past eight pm, I was ready to hear what he had to say. I assumed he wanted me available to him without others intervening and he could do this if I were in my bedroom where I didn’t have to share… I had no idea how wrong I was… My thought was to get ready for bed, settle down with my Kindle to read awhile and wait for his call. It worked well right up to the time I opened my Kindle, called up the book I was reading and fell sound asleep!

Pulitzer Prize Winning Photo 1996

     I slept soundly until about 11:15 or so when I awoke wondering what had gone wrong. I heard people in the living room chatting, so I got up, dressed lightly and went to join them. I learned then that Rebecca and Cindy had, indeed come to the cabin, but as I was asleep, no one would wake me. I must admit I was not pleased by this. It is MY decision to make as whether to get up to see them or not… not someone I had not met before that day! Well, I decided, what had been done was done and could not be undone at this hour, so I ignored the usurpation of my right and, as those in the cabin departed to the tents and other methods of sleeping available to them, I sat and talked with Arla about various small things when she announced, about 11:40, that she was bound for bed as well and left me seated alone in the room as she departed for her upstairs bedroom.

     As I sat quietly contemplating all that had happened this day and wondering what I had misunderstood about Akanneesha’s message when I saw him looking at me. He spoke to me. This time is was not “mindspeak”. His words did not form in my mind. He spoke to me in a language that, though I had never learned it, I understood instantly. Almost miraculously, I spoke to him in precisely the same language.

     This language was not new to me. I had heard it and used it last September when I was called into conference at the Blue Mountain Ronnyvoo in Washington’s Blue Mountains. At that time, the rest of the camp watched and heard all that happened, including the use of this language that sounds like an ancient Native American language, but I could not attest to it so being.

     For almost an hour, he talked to me. He told me of the importance of Cindy to his people and he told me what he wished for me to do for her. He coached me in an approach for her and then he left. I sat a few moments and contemplated what had just happened… and was amazed by it. My Teacher from Washington was in Oklahoma instructing me, face to face about a lady I had met only earlier that day in matters that were of vital

Our Gang

importance… how does it get more amazing?

     I arose early the next morning. Night was not long, as might be expected but I had enjoyed a long nap before this incident so I was well rested, excited and anxious to begin what I had been called to do. Probably the first person I saw in the morning was the last person I’d seen the night prior. Arla made the statement, “I heard Red Stripe talking and I KNEW is was not for me, so I just closed the door and went to bed!”

     I was like a youngster that morning, so anxious to get back to the venue of the conference and carry on with

Giant fingerprints found on the INSIDE of Arla’s windshield

my assignment. It seemed like breakfast would never end… possibly because it was so good no one wanted stop! Sausage… pancakes… milk and eggs… what a great way to start a day.. .great food with great people but with a message SCREAMING to get out of me! It was agony and ecstasy all rolled into one fine morning!

     At last, I was at my little table in the hall… waiting anxiously for the morning arrival of Cindy and Rebecca… When it happened at last, it was not as I had expected, it was just Rebecca walking into the room alone. She came to me to tell me Cindy was pretty distraught and needed to walk a bit. I understood exactly what was happening within her and I asked her if she was in the area of the other vendors. When she answered in the affirmative, I told her I would seek her out. I’m afraid Rebecca was a bit disappointed to not be able to be part of what was coming, but this was how Red Stripe wanted it. After explaining this and telling Arla at her table where I was going, I left the hall to seek our girl and impart on her what I had learned for her.

     I found her… She smiled warmly as I approached, assuring me that I was welcome and that she, while dreading what was to come, was anxious to know if I’d had word for her. We hugged briefly in the warmth of this spring day and I said, “Let’s walk…”

Cindy – BEFORE

Walk we did… off from the bustle of the festival… away from the roar of the unmuffled engines of some race cars coming to be part of the celebration… out to the woods, where I always go with my thoughts and concerns and anything I must consider of great magnitude. Alone and quiet, a log awaited us and we accept the invitation to sit and commune quietly.

     We sat quietly for some minutes… just she and me… we let The Creator’s works engulf us and prepare us. Then, we talked. I told her of the sasquatch people and their love and concern for her. She told me of her experiences and her pains. She told me of her son, lost to her on the doorstep of his graduation from school. She told me of a husband she loved… gone now… ripped from her life in that one terrible instant. I told her of Red Stripe… my Teacher… my Akanneesha… and how important she is to him… and she cried.

     For seeming hours we talked there in that wooded copse. The dogwood watched us and gloried us with it’s beautiful bracts. The oaks listened stoically as we talked. There were pines there too and they watched as I hugged the girl and let her cry. I knew not what to say, so I said nothing and just listened. I felt her heart breaking and mending… if felt her anguish and I felt her capacity for love… and she cried. And I held her… And I listened…

     No one other of all those in attendance this weekend, save one, had any idea of what was happening and even that one was not privy to today. There were only three of us there this day… And we weren’t sharing beyond one another. At last, the time came to return to the world at hand and we girded up our loins and stepped forth in fortitude… ready to begin a new day… a new journey and a new life.

Cindy – AFTER

     If one would wonder the effects of these days on the woman, they need only look closely at the two photos posted of this beautiful lady. See the anguish and strife and the pressure in the first? Then the calm, the peace and the serenity in the second…

     Today, Cindy is in the intensive care unit of an Oklahoma City hospital. She has suffered a crippling heart attack and has a blood clot lodged in her lung. I know she can overcome this if she has the will to do so. My feeling is that she is ready to go home. I have asked for prayer and supplication from all my friends and from all hers that I can reach. I hope this is enough to instill a new hope in her beautiful, Cherokee heart… Cindy we love you and pray that what is best for you comes to pass… in all things “not my will, but Thine be done…”

Thom Cantrall